Woods Hole will resonate with lively Celtic, old-time, folk, roots, and early music on Saturday, May 5. The Woods Hole Traditional Music Stroll takes place from 1 to 11 PM in Community Hall, the Woods Hole Library, and various pubs, restaurants, and businesses in the village.
The Woods Hole Trad Stroll is an ArtWeek Massachusetts event, one of 45 ArtWeek events on the Cape and over 500 statewide. It was one of only nine events statewide honored to receive a $500 MusicDrivesUs.Org grant in recognition of its free music and learning-based offerings.
Trad Stroll features the Solstice Singers, The Familiars of Cape Cod, Queen Victoria’s Secret, O.K. Bayou, The Harper & the Minstrel, Cat’s Melodeon, Trinity, the Vineyard Swordfish, the Nobska Lights, the Sonnay Fiddlers, Morgan Rattler, and the Falmouth Fiddlers. The Woods Hole Contra Dance rounds out the day. All events are free except for the contra dance, which is $10.
The Solstice Singers, directed by Lore Loftfield DeBower, take the stage from 1 to 2 PM at Community Hall. Colorfully attired in period costumes, the Solstice Singers perform in Renaissance style, skillfully weaving drama, dance, poetry, and song. This is an interactive and educational performance, especially developed for ArtWeek. The Singers will provide historical context, teach the audience rounds from the 16th to the 19th centuries, and perform an original skit based on one of Aesop’s fables.
The Familiars of Cape Cod will be at Water Street Kitchen from 2 to 3 PM. Manny and Linda Dias sing and play folk, country, rock, fiddle, and popular music on guitar, violin, mandolin, harmonica, and Irish low whistle.
Queen Victoria’s Secret performs at Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank from 2:30 to 3:30 PM. The band performs energetic, amusing English folk music from the Victorian and Edwardian periods, in costume. Members are Wendell Bishop on serpent (an ancient tuba-like brass instrument), Barbara Blair on fiddle and whistle, Ron Geering on concertina, and Tim Radford on vocals and percussion.
O.K. Bayou will be at Quick’s Hole Tavern from 3 to 4 PM. The band performs traditional Cajun music from French SW Louisiana. Jonathan Larkin plays Cajun accordion, Amy Larkin plays fiddle, and Aaron Mayo plays guitar.
The Harper & and the Minstrel are at Community Hall from 3 to 4 PM. Abby and Jay Michaels are passionate performers of music from the past, sung and played on a variety of traditional plucked, bowed, hammered, and woodwind instruments. They offer love songs, jigs, reels, and dances, medieval, Renaissance, and Celtic music.
Cat’s Melodeon performs from 3 to 5 PM on the Coffee Obsession porch. Cat’s Melodeon, led by Bill Black, specializes in Irish traditional music, played on fiddle, flute, recorder, accordion, banjo, guitar, uilleann pipes, and bodhrán, a goat-skin frame drum.
Trinity will be at the Woods Hole Public Library from 3:30 to 4:30 PM. Fiddlers Nikki Engstrom and Gavin Engstrom and guitarist Dave Wilson play traditional Celtic tunes and original songs.
The Vineyard Swordfish and the Nobska Lights are at Community Hall from 4:30 to 5:30. Vineyard Swordfish is a longsword dance team based in Martha’s Vineyard and Falmouth. The longsword is rigid, but not sharp, originally derived from a tanning implement.
Nobska Lights is a youth dance team based in Woods Hole and specializing in traditional English Morris and sword dances. Using bells, sticks, wooden longswords, and flexible steel “rappers,” they perform vibrant, fast-paced rapper sword dances.
The Sonnay Fiddlers follow from 6 to 7 PM in Community Hall. The Sonnay Fiddlers are Nikki Engstrom’s fiddle students. Ranging in age from 5 to adult, they perform a large repertoire of Celtic tunes. An award-winning fiddler, Engstrom plays with several ensembles, including Trinity and the Celtic duo Stanley and Grimm.
Morgan Rattler will be at the Captain Kidd from 6 to 7 PM. Morgan Rattler offers traditional American, Irish, English and French music and song from 18th through 20th century, songs relating to seafaring. The group includes Ron Geering on concertina and hurdy gurdy, Barbara Blair on fiddle, whistles, and vocals, and Jacek Sulanowski on percussion and vocals and bodhran.
The Falmouth Fiddlers perform at Woods Hole Community Hall from 7 to 8 PM. The Falmouth Fiddlers plays and sings old-time, bluegrass, and Celtic fiddle tunes on fiddle, mandolin, guitar, banjo, dobro, tin whistle, bodhran, cello, and string bass. They are joined this year by members of the Pine Street Pickers/Monday Night Session.
The Woods Hole Contra Dance takes place from 8 to 11 PM at Woods Hole Community Hall. Tod Whittenmore, a popular dance caller from Boston will lead the dances. He is known for his ability to bring new and experienced dancers together in a joyful community of dance. All are welcome. Admission is $10.
All events take place rain or shine. Free parking is available at Dyer’s Dock on Water Street and at WHOI’s Challenger House on Woods Hole Road, and in the School Street and Shiverik lots. Parking will also be available in the Water Street MBL lot.
The Woods Hole Trad Stroll is presented by ArtsFalmouth, Inc. and is an event of ArtWeek. Funding has been provided by MusicDrivesUs.org, the Falmouth Village Association, the Falmouth Road Race, Wood Lumber, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Enterprise Publishing Company, the Woods Hole Foundation, and Eastern Bank.
For more information, visit artsfalmouth.org.