Watermelon Wednesdays 2014

Celebrating 15 Years of the Finest Acoustic Music of All Genres
At the West Whately Chapel near the intersection of Conway and Williamsburg Roads
(Click HERE for directions. All shows begin at 7.30 pm. Online Tix highly recommended and are available now!)

Tim Kliphuis and Don Stiernberg: Two gypsy jazz swing virtuosos will take to the stage.  Tim for the third time; one of only five Watermelon three-peats, and if you’ve heard him before, you understand why.  Tim is the heir to Stephane Grappelli.  These two will truly swing.  My thanks to Andrew Lawrence of Django in June for letting me bring these two headliners to the chapel. Online Tix June 18
The Boxcars: are one of the top traditional Bluegrass bands in the country.  Grammy nominees this year for best Bluegrass group.  Several of the boys are alums of Allison Krauss’s legendary Union Station band. 
Online Tix

June 26


Chiara String Quartet: Another alum returns for the 15th anniversary (they’ve been together for 14).  Current artists-in-residence at Harvard, the all-Juilliard trained group has been performing Brahms quartets from memory as well as some Bartok.  That said, I never know exactly what they’ll play before they get here—whatever it is, it will be wonderful! Online Tix July 2
Acheray: I often draw upon Watermelon patrons for suggestions.  This one is from Charles Mann who has traveled extensively in South America. Acheray brings music from the Andes and beyond.  Reminiscent, in my mind anyway, of Inti-Illimani or Quilapayun, though they’re from Ecuador and Peru.
 Online Tix
July 9
Mike Barnett, Jake Tolliff, Tony Trischka : This summer I’m featuring two trios of what I call the stringband renaissance, groups that play traditional tunes in a style that respects those traditions (Bluegrass, Oldtime, Contra, etc.) while extending them.  Tony is one of the leaders of this “movement” and is recognized as one of the top banjo artists in the country.  The more junior members of this trio, Mike and Jake, are no less accomplished on their instruments, fiddle and mandolin respectively.  Mike has been touring with Dave Grisman, and Jake plays with Joy Kills Sorrow.  Tony has played with everybody! Online Tix July 16
Brittany Haas, Paul Kowert, Joran Tice. The “other” new string players are quickly becoming recognized as innovators in this genre, this blend of eclectic yet traditional music.  Brittany’s sister Natalie (cello) played here last year with Alasdair Fraser.  She and her fiddle have been featured on many recording including Steve Martin’s Grammy winning album, The Crow.  She was also the fiddler for Crooked Still.  Paul plays double bass and also performs with the Punch Brothers.  Jordan returns to Whately with his guitar magic. Online Tix July 30
Ivan Milev, Entcho Todorov:  Ivan is the Bruce Springsteen of Bulgarian and Balkan accordion (ok, not exactly, but he does fill stadiums in the old country).  If you think you know what an accordion sounds like and you haven’t heard Ivan, you’re in for a big (and wonderful) surprise.  Entcho performs in the Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof; he’s the fiddler!. Online Tix Aug 13
Heather Maloney & Darlingside: Northampton’s own, Heather and the boys started their collaboration right here two years ago to the day.  Now they’re touring and doing the big festivals all over the country.  Come hear them in what may be one of their last performances in such an intimate venue. Online Tix Aug 20
Liz Carroll: Liz is one of the preeminent players of Irish fiddle music.  She’s from Chicago born to Irish parents.  She won the all-Ireland junior fiddle championship and, the next year, won the all-Ireland senior championship.  She’s the first American-born traditional Irish musician to be nominated for a Grammy (the best traditional world music category).  She’s also been winner of the National Endowment for the Arts' National Heritage Fellowship Award.  She will be accompanied by the masterful guitarist and keyboard player Jake Charron. Online Tix Aug 27
Mike Barnett & Friends: A special, last minute additon to the schedule featuring Mike Barnett (fiddle) and an all-star band consisting of Emma Beaton (cello), Wes Corbett (banjo), Jared Engle (upright bass), Grant Gordy (guitar), and Dominick Leslie (mandolin). This will be a CD release party for Mike's album, One Song Romance. Note: this is a THURSDAY concert.Online Tix Thursday, Sep. 4
Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem: 15 years ago, Rani and I dreamed up the idea of Watermelon Wednesdays.  We’ll be celebrating that conception as well as the 15th anniversary of her band.  Before they morphed into Daisy Mayhem, they were Salamander Crossing.  They were among the first to grace the chapel stage.  I love to end a season with music that is full of joy and downright happy.  Online Tix Sep 10 

Advanced tickets are available at online; see links above. It is strongly recommended that you buy advance tix online. For more information call Paul Newlin at 413-665-3741. Note: the facility is now fully air-conditioned!!!

Thanks also to Jim Olsen and Flora Reed of Signature Sounds for their assistance. This series is made possible in part by a grant from the Whately and Masschusetts Cultural Councils Thanks also to our friends at the Luthiers Co-op in Easthampton Florence Savings Bank has also graciously provided support for the series. This series would not be possible at all were it not for the generosity and support of the Whately Congregational Church.
Massachusetts Cultural Council Luthiers' Co-op Florence Savings Bank