NEFFA Event Catalog
Preliminary Schedule -- Subject to Change!
-- Saturday 4:00pm Ritual Dance (Outside Hotel)
-- Sunday 2:00pm Ritual Dance (Outside Hotel)
-- Sunday 12:00noon Ritual Dance (Outside Hotel)
-- Sunday 1:00pm Ritual Dance (Outside Hotel)
-- Saturday 12:00noon Ritual Dance (Outside Hotel)
-- Saturday 1:00pm Ritual Dance (Outside Hotel)
-- Saturday 2:00pm Ritual Dance (Outside Hotel)
-- Saturday 3:00pm Ritual Dance (Outside Hotel)
A open discussion about building your dance community. What things bring in new folks, more fun, and create a strong community spirit. From the “5 Things” web chat team!
Learn the basics of Puerto Rican bomba, an African-based tradition for over 200 years. Join us for dancing with live drumming, and songs celebrating Puerto Rican history and identity with poetry and satire.
Classic fun with minimal complication, these dances will free your mind and let you simply enjoy being on the dance floor with glorious music motivating your motion.
Not just a hand turn! Once upon a time, the allemande was a couple dance that inspired many of the beautiful waltz movements we use today. Learn basic figures and transitions of the 18th century allemande.
Folk duo, Green Heron leads in a veritable hootenanny. All songs and instruments in American roots music tradition are welcome.
Bernadette Colley and Richard Yospin will once again explore the American Songbook in vocal harmonies, and on guitars, piano, mandolin and clarinet — singing and talking about influential and enduring pop songs, jazz standards, torch songs, Broadway and movie tunes, written from the early twentieth century through the bebop era and beyond.
Participants will learn the basics of Appalachian flatfooting and buck dancing.
The Klines will share and teach these expressive treasures along with a sense of the singers from whom Michael learned over the past six decades in West Virginia.
Early Argentine Tango was quite different from modern Argentine or ballroom tango. It is still fun to dance today. This class is an introduction to "El Tango Argentino de Salon" by Nicanor Lima (ca. 1916). You will learn essential walking, crossing and quick steps, plus key combinations called "sentadas" and "medias lunas." See how a few basic principles led to innumerable possibilities in this versatile dance.
Balkan Dance Party with live music by Rakiya
Saturday 6:00pm Ballroom CDE (Hotel East)
Balkan Fields plays fresh, exciting (and perhaps less well-known) music for favorite dances from the Bulgarian, Macedonian, Romanian, Serbian and Roma traditions.
Come sing along (or just enjoy listening to) "old city songs" and/or dance songs from Macedonia and surrounding areas, evoking the pleasure ("kefi") of singing with old friends around the table at a celebration, or in the village tavern or coffeehouse.
Ballads are old story songs - I'll share a few of my favorite traditional ballads and then open the floor to any other ballad enthusiasts who would like to share a song. Got an old ballad that tells a good story? (Attention: there may be adult themes/language/situations in these old songs.)
Ballads are songs that tell a story. Often, we think of them as long, slow, sad, and/or solo songs -- but often they are none, or only some, of these. In this concert, Cate will share some traditional ballads that you can sing with others -- there are more of them than you might think!
Ballo Liscio from Italy: Polcas, Tangos, Waltzes, Mazurcas
An exploration of the joint sound of 5-string banjo and 9-string Norwegian hardingfele, through the performance of "old-time" tunes from the mountain regions of Appalachia and Telemark.
Arthritis? Banjo is for you! A concert of blues, ballads, gospel & sing-alongs. Clawhammer or finger-style, it's versatile, easy to learn and easy on the hands. Extend your musical career or just have some fun with it.
Join in the fun and sing along as we play and sing some great Beatles songs, familiar and obscure.
Come on down to learn beginning fiddle with Megan Beller from Fiddle Studio! If you’ve just started, it’s been a while, or you haven’t started yet you are welcome. We will learn an easy tune or two, go over basic technique, and get your fiddling questions answered by a fiddler who was trained as a Suzuki teacher! All levels welcome.
Presentation on the remarkable story of Julien Clarchies, born a slave in the Caribbean, who became a famed musician, composer, and caller in Napoleonic France.
All bluegrass instruments welcome at this slow jam. This is primarily for beginners to become comfortable with an informal jam scenario, so they gain confidence in their playing and ability to pick up songs 'on the fly'. Songs will have 2-3 chords in the major keys used in bluegrass - G, D, A, C. Participants are welcome to lead a song, if they so choose. Practice up in a safe environment with other like-minded folks.
