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IMT Calendar

Sparky and Rhonda

John Prine Time
Monday, February 10, 2020, 7:30pm

Saint Mark Presbyterian Church
10701 Old Georgetown Rd,
Rockville, MD, 20852

Tickets: $20 adv, $25 door
Children & Students w ID: $15 adv, $20 door
$2 box office fee added to all advance purchases, advance ticketing ends at 1pm day-of show, all tickets are general admission

"Sparky Rucker is unique! He'll make you glad to be alive and struggling." - Pete Seeger

Buy Tickets

Sparky and Rhonda Rucker perform throughout the U.S. as well as overseas, singing songs and telling stories from the American folk tradition. Sparky Rucker has been performing over forty years and is internationally recognized as a leading folklorist, musician, historian, storyteller, and author. He accompanies himself with fingerstyle picking and bottleneck blues guitar, banjo, and spoons. Rhonda Rucker is a musician, children's author, storyteller, and songwriter. Her blues-style harmonica, piano, old-time banjo, and bones add musical versatility to their performances.

Sparky and Rhonda are sure to deliver an uplifting presentation of toe-tapping music spiced with humor, history, and tall tales. They take their audience on an educational and emotional journey that ranges from poignant stories of slavery and war to an amusing rendition of a Brer Rabbit tale or their witty commentaries on current events. Their music includes a variety of old-time blues, slave songs, Appalachian music, spirituals, ballads, work songs, Civil War music, railroad songs, and a few of their own original compositions.

Visit their website here : sparkyandrhonda.com

A spirited version of this classic performed by Sparky and Rhonda as part of KY Music Weekend on July 25, 2015.




Stephen Wade

Stephen Wade
Saturday, February 15, 2020, 7:30pm

Saint Mark Presbyterian Church
10701 Old Georgetown Rd,
Rockville, MD, 20852

Tickets: $30 adv, $35 door
Children & Students w ID: $25 adv, $30 door
$2 box office fee added to all advance purchases, advance ticketing ends at 1pm day-of show, all tickets are general admission

"A Storyteller’s Story: Sources of Banjo Dancing" Album Release Concert : “Among the enduring Washington institutions- the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, the inaugural parade- it will soon be necessary to include Stephen Wade.  – WASHINGTON POST

Buy Tickets

Stephen Wade is arguably the best nongrass five-string banjo player around... and demonstrates that the stories behind [the music] can be as absorbing as the songs themselves.” – BLUEGRASS UNLIMITED

In May 1979 a young musician named Stephen Wade opened a one-man show at a small yet adventurous off-Loop theater in Chicago. Called Banjo Dancing, or the 48th Annual Squitters Mountain Song, Dance, Folklore Convention & Banjo Contest and How I Lost, it consisted of songs, tunes, and stories sourced in American folklore and literature, accompanied by his five-string banjo and percussive dance steps.

Scheduled for a four-weekend run in an eighty-seat black box, the show took a wholly unexpected turn. Theater critics from around the nation saw it and raved. “An impassioned banjoist, a nimbly authoritative clog dancer, a soulful singer of folk music and an enthralling tall tale raconteur,” said Time magazine. “A wondrous artist, this Stephen Wade.” The reviews soon led to an invited appearance at the White House, and the show moved into successively larger spaces in Chicago, and eventually to stages across the nation.

A three-week engagement at Washington's Arena Stage turned into ten years. “Among the enduring Washington institutions—the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, the inaugural parade—it will soon be necessary to include Stephen Wade,” wrote the Washington Post. Over time, Banjo Dancing became one of the longest-running, off-Broadway shows in the United States.

Now forty years after its premiere, with A Storyteller’s Story: Sources of Banjo Dancing (Patuxent Music CD-333, 2019), Stephen Wade explores the precedents that lit his way. The album illuminates a set of influences and experiences thriving long before Banjo Dancing, and embodied by an unlikely group of musicians, writers, orators, and actors. Much of their story centers in Washington. Tonight’s concert brings them all back home.

A 2013 Grammy nominee, Stephen Wade is author of the prizewinning book, The Beautiful Music All Around Us: Field Recordings and the American Experience (University of Illinois Press, 2012). 

Between 2015 and 2019 Wade directed all five years of the American Roots Music Program at Colorado’s Rocky Ridge Music Center. He earlier wrote and narrated an occasional series of song studies that aired on NPR’s All Things Considered and Morning Edition. In addition to performing, recording, and teaching, he is currently researching another book on American folklore.

Visit Stephen's website here.

