Tag: folk

banjo

Gone Picking: Kathy Fink and Marcy Marxer

I discovered Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer some time ago when I found a concert titled A Banjo Extravaganza in the concerts on demand section of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). The concert featured different artists, all playing a special style on the banjo.

Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer are two very versatile and creative players and singers. Cathy and Marcy are regularly playing programs for children and families, and have composed many special songs for this purpose.

Their last CD Banjo to Beatbox was produced together with Christylez Bacon, a famous Hip Hop musician.

Cathy and Marcy have won two Grammys for their music.

I was impressed by the different instruments played by Kathy and Marcy – banjos, acoustic and electric guitars, ukuleles, and much more.

Marcy has developed a special four string cello banjo with the Gold Tone company. This cello banjo has been modeled after an old Gibson banjo from the beginning of the 20th century, when banjo orchestras were very popular in the USA and around the world. Those orchestras used different banjos, including the cello banjo.

In the youtube channel of Kathy and Marcy you can find many videos with different instruments, including some lessons for the banjo and the ukulele.
Here is a podcast in which different banjos are shown, including some selfmade banjos and of course the cello banjo:

CATHY & MARCY IN BANJOLAND

Cathy and Marcy were asked to write the music for a text written by Woody Guthry – Howdy Little Newly Come – a poem that Woody Guthry wrote for his newborn baby. This is a great tune, and the arrangement with the cello banjo is fantastic. I listened to this tune many times, and I want to play it with our bluegrass band too.

Here is a video of this tune from a concert:

Howdy Little Newly Come

by Cathy Fink & Woody Guthrie, all rights reserved
Live performance by Cathy & MArcy at Woods Camp, Rosseau, Canada, August 2008 in intimate concert setting.

You can find more detailed information about Cathy and Marcy, more videos and other examples on the homepage of Cathy and Marcy and in their youtube channel:

Cathy Fink und Marcy Marxer Homepage

youtube channel of Cathy Fink und Marcy Marxer


Dancin’ In The Kitchen: Songs For All Families (amazon partnerlink)

mandolin ensemble

Ensemble La Volta – Plucked Instruments of the World

The La Volta ensemble has been around for more than 25 years. A concert for the 25st anniversary was given in 2009, and the videos of this concerts are now available on youtube.

On the homepage of the ensemble you can find the following text:

LA VOLTA, ein Ensemble der Musikschule Reinach/Basel-Land (CH), besteht aus 8 bis 9 Jugendlichen im Alter von ca. 10 bis18 Jahren.

Zusammen mit ihrem Leiter, Jürgen Hübscher, beherrschen sie ein vielfältiges Repertoire, das von Musik des 16. bis 18. Jahrhunderts über Internationale Folklore bis zur «POPulären Musik» unserer Zeit reicht.

Das Instrumentarium besteht aus Gitarren verschiedener Grössen, historischen Instrumenten wie Laute, Barockgitarre, Barockmandoline, Pandora etc., folkloristischen Zupfinstrumenten aus ganz Europa, Nordamerika und Lateinamerika, Violine, Panflöten und über dreissig Percussionsinstrumenten.

translated to English:

LA VOLTA, a group of the music school in Reinach/Basel (Switzerland) is composed of studens ot he music school aged between 10 and 18 years.

Together with the director Jürgen Hübscher they play a repertoire which contains music from the 16th to the 18th century as well as international folk music and pop songs of today.

The enseble uses different sized guitars, historical instruments like the luth, barock guitar, barock mandolin, pandora etc.,  folk instruments from all over Europe, North America and South America, violins, pan flutes and more than 30 percussion instruments.

For now 25 years Jürgen Hübscher has again and again found young students for his ensemble and prepared  interesting programs. Many times this ensemble has also been invited to other countries and made successful tours.

The instruments are used in a very creative way. In the following video folk instruments like the charango or the Puertorican cuatro are used for the barock music replacing the barock guitar, the Mexican Guitarron is used as the bass instrument.

Villan di Spagna (printed 1657)

Ensemble La Volta (Switzerland) Italian 17th Century music by Giuseppe Giamberti. Performed with “baroque Charango” (tuned like baroque guitar), Jarana Huasteca from Mexico, Pandora, Cuatro Puertorriqueño & Mexican Guitarron.

The program does also contain a Ciacona by Leopold Sylvius Weiss for soprano luth and bass luth, and a suite by Giuseppe Antonio Brescianello.

Then follows an Italian tarantella, folk dances from Greece and Bulgaria and finally dances and choros from South America.

Two well known pieces from Brazil are played in the following video:

Manha de carnaval / Brasileirinho

The ensemble La Volta has produced several CDs, they have also published some South American dances for a mixed ensemble. On the homepage of the ensemble you can find more information about CDs, sheet music and also seminars held by Jürgen Hübscher for working with mixed ensembles. You can also order a newsletter.

This is another video with Irish and American melodies, played with a lot of joy and creativity – that’s fun for the players and for the audience too.

Irish Reel – Hornpipe – Breakdown

Website La Volta: http://www.la-volta.com/

Playlist with all videos of the anniversary concert of Ensemble La Volta

Playlist from a concert given in 2011


Play by Jason Vieaux

(Amazon partnerlink)