Annual Welsh Traditional Jam Session: First Sunday in March in Montpelier VT, 2 - 5 pm [Contact us for Directions]
When Sarah and John first met in 2000, John had been playing in a Welsh traditional band in New Jersey with Jodee James, a wonderful Welsh American singer. We participated in a few Welsh Heritage Festivals at Green Mountain College and had the opportunity to meet and learn from Welsh folk musicians, Siân Phillips and Danny Kilbride, who are among those responsible for bringing more Welsh traditional music to the United States in recent years. Through our experience with these musicians, plus an accumulation of a large CD and sheet music collection, we have come to know quite a bit more than your average number of Welsh fiddle tunes for these parts! Our duo, Cariad (which means “love” or “affection” in Welsh), has been giving occasional workshops and performances in Vermont ever since we met. While we do not proclaim to be experts on the subject, we would very much like to share what we have learned with our friends , neighbors, and beyond!
In 2014 Sarah and John, in collaboration with the Vermont Fiddle Orchestra,, brought Sian Phillips to New England for a series of concerts, workshops, and events. Sian was a tremendous hit and we hope she will return at some point. Two CD's were produced in 2015 of some of the live performances that occured with Sian Phillips and Friends. More information can be found on our CD page.
We hope that more Welsh traditional bands will form soon so that this music will become commonplace here. To this end, Sarah and John created a CD intended to help local musicians learn tunes more easily. We now host an annual jam session in Montpelier on the first Sunday in March (celebrating St. David's Day). This starts with a jam session at 2 pm which will segue into a pot luck at approximately 5 pm. The event is open to anyone who is interested in learming more about Welsh traditional music. It will be a full speed jam session but some tunes will be played at a moderate pace for those tunes that are newer to participants. Anyone is welcome to come and play along, whether they know the tunes or not. Since we do not have all of the traditional instruments readily at hand (I haven't yet met a pibgorn or crwyth player in these parts!), we are welcoming any instrumentalists who can blend in. Fiddles, flutes, guitars, harps, accordians, small pipes, mandolins, & banjos are all welcome instruments, as are singers. Click here for information about Welsh music and instrumentation. Many folks participating in the Welsh traditional jam session also now have in hand Sian Phillips' new tune book, 'Welsh Fiddle Tunes: 97 Traditional Pieces for Violin' which is available online and comes with an audio CD. This is a great source of tunes for the jam session as well. Here is a pdf about Welsh Traditional Music that you may find helpful.
If you'd like to participate in our annual event, or be on our Welsh Jam Session elist, contact us for more information!
A FEW GOOD LINKS FOR WELSH TRADITIONAL MUSIC:
Cerdd Ystwyth Music [A source for Welsh Traditional CD's and sheet music]
MEU Cymru, CARDIFF Tunes and Songs