Sing old songs along with Jody on Anglo concertina.
Performing New England style tunes composed or enjoyed by the legendary piano and accordion player Bob McQuillen. 2023 would have been his 100th birthday year!
We play French and Breton traditional and modern dance tunes (andros, bourées, mazurkas, etc.) for listening and/or dancing.
Zdravets plays and sings village-style music "mostly from Bulgaria," using traditional Bulgarian folk instruments and vocal styles.
Easy Bulgarian line dances; music by Zornitsa, a men's Bulgarian singing group with instrumental accompaniment.
Learn a Classic Cajun Tune "Johnny Peut Pas Dancer" and How to Make It Danceable.
Gather to share experiences and ideas if you work (or want to) with kids, families, seniors, or other non-dance-hobbyist communities.
Some of the most beautifully evocative songs in the Celtic repertoire are songs of Misery and loss: lost - love, life, homeland. Plus some lively Mayhem. Do join us on choruses.
Love chanteys and want to know what all the strange terms mean? Learn about shipboard tech of the 19th century and how chanteys were tools crafted for specific jobs.
Couple dance choreographies appear in many traditions, from round dancing to Old Time to English ceilidh and Regency dancing. We’ll learn and dance different sequences without much technical language.
The conflict as described in songs familiar and obscure –– soldiers' songs, the home front, danger, defeat and triumph. Voices of various ethnic groups, humor, nostalgia, hardship etc., played on period instruments. Many choruses.
Finishing up the festival, with an open song-sharing session. Chorus songs preferred but not required, instruments welcome, participation rather than performance. Allen's led the sing-around for over 20 years.
All ages are welcome to join in fun and accessible dances.
The famous 20 minute no walk thru advanced dance extravaganza. Six callers and six dances--no teaching!
The famous 20 minute no walk thru advanced dance extravaganza. Six callers and six dances--no teaching!
The famous 20 minute no walk thru advanced dance extravaganza. Six callers and six dances--no teaching!
Short medleys of easy dances in different patterns, with some instruction so everyone can join!
Slow jam session of favorite traditional tunes commonly played for New England style contra dancing. All instruments and levels welcome! No written music; all tunes will be played by ear.
Squares with contra moves, contras with square moves, and fun formations that mix contras and squares.
Contra dancing is all about connection -- with your partner, your neighbor, your shadow, or the whole set. These dances will all lean into that sense of connection, and the satisfaction that comes with it!
Travel back in time and enjoy the contras danced by generations past. This session will feature extra teaching for those who haven't danced chestnuts or triple-minor dances, while leaving plenty of time for dancing!
Join in with Pajdashi folk band and chorus to sing Croatian favorites. Word sheets will be provided.
Calling all chantey singers! Lead, sing along with, and/or listen to chanteys and maritime songs in this open, participatory, and rousing format!
Dances written specifically to match special tunes can elevate the experience of both. Let's explore some custom fit pairings that uniquely deliver on this promise.
Contras, squares, and triplets by a great 20th-century caller/choreographer.
Songwriting is my way of processing my reactions to world and personal events, and sharing them with the community - solidarity vs solitude! Includes songs about book banning, Ukraine, aspects of the pandemic, dancing, losing friends, the weather and more, mostly with choruses.
Acoustic duo performs swing, gypsy jazz, American Songbook, bluegrass- tunes from the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s.
French cotillions were the original square dances, the ancestor of today's, enjoyed by everyone from Jane Austen to George Washington. Basics of the cotillion form and specific American dances!
21st century English dances, including highlights from Jenny & Scott's book, "Key to the Cellar." Join us to explore fresh choreography, savor great tunes, and enjoy lively fun for all !
Make space for the upcoming generation of English Country Dance callers and musicians! Lets discuss effective mentoring, supportive community, ways for newer callers and musicians to gain experience beyond their local dances. This seems more challenging for ECD, however our conversation will also be relevant for contra and other dance communities. Come share your questions and experiences!
English Country Dancing featuring a sample of women composers and choreographers who influence the 21st century's deep repertoire.
This session will feature familiar favorites from the ECD repertoire, accompanied by the English Open Band--open to all ECD musicians! If you want extra practice, come to the rehearsal beforehand at 6pm in Sterling.
Come bid farewell to another NEFFA festival with some favorite English Country Dances.
Longways English dances invite all dancers to join in, and can be superbly exciting and fun. This program focuses on wonderful old dances, for all to enjoy both the music and company.
Fun ECD with great music and minimal teaching. A knowledge of English dance figures is helpful.
