AMA Presents Spencer and rains!
The Americana Music Academy is thrilled to present Americana duo Spencer and Rains to kick off the 2019 State of Kansas Fiddling & Picking Championships on August 24! Fiddlers Howard Rains and Tricia Spencer will offer a full day of workshops and a concert during FidPick weekend. Both a local favorite and sought after worldwide, Spencer and Rains have taught and performed nationally and internationally, preserving and building upon the traditions of their region. We are delighted to have Spencer and Rains in Lawrence this summer!
Here is a full schedule of events:
August 24, 1:00pm - 1:45pm, Workshop: Old Time Fiddle Repertoire & Technique with Spencer and Rains. $15-$20 per person. Space is limited! Reserve by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org !
August 24, 2:00pm - 2:45pm, Workshop: Old Time Back Up Guitar. $15-$20 per person. Space is limited! Reserve by emailing email@example.com !
August 24, 3:00pm - 5:00pm, Jam: Community Open Jam. Totally free and open to the public. Acoustic instruments only.
August 24, 6pm, Special Concert: Spencer and Rains. Outdoor and free! Bring a lawn chair!
All events are held at Americana Music Academy, 1419 Massachusetts St.
Old Time Fiddle Repertoire and Technique Workshop Description:
Tricia Spencer & Howard Rains will teach fiddle tunes from the deep well of their repertoire of old time tunes from Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and the Midwest. These are older and more archaic tunes than are typically thought as being from Texas and the midwest.
Tricia and Howard will also unlock the mysteries of their double fiddle sound with Tricia breaking down the seconding parts. Seconding on the fiddle allows a fiddler to focus on bowing and learn tunes more quickly. Although this is primarily a fiddle class, all instruments are welcome including back-up instruments like guitar.
This will be an intermediate to advanced workshop so students should be comfortable with their instrument. A recording device is encouraged.
Questions? Give us a shout out at firstname.lastname@example.org !
Old Time Back Up Guitar Workshop Description:
In this class, we will learn all about the BOOM, listening for chord choices, playing bass runs, and keeping time.
We will talk about the important, yet often overlooked, role of the guitar player in old time and discuss how to assess a session so that your backup is right for the jam at hand.
We will learn how to back up Midwest style fiddle tunes using the Old Time Accompaniment pattern (also known as the Missouri Rules). We will talk about backing up other regional styles of old time fiddling and how to tell the difference.
We’ll also explore a bit of Howard’s unique approach to finger picking that he learned from his dad. Most of all, we are going to have a great time backing up fiddle tunes and songs.
Tricia Spencer is a Kansas fiddler who grew up learning the tradition of old time music from her Grandparents. At an early age, she was perched up on some stage tapping her foot to the beat of fiddles, banjos, mandolins and guitars. While growing up, her free time was spent traveling to festivals and fiddling contests throughout the Midwest where she learned from the likes of Pete McMahan, Cyril Stinnet, Lyman Enloe, Dwight Lamb, Amos Chase, and Lucy Pierce. Tricia is multi-instrumentalist who has studied with some of the great masters and is highly sought after as a performer, dance fiddler, and instructor.
Howard Rains is a native Texas artist and the fourth generation to play on his fiddle. He comes from a musical and artistic family and his two obsessions are painting and playing the archaic style of fiddling of his home state. Howard plays rare, old tunes learned from friends, family, mentors, and old recordings. As much known for his painting as his fiddling, Howard has painted many of the great old time musicians, both living and gone.
Together, Spencer & Rains have performed and taught nationally and internationally, preserving and building upon the traditions of their region. The husband and wife duo are known for their twin fiddle harmony, which is a product of the influence of midwestern Scandinavian fiddlers Tricia heard as a child. At the same time, Howard’s distinct repertoire reintroduces listeners to the pre-contest styles of Texas fiddling. That same sense of harmony is in their vocals, as well, which they pull from all manner of American folk music. Both multi-instrumentalists, they are steeped in tradition and are dedicated to the preservation, performance, and teaching of old time music.
Learn more and Tricia and Howard at www.spencerandrains.com
AMA Presents Artist-in-residence Tony furtado
The Americana Music Academy is thrilled to present Americana virtuoso Tony Furtado as AMA's 2018 Artist-in-Residence on August 25! Tony Furtado will offer a full day of workshops and a concert during FidPick weekend! As a Winfield Champion and leading instructor with Folk Alliance International's Music Camp, Tony Furtado brings to the Americana and FidPick community a wealth of talent, knowledge, and musical prowess. We are delighted to welcome Tony back to Lawrence this summer!
Here is a full schedule of events:
August 25, 1:00pm - 1:45pm, Workshop: Banjo with Tony Furtado. $15/advance, $20/door. Space is limited! Buy tickets here!
August 25, 2:00pm - 2:45pm, Workshop: Slide Guitar with Tony Furtado. $15/advance, $20/door. Space is limited! Buy tickets here!