A short film about The Beautiful Music All Around Us - an award-winning book by writer and musician Stephen Wade.


Stephen Wade and Dick Spottswood discuss Wade's Patuxent album celebrating the 40th anniversary of Stephen's one-man show, "Banjo Dancing" excerpts from the music can be heard in the background.




Muleman and the Toccata Players

The Tocatta Players and Muleman.
Sunday, February 23, 2020, 6:30pm

Allyworld
7014-C Westmoreland Ave,
Takoma Park, MD 20912

Tickets: $20 adv, $25 door
Children & Students w ID: $15 adv, $20 door
$2 box office fee added to all advance purchases, advance ticketing ends at 1pm day-of show, all tickets are general admission

When the devil made deals with bluesmen at the crossroads, he probably never quite visualized a pairing like this! Tango to the Mississippi Delta and BACK.

Buy Tickets

After meeting at House of Musical Traditions and jamming in the aisles, Justin Heath of the Toccata Players and Mark "Muleman" Massey parted with that oft said musician's farewell : "We should play a gig sometime!" Well, that sometime is NOW!

The Toccata Players are a budding string ensemble based in Takoma Park, Md. Founded initially as an ensemble focused on tango music, they now draw inspiration from a range of influences from Astor Piazzola to Radiohead. Each member has a commitment to their instrument and a passion for weaving beautiful melodies and harmonies together. Founder and guitarist Justin Heath holds the rhythm and adds textural accompaniment as Manuela Osorio’s violin and Rachel Cannon’s viola dance and converse. With a repertoire that includes tango, Latin American folk songs, pop tunes and jazz standards, the Toccata Players are suited for private events, concert halls or the pub.

Visit their website here : toccataplayers.com

"Por Una Cabeza"


Born in the Mississippi Delta, Mark learned the true meaning of the Blues down on Parchman Farm Penitentiary. He was taught by David Kimbrough, the son of Jr. Kimbrough, how to play the guitar inside Parchman, and soon after, Mark joined the Parchman Prison Band. After Mark left Parchman, he followed his love for the Blues towards bettering himself. Along the way, he met the Blues legend Big Jack Johnson. He became both a mentor and friend to Mark and even gave Mark the nickname "Muleman".

25 years later, Muleman has played a host of festivals all across Mississippi, including opening for B.B. King at his annual homecoming festival the last few years of B.B. King's career. In 2017, Muleman traveled overseas to Crissier, Switzerland to perform at the Blues Rules Crissier Festival, and Bollenblues4 in the Netherlands as well as Haarlem, Holland. Muleman has been featured on the online blues show "Moonshine and Mojo Hands" and the culinary television show "Bizarre Foods" with Andrew Zimmern.

In 2016, Muleman's story was documented by audio recordings into the Library of Congress. Muleman's aspiring story and songs have touched his fans from all over the world. The combination of Muleman's distinguished voice and captivating lyricism is a force to be reckoned with.

Visit his website here : markmulemanmassey.wixsite.com

Mark "Muleman" Massey performs his song "I Saw The Sun Go Down On Memphis," with accompanist BIlly Earheart, on 2nd Saturday Live at The Claude Gentry Theatre, September 8, 2018. Music video production by Six Shooter Studios, Baldwyn, Mississippi.



Here are a few organizations that share goals and values with IMT.

House of Musical Traditions

Artivate
Since 1972, HMT's been the DC-area's source for new and vintage folk instruments from around the world + books & DVDs, lessons & workshops, repairs, instrument & pro audio rentals. Institute of Musical Traditions was born from a concert series started by David Eisner, HMT's owner. Barnaby Productions Barnaby presents the fall & winter Celtic Concerts series at the Old Brogue & the Swift Run summer house concerts in Great Falls, VA & is the home of DC's pan-Celtic band IONA.
Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eirean, O'Neill-Malcolm Branch The largest, single, non-profit group involved in the preservation & promotion of Irish traditional music and culture. The O'Neill Branch of CCE presents concerts, dances, summer music and dance schools & the Musical Arts & Dance Week school.