Saturday 3:30pm Trade Center West
English country dances called in succession, no teaching! Dancers are expected to know all of the usual calls and be able to respond quickly.
Come play tunes with Night Cap, a heady intoxication of cheerful musicians. Most tunes out of Barnes Books I-III (having the books is helpful but not required)
Start your day with gentle, joyful English Country Dances to beautiful tunes.
Modern English country dance presented through enjoyable dances called without gender reference. Figures learned in the context of dances. Paced for beginners, experienced dancers welcome!
From hymns to Broadway, tunes for ECD can sometimes be a surprise!
With so much crossover, seasoned contra dancers already enjoy many figures common in English Country Dances. In this session the dances will include moves frequently found in contra, sometimes used in slightly unfamiliar ways.
Celebrating 200 years of the Erie Canal, with songs sung by canallers and Western New Yorkers in canal towns, 1815 to present. Period garb and antique instruments; plenty of choruses!
Hosted by the Folk Song Society of Greater Boston. Members of folk organizations, concert organizers, and interested folks are invited to join a roundtable discussion about the evolution of folk organizations. How do we grow our organizations? What's the best way to attract new members and keep it all going?
Experience contras that borrow figures evolved from English Country Dance.
Ideas to expand your sound palette for varied textures and moods while supporting the dance. Great ensemble playing goes beyond the melody, and the instrument you play shapes your contribution. Alias (flute/whistle, fiddle, and piano) will share ideas on how each type of instrument can play different roles through a dance set.
Simply fun dancing for all ages and ability levels. Just bring your smile and dance with us for awhile!
Fun dances for everyone, from the child dancing with a parent as one person, to dancers whose grandchildren have left home.
Dancing for folks of all ages!
Fun and energetic dancing for all ages and all skill levels.
Have you ever wondered where to find joyful, life-affirming songs to share with your children and grandchildren? Look no further. Join the fun--and bring your favorites.
Come play along with the friends of the Berlin MA Old Time jam - favorite Old Time dance tunes from New England, Appalachia and our Canadian neighbors, (Moderate pace, banjo friendly!)
Your chance to play some simple Old Time fiddle tunes at advanced beginner pace. Friends from the bi monthly Berlin MA jam will help get you going on Angeline the Baker, Over the Waterfall, Jamie Allen, Seneca Square Dance and other old favorites..
Breton community dance party (Fest-Noz/Fest Deizh) with a variety of easy and moderate line dances (An Dro, Laride, Gavotte, etc) and perhaps a few couple dances (waltz, mazurka).
Join us for our traditional big, open-band finale. We'll dance good, fun contras and the amazing Merry Go Round square to the joyful sound of the Festival Orchestra.
Heartwood Junction will perform a fun show featuring beautiful original tunes alongside a few traditional Celtic tunes, on fiddle, guitar, and recorder.
We will discuss and demonstrate how to play fiddle without pain. Presentation with questions welcome.
Workshop for beginning hammered dulcimer players and those interested in exploring if the hammered dulcimer might be for you. Please bring a dulcimer (tuned to A 440) if you have one available. If not we will trade off and let those without a dulcimer have a try. We will focus on a couple of simple songs (Simple Gifts and Frere Jacques) and with limited embellishments.
We perform a blended variety of folk music, from sea shanteys to centuries' old folk songs to folksy twists on more modern tunes. We love an audience that sings and claps along.
Ken's Coaching Demo: Become a better, more confident singing artist in all kinds of traditional, folk, and roots material in all kinds of performance situations!
Dave Curry will facilitate this freestyle drum circle that welcomes people of all skill levels and all ages. If you have your own hand drum, bring it along. Dave will have a number of loaner drums available for borrowing on a first-come, first-served basis. Dave will give a quick tutorial on using the hand drums and then off we go to jam on fun rhythms where everyone can participate!
Millevaches will play great French dance tunes and Lynn Baumeister will provide brief teaching as needed for a selection of fun couple, circle and line dances. On y va!
Come learn some balfolk tunes in a musical Tour de France! You don't need to know anything about French music, but some experience playing dance tunes will be helpful. All instruments are welcome.
This concert will feature Caldrum Street's wide variety of traditional repertoire ranging from classic Americana to traditional Irish ballads along with modern folk classics.
Everyone is welcome to join our folk singing party. The song leaders will get us started but every present is welcome to suggest songs that we can sing together.
Fusion is a partner dance style done to a wide variety of music that borrows elements from many forms (blues, contact improv, ecstatic, tango, etc.) Lesson at beginning.
