Saturday, May 13th, 2006 Jay Mankita

Jay Mankita is a masterful acoustic guitarist and singer/songwriter, whose styles range from blues, bluegrass, and ballads, through ragtime, swing, and samba, and from old standards to quirky originals. His songs guide us on an authentic journey through the human condition, with honesty and compassion, and a healthy dose of humorous insight. Jay’s concerts are intimate and hopeful, always thought provoking, irreverently funny, and musically refreshing.

Jay has been playing guitar, composing, and performing his original songs for 25 years. During this time, he’s also been an actor, photographer, environmental activist, swing dancer, children’s performer, playwright, and occasional world traveler. He is currently studying the music, language, and culture of Brazil, and is planning to tour the country next year in a bio-diesel van.

Jay says songwriting is the interface between what he’s learned of the world, and the mysteries of the spirit. It’s a balancing act, and he likens it to having one foot marching for social justice, and one foot dancing in heaven, all the while trying to keep from putting either one of those feet in his mouth! Even so, songwriting is the best way he has found to help teach himself how to live, although he admits he’s a terrible student.

Saturday, April 15th, 2006 Jubilant Bridge

A dulcimer wizard and a pure-voiced poet are the heart and soul of Jubilant Bridge. Pure harmonies and a sense of fun are the hallmarks of every Jubilant Bridge performance. Although they come from a rich aural tradition, they surprise audiences with counter melodies, changing time signatures, and well-chosen dissonance. The instruments go beyond simple accompaniment; the arrangements and the songs themselves are meshed.

Mountain dulcimer wizard and vocalist Willie Jaeger takes what is often thought of as a “simple” folk instrument and discovers its complexity. He has also been a finalist in the national mountain dulcimer championship at Winfield, Kansas. An engaging singer, he also plays hammered dulcimer and guitar, and composes instrumentals and the occasional song.

Vocalist and guitarist Carol Van Alstine provides Jubilant Bridge with most of its distinctive original songs. Her voice has been described as striking and ethereal Her musical experiences range from performing at the bottom of the Grand Canyon to singing soprano in Renaissance choirs.

Saturday, March 25th, 2006 Kevin Danzig

Kevin Danzig has been playing instruments nearly his entire life and professionally since the age of 18. The traveling troubadour, who has performed in a wide range of venues throughout North America, is accompanied by his acoustic guitar and a harmonica; he plays a tambourine with his foot.

At age 11, Kevin was recording for K-TEL Records, (Mike Curb Productions), as one of the jubilant voices of “50 Children’s Favorites”, (as seen on TV). It was in 1978, however, that he got his first big…rejection, when Chuck Barris, (host of the Gong Show), told him, “Kid, you’re too good for this show!”

It is life experiences like these and the many years of traveling the back roads of America, playing clubs, concert halls, college campuses, coffee shops, outdoor arenas, and house concerts, that have led to Kevin’s unique style of songwriting.
Originality is his hallmark, and while many of the protagonists of his songs are not entirely mainstream, (a ledge jumper, an armed-robber single mom, etc.), Kevin’s lyrics are invariably intelligent and the instrumental arrangements are in perfect sync and skillfully executed.

Over the last 10 years, Kevin has recorded five full length CD’s of original
material, (Four solo and one with Cat Woolley). His original song, The Great Mississippi, has been claimed by Cape Girardeau, MO as its town anthem. Kevin delivered a live performance during the town’s 4th of July Liberty Fest celebration.

Among fellow singer/songwriters Kevin’s performed alongside or opened for are: John Mayer, Shawn Mullins, Ellis Paul, Martin Sexton, Edwin McCain, Fred Eaglesmith, Leo Kottke, John Hammond, Anne Hills, Chuck Pyle, Trout Fishing in America, Chuck Brodsky, Spencer Bohren, The Allison Brown Quartet, The Judith Edelman Band, Still on the Hill, Kate Campbell, The Radiators, among many others.

Saturday, March 4, 2006 The Cantrells

THE CANTRELLS have been bringing their unique style of acoustic music to a growing number of fans across the country since before their marriage in 1985. Their music has been featured on National Public Radio’s “Mountain Stage” and “Riders Radio Theater” as well as numerous other local, regional and national radio programs. They were chosen by Robert Redford to appear playing old-time fiddle tunes in his hit movie A River Runs Through It.

Whether performing live on the radio, on film, in the intimate setting of a coffeehouse or on stage before a thousand-strong festival audience, The Cantrells invariably deliver an exciting show that will warm your heart.
Including songs from all three of their recordings (the variety there alone allows for plenty of surprises), they add selections from their repertoire of over 400 bluegrass, western, western swing, Irish fiddle tunes, original contradance tunes, jazz standards, and even an occasional Broadway “hit.”.