Carpe Diem Arts
DC Bluegrass Union
DCBU promotes bluegrass in the DC area. They maintain an online calendar of bluegrass events & present a bluegrass festival each February. Focus Music
Focus presents concerts in Rockville, Alexandria & Mount Vernon in an intimate, "up-close" environment, creating the opportunity for audiences to discover high-quality new artists & for artists to find sustainable & supportive audiences in the Greater DC / Metro area. Folklore Society of Greater Washington FSGW presents concerts, dances & special weekend gatherings. They also publish a comprehensive monthly newsletter listing events in the Washington area on their website.
The Greater Washington Ceili Club
GWCC hosts monthly ceili dances with live music & sponsors a year-round program of dance instruction. Mary Cliff's Traditions Mary hosts two radio shows and publishes lists of upcoming folk music events on her website.
The Songwriters Association of Washington SAW presents concerts & workshops & hosts the annual Mid-Atlantic Song Concest.


Special Thanks...

We are a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization supported by contributions from individual donors and by funding from the Maryland State Arts Council and the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County.

AHCMC  MSAC

February is slinking right on in....

Cold winter months, hot tea, the coffeehouse scene... prime listening time for the Institute of Musical Traditions. Just don't leave that banjo in a draft of cold air, cause a five-string is just the BEGINNING of your troubles in swiftly shifting temperatures....

Sparky and Rhonda

John Prine Time
Monday, February 10, 2020, 7:30pm

Saint Mark Presbyterian Church
10701 Old Georgetown Rd,
Rockville, MD, 20852

Tickets: $20 adv, $25 door
Children & Students w ID: $15 adv, $20 door
$2 box office fee added to all advance purchases, advance ticketing ends at 1pm day-of show, all tickets are general admission

"Sparky Rucker is unique! He'll make you glad to be alive and struggling." - Pete Seeger

Buy Tickets

Sparky and Rhonda Rucker perform throughout the U.S. as well as overseas, singing songs and telling stories from the American folk tradition. Sparky Rucker has been performing over forty years and is internationally recognized as a leading folklorist, musician, historian, storyteller, and author. He accompanies himself with fingerstyle picking and bottleneck blues guitar, banjo, and spoons. Rhonda Rucker is a musician, children's author, storyteller, and songwriter. Her blues-style harmonica, piano, old-time banjo, and bones add musical versatility to their performances.

Sparky and Rhonda are sure to deliver an uplifting presentation of toe-tapping music spiced with humor, history, and tall tales. They take their audience on an educational and emotional journey that ranges from poignant stories of slavery and war to an amusing rendition of a Brer Rabbit tale or their witty commentaries on current events. Their music includes a variety of old-time blues, slave songs, Appalachian music, spirituals, ballads, work songs, Civil War music, railroad songs, and a few of their own original compositions.

Visit their website here : sparkyandrhonda.com

A spirited version of this classic performed by Sparky and Rhonda as part of KY Music Weekend on July 25, 2015.




Stephen Wade

Stephen Wade
Saturday, February 15, 2020, 7:30pm

Saint Mark Presbyterian Church
10701 Old Georgetown Rd,
Rockville, MD, 20852

Tickets: $30 adv, $35 door
Children & Students w ID: $25 adv, $30 door
$2 box office fee added to all advance purchases, advance ticketing ends at 1pm day-of show, all tickets are general admission

"A Storyteller’s Story: Sources of Banjo Dancing" Album Release Concert : “Among the enduring Washington institutions- the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, the inaugural parade- it will soon be necessary to include Stephen Wade.  – WASHINGTON POST

Buy Tickets

Stephen Wade is arguably the best nongrass five-string banjo player around... and demonstrates that the stories behind [the music] can be as absorbing as the songs themselves.” – BLUEGRASS UNLIMITED

In May 1979 a young musician named Stephen Wade opened a one-man show at a small yet adventurous off-Loop theater in Chicago. Called Banjo Dancing, or the 48th Annual Squitters Mountain Song, Dance, Folklore Convention & Banjo Contest and How I Lost, it consisted of songs, tunes, and stories sourced in American folklore and literature, accompanied by his five-string banjo and percussive dance steps.

Scheduled for a four-weekend run in an eighty-seat black box, the show took a wholly unexpected turn. Theater critics from around the nation saw it and raved. “An impassioned banjoist, a nimbly authoritative clog dancer, a soulful singer of folk music and an enthralling tall tale raconteur,” said Time magazine. “A wondrous artist, this Stephen Wade.” The reviews soon led to an invited appearance at the White House, and the show moved into successively larger spaces in Chicago, and eventually to stages across the nation.

A three-week engagement at Washington's Arena Stage turned into ten years. “Among the enduring Washington institutions—the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, the inaugural parade—it will soon be necessary to include Stephen Wade,” wrote the Washington Post. Over time, Banjo Dancing became one of the longest-running, off-Broadway shows in the United States.