Old Time Gospel Sing [GB] Bring your voices to an Old Time Gospel Sing where we'll sing songs and hymns from the old time tradition, including songs recorded by the Carter Family, EC & Orna Ball, and others.
Friday 9:15pm Ballroom AB (Hotel East)
Greek music for dancing! A combination of the most popular Greek festival dances and regional folk dances, with walk-throughs for less-known dances.
I'm leaving this a little open ended. The workshop could be West African drumming, Middle Eastern doumbek drumming, or Middle Eastern frame drumming, depending on which type of drumming you think would be most popular. I can also do a general hand drumming workshop that covers all three styles and then some. I can bring loaner drums to share and encourage people to bring their own drums if they have them. All skill levels are welcome.
High mountain songs learned face to face from archetypal singers of Appalachia and beyond. The vivid imagery and haunting melodies will leave you deeply touched and eager for more.
Bring your Harp and your favorite tune. Everyone will be able to play their favorite, and there will several pieces that everyone will play together.
An instrumental performance of guitar pieces.
Southern Rail's bluegrass is high energy exuberant fun with lush harmonies, irrepressible good humor and sparkling banjo, guitar and mandolin.
Learn some of our young dancers' favorite international folk dances! We'll do dances from Romania, Israel, Basque country, Italy, South Africa, and more. No experience or partner required!
Contra dances and awesome music; this is what you've been longing for!!
NEFFA has been welcoming new performers for 79 years. Are you thinking about becoming a performer? Wonder about how to submit a successful application? How can we encourage new performers to apply? Come join this discussion on how the Program Committee works and how we can help you join our community of performers.
Instruction on how to play the bones from basic to intermediate, with demonstration of various styles of bones playing
Introduction to Irish Bodhran; a demonstration of handling technique. Explore Irish music rhythms.We'll consider session etiquette, play some tunes (with Dave Miller on fiddle), explore ornamentation.Bring a bodhran.
How to work with an engineer to get the best sound with the least aggravation for both of you. What's possible, what isn't; what you can do to avoid feedback and still hear yourself. How to ask for more and not get a bowl of porridge. If you make your engineer's life easier, they'll return the favor!
Sunday 12:00noon Trade Center Tent
Humorous Songs, many with singalong choruses.
Lock in with other musicians in a moderately-paced Southern old time jam.
You've peeled the banana, now let's mash it up with other dance styles! Come and join us for a participatory improv dance session. No experience necessary! Here we combine our various forms of dancing into our own unique new style! Musicians are encouraged to come and jam while we go with the flow. Family-friendly!
Balkan and International line dances for all
Balkan and International folk dances with live music by Sladka
"If you can walk, you can dance!" We will do dances from around the world which are often done by recreational groups around the United States. Some are still done in the old country, too!
Folk dancing from many countries.
What happens when you intertwine the musics of different cultural traditions? You get a fusion of sounds and stories, songs and tunes, both traditional and original that reflect how music from different regions can be connected and interwoven. This event fuses musical styles from the Celtic, Eastern European, Americana, folk, world, and jazz idioms. Bring a tissue for the sad songs and your stomping feet or a shaker for the bouncy ones!
Intro to Balkan Dancing featuring live music with the NEFFArious Goats
An all-levels friendly but introduction-oriented lesson in blues dance. Blues is a dance style closely related to swing, usually partnered and danced to blues, R&B, or slow jazz music.
Learn the basics or try a role you haven't danced before. Beginner and experienced dancers all welcome!
Come learn what all of the excitement is about. An easy way to get into contras.
Come learn the basic figures while dancing to beautiful music.
Learn the basic steps and figures of English Country Dance while dancing to beautiful music.
Come learn the basics of Balkan and other International dance styles. Enjoy efficient, cheerful teaching and wonderful live music!
Learn dances from many different countries. No partner needed. Enjoy efficient, cheerful teaching and good music.
Introduction to International Folk Dance
Come and try out Scottish Country Dancing! We will go over basic steps and figures and put them together for a few fun dances.
First-time dancers, learn a few moves and pro tips that will help you enjoy the rest of the Festival.
Moshe Eskayo, a giant of recreational Israeli dance, passed away a year ago this month. We will celebrate his memory through a few of his classic dances.
Beginner-friendly Israeli folk dances with simple patterns taught efficiently and cheerfully. No partners needed...you can do these!
Come learn about the tradition of Jewish papercut art and try your hand at cutting out a simple template. Templates that aren't religious will also be available. If you're feeling extra creative, you can make an original. All materials will be provided. As we are using exacto knives, this workshop is for teens and adults.
