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Ana Vinagre is one of the area's best known, and most respected Fadistas. Born in Portugal, she immigrated to New Bedford as a young woman with her husband Jose. Both had been members of folkloric dance and music ensembles and they have continued to perform at area Portuguese restaurants, community events, and in festivals and concerts around the nation. They take great pride in their culture and enjoy teaching American audiences about the tradition of Fado music, a genre that developed in the port city of Lisbon and was performed at waterfront clubs and bars frequented by sailors and seamen.
Based in New Bedford, The Beans (Jim and Cindy Bean, and Steve Sullwold) have an innate feel for shanties and other songs of the sea, both traditional and contemporary. However, it is their close vocal harmonies for which they are best known; be it a rousing shanty, love song, or Gospel tune. They perform both a cappella and accompanied, playing a variety of instruments including guitar, Appalachian dulcimer, four and five string banjos, mandolin and concertina. No matter what the style, The Beans work with a song, blending their harmonies with it, but they never lose sight of the tradition. Most of all, their music reveals the pleasure they have singing together and the close friendship which parallels their harmonies. Special guest Dan Lanier joins the Beans on fiddle.
Brian Robbins grew up in Stonington, Maine, a commercial fisherman for many years. He now lives and writes in the Midcoast area of Maine, with his wife Felicity Myers ("Tigger" in this book), and faithful Chesapeake Bonnie. "Bearin's"-is the name of the column Brian Robbins has written in Commercial Fisheries News for over 20 years. In Bearin's The Book, Twenty Years of Bulkhead Wisdom, Quiet Smiles, Belly Laughs, and Good Ol' Salty Tears, Brian has selected a sampling of those columns, the best of his unique blend of humor, wry observations, and personal reflections on life. While originally written for a fishing audience, Brian's columns encompass characters, situations, and themes bound to resonate with all readers. He'll make you laugh, maybe even shed a tear, and definitely leave you wanting more. Robbins is also a regular contributor to Fish Farming News, National Fisherman and Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors.(back to top)
Bridget Fitzgerald nee Coyne was born and raised in Lochan Beag, Inverin, in Connemara, an Irish-speaking area in County Galway, Ireland. She immigrated to the United States in 1964 and has lived in New England for many years.
It is from her native region of Connemara that Bridget's singing style of sean nos (old style) originates. This traditional style of singing is generally melodically and rhythmically complex, subtleties vary by region, and it is highly individualistic. Sean nos singers generally sing unaccompanied, in either Irish (Gaelic) or English.
Bridget is recognized as a Master Sean Nos singer and has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, and the Southern New England Arts Council.
Bridget was a founding member of the ground breaking band Cherish the Ladies, with whom she toured the US and Ireland. She also toured with the Women's Singing Traditions of New England and was a founding member of the very successful traditional Irish band Fourin a Feire.
She has taught workshops on Irish Language and singing at music camps in North America and has performed at festivals and concerts throughout the United States, Canada and Ireland even performing for President of Ireland, Mr. Michael D. Higgins, and the former president, Ms. Mary MacAleese.
Bridget is currently teaching traditional singing for Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann at the Boston Irish Music School located in Brighton, Massachusetts, and sings with the Coyne Family Band. Her first solo CD "Two Sides of a Coyne" is being released in 2014.
Captain Bob Quinn, lobsterman, mailboat operator and storyteller, has been steeped in the lore of coastal Maine since he was a child. Quinn is a fifth generation descendant of Samuel Quinn, Jr. of Eagle Island in East Penobscot Bay. His father, Erland "Cappy" Quinn, worked in the boatyards of Camden and fished out of that harbor, developing a reputation as a local historian. Cappy's brother, Carl "Bonney" Quinn, worked with him, and was known up and down the coast as a musician and raconteur who wrote nautical poems with a humorous bent.
Bob Quinn grew up lobstering and fishing with his father and uncle, learning seamanship aboard the herring pumper Beryl, and immersing himself in the Maine Island lore and local legends he learned from residents of the innumerable coves along the coast. He also absorbed the poems of his Uncle Bonney, and it is his recitations of these poems, along with his colorful commentary, for which he is best known. Bob eventually moved to Eagle Island and assumed the caretaking of the family homestead. He has recorded two dozen of his uncle's poems, and spends many evenings regaling neighbors and guests at the farmhouse with Uncle Bonney's poems and his own salty stories.
