Salem Street Session Stage
What’s a Session?
A Session (seisun in Gaelic) is a gathering of traditional musicians for the purpose of celebrating their common interest in the music by playing it together in a relaxed, informal setting…. It works like this: One musician starts playing a tune, and whoever knows the tune joins in and plays along.” – Field Guide to the Irish Music Session – Barry Foy
Give us a tune or a Song – Everyone is Welcome to Join in!
The Session Stage is known for welcoming folks from all skill levels that are interested in playing. Sessions last about 90 minutes, with a 15 minute break between each session. Each session is unique, with the hosts of the session setting the tone and ground rules. There is a secure place to store your instruments out of the rain and sun while you enjoy the Festival between playing or singing at the session.
10:00 – 11:00 – Celtic Song Circle
11:15 – 12:45 – Story Road, co-hosts Chico Session
1:00 – 2:30 – The Fire, co-hosts the Holbrooke Hotel Session
2:45 – 4:15 – MAC, co-hosts SF Scottish Fiddlers Association
4:30 – 6:00 – Sailbow, co-hosts the Back Roads Session
10:00 – 11:00 – Celtic Song Circle
11:15 – 12:45 – John Whelan and Low Lily, co-hosts Auburn Session
1:00 – 2:30 – Eamon McElholm & Johnny B Connelly, co-hosts Nevada County Kitchen Session
2:45 – 4:15 – Maggie & Cassie MacDonald, co-hosts, Starry Plough Session Players
4:30 – 6:00 – MAC, co-hosts Youth Session
2017 Sessions will include:
Nevada County Kitchen Session
This Session is hosted by musicians who have played together for years on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month at the historic Holbrooke Hotel in downtown Grass Valley as well as kitchens and pubs around town on Thursday evenings. Players include: Don Young, Dick Heitzman, Larry Hill, Barbara Price, Guy Prudhomme, Margot Duxler, Anne Merdinger, Cindy Crockett, Dayleen Gordon and Jeff Armstrong.
San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers
Formed in 1986 by Alasdair Fraser, SFSF is now a musical family of more than 300 musicians of all ages, abilities and backgrounds. They gather throughout the year to share the joy of playing music from the enduring Scottish tradition. Spontaneity is a key element, and they delight in breaking down the barrier between performers and audience.
This session is led by young fiddlers and other musicians ranging in age from 8 to 22. They may be young in age but they are old in experience. Just try to keep up with these hot players! Nevada County Kitchen Session This session has been playing in Nevada County for more than 10 years in a variety of venues from local bars and pubs to the kitchens of the various players. They specialize in Irish tunes but also play a variety of Celtic traditional tunes and sometimes just burst into song without warning.
Holbrooke Hotel Session
These players have been playing on the 2nd & 4th Sunday afternoons at the Holbrooke Hotel in downtown Grass Valley for many years. The session welcomes players from all skill levels from just beginning Celtic musicians to very advanced. Singers are an important part of the experience.
Starry Plough Session Players
Open traditional Irish music session with breaks for singers, hosted by session players from the famous Starry Plough in Berkeley. They welcome you to lead a set, sing a song or just follow along.
Back Roads Session
This group of Irish Traditional Music players meet in Antelope, California every other Wednesday night to play standard Irish fare. They include a good mix of instruments including fiddles, banjo, guitar, drum and whistles. They will join with the Tuesday Tunesters, a group that meets every Tuesday to play Celtic music, with flute and harp to round out the session sound.