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RUNA: A Celtic Valentine

Traditional and Contemporary Celtic Music

Saturday, February 14, 2015 at 8:00 p.m

only $20

It’s a Celtic Valentine as RUNA returns with their lively traditional and contemporary Celtic songs and instrumentals. RUNA’s band members hail from Ireland, the US and Canada and draw on their diverse musical backgrounds in world music, rock and traditional Celtic music to offer a modern approach to traditional and recently composed Celtic material that is at once lyrical, mystical and exhilarating. Vocalist and step-dancer Shannon Lambert-Ryan, from Philadelphia, has a broad musical background including Celtic, folk, classical, and musical theatre and fronts RUNA with rich, vibrant vocals. She co-founded RUNA with her husband, Dublin-born guitarist and composer Fionán de Barra who started playing guitar professionally with “Riverdance” and has worked as musical director for Moya Brennan (of Clannad) and her band. He tours regularly with the internationally renowned Fiddlers Bid and Clannad. Percussionist Cheryl Prashker studied classical percussion at McGill University in her native Montreal, Canada. She now lives in Philadelphia and has a well-deserved reputation as a “go-to” percussionist for folk recordings. She spent many years in NY City where she honed her skills playing everything from Rock and Roll and Klezmer, to Celtic and Middle Eastern music. They are joined by Galway’s Dave Curley, a singer, dancer and sensational multi-instrumentalist (guitar, banjo, mandolin, and bodhrán) and the brilliant Kentucky fiddler, Maggie Estes. RUNA’s most recent recording “Current affairs” has received lavish praise on both sides of the Atlantic and they were recognized on an international level in the 12th Annual Independent Music Awards winning both the fan ballot and judges’ votes for Best Song in the World Traditional category. With highly energetic tunes, graceful acoustic melodies and gorgeous vocals, they fuse music from Ireland, Scotland, Canada, and the United States and give their arrangements a fresh contemporary sound.

RUNA's website
RUNA video

Emily Asher's Garden Party

Swinging Red-Hot Early Jazz

Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.

only $20

Emily Asher's Garden Party is a versatile musical ensemble led by Emily Asher's tenacious trombone and sweet vocals. Called "red hot" and "very exciting" by the Wall Street Journal, this band of all-stars from New York City's vibrant early jazz scene performs coast to coast in the finest jazz clubs to the busiest swing dance halls. Drawing on the repertoire of Louis Armstrong's enchanting Hot Fives and Duke Ellington's sophisticated melodies to the funky and soulful music of New Orleans brass bands, and Hoagy Carmichael's masterpieces, they are, as the title of their 2013 EP asserts, a “Carnival of Joy!” Emily Asher has toured internationally to large festivals and performed at small private events for Kofi Anan, Barbara Walters, Tom Brokaw and distinguished foreign diplomats. She recorded and performed with Wycliffe Gordon on his “Hello Pops!” tribute to Louis Armstrong, and was a member of Nicholas Payton’s Television Studio Orchestra. Her bold, expressive style has led to sharing the stage with a wide variety of artists including Tony Bennett, Carol Burnett, Chaka Khan, Sheila E., Stephanie Mills and many others.

Emily Asher's website

Emily Asher's Garden Party video


The Lena Seikaly Quartet

A Jazz Celebration
Happy Birthday Billie!

Saturday, February 28, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.

only $20

Lena Seikaly is a masterful vocalist, a swiftly rising star in the Washington jazz scene, whose captivating interpretations and exquisite voice have made her a favorite at the Mainstay in her two appearances in “Art of the Song.” For the 100th anniversary of Billie Holiday’s birth, she has created a show honoring Holiday and her remarkable body of song recorded in the 20s, 30s and 40s. Seikaly’s most recent recording, “Looking Back,” includes several songs previously recorded by Holiday who Seikaly credits as a major influence on her jazz style both for her phrasing and her choice of material. The recording has been called “the work of a supremely confident master of her instrument.” For this concert Seikaly has chosen some of the works that were unique to Holiday as well as some of the standards that Holiday made her own. The Washington Post has called Seikaly “one of Washington’s preeminent jazz singers.” Duke Ellington’s biographer Dr. John Hasse called her a “major league young talent in jazz.” Seikaly is making her mark as both a revivalist of traditional jazz vocals, as well as an innovator in contemporary vocal jazz styles. Classically trained, with a Bachelors in Vocal Performance from the University of Maryland School of Music, Seikaly discovered a strong passion for jazz while in college, and embarked on a fervent education of jazz history, styles, theory and composition before pursuing a jazz career in the Washington D.C. area. She has been a participant at the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and was selected as a Strathmore artist-in-residence for the 2009-2010 season at Bethesda, Maryland’s renowned Strathmore Music Center. She plays frequently in the DC area and has sung at several international jazz festivals.

Lena Seikaly's website

Lena Seikaly video

Peter and Will Anderson

with Chuck Redd

Friday, March 6, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.

only $20

"Remarkable, toe-tapping, heart-lifting jazz" from Peter and Will Anderson who are twins and who are both virtuosos on clarinet and saxophone. Originally from the DC area, they started touring internationally at 15 and went on to attend Julliard. They are now in their 20s and living in New York City. Their abilities have made them saxophonists of choice for Jimmy Heath, Wycliffe Gordon, and the Village Vanguard Orchestra. In reviewing their most recent recording Mike Joyce of the Washington Post said “[their] saxophones and clarinets elegantly converge, converse and engage in delightful counterpoint… the arrangements, imaginatively unfolding in ways that consistently bring a fresh perspective to classic pop and jazz tunes.” For this Mainstay concert, they will be joined by Chuck Redd on vibes and guitarist Alex Wintz for a fresh, creative swinging take on traditional jazz.

Peter and Will Anderson's website
Peter and Will Anderson video

Catonsville High School Steel Band

At the Rock Hall Firehouse
From reggae to rock to jazz

Saturday, March 14, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.

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