Charlotte Enoksen's father emigrated from Norway's Loften Islands and pursued the work of generations before him, owning two fishing vessels, F/V Porpoise and F/V Louise. Once married to a fisherman, Enoksen's poetry often reflects the lives of those left on shore. Her work is both creative and cathartic, a "song without accompaniment." Currently a social worker, Charlotte has also worked in journalism, advertising, public relations and fundraising.(back to top)
Captain Dano is an award winning story teller who grew up just down the coast from New Bedford, in Groton Long Point, Ct. Starting his sea going career on the Mystic Schooners, he crisscrossed a good portion of the globe during a 15 year stint on tall ships before settling down in Seattle, WA, where he now sails as Captain of the small cruise ship SS Legacy.
Dano's storytelling takes a unique spin by weaving original humorous sea yarns in ballad style. Knitting together fact and fantasy, truths and tales, you'll never know what is real and what is a fig newton of his imagination. He performs regularly at the Fisher Poets Gathering in Astoria, OR, and has won the Seattle Maritime Festival "Stories of the Sea" Contest four times. Dano has also won the Northwest Folklife Festival Liar's Contest, so how do we know if any of the above is true? If you don't get a chuckle from Captain Dano's tales, you'd better check your pulse!
Dave grew up in Alaska, in several Aleutian villages, with Kodiak being home town. He's been a lifelong fisherman, earning a full share on a Kodiak seiner by the time he was twelve and purchasing his first boat soon after. He skippered his first Bering Sea King crabber at 23, the youngest Bering Sea king crab skipper, at that time. He has trolled the west coast for salmon and Albacore, otter trawled for bottom fish, and fished Alaska for Black Cod and Halibut, King Crab, Tanner and Dungeness Crab. He currently fishes salmon out of Kodiak AK, and is gearing up for crab.
Dave started writing poetry in the late 70's "long before I heard anyone else write anything about commercial fishing." He's been published in numerous trade papers, magazines and newspapers and has a byline in a quarterly, the Columbia River Gillnetter. He was featured in the documentary Fisherpoets and on Good Morning America. A regular at the Astoria Fisherpoet's Gathering, Dave has also performed in Elko Nevada at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering and at events from fish fries to a sculpture dedication for the world renowned artist Mia Lin.(back to top)
Jim McGrath has been performing original songs as well as sea chanteys, Irish and British Isles ballads, and American traditional and contemporary songs for more than 30 years. Based in Newport, Rhode Island, Jim has performed on ships and in concert halls and saloons in Ireland, Germany and across the Eastern Seaboard. A saloon singer extraordinaire, evoking an almost forgotten era when the fellow playing and crooning in the corner of your local pub was the only (and best) entertainment you'd find. In these complicated and more noise-infused times, Jim stands out amid the karaoke, juke boxes, and HDTVs and flat-out enchants his audiences, whether long-time fans or new acquaintances. Three songs into a Jim McGrath set and you feel you've known him for years, and you want to know him and his musical stories even better.
When the Fisheries Scientists were beginning studies in Pt. Judith RI, they surmised that a steady diet of gurry and fish-heads must cause the ears of the stray cats to fall off. Little did they know that the truth was that the cats had chewed them off each other. Jon Campbell has told stories (not that one) and sung at venues as diverse as the Annapolis Maritime Museum, Kodiak High School Auditorium, Mystic Seaport, Mahogany Shoals on Block Island, the Jack London Bar in Portland OR, and the Astoria Fisherpoets' Gathering. He's got a bouzouki made in Glasgow, and tin-whistle made in County Clare, and stories and songs he's picked up from all over. A lot of them he has written himself, many about life along the New England coast. He recently tried a blueberry on a freshly opened oyster, hoping to make a culinary breakthrough. No such luck......
Mathew Byrne was born into a family of music makers from Placentia Bay, Newfoundland, and his repertoire is heavily influenced by this unique singing tradition. It is a tradition that thrives on the song - the weaving of a great story with a beautiful melody - and Matthew's music reminds us how satisfying traditional songs can be when stripped down to these basic elements. His live performance offers tasteful and honest interpretations of folk music delivered with polished guitar work and powerful vocals. His repertoire transcends time and place and offers a collection of traditional songs from both sides of the Atlantic.