Bring your instruments and jigs from around the globe and let's rock out on our favorite genre. Irish, Icelandic, French, Québécois and all others welcome.
In memory of our mandolin extraordinaire, Josh Gannon-Salomon, we will host an open jam. Bring your instruments, your singing voices, and a song or 2. Please do not feel obliged to lead a song if you don't want to. The idea is to have everyone playing along, playing together, and singing together. That's the way Josh would've wanted it!
Celtic Harp music from the past to the present, featuring The Wire-Strung Irish Harp, Celtic Folk Harp and Electric Harp! Accompanied by Hammered Dulcimer, Penny Whistles, Irish Wooden Flute, Bowed Psaltery, Recorders and Guitar. Turlough O'Carolan to Loreena McKennitt
Come dance your heart out to Outrageous Fortune's rootsy jug band stylings of classic '20s and '30s blues and jazz. Stationary listeners also welcome!
Howard and Pete in concert present the Kings of the 12-String guitar, including Leadbelly, Blind Willie McTell, and others. 24 Strings! 24!
Saturday 12:00noon Southborough (Hotel West)
Klezmer jam! All instruments and levels welcome!
Learn all six dances for this year's English Medley! Includes tips for expeditious recoveries. No obligation to participate in the actual medley.
Come learn the ragtime hesitation waltz which can be used for both slow and very fast waltzes.
Starting with some easy folk waltz basics, we'll progress to a full rotary (turning) waltz -- the kind of gliding, swirling dance that can leave you feeling like Cinderella and her Prince.
Carrying on the folk music tradition with fiddles, banjos, guitars, and vocal harmonies, duo Green Heron celebrates a wide variety of American roots music.
A spirited concert of original and traditional Klezmer music, that will make you dance, laugh and cry – perhaps all at once!
Old Fid (Alan Short, Deirdre and Sean Murtha) sing maritime, work, and drinking songs in three-part harmony with occasional instrumentation. Come and sing along!
Slow Jam Session of favorite tunes composed by Bob McQuillen, New England Piano and accordion player. Music will be provided, but playing by ear is encouraged. All instruments and levels welcome.
Enjoy music from the Medieval and Renaissance eras (approximately 13th through 16th centuries). Reproductions of period instruments including Gothic Bray Harp, Recorders, Viola da Gamba, Bowed Psaltery, Baroque Guitar, Greek Aulos (Double Flute), Rebec, Wooden Flutes and vocals.
Jon Weinberg was a hammered dulcimer and guitar player, music teacher, dance band and dance organizer, and all-round good friend, who was involved in the New England dance and music community for decades. He sadly passed away in early 2020. This group will play music in tribute to Jon.
As a sound engineer, I often see performer’s misusing mics. This is a short description of how to best use a mic, be you a caller, singer, or musician, and also busting some myths about mics.
Songs of the USA's great industrial heritage, including some union songs.
Join Becky and Nicole for a concert! Becky and Nicole sing traditional songs and songs-in-the-tradition with beautiful poetry, enchanting stories, and delicious harmonies. In this concert, they will share songs on some of their favorite themes: Misandry, Sheep, and the Apocalypse, with many opportunities for the audience to sing along.
Balkan and International folk dance favorites featuring Shining Moon
We will be hosting a jam for instrumentalists to join us in playing along with the some of our favorite tunes. A tunebook will be provided for those new to the tunes.
In the spirit of Philadelphia's popular "Mostly Waltz" series, a variety of waltzes together with schottische, tango, swing, and other couple dances.
Listen to traditional Scottish and Cape Breton tunes arranged to create a unique fresh sound while also keeping in the tradition. We have a big fiddle sound with other instruments, including flute, whistle, accordion, mandolin, cellos, piano. Music Director is Neil Pearlman.
When you dance, so much more pleasure can be had if you let the music tell you what to do.
NEFFA is an all-volunteer run organization. Come meet the Board, provide feedback, and ask questions.
Funny songs, silly songs, and other songs to make you laugh. Audience participation is encouraged.
A concert of newly composed and commissioned crossover music for the finger-style seven string banjo influenced by folk, international, classical and jazz styles.
Come and play tunes from the New England tradition! When do we get to jam on Money Musk and Lady Walpole’s reel? If these Chestnuts are your jam, or you want to come learn some fun, rhythmic dance tunes, come down to the New England Jam with Megan Beller. All instruments welcome!
Come be entertained with folklore and stories from around New England, both spoken and sung!
The Swedish nyckelharpa: a sampling of tunes old and new, traditional and modern. Help celebrate #WorldNyckelharpaDay!
