2010 What a great festival it was!!

28 04 2010

Photo by Esther GoltonA Big Thank You to all the folks who made the Seldovia Summer Solstice Music Festival’s 10th Anniversary  very special.

As director of the SSMF I would like to personally thank the Board of Directors and volunteers who came to the front lines to help out with this event. Tania and Tobin Spurkland, Suzie and Jerry Stranik, Laurel Hilts, Sadi Syn, Felicia Rowland, Bob Moser, Rose McInnes, Happy Schnieder, Darlene Crawford, Betsy Scott, Monty Hingley, Rob Rurka, Dan McElrath,  Kathleen George, and myself took on major committees  to spearhead the event.

Others stepped forward to help: Sherri Burt, Jackie Graese, Susan Zerwick, Daryl Scherkenbach,  Byron McCord, Veda McElrath, Keith Gain and the ladies who provided food and snacks for the event.   Thank you all!!!!

This year the event featured three days of fun, beginning  with two free events. While riding Tustemena ferry Thursday afternoon the group of musicians en route to the festival got to know each other by jamming all the way to Seldovia.  After another great “get to know you” event and dinner at the Linwood, some festival goers and locals participated in the festivals first open mike  at SBE School. Some who had never attended made a debut!! Participant numbers swelled from three sign-ups to over 13 acts. Great fun!!

On Friday morning early birds got up to stretch with Betsy Scott at Yoga and then on to Matt Hammer’s Performance workshop at 10 AM.  Several of us got pointers in presenting ourselves and our music on stage.  I, for one, look at performing a bit differently!

Friday evening’s performances were outrageous, featuring headliner Danny Schmidt with Carrie Elkin.  Liz Malys, Billy Goat, Milo Matthews, Alex De Pue , Miguel De Hoyos and Matt Hammer filled out the night. What magic can happen on our small stage here in Seldovia. .

Saturday  morning early yoga was followed by a jam at the Tide Pool Café.  This is always a great way to take a look at our wonderful harbor, spoon up some great eats, and enjoy the camaraderie of homemade music.

Saturday afternoon workshops were outstanding featuring : drumming (Kippy Lanz)  , songwriting (Danny Schmidt and Carrie Elkin), fiddle facts from soup to nuts..and some one-on-one instruction (Alex De Pue, right hand guitar styles (Miguel De Hoyos), Technigues for Singing in Tune (Esther Golton), slow jamming (Kevin Cassidy), Blue Licks (Rob Rurka) Sound Healing (Shawn Zuke) and a Bass workshop (Milo Matthews.

Milo Matthews lead some workshop attendees in a Collaboration piece that was later performed on stage.. All eyes were on Milo and the piece was artfully accomplished in about an hour The group  included almost complete strangers. I was completely impressed!!

Seldovia Summer Solstice Festival Sizzles

13 01 2010

Starting  Thursday,  June 17th a musical odyssey will begin  as the annual Seldovia Summer Solstice Music Festival gets off to a great start. Leave the Homer Spit, take a ride on the “Tusty” HMS Tustemena , participate in some jamming onboard with festival headliners and friends, have dinner in beautiful Seldovia and then attend an open mike.

These events precede the official start of the festival which will begin Friday morning, June 18 at 10 AM with a Performance workshop taught by Alaskan Songwriter and longtime performer, Matt Hammer. In this workshop you can hone your stage presence, work on mike handling and more.

Friday evening at 7:00 the festival main stage will feature a variety of Alaskan, National and International touring acts.

Saturday at 10 AM there will be a song circle lead  by headliner Danny Schmidt.  You can enjoy breakfast and coffee at the Tidepool Restaurant as you join in.

A variety of music related workshops will run simultaneously at 1:00 PM.  Try  a drumming circle with Kippy Lanz, learn some interesting fiddle facts from Alex De Pue,  hone your guitar skills with Miguel De Hoyos,  get some tips on singing  in tune with Esther Golton, or harmonizing with  Kevin Cassidy, Kippy Lanz and Liza Jaimeson.  All of us kids will enjoy a puppet show with Crista Cady. We can try song writing with Danny Schmidt and Carrie Elkin, and we can attend a sound healing workshop with  Shawn Zuke.  Milo Matthews will head up the collaboration of artists this year. Are we having fun yet?  There is a lot more.

After the workshops there will be a Performer/Volunteer dinner- preshowtime 4:30- 6:00 .. All performers and volunteers  are welcome to join in for a delightful dinner prepared by our Hospitality Committee.

