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2006 Homegrown Concerts

Online Archive of Past Homegrown Concerts

All of the materials from the Homegrown Concert Series are available to visitors in the Folklife Reading Room. Selected materials will be made available online as digital versions are available.

The event flyers on this page are presented in Adobe Acrobat PDF format and require Adobe Reader software available for free on the Adobe Web site.

November 15, 2006 at Noon
Coolidge Auditorium, Jefferson Building

Image: The Gannon FamilyThe Gannon Family -- Irish music and dance from Missouri

Read the event flyer essay (PDF 2 pages 379kb)

View the webcast of this presentation Time 1:10:47

Helen and Patrick Gannon emigrated from Ireland in 1967. Since then, they have brought traditional Irish music, song and dance to thousands of children and families nationwide. They are also accomplished teachers, sharing their tradition each week with over one hundred current students in the St. Louis Irish Arts school of music, song and dance. Their students have won over thirty-five all-Ireland championship medals, and sixty-six Congressional award medals, fourteen of which are gold medals. This concert presents three generations of an accomplished musical family. Patrick was the all-Ireland champion on harmonica in 1980 and 1981, and Helen became the first commissioned Irish dance teacher in Missouri in 1987. Helen and Patrick's daughter, Eileen, became all-Ireland champion on Irish harp in 2000, and their son Niall won the senior ensemble (groupai cheoil) competition in 2004. Eileen's husband Kurt plays piano and guitar, and Niall's wife Gretchen is the family's singer. Niall and Gretchen's daughters, Riley and Fiona, are accomplished on fiddle, concertina, and whistle. Family friend Tommy Martin, a piper, round out the group.

October 18, 2006 at Noon
Coolidge Auditorium, Jefferson Building

Image of Sunny Burgess and the PacersSonny Burgess and the Pacers -- Rockabilly music from Arkansas

Read the event flyer essay PDF 2 pages 1.33mb

View the webcast of this presentation Time 54:47

Sonny Burgess's music spans five decades of airplay, concerts, dance parties, and radio shows. An original recording artist with Sun records, he recorded classic songs such as "Red Headed Woman" and "We Wanna Boogie" in the style now known as Rockabilly. Rockabilly is an exciting blend of the blues, country and gospel, and was an important building block of 1950s Rock and Roll. Burgess and fellow band members put on a famously energetic rock and roll show, originally in their home region of northeastern Arkansas. In the 1950s they joined Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Billy Lee Riley, Charlie Rich, Johnny cash, and many others on regional tours in local school gyms, promoting their releases on Sun Records. Sonny Burgess and the Pacers were known not only for their music but for their acrobatic stage shows. They continue to perform regularly, and were inducted into the Rockabilly Hall Of Fame in 2002.

September 13 2006 at Noon
Coolidge Auditorium, Jefferson Building

Photo: Doyle Lawson and QuicksilverDoyle Lawson and Quicksilver--Bluegrass and Gospel music from Tennessee

Read the event flyer essay PDF 2 pages 1.05mb

View the webcast of this presentation Time 1:10:29

The American Folklife Center is proud to present Doyle Lawson, recipient of one of this year's National Heritage Fellowship Awards from the National Endowment for the Arts. Lawson will be playing with his trailblazing Bluegrass/Gospel band, Quicksilver.

Born near Kingsport, Tennessee in 1944, Doyle Lawson began his career as a bluegrass musician in 1963 with International Bluegrass Music Association Hall of Honor member Jimmy Martin. Over the next 15 years, he became increasingly prominent as a powerful, expressive singer and distinctive mandolin stylist while working as a sideman with the Kentucky Mountain Boys and the Country Gentlemen. Lawson established Quicksilver in 1979, and quickly moved to the forefront of the bluegrass scene, releasing a series of acclaimed albums — including the pioneering all-gospel Rock My Soul in 1980 — and influencing generations of younger musicians with a sound that blended traditional bluegrass and gospel elements with progressive material and superb execution. Drawing on shape-note hymnals and on the sounds of African-American gospel quartets and southern gospel groups, he made more than 15 all-gospel bluegrass albums that featured a wide range of styles, including a capella quartets. At the same time, as a member of the Bluegrass Album Band, he helped to bring the repertoire and musical approaches of the music's early giants to new generations of musicians and fans in a series of acclaimed albums made between 1980 and 1996.

In recent years, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver have earned numerous honors, including five consecutive Vocal Group of the Year and four Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association as well as multiple Grammy and Dove award nominations, while pursuing a busy performance schedule that has included appearances on A Prairie Home Companion, Mountain Stage and the Grand Ole Opry.

August 16, 2006 at Noon
Coolidge Auditorium, Jefferson Building

Mary Louise Defender WilsonMary Louise Defender Wilson & Keith Bear -- Sioux and Mandan Hidatsa storytelling and music from North Dakota

Read the event flyer essay (PDF 2 pages 238kb)

View the webcast of this presentation (time 01:12:56)

Mary Louise Defender Wilson, also known by her Dakotah name, Gourd Woman-Wagmuhawin (wha' gmoo ha wi'), was born in 1930 on the Standing Rock (Sioux) Indian Reservation of North Dakota. She has spent a lifetime telling stories and performing songs and dances about the life, land, and legends of the Dakotah (Sioux) and Hidatsa people. Mary Louise first heard these stories at home from her family, especially her grandfather and her mother.

Keith Bear's name in the Nu E'ta (Mandan) language means Northern Lights, or "He Makes the Sky Burn with Great Flame." A self-taught flute player, Bear has been performing since 1986. His critically acclaimed performances include traditional storytelling and the sacred Buffalo Dance, a ceremony which only honored tribal members may perform. During the summer of 1995, Bear made his professional acting debut in the feature film, "Dakota Sunrise." Born and educated in North Dakota, Bear lives on the Fort Berthold Reservation.