Join Folk Talk Trio to sing along with favorite old folk songs from multiple traditions and hear stories from our bandleader Rik Palieri.
Dance old-time squares as you've never done them. Some patter calls, some singing. Quick walk-throughs and smooth dancing.
Henry is a planchette marionette puppet controlled by a single string attached to my knee. While Jody and Michael accompany Henry on the concertina and fiddle, anyone is welcome to pull Henry's string and make him dance to the music.
Clawhammer banjo tunes in several musical genres, sharing the particular fun, versatility and deeper voice of banjos having a sixth string in addition to the usual five.
Come join us and waltz to a wide variety of old and new favorites, including classical, country, tango waltz, and more.
CBPR plays original and traditional bluegrass music! If you’re looking for authentic roots music, look no further than this Virginia based group. CBPR will be playing original music from the Shenandoah Valley, the heart of bluegrass country. Baileys songwriting has been stated by Bluegrass Unlimited as “beyond his Years”, his songwriting will be showcased in their set!
The audience will participate in rounds and simple part songs. Music will be supplied. We will sing songs about eating, drinking, love, birds, death, and “Publick Sickness”, from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Do you have a favorite Pete Seeger song? Do you have a Pete story to share? Join us as we celebrate Pete Seeger and the power of song.
Pete Kraemer and Howard Stith, two masters, will present the Country Blues in a concert of Blues styles from the Piedmont to the Delta.
Sing-a-Long of classic country songs from the 40s through the 60s with a country band. Think Hank Williams and Patsy Cline. All words provided
We will read some Bulgarian tunes. Some instruction is provided involving the scales, rhythms, and styling. A few copies of Bb music will be available.
Learn a handful of the signature bass runs of the great Skillet Lickers guitarist in this hands-on workshop. We’ll cover the keys of G, D, A, and C using examples from the album, "Old-Time Fiddle Tunes and Songs from North Georgia". While we're at it, we'll cover the basic runs leading to each chord change and how to construct your own. Tab available after the class. Attendees should be able to “boom-chuck” in those keys - or listen in and take home new material to work on.
We will read through several tunes from Romania and nearby regions. Some instruction is provided.
Workshop describing basic accompaniment/rhythm strategies for contra dance. Mark Price plays guitar and other rhythm instruments + Jess plays fiddle - rhythm and melody instruments are all welcome!
Easy dances from all four corners of Poland, showcasing the wide differences in dance and music styles across the country.
A conversation regarding the benefits and drawbacks of using positional terms to teach and prompt contra, English country, and Scottish country dance.
Come and plan to lift your voice! As Power Harmonies, Lynn Noel and Ken Mattsson sing with depth, power, and passionate attention to the spirit in the song. As experienced dancers of contra, English country, and Scandinavian gammaldans, their duo sound can be described as "ballroom dancing for the voice." They are noted for inspiring harmonies and making the rafters ring.
Keith will play a mixture of songs from folk circles and tunes in the folk style but some of his own compositions.
Come practice the tunes that will be played at the English Open Band ECD session on Saturday evening (7:30 pm in Ballroom CDE)
Saturday 9:00pm Trade Center Tent
Pub-less Pub Sing . Join in a traditional pub sing where one (or more) singers lead a song, typically with a sing-a-long chorus. Feel free to lead, sing along on the choruses or just sit and listen. Beginners encouraged!
Friday 9:00pm Trade Center Tent
We may not have a pub, but we can still raise the rafters! This is an open sing. Bring your voice and, optionally, a song with a good chorus.
Help stamp out some Romanian dances. GET your RHYthms HERE. Efficient teaching for maximal dancing to great live music.
Pols tunes from the Røros region of Norway for your dancing pleasure, along with vals, reinlander, and hoppvals.
Join the Drum Nomads as they take you on a rhythmic journey with drumming styles drawn from traditions from across the globe, including West Africa, Brazil, the Middle East and the Caribbean. If there's space to move, get up and dance to the groove!
Enjoy exciting and challenging dances of Russia. Each dance is accompanied by the beautiful and thrilling (live!) choral music from the region. Music provided by the Bjelalitsa Chorus, directed by Julia Poirier.
High energy contras with lots of balances, good connection and flow. Let's hear those balances!
A session of stylish, fun contras that play around with roles a little. We'll have same-role swings, both roles doing chains, and similar elements in these thrilling dances!
Dance to fabulous Roma melodies which will move your body and soul and capture your heart!
Group participation of singing Rounds.
Royer's One Man Band will perform traditional American string band songs on Mr. Royer's home made contraptions, playing banjo, bass, guitar, percussion harmonica and singing, all at the same time.
