Teaneck, NJ (January 10, 2018) The Hurdy Gurdy Folk Music Club, Bergen County's premier presenter of folk music, will host Traditionfest, a benefit concert for WFDU-FM, Sun. Jan 21, 2 p.m. at the Fair Lawn Community Center, 10-10 20th Street, Fair Lawn. NJ. Featured performers include Toby Walker, the Electric Bonsai Band (Andrew Ratshin), Kirsten Maxwell, and Katherine Rondeau & The Show.Tickets, $20 each, are available online from www.hurdygurdyfolk.org or at the door (cash or check only.)
All proceeds will benefit non-commercial radio station WFDU-FM, owned and operated by Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, New Jersey. Since 1980, Hurdy Gurdy President Ron Olesko has hosted a folk music show on WFDU (www.wfdu.fm). His show, TRADITIONS, can be heard Sunday afternoons from 3 to 5 pm at 89.1 and has featured all of the artists who will appear at Traditionsfest.
About the artists:
Toby Walker is an acclaimed roots music, finger-style guitar virtuoso and songwriter, who blends blues, ragtime, country, bluegrass, rock and old-time jazz into his own unique style. His passion for traditional music inspired him to travel to the Mississippi Delta, Virginia and the Carolinas to learn songs and licks from those who laid the foundation for the Blues. The result: his multi-media presentation, How I Got the Blues, which he presented at the Hurdy Gurdy last June. Toby¹s musicianship has earned him numerous accolades including the International Blues Challenge Award, presented by the Blues Foundation in Memphis, Tenn. He also won the NY Music Award for Best Instrumental CD in 2012, sharing honors with Mariah Carey, Rufus Wainwright and Judy Collins, among others. His newest CD is From the Ground Up.
In addition to performing and songwriting, Toby teaches guitar. He has released six instructional DVD¹s for Homespun Tapes. For six years, he taught at the Fur Peace Ranch Guitar Camp, operated by Jorma Kaukonen of Hot Tuna and Jefferson Airplane. Carnegie Hall hired him to augment and teach their American Roots program for honor-level middle school students. He has toured in England, Wales, France, Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands as well as in the United States. He has been featured in The New York Times and the London Sunday Times as well as on the London BBC and Sirius-XM radio.
Neither electric nor a band, Electric Bonsai Band is singer/songwriter Andrew Ratshin and his acoustic guitar. Best known as a member of, and principal songwriter for, the group Uncle Bonsai, he has released five solo albums of original material and been included on a number of compilation projects. His well-written songs both entice and seduce the listener. He has been called one of the premier songwriters of his generation by the Maverick Report. Sing Out magazine has dubbed him an ‘an absolute original.’ He continues to perform solo and with Uncle Bonsai. He is currently working on his sixth Electric Bonsai Band release.
Kirsten Maxwell began her career at age 5 when she performed at a small opera house in New York City. She continued appearing there until high school when her focus shifted to musical theater, song-writing and learning guitar. She graduated from college in 2014 with a degree in creative writing and the passion to pursue a career as a singer-songwriter. In 2015, she released her first album, Crimson. Often compared to Joan Baez, Judy Collins and Joni Mitchell, she has opened for Vance Gilbert, Bill Staines, Slaid Cleaves and Michael Johnson, among others. Her commanding stage presence, quick wit and musical virtuosity create a level of intimacy that welcomes new audiences like old friends.
Katherine Rondeau & The Show is the newest venture of Jersey born and bred singer-songwriter, Katherine Rondeau. Her silky but powerful vocals combine with the driving bass and harmonies of Donna Bostock and the picking style of Smiling Ed on banjo and mando to create a soulful, rootsy experience. The band, which is earning recognition for the depth and power of its performances, has appeared at such notable venues as Godfrey Daniels, the Philadelphia Folk Festival, the Folk Project, Burlap and Bean and Musicfest 2017. At the 2017 Northeast Regional Folk Alliance conference, the band had the distinct honor of performing at two artist showcases. East coast and Southwest tours are scheduled for 2018.
This year the Hurdy Gurdy Folk Music Club marks its 10th anniversary of presenting concerts at the Fair Lawn Community Center. “Our home at the Center gives audiences an opportunity to enjoy intimate performances in a cozy and comfortable theater,” said Ron Olesko, Hurdy Gurdy president. “We constantly strive to bring a ‘who’s who’ of acoustic folk performers to this convenient venue with its theater-style seating, state-of-the- art sound system and professional lighting.” On Feb. 3, the Hurdy Gurdy will feature Lara Herscovitch and The Levins.
Additional information about the Hurdy Gurdy Folk Music Club and its future concerts may be obtained by emailing [email protected], by calling (201) 384-1325 or by visiting www.hurdygurdyfolk.org.