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Rescheduled Bates College Folk Music Festival takes place May 9-11

Eric McDonald and Katie McNally. Photograph by J. Michael McNally.

Eric McDonald and Katie McNally. Photograph by J. Michael McNally.

Postponed because of a February snowstorm, the third annual Bates College Folk Music Festival takes place at last with three days of contradancing, workshops and performances beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 9, at campus locations to be announced.

The event is open to the public. Admission fees vary according to ability to pay — from $5 to $20 for one day, and $10 to $30 for all three days. No one will be turned away for inability to pay. Tickets are available at the door.

Performers include the Scottish-Latin fusion band Alba’s Edge; the Scottish-influenced, Boston-based duo of Katie McNally and Eric McDonald; the Bates student band Chase the Fiddlers; the Midcoast fiddle and mandolin duo Velocipede; Press Gang, an Irish-music trio from Portland; and local string players Greg and Jessie Boardman.

The Press Gang is a Celtic-music trio based in Portland, Maine.

The Press Gang is a Celtic-music trio based in Portland, Maine.

The event is sponsored by the Freewill Folk Society, a student organization at Bates. For more information, please contact mpickof2@bates.edu or visit batesfolkfest.weebly.com/.

The event opens Thursday with a 7 p.m. fiddle tune workshop, followed at 8 p.m. by Chase the Fiddlers and Velocipede.

A 6:30 p.m. contradance begins Friday’s activities. Student bands perform from 8 to 9 p.m., The Press Gang till 10:30, and the evening concludes with a singing circle and jam session.

On Saturday, workshops take place from 9:30 till 11 a.m. McNally and McDonald perform from 11:30 to 12:30 p.m., followed by an outdoor contradance until 2:30. Student bands perform until 3:30, and then there’s a break in the action until evening.

A 7:30 contradance runs till 9 p.m., followed by an Alba’s Edge concert from 9 to 11 and a singing circle and jam session until 1 a.m.

About the performers

Alba’s Edge draws on jazz, funk and the music of Cuba and Brazil, infusing traditional Scottish melodies with new ideas. Based in New York City and Boston, Alba’s Edge is led by pianist Neil Pearlman.

Greg and Jessie Boardman play traditional music on fiddle and cello.

Chase the Fiddlers play traditional French-Canadian fiddle music along with Irish, bluegrass and old-time dance music and songs.

Alba's Edge. From left, Doug Berns, bassist; Neil Pearlman, pianist; Lilly Pearlman, fiddler; Jacob Cole, percussionist. At Bates, Katie McNally will fill in for Lilly Pearlman.

Alba’s Edge. From left, Doug Berns, bassist; Neil Pearlman, pianist; Lilly Pearlman, fiddler; Jacob Cole, percussionist. At Bates, Katie McNally will fill in for Lilly Pearlman.

Katie McNally and Eric McDonald, musical partners since high school, blend Scottish influences with diverse other sounds, and carefully arranged traditional pieces with original compositions.

The Press Gang, composed of squeezebox player Christian “Junior” Stevens, fiddler Alden Robinson and guitarist Owen Marshall, performs all over the Northeast and into Atlantic Canada.

Velocipede, featuring fiddle tunes from around the world, consists of Julia Plumb, a member of the Bates class of 2005 who plays fiddle, viola and foot percussion; and Baron Collins-Hill, on mandolin and tenor guitar.



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