Saturday evening at 7:00 is the second half of the main stage presentations.

After the show listen for jam sites.

Sunday afternoon at 2:00 PM you can sit out on the porch at “Dancing Eagles” and sing along in the Gospel Sing.

Headlining acts this year include Alex De Pue and Miguel De Hoyos. Alex is an extraordinary violinist who has won many awards for his sizzling strings and facility in many fiddle styles. He was born to classically trained parents, and has brothers who carry the family tradition. He is one of the virtuoso De Pue Brothers but Alex takes the fiddle to a whole new level .  He recently was chosen to be the fiddler of the Stevie Vai band, touring since 2007.  He often partners with Miguel De Hoyos who is one of Mexico’s finest guitarists.  Miguel has flawlessly entertained heads of state and foreign dignitaries in a classical style. When playing together a jaw dropping synergy that suspends belief is created.   Alex and Miguel branch off into rock classics, bluegrass, and more in their truly awesome performances.

Headliner Danny Schmidt from Austin, Texas is a truly gifted songwriter –poet. His compelling songs are those you bend your ears to capture.  His a gentle intricate style and accomplished musicianship complements his inspired imagery. His songs echo many of his viewpoints about life in general and about what is truly important.   Danny will be accompanied by edgy Austin songstress Carrie Elkin, a star in her own right.

Seldovia Summer Solstice Music Festival Applications

13 01 2010

The following information can be sent to the Seldovia Arts Council regarding applications for the Seldovia Summer Solstice Music Festival.


By two paid head-ling acts are selected.  If you wish to be considered for this, please contact us between July and November.  Acts that have been personally previewed will be considered first.  Notification of headlining acts will be January.

Beginning in January applications for  25 minute unpaid positions will be taken.  Acts chosen for these slots will receive transportation across the bay from Homer and housing while in Seldovia.

Send us:

Name of Act:

Band Members:
Describe a Workshop you would like to teach.

Stage Requirements Mikes, stands, chairs etc.

Housing Requirements  (Can you share a room etc.)
Transportation requirements (How do you plan to come to Seldovia?)

Biography of group for program.. Recommendations from media…a digital picture…
Send applications (postmarked by March 1)

Susan Mumma

Festival Director

Seldovia Arts Counci

Box 41  Seldovia,  Alaska

OR   Please send applications via email to seldovia.festival.gmail.com

Seldovia Summer Solstice Music Festival 2010

13 11 2009

festlogoJune  18 and 19 will be the main stage dates for the 2010 festival… Don’t forget the ferry jam on the 17th too!!

This YEAR!!!!Seldovia Summer Solstice Music Festival 2009

28 03 2009

“A sharing of gold is but brief, but a sharing of song lasts long.” – Gaelic Proverb

Headlining this year’s Festival will be Mary Jane Lamond Gaelic Singer and Wendy MacIsaac,  Cape Breton Fiddler and Patrick Gillis, guitarist, also from Cape Breton Island. Copy (1) of maryjane1

Mary Jane Lamond is a sharer of songs, stories and spirit. This sharing has garnered Mary Jane
numerous Juno and East Coast Music Award nominations, critical acclaim and a worldwide
audience. Mary Jane’s latest recording ” Storas” (Gaelic meaning “a treasure”), is a beautiful
interpretation of some of the Scottish Gaelic songs that have become part of Nova
Scotia’s Gaelic tradition. Her use of modern instrumentation and arrangements\
provides a respectful and beautiful framework for these Gaelic treasures but it is Mary
Jane’s spell binding vocal performance and heartfelt delivery that makes these
selections truly come alive for the listener.
Mary Jane Lamond is a sharer of songs, stories and spirit. This sharing has garnered Mary Jane numerous Juno and East Coast Music Award nominations, critical acclaim and a worldwide audience. Mary Jane’s latest recording ” Storas” (Gaelic meaning “a treasure”), is a beautiful
interpretation of some of the Scottish Gaelic songs that have become part of Nova Scotia’s Gaelic tradition. Her use of modern instrumentation and arrangements provides a respectful and beautiful framework for these Gaelic treasures but it is Mary Jane’s spell binding vocal performance and heartfelt delivery that makes these selections truly come alive for the listener.

Also heading this year’s festival is commedian Robert Post. The zany gentleman will act as master of ceremonies and treat us to some

bios-patrickvery funny dramatic pieces as well.