Matthew is also bouzouki player and vocalist for The Dardanelles - a super group of young traditional players from Newfoundland who've made quite a name for themselves throughout the North American folk festival circuit in only a few short years. Since his entry into the group in 2010, Matthew has performed at numerous notable venues including the Winnipeg Folk Festival, Celtic Connections in Glasgow, UK, and The Woodford Folk Festival in Queensland, Australia.
Matthew is currently promoting his brand new album, "Hearts & Heroes", which is now available in stores and online.
Hosted and organized by the Schooner Ernestina, this 43-member chorus was created in 2001, and is made up of some of the Ernestina's most vocal volunteers. The repertoire includes a variety of chanteys and songs that reflect the rich maritime heritage of New Bedford, and the region. Sea Chanteys were traditionally sung as work songs on board sailing ships both as a way to pass the time and as a means of helping establish a rhythm for various types of work aboard the ship.
As a sampler of musical traditions connected to New Bedford Harbor and the New England seafarer, their performances feature the chanteys of the Yankee sailor, along with the ballads and ditties of global mariners and coastwise fisherfolk in North America, the Cape Verde Islands, and the British Isles.
North Sea Gas has been making music for over thirty years. One of Scotland's most popular bands, they perform original and traditional material on guitars, mandolin, fiddle, bouzouki, bodhran, whistles, banjo, and with tremendous three part harmonies. Dave Gilfillan, founding member of North Sea Gas, is originally from Edinburgh, Scotland where his interest in music started at an early age. He first learned how to play the guitar as a teenager and frequented folk clubs where he was fortunate to have met many early pioneers of the folk music scene in Scotland. He plays guitar, banjo, mandola, bodhran, foot drum, harmonica and whistle and provides vocals for rousing sing-alongs and big heartfelt ballads. Originally from Glasgow, Scotland, Ronnie McDonald lived in Australia for many years, but now lives in Edinburgh. He joined the band in 2002. "Mac", as he is also known, plays guitar and bouzouki and sings both lead and harmony vocals. Grant Simpson, originally from Lossiemouth in the northeast of Scotland, but now also living in Edinburgh, has been playing fiddle since he was a very young child. He is the youngest member of North Sea Gas, joining them in 2006. Besides playing fiddle he also sings harmony vocals, the occasional solo, and plays guitar, bouzouki and mandola.
They tour widely and have made numerous television and radio appearances. North Sea Gas has released 18 albums. Their most recent, "The Fire and The Passion of Scotland," was released in July 2013. With Gold and Silver disc awards from the Scottish Music Industry Association they consistently sell out shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
A commercial fisherman for over thirty years, Rob Seitz began his career in Cook Inlet, Alaska as a crewman for his grandfather gillnetting salmon. In 1992, he moved to Astoria, Oregon and began his career as a trawler/dragger skipper. His writing began as a result of winning the onsite poetry competition of the Fisher Poets Gathering in 1998. Since then, he has become a regular at the Gathering. In 2011 he moved to Morro Bay, California where he runs the F/V South Bay catching fish and crabs off the California coast, and works with his wife Tiffani to harvest sustainable seafood for the local community.
The Rum Soaked Crooks - Tom Goux, Jacek Sulanowski, Dan Lanier and Iain Geddes have been cruising the New England shoreline (and beyond) for the last three decades and have inflicted much musical and poetic damage with a pungent mix of sailors' chanteys, ballads and ditties. There is often irrefutable evidence left in their wake: victims leaving the scene with toes tapping and choruses ringing in their heads, as they happily hum and whistle all the way home.
The Crooks have shared their songs and stories, both historical and contemporary, at festivals and maritime events across the country and in Europe, and have recorded on the Smithsonian-Folkways and Whaling City Sound labels. Their repertoire spans three centuries of seafaring songs and poetry, featuring an exceptional sampling of Cape and Islands sea songs and poetry.
The Festival features maritime and ethnic music that relates to the commercial fishing industry.
Send press packet and sample recording to:
Working Waterfront Festival
PO Box 6553
New Bedford, MA 02742-6553.