July 26, 2006 at Noon
Coolidge Auditorium, Jefferson Building

Image: Natasinh dancersNatasinh Dancers & Musicians -- Lao music and dance from Iowa

Read the event flyer essay PDF 2 pages 302kb

View the webcast of this presentation Time 01:15:51

The Lao Natasinh Dance Troupe of Iowa, based in Des Moines, is a group of Lao dancers and musicians trained in the Natasinh style of performance — the traditional forms, techniques, and character of performing arts taught at the Ecole National de Musique et Danse Laötien (founded in Vientiane in 1956 to preserve Lao music and dance traditions). The genre includes court music for royal ceremonies and the classical dance-drama based on the Ramayana, the Hindu epic that depicts the life and struggles of the Buddha, as well as music and dance performed for social and ritual occasions. In the early 1980s, the Natasinh Dancers and Musicians resettled in Des Moines, Iowa, thanks to Iowa’s Refugee Resettlement Program and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Folk Arts, which enabled the group to tour the region and the US. The main purpose of the Natasinh Troupe is to teach and entertain at Lao Buddhist celebrations and to pass their skills on to young dancers and musicians in the Des Moines Lao community. The Troupe was featured at the 2001 Festival of Iowa Folklife, the Iowa Folklife & Prairie Voices Institute, the Culture Café (Des Moines Playhouse), at the 25th Anniversary of Freedom for the Peoples of Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, at several state and multi-state Midwest folklife festivals, and at the 2005 National Governors’ Conference in Des Moines.

June 21, 2006 at Noon
Coolidge Auditorium, Jefferson Building

Image of the River Boys Polka BandThe River Boys Polka Band -- Dutch Hop Polka music from Nebraska

Read the event flyer essay PDF 2 pages 556kb

View the webcast of this presentation Time 57:31

Robert Schmer (accordion), Dave Beitz (hammered dulcimer), Jerry Hergenreder (trombone, vocals) and Steve Deines (bass, vocals) make up the River Boys Polka Band. They have played traditional Dutch Hop dance music together for ten years. All four have performed at traditional weddings, anniversaries, and other German Russian celebrations for 35 years or more in various groups. The term "Dutch Hop" can be used generically to describe all of the traditional dance music of the Germans from Russia in Nebraska, Eastern Colorado, and Wyoming. However, specifically, Dutch Hop is the name for their unique, quick-tempo polka dance that includes a slight hop that isn't present in the polkas of other ethnic traditions. That, and the inclusion of a hammered dulcimer, give the Dutch Hop its unique, lilting sound. In addition to the dulcimer, the other typical instruments in today's Dutch Hop bands are a piano accordion, a trombone, and an electric bass guitar.

May 23, 2006 at Noon
Coolidge Auditorium, Jefferson Building

Image: James "Super Chikan" JohnsonJames "Super Chikan" Johnson & Richard Christman -- Blues Guitar from Mississippi

Read the event flyer essay PDF 2 pages 520kb

View the webcast of this presentation Time 1:02:16

Sprinkled with stories about life in the Mississippi Delta, the music of James "Super Chikan" Johnson has been heard from Rovigo, Italy to Russia, from Dakar, Senegal to Dayton, Ohio. An energetic and exciting performer in the Delta blues tradition; he offers a variety of original and traditional music, spanning the blues spectrum from country to contemporary. Performing solo or with his band, "The Fighting Cocks," Johnson gives memorable performances to audiences from juke joints to elementary schools. His debut album, Blues Come Home to Roost, received wide critical acclaim, including three Handy Awards. He has released three CDs and was a 2004 recipient of the Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts.

April 12, 2006 at Noon
Coolidge Auditorium, Jefferson Building

Image: David AyriyanDavid & Levon Ayriyan -- Armenian music from Rhode Island

Read the event flyer essay

View the webcast of this presentation Time 58:55

David Ayriyan is the inheritor of a long family tradition in music. He learned to play the violin and the kemancha from his father and from such illustrious masters as Nefton Gregorian. Mr. Ayriyan is a true master with an impressive list of performances both as a soloist and as an instrumentalist with international symphony orchestras. His astounding playing never ceases to enthrall audiences. Mr. Ayirian plays Armenian dance music, and will be accompanied by his son on the dumbek, a Middle Eastern drum. The kemancha is one of the oldest stringed instruments from the Middle East. Played in ancient Persia, it has continued to be used for both classical and popular repertoires in such areas as Armenia and Azerbaijan. It is a three-stringed or four-stringed instrument played with a bow, held upright like a cello.

January 18, 2006 at Noon
Coolidge Auditorium, Jefferson Building

Image: Jelly Roll MortonMister Jelly Roll, Mister Lomax and the Invention of Jazz

Read the event flyer essay PDF 2 pages 238kb

View the webcast of this event time 6:18

In 1938, Ferdinand Joseph Lamothe, AKA Jelly Roll Morton (1885-1941), sat down at a piano in the Library of Congress to record the first oral history of jazz. Seated nearby, asking questions and operating a small portable disc recorder, sat Alan Lomax, 23 year old assistant in charge of the Library's Archive of American Folksong. Join a celebration of the life and music of Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton and the release of the comprehensive CD box set, Jelly Roll Morton - The Complete Library of Congress Recordings, recorded by Alan Lomax (Rounder Records, 2005). The set chonicles a milestone recording session at the Library of Congress which both captured the repertoire of a pioneer jazz musician and constituted the first oral history of jazz. Writer and jazz scholar John Szwed and pianist Dave Burrell explore this unique legacy right where it was created — on the stage of the Coolidge Auditorium. For more information, see —

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