The Keene Music Festival

Creating Community Through Music

The home of The Little Music Festival That Could.  

The 2013 Keene Music Festival Poster created by Matt Sebert. Available for sale in our Shop

The 2013 Keene Music Festival Poster created by Matt Sebert.

Available for sale in our Shop

Welcome to the home of the Little Music Festival That Could:  

Help Support The Keene Music Festival!! 

Are you a performer interested in working with us?  You should go here then....

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....

KMF Events Calendar
Sumner Knight Series:  Hayley Sebella, Mark Whitaker, Eva Walsh

The Keene Music Festival, in collaboration with Keene Parks and Rec and Southwestern Community Services  presents a series of concerts at the Sumner Knight Chapel in the Woodland NED 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: 

Haley Sebella

"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

hugs

good advice

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."

hayleysabella.bandcamp.com

https://twitter.com/HayleySabella

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.

Rock the Sprouts!!  A Fundraiser for Headstart Early Sprouts Program.

The Keene Music Festival along with some friends are hosting a night of music, featuring the talents of:

Brian Dickens/ Mata Mata/ Veil/ Jake McKelvie & the Countertops

All proceeds go towards funding the Early Sprouts; a gardening and nutrition curriculum for the Southwestern Community Services Head start Program (http://www.earlysprouts.org/). Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the door. All ages welcome, so invite your friends and family!

Mark Erelli at the Sumner Knight Chapel with Wendy Keith & Jim Gordon

The Keene Music Festival, in collaboration with Keene Parks and Rec and Southwestern Community Services  presents a series of concerts at the Sumner Knight Chapel in the Woodland NED 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 for this special event is by donation of $20.00 or so. A discount on the admission price of up to $5 can be obtained by bringing a generous supply of canned goods to donate to the local food pantry.  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: 

Mark Erelli:

When questioned about his musical heroes as younger artist, Mark Erelli would dutifully rattle off names like Jackson Browne and John Hiatt—the sort of emotionally literate lyricist and soulful vocalist to which he was oft-compared. But Erelli would always throw the interviewer a curveball by also listing musicians like David Lindley and Ry Cooder, two sidemen closely associated with Browne and Hiatt’s best albums. “As a teenager I sat in front of my stereo for hours, in hopes of learning to write songs like that,” remembers Erelli, “but I also tried to learn the guitar solos on those records note for note.”

Thousands of musical miles later, Mark Erelli now travels his own road that both embodies and challenges our expectations of a singer/songwriter. Erelli has tackled everything from western swing and protest songs to lullabies and murder ballads, all in a richly expressive voice that Twangville.com heralds as “the male counterpart to Neko Case.” It is a journey that has taken Erelli from church basement coffeehouses to the main stage of the Newport Folk Festival, stopping briefly along the way to sing the national anthem at Fenway Park.

Erelli still indulges that teenage fascination with the guitar solos, though it has evolved into a career as an in-demand multi-instrumentalist sideman. These days, fans are just as likely to find Erelli backing up Lori McKenna at the Grand Ole Opry, or Josh Ritter at London’s Royal Albert Hall, as they are to see a solo acoustic performance at venerable listening rooms like Harvard Square’s Club Passim. Some might see chasing both a timeless lyric and an exquisite lap steel guitar solo as mutually exclusive endeavors, but not Erelli.

“Every time I accompany a great songwriter, I have the best seat in the house,” Erelli explains. “I see how these amazing artists connect with their songs and their audiences from a unique vantage point. For me, every sideman gig is a Master Class, and it makes me a better musician and songwriter.”

The last year alone has seen Erelli fronting the bluegrass band Barnstar!, backing up Grammy™ Award-winning songwriters like Paula Cole, or branching into the producer role for Lori McKenna’s next record, in between performing solo shows everywhere from New England to Nebraska. For casual listeners that prefer artists who churn out variations on the same theme year after year, Mark Erelli presents a bit of a dilemma.

“I don’t know anyone who likes just one type of music,” counters Erelli. “There are so many people that would jump at the chance to play music for a living. I’m lucky enough to actually get to do it, and I intend to follow it wherever it leads me.” It’s just that kind of attitude that may someday find a teenager listening intently to one of Mark Erelli’s songs blaring out of stereo, trying to figure out how he did it all, and did it all so well.

 

Wendy Keith and Jim Gordon:

 Jim Gordon and Wendy Keith started playing together at an annual Solstice Music Party a few short years ago, and they have been sharing the musical stage throughout New England ever since. The duo features jazz, blues, folk, the American Songbook, and Wendy’s original compositions.

 As a recording artist, Wendy has three solo CD’s to her credit and has opened for Jesse Colin Young and America. Her strong, dynamic vocal range has graced many a stage including the NH Women's Music Festival, Peterborough Players, the Folkway and the Colonial Theatre.

 Jim Gordon brings his energetic, compelling, master level guitar and mandolin jazz and blues work to the scene. It’s a joyful, spirited, down-home 

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