The DC Area Folk SOJO (Sing Out Jam Out) Message Board › Capital Maritime Music Fest, 12 Oct. 2013, downtown DC
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For Immediate Release: September 22, 2013
The Capital Maritime Music Festival, http://capitalmaritim...
Media Contact: Janie Meneely
Celebrate the Sea at the First-Ever Capital Maritime Music Fest
The snap of the canvas, the smell of the salt air—nothing ignites our imagination more than the idea of setting sail to distant lands. Joining in on the chorus of a seafaring song is the next best thing to jumping on board an outward bound ship. And just such an opportunity exists! Sailors and landlubbers alike will have the chance to sing along on classic sailor’s work chanteys and songs they might have sung to pass the time, at the Capital Maritime Music Fest on Saturday, October 12 at the Naval Heritage Center adjacent to the Navy Memorial in downtown Washington, DC.
Festivities begin at 11 a.m. with a concertina workshop led by three “button box” pros: Virginia-based musician Bob Zentz on the Anglo concertina, Andrew McKay from Wales on the duet concertina, and Don Stallone of Silver Spring on the English concertina and the button accordion. They will demonstrate a variety of “squeeze boxes” and offer pointers to players.
At noon, the Navy Band Sea Chanters come aboard with a kick-off concert in the Naval Heritage Center’s Burke Theater. This rousing uniformed ensemble is the U.S. Navy’s official chorus, performing everything from sea chanteys to Broadway tunes and contemporary favorites—as well as patriotic fare, of course. The Sea Chanters have been singing strong since 1956 when they first appeared as an ad hoc choral group for the State of the Nation dinner.
A series of workshops and short performances fill the afternoon. Learn how to delve into the Library of Congress archives to find a hidden treasure trove of nautical recordings and song collections. Let the Washington Revels Maritime Voices lead you through a series of work chanteys as they demonstrate the jobs the songs were sung to. Or listen to songs from the War of 1812, presented by Ship’s Company Chanteymen, a living history organization dedicated to the preservation of American maritime heritage.
Sailors had a reputation for being rowdy, and a segment of the festival is dedicated to songs of the bars and backrooms, led by Library of Congress folklorists Dr. Steve Winick and Jennifer Cutting. Those not interested in such salty fare can opt to attend a concurrent session of Chesapeake songs and stories led by Janie Meneely.
Maritime performers such as Scales and Crosstones, Letter of Marque, Mike Steen and The Washington Revels Jubilee Voices will demonstrate the diversity of maritime music, singing everything from worksongs to the gospel heard in the packing houses on shore. Blues harmonica virtuoso Phil Wiggins will present the Tidewater Blues of the Chesapeake. Andrew McKay and Carole Etherton, who hail from Swansea, South Wales, U.K., will share original songs drawn from Swansea’s history and maritime traditions
The evening concert begins at 7 p.m. and showcases some of the region’s foremost maritime talent.
• Janie Meneely and Calico Jack lead off the program with songs about the people, places and traditions of the Chesapeake Bay.
• Songcatcher and multi-instrumentalist Bob Zentz, accompanied by his partner Jeanne McDougal, will present a wide range of maritime music and poetry.
• The Washington Revels Maritime Voices, a costumed chorus dedicated to preserving maritime song traditions, will celebrate the men who worked the great sailing ships and the women who sustained the shoreside communities.
• Jennifer Cutting’s OCEAN Celtic will rock out the stage with her contemporary interpretation of ancient sea songs paired with her own compositions, closing with one of her newest pieces: Steady As You
The first-ever Capital Maritime Music Fest promises to be a day filled with the lore of the sea and easy-to-sing choruses that add to the fun. Sign on for this voyage into the mysteries and adventure of the seven seas!
The Capital Maritime Music Fest runs from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, October 12, at the Naval Heritage Center adjacent to the Navy Memorial; 701 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. (Parking is available on D Street, between 7th St NW and 9th St NW). The DC Metro yellow and green lines service the Archives/Penn Quarter stop which opens onto the Navy Memorial Plaza. The event is free to the public; a $20 donation is requested for the evening concert.
For more information visit capitalmaritimemusicfest.com and “friend” us on Facebook.
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The Capital Maritime Music Fest is hosted by the Naval Heritage Center and co-sponsored by the Washington Revels and the Folklore Society of Greater Washington.