February 9, 2013: Karen
Ashbrook and Paul Oorts
Multi-instrumentalists Karen Ashbrook and Paul Oorts will be making their
Branford Folk Music Society debut with this concert. For Branford listeners it
will be a musically warming treat in the midst of winter because both are
master musicians. Karen performs mainly on the hammered dulcimer and her
husband Paul on harp guitar, 10-string cittern, mandolin, and musette
Karen plays a wide variety of musical styles including Appalachian, Belgian,
English, classical and Jewish. She teaches at numerous festivals and music
camps around America, and is now central in bringing instruction to the revival
of hakkebord (the Flemish hammered dulcimer) in Belgium! With her delicate
touch, trademark shimmering lilt and ear for authentic ornamentation, Karen is
considered one of the finest Irish hammered dulcimer players. Add her wooden
flute and pennywhistle playing, and you have the consummate Irish musician.
Irish reviewer John O'Regan calls her recordings "Celtic music for the
mind and body."
Belgian-born Paul Oorts is also a multi-instrumentalist and is very active
in the world of English, Contra, and Vintage dances in the Washington-Baltimore
area. With the group Goldcrest he has performed at dance events all over the
United States and on tour in Scotland. He also plays with Trio con Brio,
Tympanon, Ensemble Carillon and the Rigatoni Brothers.
As a teacher or staff musician, he has been on faculty at the Augusta
Heritage Center (WV), the Swannanoa Gathering (NC), Common Ground on the Hill
(MD), Kentucky Music Week, Pinewoods (MA), Timber Ridge (WV), Hill County
Acoustic Music Camp (TX), and the Volksmuziekstage in Gooik (Belgium).
Afternoon Workshops in Hammered & Lap Dulcimer &
In conjunction with the concert, Karen Ashbrook and Paul Oorts will offer
afternoon workshops for advanced beginner to intermediate hammered dulcimer,
guitar and lap dulcimer players.
Here are brief descriptions of each workshop: Karen will teach two Hammered
Dulcimer sessions of simple accompaniments and arrangements of beautiful Manx
tunes, featuring pedal tones and descending bass lines in 3/4 and 4/4. Manx
music is from the Isle of Man, one of the 7 Celtic nations. Sound and pdf files
will be available in advance for the melodies.
Paul will teach two different workshops: in Session 1 (noon) Paul will teach
a Guitar workshop on Waltz accompaniment – how to spice up your 3/4 backup!
(advanced beginners to intermediates). In Session 2 (2:10 pm) Paul will teach a
workshop for Lap Dulcimers in Euro-tunes - traditional dance music from
Flanders and France for dulcimers tuned in D-A-A.
Workshops will be 12 noon to 1:50 p.m. and to 2:10 to 4 p.m. The workshops
will take place in the Morris Cove section of New Haven. Addresses of workshop
locations will be announced to registered participants.
The costs for the workshops are $25 for one workshop and $45 for two
workshops. Participants to the workshops will also be able to attend the
evening’s concert at the Branford Folk Music Society’s member rate of $12.