Festive contras danced to the music of the one and only Rum & Onions Halloween band!
Come and request your favorite Swedish tunes to play or listen to. You may learn some new favorites as well.
Learn how to lead and follow Schottis steps ranging from the most basic to tricky spins with heel slaps. Frequent partner and role changes will be encouraged.
This is a fine year to remember the antiwar/workers' action arising around Glasgow, 1910-1930s, & it's hero John Maclean (1879-1923). Hulett wrote this poetic account during post 9-11 war hysteria but story is even richer in considering Glasgow-Dundee part in 2014 Referendum, struggles over Brexit & Trump's America. Cycle of 9 trad ballad form songs, notes, Glaswegian Scots glossary, great tunes, many moods, crackin good choruses to sing!
Come party as Hila and Torrent present a variety of set and circle dances traditionally found at a ceilidh and designed to get folks mixing, mingling and having a great time on the dance floor.
Fun Scottish figures and great tunes
Join Barbara & Robert McOwen for a friendly, moderately-paced session of the greatest hits of the current Scottish fiddle repertoire. Come to listen, or bring your instrument and perhaps a tune or three to suggest.
Come join us in singing our favorite sea songs...we love audience participation...sing hearty!!!
Seated square dances are just like regular square dances, except you are sitting down. Fun for everyone, especially people with mobility issues.
Maura will lead this session of traditional folk songs mentioning a specific place in the lyrics. Bring a song or take a listening tour.
Uncomfortable post-Covid doing face-to-face couple dancing? Get dizzy from spinning? Never waltzed before? Enjoy easy and beautiful side-by-side promenading waltz variations!
What did Americans do before electronic media? They made their own music. Join us in ‘singing in the square’ with four-part, unaccompanied songs of our New England ancestors for a taste of community music making. No experience is necessary, just an enthusiasm to sing and to learn the ‘four shape system’ invented in colonial America.
Exceptional English Country Dance for experienced and highly attentive dancers. When does the pattern we make require abrupt movement? When do we elongate the forms to be smooth and curved? Explore the delightful contrasts in this ever-developing form.
This workshop will explore dance music from the Shetland Islands, focusing on bowing styles and fiddle tunes by Tom Anderson. We will learn by ear; all instrumentalists are welcome.
Enjoy a mix of smooth and percussive dances as we explore how music can emphasize and play up certain features of each dance to give it a specific mood and feel.
Contras with the emphasis on the flow.
Fun dances featuring moves taken from squares and English country dance.
We do neo-traditional original folk music mainly about our maritime heritage and history.
Stuart Ryerse will perform a concert of his original songs, whose themes center around nature, beauty, and the passage of time.
Tavern singing from Italy and Italian immigrant families.
Sing around event in which participants may sing a song in any language other than English.
Describing the experiences of Irish immigrants in 19th-century America, from early optimism, to difficulty and discrimination, to final acceptance and popularity through songwriters like Chauncey Olcott & George M Cohan.
Having lived surrounded by the sea on Cape Ann for thirty-plus years, I've slowly gathered sea songs like sea glass - a piece here and a piece there while idly walking the beach - and among them are a number of songs of the north Atlantic fisheries, including songs of Gloucester, which celebrates its 400+ this year. The songs will be largely if not entirely unaccompanied, and some will have refrains/choruses for the audience to join in on.
Gritty, high-powered songs of resistance the Klines have harbored as folklorist-musicians in West Virginia and Kentucky performed in high mountain harmony on vocals, guitars, banjo and upright bass
Mike Agranoff is a born storyteller. He has a way with words, and draws the listener in. His specialty is recitations: stories in rhyme, after the fashion of Robert Service.
Nadine Dyskant-Miller contributes the flute and foot-percussion, Barbara Dyskant contributes the piano, and together they contribute the joy of tunes from hot and driving to slow and lyrical, including both originals and arrangements of tunes from Quebec, Ireland, England, and way beyond. Nadine's simultaneous flute and feet add special energy. Touches of Latin and blues also appear.
We started a contra dance at our university from scratch, where contra was new to nearly everybody, including the caller, most of the band members, the dancers, and the university's administration and staff. Today, after 10 dances, we'll share how we're doing and how we did it so you can do it too.
Traditional and Original Stories exploring a theme. Poetry and music sometimes included.
Zoom dances helped us ride-out the pandemic, and in-person dances are returning. Each community faced its own unique set of challenges along that journey. Where do things stand now ? What are some of the efforts that worked well ? As a group, we'll share stories of Success in the face of Adversity !
