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American roots music

By COLLEEN ARMSTRONG
Islands Sounder Publisher, Editor
April 4, 2013 · Updated 11:12 AM
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Jay Ungar and Molly Maso / Contributed photo

Cheer the heart and feed the soul with music from Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, a duo that won international acclaim after their music was featured in the PBS series “The Civil War.”

They are making a special appearance at Orcas Center on Friday, April 5 at 7:30 p.m. There will be “Burgers and Brew” before the show at 6 p.m.

“I am excited Jay And Molly are coming to Orcas Center because they are consummate musicians and our island appreciates great artists,” said Orcas Center Director Kara O’Toole.

Their performance of Ungar’s haunting composition “Ashokan Farewell” — the musical hallmark of “The Civil War” — left a lasting impression on viewers. The soundtrack won a Grammy and the song was nominated for an Emmy.

“Jay Ungar and Molly Mason play music from the heart which reminds us of the best in all of us,” Ken Burns, producer of the PBS series, has said.

Ungar and Mason’s performances feature the violin, mandolin, guitar, banjo and vocals. Their music has also been featured in “A Prairie Home Companion” and “Legends of the Fall.”

Their concerts include renditions of hard-driving Appalachian melodies, Cajun and Celtic fiddle tunes, stirring Civil War classics, sassy songs from the golden age of swing and country, stunning waltzes, and moving original works.

Garrison Keillor, host and creator of the program “A Prairie Home Companion,” has been vocal about his appreciation for the duo.

“Jay and Molly make music that is simple and overwhelming ... joyful and full of feeling ... an apotheosis of American traditional music,” he’s said.

Tickets for the concert are $25, $19 Orcas Center members, $13 students, and may be purchased at www.orcascenter.org or by calling 376-2281 ext. 1 or visiting the box office.

Fiddle and guitar workshop

Orcas Center is also hosting a “Hands on Fiddle and Guitar Music Workshop” with Jay Ungar and Molly Mason on Friday April 5, from 2 to 4 p.m. on the main stage. The cost is $10 or free with a ticket to the show. This is for a wide range of ages and experience levels. Bring your instrument. Registration is required; call Anita and Gordon at 376-5197 or email anita@rockisland.com.


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