Adding spice to the mix will be a wide variety of local and Alaskan acts, such as120px-the_hopper_family_band2favorite singer -songwriters, Robin Hopper and Eric Braendel and jazz dance bands like theDan Mac Trio. We will also be hosting professional touring artists from across the United States and Canada. Jaime Michaels and Emily Kurn will be new the festival. Returning boogie woogie pianistRadoslav Lorkovic will be creating a special collaboration of artists and teaching piano workshops for the festival ,a great surprise for everyone concerned! Popular Anchorage bluegrass group Town Creekand jazz group Hot Club of Nunaka are hoping that you will bring your dancing shoes. Celtic artists, Faolanand Back Alley Banned will add to the Celtic celebration. Seldovian artists, Tim Davis, Rob Rurka’ s Red Moutain Ramblers , Betsy Scott, Simone de Biblioteque and Billy Goat will be featured as well. World music will steimg_1665p in time with Relatively Famous.

A special ferry jam on the “Tusty” will preceed the festival on Thursday. Shows will take place on Friday and Saturday Evenings beginning at  6:30 .We have added a Friday  Morning songwriting seminar featuring the skills of Alaskan Robin Hopper.  Saturday morning there will be song circles and jamming around town. Workshops, such as song writing, Irish flute, piano, drumming, singing and harmonizing and more will fill out Saturday afternoon beginning at 1 pm.
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Mary Jane Lamond and Wendy McIsaac

Wendy and Patrik

Back Alley Banned  (1).doc300px-Jaime_Michaels-bioDSCN2268-1[1]

Last Year’s Festival was a rousing success!!!

15 04 2008

The Seldovia Summer Solstice Music Festival, June 20 and 21, is headlined by two very accomplished musicians. Midwesterner Ralston Bowles has a smart catchy style with roots in both folk music and Rock and Roll that puts him somewhere between Lyle Lovett and Bob Dylan. Ralston has opened for T-Bone Burnett and performed with a long list of musical luminaries including Shawn Colvin, Hothouse Flowers, Chuck Brodsky and Peter Mulvey. Ralston just released his new CD ‘Rally at the Texas Hotel’ (2008) on Judy Collin’s ‘Wildflower’ label. Ralston brings with him Drew Howard, aka Captain Midnight, a master on the steel guitar. Joe Craven is a San Francisco musician, actor, storyteller, educator, visual artist, former museum curator, motivational speaker, and festival emcee. He plays the fiddle, the mandolin, the mug, the martini shaker … even a bedpan and a credit card. His stage set may look like your neighbor’s yard sale, but make no mistake, Joe is an extremely accomplished musician who played for almost 17 years with the David Grisman Quintet. Joe is going to help emcee this year’s festival, so you know that there’s going to be a lot of fun mixed in with all the great music.

The headliners will be joined by Roots/Americana artist Marion Walsh, coming to the festival from Vancouver BC. Marion made a name for herself by playing the clubs, coffeehouses and on radio shows of Boston and in Portland Oregon. ‘Marion sings with so much conviction she should be convicted for affecting the hearts of all whom listen to this new music’ (Roots Music Review). Seattle singer songwriter Wes Weddell spent 63 days In 2001 traveling the state of Washington, picking up stories about the people he met and turning those stories into song. The project ultimately fueled several CDs, featuring everything from playful tunes and ballads to rockabilly romps, one of which won Wes the 2006 Tumbleweed Music Festival songwriting contest.

Many of this year’s festival artists are Alaskans. Anchorage singer/songwriter Tom Begich returns to the festival with his insightful storytelling with blues rhythms and an easy picking style. Talkeetna’s Esther Golton is a singer/songwriter with a mountain dulcimer and a flute. It sounds traditional enough, but not when you perch the dulcimer on a home-made stand, coax out jazzy chord progressions, cross genres from gentle folk to pop to blues and jazz, and add insightful, often humorous lyrics. Returning to the festival is Anchorage pianist and jazzman extraordinaire Dan McElrath and his band, Shawn Zuke and renowned bassist Milo Matthews, plus many other musicians from around the state, including our own Seldovia talent.

Friday and Saturday performances begin at 6:30pm. The headliners and many of the other artists will host Saturday afternoon workshops, a great way for everyone to participate in the festival and to learn some new skills. There will be workshops just for children too. Festival events are held at Susan B. English School in Seldovia, where tickets will be available at the door. Prices for adults are $25 per performance and $10 for all workshops, or buy one ticket for the whole festival (performances plus workshops) for $39. Prices for children (K-12) are $10 per performance plus $5 for a workshop pass, or $20 for the whole festival. Check the festival webpage www.seldoviamusicfestival.wordpress.com for all the details.