Now forty years after its premiere, with A Storyteller’s Story: Sources of Banjo Dancing (Patuxent Music CD-333, 2019), Stephen Wade explores the precedents that lit his way. The album illuminates a set of influences and experiences thriving long before Banjo Dancing, and embodied by an unlikely group of musicians, writers, orators, and actors. Much of their story centers in Washington. Tonight’s concert brings them all back home.

A 2013 Grammy nominee, Stephen Wade is author of the prizewinning book, The Beautiful Music All Around Us: Field Recordings and the American Experience (University of Illinois Press, 2012). 

Between 2015 and 2019 Wade directed all five years of the American Roots Music Program at Colorado’s Rocky Ridge Music Center. He earlier wrote and narrated an occasional series of song studies that aired on NPR’s All Things Considered and Morning Edition. In addition to performing, recording, and teaching, he is currently researching another book on American folklore.

Visit Stephen's website here.

A short film about The Beautiful Music All Around Us - an award-winning book by writer and musician Stephen Wade.


Stephen Wade and Dick Spottswood discuss Wade's Patuxent album celebrating the 40th anniversary of Stephen's one-man show, "Banjo Dancing" excerpts from the music can be heard in the background.




Muleman and the Toccata Players

The Tocatta Players and Muleman.
Sunday, February 23, 2020, 6:30pm

Allyworld
7014-C Westmoreland Ave,
Takoma Park, MD 20912

Tickets: $20 adv, $25 door
Children & Students w ID: $15 adv, $20 door
$2 box office fee added to all advance purchases, advance ticketing ends at 1pm day-of show, all tickets are general admission

When the devil made deals with bluesmen at the crossroads, he probably never quite visualized a pairing like this! Tango to the Mississippi Delta and BACK.

Buy Tickets

After meeting at House of Musical Traditions and jamming in the aisles, Justin Heath of the Toccata Players and Mark "Muleman" Massey parted with that oft said musician's farewell : "We should play a gig sometime!" Well, that sometime is NOW!

The Toccata Players are a budding string ensemble based in Takoma Park, Md. Founded initially as an ensemble focused on tango music, they now draw inspiration from a range of influences from Astor Piazzola to Radiohead. Each member has a commitment to their instrument and a passion for weaving beautiful melodies and harmonies together. Founder and guitarist Justin Heath holds the rhythm and adds textural accompaniment as Manuela Osorio’s violin and Rachel Cannon’s viola dance and converse. With a repertoire that includes tango, Latin American folk songs, pop tunes and jazz standards, the Toccata Players are suited for private events, concert halls or the pub.

Visit their website here : toccataplayers.com

"Por Una Cabeza"


Born in the Mississippi Delta, Mark learned the true meaning of the Blues down on Parchman Farm Penitentiary. He was taught by David Kimbrough, the son of Jr. Kimbrough, how to play the guitar inside Parchman, and soon after, Mark joined the Parchman Prison Band. After Mark left Parchman, he followed his love for the Blues towards bettering himself. Along the way, he met the Blues legend Big Jack Johnson. He became both a mentor and friend to Mark and even gave Mark the nickname "Muleman".

25 years later, Muleman has played a host of festivals all across Mississippi, including opening for B.B. King at his annual homecoming festival the last few years of B.B. King's career. In 2017, Muleman traveled overseas to Crissier, Switzerland to perform at the Blues Rules Crissier Festival, and Bollenblues4 in the Netherlands as well as Haarlem, Holland. Muleman has been featured on the online blues show "Moonshine and Mojo Hands" and the culinary television show "Bizarre Foods" with Andrew Zimmern.

In 2016, Muleman's story was documented by audio recordings into the Library of Congress. Muleman's aspiring story and songs have touched his fans from all over the world. The combination of Muleman's distinguished voice and captivating lyricism is a force to be reckoned with.

Visit his website here : markmulemanmassey.wixsite.com

Mark "Muleman" Massey performs his song "I Saw The Sun Go Down On Memphis," with accompanist BIlly Earheart, on 2nd Saturday Live at The Claude Gentry Theatre, September 8, 2018. Music video production by Six Shooter Studios, Baldwyn, Mississippi.