A session of Swedish couple turning dances -- regional polskas along with hambo, schottis, waltz, and more.
Fiddle and nyckelharpa concert featuring old and new Swedish trad tunes by/after women.
Grammy-winning guitarist Mark Hanson and award-winning vocalist Greta Pedersen entertain with their sparkling vocals, fingerpicking excellence, and fun and funny songs.
Get tangled up in Bob Dylan at this sing-along with your Dylan favorites. Come all without. Come all within. Don't think twice, it's alright. See you there, babe!
People have often asked Mike how he manages to remember all those lyrics. Well, here are some tips he uses.
Join Jerry Bryant (uke) and Bob Snope (tuba) for a sing-along of popular tunes from the Prohibition Era. See you on the sunny side of the street! Lyric sheets will be provided.
This will be a combination of solo performance (with possible acoustic guitar accompaniment), demonstrations of various techniques both old and new, a primer on bass guitar chords, and its new emerging role as a solo instrument. I will also be covering the history of the instrument along with various versions of it, and notable players.
Maura will sing (unaccompanied) a selection of ballads, work songs and complaints about the weather, ranging from familiar to obscure and from east coast to west. Many have singalong choruses.
Balkan dances are often tricky due to the irregular [to most Western ears] rhythms and intricate steps. By breaking down the pattern of steps carefully and methodically, tricky dances can be readily learned and practiced.
We will fiddle and sing our way through episodes of rural catastrophe and moments of redemption, from "Hog Went Through the Fence, Yoke and All" and "Rabbit in the Pea Patch" to "The Spring's All Muddy and the Pond is Dry."
After some general discussion of my approach to tune writing and perhaps a tune written on the spot, we'll write tunes or parts of tunes together as a group. Participants can play an instrument or use their voice.
Fiddle, cello, and piano playing tunes from Cape Breton, Scotland, and Scandinavia
With EmmaLee on the fiddle and Peter on the cello and guitar, Larksgrove takes you on a unique musical tour through their innovative arrangements of the traditional tunes, blending the folk and classical worlds.
Saturday 2:00pm Southborough (Hotel West)
Bring a song accompanied by your ukulele playing.
Drinking songs are always a favorite at the pub and chantey sessions. I’ll be presenting some uncommon drinking songs that I think are well worth singing, some as old as 1808 and some recently composed or old songs that I’ve added new verses to. Most of these songs have choruses or refrains but a few are ballads. I will be leading the songs for the first 15 minutes and then inviting two friends to lead some other songs. Most of the songs will be unaccompanied but some will be accompanied by 5-string banjo.
A variety of waltzes, both original and traditional, for your dancing and listening pleasure.
Waltzes are the perfect repertoire for autoharp: not too fast, not too slow, and enhanced by a plethora of chord choices and strums. Bring your autoharp and your favorite waltzes and I'll bring mine and we can experiment with a variety of techniques to make them our own.
Waves can run across a contra set, longways, or on the diagonal; add a gentle touch, balance, and eye contact, and you have the perfect dance.
Let's get revved up for dancing together again at Neffa!
Instruction and dances to help everyone feel welcomed into the contra dancing community.
Sing and play the music from English rural churches, from the time of Thomas Hardy, Jane Austen, and King George III! For all voices and melodic instruments.
This concert will feature the string band music of the American South, both instrumental and vocal, a rich stew of archaic British transplanted ballads; playful and haunting songs, African-rooted rhythms and blues; Cajun waltzes two-steps; and old-time fiddling – driving and stately, bouncy, quirky and often eerily beautiful.
Fun contra dances inspired by some of those dance locations we love.
Techniques for whistling with the lips, with special focus on dance tunes, as well as considerations for performance in general.
Some folk songs once were overdone.... Yet you never hear them anymore! Join us for a song circle for no-longer-heard folk classics. (No questionable content songs per NEFFA policy.)
Please bring voices, instruments, and your favorite Woody Guthrie songs to share. Leader will bring a few of Guthrie's less known songs.
Novel and authentic choral repertoire from global ethnic traditions: South Africa, Bosnia, Georgia, Ukraine, Albania, the US and more.
There are hundreds of Yiddish songs of immigrants' lives, born out of Jewish history and experience. We will share songs of hardship and struggle - and songs of celebration and triumph.
Sunday 10:00am Ballroom CDE (Hotel East)
Put your waltzing and pivoting skills to use in many different permutations! Enjoy whirling with partners to classic Bavarian Zwiefache tunes! The music tells you what to do!
New England Folk Festival Association