Date(s) - Sun. Mar. 31, 2019
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Join us for an intimate concert celebrating the release of Julie’s solo album Dark Sky, Bright Stars. She will be joined by a stellar band: Anna Patton (clarinet, voice), Rachel Panitch (fiddle, voice), and McKinley James (cello), plus special surprise guests. The concert will feature original tunes, songs, poetry, and crankies!
$15-20 Donation (or pay as you can)
About the album
Julie’s new album Dark Sky, Bright Stars is a series of collaborations. The album contains fifteen original instrumental pieces recorded with a rotating cast of some of the Northeast’s finest folk musicians: Yann Falquet (who produced the album), Anna Patton, Becky Tracy, Katie McNally, Andrew and Noah VanNorstrand, Mark Roberts, Mia Bertelli, Daniel Hawkins, Rachel Bell, Kirsten Lamb, and Màiri Chaimbeul.
Julie’s tunes are imbued with the feeling of dance music from the Celtic, Québecois, and French traditions that make up the New England fiddle repertoire, that sense of lift and movement and space. But they’re also different: they’re conceptual, like vignettes, as Julie draws on the emotional source of 8 years battling illness, as well as from her joyful experiences in the music community. Julie arranged her tunes in ways that would showcase the unique timbre and style of each instrument and player as they interacted with her nimble, expressive piano and accordion. The result is a delightfully varied and human collection of sounds.
In addition to her papercut artwork (Julie herself created the album cover), Julie also makes “crankies”: scrolls of paper that are illustrated and hand-cranked on spools to create moving pictures used in music and storytelling. These add a magical visual counterpart to the concert.
About the performers
Julie is known for her rich, nuanced, versatile piano style, skill in playing for dancers, and music with heart. Based in Boston, she plays internationally with fiddler Noah VanNorstrand in the duo Buddy System, and is an in-demand pianist and accordionist in New England and nationwide. Her compelling, rhythmic piano style draws on her study of New England contra dance piano and traditional Québecois, French, Celtic, and Appalachian music.
A former classical pianist and organist, Julie fell in love with traditional music and dance and since then has gone on to perform at countless festivals and music camps, with the band Nor’easter and many other bands as well as solo. Drawing on teaching skills developed over fifteen years as a natural science educator, Julie is a passionate and inspiring teacher and producer. Julie is also an artist and crankie-maker. Her newest project explores tunes, songs, poetry, and artwork in intimate, beautiful performances.
Anna Patton of Brattleboro VT is a versatile clarinetist, singer, composer, and educator. She is a member of the internationally touring dance band Elixir which combines fiddle tunes with horn arrangements influenced by early jazz, R&B, and classical music. She also performs with the cello-oud-percussion-clarinet quartet the Dunham Shoe Factory.
Other current projects include performing duo concerts with Andrew VanNorstrand; waltzes with Julie Vallimont; teaching vocal and instrumental ensemble classes, music theory, and aural skills; composing and arranging; and directing the Soubrette Jazz Choir which she founded in 2006.
Anna holds a Masters of Music in New England Conservatory’s Contemporary Improvisation program.
Rachel Panitch is a Boston-based violinist, improviser, composer, and teaching artist. She has been an artist-in-residence in neighborhoods, in schools, and in Zion and Acadia National Parks. Rachel uses her violin and voice to tell and translate stories. Her playing has been called “fearless” and brings together aural and written musical traditions. Rachel performs Classical music with the Cardamom Quartet, is a dance fiddler with French Roast, and weaves stories with Thread Ensemble (an improvisatory trio of violins, voices and vibraphone) and with Grammy award-winner Bill Harley. Rachel’s music is featured on a PBS Utah Bucket List episode, and the National Park Service’s “100 Years of Arts in the Parks” video series.
Rachel specializes in teaching improvisation and creative music-making. She was chosen as a 2015-2017 Jubilation Fellow, a national award recognizing “individuals with an exceptional talent for helping young people feel fully alive through rhythm.” Rachel received her Masters of Music in Contemporary Improvisation from New England Conservatory, and holds a BA in Anthropology from Vassar College.
McKinley James is a cellist studying at New England Conservatory. After years with the Vermont Youth Orchestra, she joined the Boston Youth Symphony, and then the premier youth orchestra led by Ben Zander, the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. With the BPYO, she toured Europe twice, playing in concert halls such as the Berlin Philharmonie and at the Alhambra in Spain. She has also played with the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra, Middlebury College Orchestra, the New England Conservatory Symphony, and was a soloist with the Champlain Philharmonic Orchestra.
McKinley is a founding member of the band Night Tree, who won the New England Conservatory’s Honors Ensemble. Together they have toured throughout the US, opened for Solas in Portsmouth Music Hall, and played in Jordan Hall and Rockwood Music Hall. They released their debut album produced by Seamus Egan in 2017, toured in Europe, and recently released their second album to critical acclaim.