 

 

Next at IMT:

Sparky and Rhonda

John Prine Time
Monday, February 10, 2020, 7:30pm

Saint Mark Presbyterian Church
10701 Old Georgetown Rd,
Rockville, MD, 20852

Tickets: $20 adv, $25 door
Children & Students w ID: $15 adv, $20 door
$2 box office fee added to all advance purchases, advance ticketing ends at 1pm day-of show, all tickets are general admission

"Sparky Rucker is unique! He'll make you glad to be alive and struggling." - Pete Seeger

Buy Tickets

Sparky and Rhonda Rucker perform throughout the U.S. as well as overseas, singing songs and telling stories from the American folk tradition. Sparky Rucker has been performing over forty years and is internationally recognized as a leading folklorist, musician, historian, storyteller, and author. He accompanies himself with fingerstyle picking and bottleneck blues guitar, banjo, and spoons. Rhonda Rucker is a musician, children's author, storyteller, and songwriter. Her blues-style harmonica, piano, old-time banjo, and bones add musical versatility to their performances.

Sparky and Rhonda are sure to deliver an uplifting presentation of toe-tapping music spiced with humor, history, and tall tales. They take their audience on an educational and emotional journey that ranges from poignant stories of slavery and war to an amusing rendition of a Brer Rabbit tale or their witty commentaries on current events. Their music includes a variety of old-time blues, slave songs, Appalachian music, spirituals, ballads, work songs, Civil War music, railroad songs, and a few of their own original compositions.

Visit their website here : sparkyandrhonda.com

A spirited version of this classic performed by Sparky and Rhonda as part of KY Music Weekend on July 25, 2015.






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Other Area Events

Here are a few of the other concerts and music festivals coming up in the area.


FSGW Presents : The Mid-Winter Festival (Mini-Fest)
Sat Feb 1st, 2020 | 12pm | Takoma Park Middle School | 7611 Piney Branch Rd, Takoma Park, MD
FSGW's Mid-Winter Festival 2020! Join us for a celebration of music, dancing, and storytelling. More than 40 workshops; concerts, artisans and kids love it. Tickets and schedule info on www.fsgw.org/mini-fest.


Focus Music Presents : Jud Caswell
Sun Feb 9th, 2020 | 7:30pm | Tikvat Israel Congregation | 2200 Baltimore Road, Rockville, MD | $18+
Maine singer/songwriter Jud Caswell has got a keen eye for detail. There’s a magic to the way he draws you in until you’re transported -- to the old farmhouse, the salty shore, a wood full of birdsong. You might just think he’s taking you to visit his home. But there’s the magic.


Carroll Cafe Presents : Tom Prasada-Rao
Fri Feb 14th, 2020 | 7.30pm | Carroll Cafe | Seekers Church 276 Carroll Street NW DC | $18 adv / $20 door


Focus Music Presents : Scott Ailing - Valentine's Day Cabaret
Sat Feb 15th, 2020 | 7:30pm | Community Lutheran Church of Sterling | 21014 Whitfield Place Sterling, VA 20165 | $18+
Focus presents premier vocalist Scott Ailing in a special Valentine's Day - themed cabaret-style show with pianist Chris Stiles, bassist Eugenio Ibarz, drummer Darren West and guitarist Jerry Bresee. This will be a special evening featuring timeless songs, superb musicianship, and a high level of fun.


School of Musical Traditions Presents : House Concert & Workshop w Steve Smith & Hard Road Trio
Sat Feb 29th, 2020 | Workshop 4:30-6:00pm, Concert at 7:30pm | School of Musical Traditions | 1057 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD | $40 for workshop + concert $20 for concert only
Join us for a special mandolin workshop and an intimate "house" concert with Steve Smith and the Hard Road Trio, visiting from Las Cruces, NM!


Focus Music Presents : Matt Nakoa
Sun Mar 1st, 2020 | 7:30pm | Tikvat Israel Congregation | 2200 Baltimore Road, Rockville, MD | $18+
Matt Nakoa is an award-winning songwriter, singer, and multi-instrumentalist. A modern troubadour, he makes his home on the highways and concert stages of America, and appears regularly with folk music icon Tom Rush. The Boston Globe says of Nakoa, “Between his piano chops and heartfelt originals on guitar, he drops jaws.”


The Greater Washington Ceili Club Presents : Téada in concert
Wed Mar 11th, 2020 | 7.30pm | Theatre 1 | 7995 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD | $20
An Irish traditional band with a truly worldwide reach, Teada has appeared as a frequent headliner at major music festivals throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Africa, Russia, the Middle East and Australia.


Always check the event website for correct and up-to-date information. IMT is not responsible for these listings.

You can also find local event listings on these websites.

The Folklore Society of Greater Washington
www.fsgw.org

The DC Bluegrass Union
www.dcbu.org/calendar.htm

Mary Cliff's Who's Where lists
www.marycliff.net