August 25, 3:00pm - 5:00pm, Jam: Community Open Jam. Totally free and open to the public. Acoustic instruments only.
August 25, 7:30pm - 9pm, Special Concert @Vintage Church: Tony Furtado $15/advance, $20/door. Space is limited! Buy tickets here!
Banjo Workshop Description:
Tony will give an overview of 5-string Bluegrass banjo styles and techniques, and will demonstrate his own approach to performing and composing with the banjo. Beginners welcome!
What To Bring: Your questions, and a notebook and pen, if desired! This is not a hands-on workshop, but feel to bring your banjo if you want.
Questions? Give us a shout out at email@example.com !
Slide Guitar Workshop Description:
Tony will discuss the basics of beginning slide guitar, fingerpicking, playing in open D tuning, and his unique approach to guitar playing. Beginners welcome!
What To Bring: This workshop is hands-on, so bring your guitar, a slide if you have it, and a notebook and pen if desired.
Thank you to our sponsors: City of Lawrence, eXplore Lawrence, West Side Folk, Mass Street Music, Kansas State Fiddling & Picking Championships, The Bramlage & Willcoxon Foundation, and The Eldridge Hotel.
AMA Presents Visiting artists Grace and Pierce Pettis
We are thrilled to announce that critically-acclaimed songwriters Pierce Pettis and Grace Pettis will visit the Americana Music Academy to present a Songwriting Workshop and House Concert on Saturday, September 9! We are excited to have Grace and Pierce share their insights and talent with the Americana Music Academy community. Here is a full schedule of events:
September 9, 1:00pm - 2:45pm, Workshop: Songwriting 101 with Grace and Pierce Pettis. $20. Space is limited! To register, email firstname.lastname@example.org .
September 9, 3:00pm - 5:00pm, Jam: Community Open Jam. Totally free and open to the public. Acoustic instruments only.
September 9, 7:30pm - 9:30pm, House Concert: Grace and Pierce Pettis $15/advance, $20/door. Space is limited! To reserve a seat, email email@example.com .
Songwriting 101 Course Description:
"A song is a magical marriage between a lyric (some words) and a melody (some notes). It is not a poem. It is not music. It is in this gray area of synthesis between language, rhythm and sound that some of the most acute of all sensors of human emotion lie." -Jimmy Webb, Tunesmith
We'll do our best to put this "magical marriage" under the microscope, exploring the melodic nature of words and speech and the literary and narrative undertones of melody and chord progression. We'll use discussion and some simple exercises to tackle song structure and word choice. We'll touch briefly on chord choice, just enough to help the aspiring songwriter accompany themselves. This workshop is for everyone! If you've got a pencil and can carry a tune, you've got everything you need to get started.
What To Bring: Paper and something to write with; A song to critique, via a recording or live.
AMA Artist-in-Residence 2017 for FidPick august 26-27
The Americana Music Academy is thrilled to announce that Ellie Grace will appear as AMA's 2017 Artist-in-Residence as a part of the upcoming 37th Annual Fiddling and Picking Championships August 26-27, 2017! Ellie Grace makes a much anticipated homecoming to FidPick, having last performed at FidPick as a child in the Grace Family Band in 1991! Ellie will offer a Vocal Harmony Workshop, Clogging Workshop, and a House Concert at the Americana Music Academy, and will serve as a judge in the Harmony Singing Category at FidPick. We are delighted to welcome Ellie back to Lawrence! Here is a full schedule of events:
August 26, 12:30pm - 1:30pm, Workshop: Vocal Harmony with Ellie Grace. $10/advance, $15/door. Space is limited! To register, email firstname.lastname@example.org .
August 26, 1:45pm - 2:45, Workshop: Clogging with Ellie Grace. $10/advance, $15/door. Space is limited! To register, email email@example.com .
August 26, 3:00pm - 5:00pm, Jam: Community Open Jam. Totally free and open to the public. Acoustic instruments only.
August 26, 5:30pm - 7:30pm, House Concert: Ellie Grace w/Special Guest Diane Gillenwater. $10/advance, $15/door. Space is limited! To reserve a seat, email firstname.lastname@example.org .
August 26, 7:30pm - 9pm, Jam: Join us outside for more acoustic jamming!
All events on August 26 will be held at the Americana Music Academy.
August 27, South Park, Contest: Ellie Grace will serve as a judge for the Harmony Singing Category.
Vocal Harmony Workshop Course Description:
Experience the joy of group singing and gain some insight into the mystery of harmony! In this workshop, we will focus on healthy singing technique, musical style, basic concepts of harmonizing, and working as a unified whole in the context of Americana music. Most of all, we will sing!
What To Bring: A water bottle. That's it!
