Welcome to the home of the Little Music Festival That Could:
The Keene Music Festival is a gem of the New England area. Founded twelve years ago, the Keene Music Festival creates opportunities for local, regional, and national musicians to perform in our area. We also work to connect musicians with musicians and with local venues; with the goal of generating more venues for homegrown music. Feel free to browse around the site, using the links at the left, and find out about all the neat things we do.
If you are a performer, or want to volunteer to help out with our events, you can use the mailing list link to tell us about yourself.
The Keene Music Festival's goal is to create community through music. We hope that you come on over and be part of our experience.
This year's poster was created by Matt Sebert.
Local Events Calendar: Touch the underlined date and find out what's happening....
Fred Simmons and Leslie Vogel began playing music together way back when they met at Bard College. Their musical partnership has endured for many years as well as their marriage, and has produced a steady stream of music, including but not limited to the two main musical groups that go under the heading of Folksoul Music--the Folksoul Band and Tattoo.
This new group, the Folksoul Ensemble, unlike the other groups, is not specifically designed for dancing and parties, but is focused more on singing and harmonies.
It is graced by the addition of their daughter Rebecca Simmons on vocals as well as fiddle, creating a distinct family-style blend.
Dan Wheeler was the electric bass player for some of Folksoul's earlier incarnations. He recently announced that he'd picked up an acoustic bass, and so he was immediately added seamlessly to the mix.
Tara Greenblat Band:
Seated at her djembe, Tara Greenblatt centers herself and our attention, and -- with her soulful, soaring voice and highly skilled ability at bringing the whispers, swipes, brushed beats, and calls out of the drum-- weaves rhythm, melody, and story to create beautiful, original songs with a Universal reach. This inseparable and infectious blend of rhythm and voice come from deep inside of her. Her words and music, delivered effortlessly, touch the souls of her listeners. Whether solo, with a partner, or her band, her songs and live performance put the listener in touch with themselves, with love, with the light and shadow sides of being human, and with the pulse of life.
Check out the band's new video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIARkrlO_Pw
The Keene Music Festival, in collaboration with Keene Parks and Rec, Southwestern Community Services, Brewbakers, and The Starving Artist presents a series of concerts at the Sumner Knight Chapel in Woodlawn Cemetery to help raise money to renovate the chapel. This amazing little venue features music in its natural form. No amplification or sound equipment is used during the show; though on occasion folks do use electric instruments. It's music just as it's always meant to be.
Admission is by donation, and usually around $10 or so; depending on the performers we bring in. All profits go towards renovation and preservation of the Sumner-Knight Chapel. This is a family friendly event that we hope you'll be a part of.
For you GPS and/or mappy types, the Chapel's address is:
0 Chapel Drive Keene, NH 03431
This Session’s Performers are:
Pesky J. Nixon:
Bombastic yet brilliant, this group from New England exude a genuine musical authenticity and mirth on stages up and down the East Coast. Drawing influences from contemporary urban balladeers, rowdy southern bluegrass, and the sardonic yet wry wit of New England's localized folk scenes, Pesky J. Nixon (PJN) creates an atmosphere both inviting and challenging for audiences. Compelling harmonies and narratives rein in disparate instrumentation including- zydeco style accordion, virtuosic mandolin, a variety of tribal percussion, and a myriad of string instrumentation.
Jay Moberg of Boston's WUMB says of the group, "These guys represent what I love about music...great playing, thoughtful lyrics, and musicians who actually enjoy playing together!".
"Hayley Sabella is a singer-songwriter / local farmer / earnest truth-seeker / independent woman / dork, who originally did her thing in her hometown of Plymouth, Massachusetts and is now doing her thing in other places, too. Her first EP was released in December 2012. It was called Farm Fingers, and it showcased her warm, urgent style and graced a variety of venues over the past half-year.
Her music feels like:
warm rainy days
a cup of tea
admitting your human frailty
Which is all very good. It is important, however, to see Hayley live, if you want to get a sense of what’s really going on here. Her live shows are energetic, thoughtful, sincere, and intimate. On stage, what you see is a well-dressed girl with a nice guitar and a rad haircut, dancing around a bit while singing about friends, family, God, and the problems we all have with all three of those things. What you are actually getting is a night with a full-formed honest-to-god human being, a beautiful soul, a dear friend, and a person you will want to watch over the years.
In other words: Hayley Sabella is art with a heartbeat.
She is currently preparing for her next album, King Solomon, which will be ready and all over the internet in the near future."
Mark Whitaker is a banjo-wielding singer/songwriter from Boston, MA. Shaped by years of narrowly escaping threats from hostile banjo naysayers, Mark’s innovative playing style is sure not to offend, and likely to be enjoyed. His music draws from a range of influences including folk, blues, pop, and bluegrass. With rich vocals and thoughtful lyrics, Mark’s songs offer a fresh and introspective take on everyday emotions, as well as heavier subjects like crisis, heartbreak, heartburn, and heart repair. In 2006, Mark became a founding member of the Boston-based acoustic instrumental band, Hickory Strings. Originally playing bass, he soon found himself contributing more and more banjo to meet the demands of the group’s eclectic repertoire. (He had recently been given an old banjo by the parent of a childhood friend.) Over the next several years he developed a distinctive style of banjo playing that drew upon his diverse musical background and strong foundation on piano and bass. He played banjo on three albums with Hickory Strings: Geoff Brown and Hickory Strings (2006), Patches (2008), and Duo (2011). He left the group in the spring of 2012 to focus on writing and performing his own original vocal music with banjo accompaniment. He also frequently plays banjo with the modern bluegrass band, The Whiskey Boys.
Eva Walsh is a fun-loving folk-pop singer, fiddler and ukulele player from Boston who delivers a heartfelt performance of catchy original songs and smiles. Her new debut album “Storybook” is the product of her dazzling explorations of music and tells the stories of the heart with undeniably sweet sincerity. Hailing from 17 years of intense training and classical violin performance, Eva originally picked up the ukulele and a collection of other instruments as a stress-relieving hobby. Her musical curiosity grew into a passion and soon she began performing bluegrass, old-time, folk and jazz around Nashville, all while slowly working up her courage and signature sound as a folk-pop songwriter. Leaving her classical roots in Nashville, Eva is now a unique sound in the Boston music scene, performing frequently as a solo artist and adding her fiddle & voice to a growing number of respected Boston artists.