Clogging Workshop Course Description:
Now is your chance to get "feet-on" experience in Appalachian clogging. With each step clearly broken down and made highly approachable, everyone will learn exciting moves to take to any dance floor. Discover the joy of making music with your feet in a high-energy, supportive environment!
What To Bring: Appropriate shoes and a water bottle. You need shoes that tie or buckle securely on your foot. No slip-ons and no high heels! Shoes with a hard, smooth sole work best as you need to be able to slide and make noise. As such, tap shoes are a great option. Men's vintage leather-bottom dress shoes are also a great example of a shoe that works well.
AMA Presents Cardboard dulcimer building workshop for kids!
The Americana Music Academy is pleased to offer a Dulcimer Building Workshop for kids taught by dulcimer expert Allen Macfarlane. Mr. Macfarlane has toured the region teaching kids how to build and play their very own cardboard dulcimers at arts centers, historic sites, and schools. Students will learn how to build and play their own dulcimers through a unique workshop held over two full days. Construction of these cardboard dulcimers provides students with opportunities to express themselves artistically as they design their cardboard sound boxes, and to develop maker skills as they use tools to move their building project through to completion. Once assembled, children will learn playing techniques and will be able to take the instruments home with them. The musical instruction students will learn on this instrument will be forever special, as they will learn to play an instrument they've created with their own hands! The workshop is designed for Grades 4+, but adults are welcome too.
For more information or to register, email email@example.com .
Introducing the americana artist-in-residence program February 22 - 24, 2016
The Americana Music Academy is excited to launch our 2016 Artist-in-Residence program with acclaimed Singer/Songwriter Matt Nakoa. A virtuosic pianist, Matt has performed everywhere from recently appearing at The White House, to throughout India, to regularly touring with folk legend, Tom Rush. He will be with the Americana February 22 - 24 for a Songwriter's Workshop master class and a few private lessons, culminating with a house concert on February 24 at 7pm. To reserve tickets for the house concert or to request more information about lessons or the master class, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Matt Nakoa, visit www.mattnakoa.com.
We have a new director! Rachel Black.
Look for exciting news about who Rachel is to Americana, and what coming up this winter in the house.
Castle Tea Room and Americana Music Academy
A couple of weeks ago Americana board member Karl Birns stopped by the Castle Tea Room’s open house and met their new board president, Doug. Karl let me know that CTR was interested in talking about some partnership ideas. Thanks Karl for re-connecting us.
I met with them a couple years ago, but progress was not made at that time toward any opportunities. I’m happy to say that they have some different ideas going now, and they have been immediately responsive, which goes a long way in materializing ideas.
I’ve met with Doug, their board president, and they are applying for grant funding for a "Porch-fest" idea at CTR. There are similar programs going in KC and other cities. It will incorporate live music and eventually art, with a neighborhood approach, in order to bring more music listening opportunities in Lawrence. We will be partnering with Castle Tea Room in providing music and sound for these events. Additionally, after meeting with their director Lindsay, they are willing to offer us an effective non-prifit price in hosting some of our house concerts, recitals, and other AMA events. Our hopes with this partnership is to pool our resources to get a larger response from the community to both the Castle Tea Room, and American roots music we promote at Americana Music Academy. Without giving up on smaller house concerts here at Americana, we can have a cost effective larger “small” venue that will require less risk and investment than others we now use or have been priced out of in the past. Our teachers, students, and associated bands will have more opportunity for upscale and affordable community space to perform
As their grant proposal is considered, I’ve gone ahead and solidified our commitment by scheduling our next Americana recital May 17th, 7:30pm., and our July Jam Camp 20-24th, and concert July 24th with Castle Tea Room. Keep a look out for more event dates and happenings once we get word on funding and schedule a few events there to see how the space works out.
Peter Lague – Executive Director Americana Music Academy
Kids' Summer Music and Art Camp success!
It's been a busy summer around Americana. I feel the momentum growing as we are growing back into the community. Our Kids' Camp programs are one of the most exciting things going on at Americana, along with more house concerts and events.
This year we expanded our camp to two, week-long sessions and filled them both! It was a great bunch of kids this summer, and as we develop our camp, Scenic Roots and me realize more and more the value of our program for the children participating, their parents, and for ourselves as camp directors. We are excited about developing camp offerings throughout the year, and around the region as a traveling music and art camp. We hope to reach kids in small towns and inner city areas who would otherwise not form a connection with the tradition of American roots music, folk art, dance, and more.
Partnerships are forming with Folk Alliance International, Douglas County Community Foundation, the Willcoxon Foundation, Freedom's Frontier, the Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence, and La Petite Academy, to name a few. We are developing plans for two day camps this winter, and an actual "stay-over" camp this spring/summer, where we keep the kids the whole week at a ranch facility still to be determined. We hope to bring awareness to the traditions of community, festivals, and jamming to this five day camp in the nearby northeastern Missouri countryside.