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Salem Street Session Stage

Kitchen Session 002_Sun WelcomeWhat’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.

This year’s session hosts include:
Auburn Session
Holbrooke Hotel Celtic Session
Salem Street Session from Chico
Ragged Rogues from Tahoe
String Sisters leading the youth session
Scottish Fiddle Circle
Irish & Scottish Singing Circle
Nevada County Kitchen Session


In Memory:  Dr. Greg Taylor

The Salem Street Session Stage is dedicated to Dr. Greg Taylor, who conceived of creating ​this​ space​ to give Festival-goers the opportunity to play traditional tunes ​with the musicians performing​ at the Celtic Festival. He worked with his wife Izzy​ Martin​ to establish the stage in 2010, and served as host for the first five years. “Taylor” was an outstanding bohdran ​and whistle ​player, and led sessions at his home on Salem Street in Chico as well as leading sessions at various Northern California pubs for two decades​​.  Taylor passed away unexpectedly in June 2015, but The ​Salem Street ​Session Stage will continue on in his memory.​

Salem Street Session Stage Hosts

Nevada County Kitchen Session (NCKS)
This Session is hosted by musicians that have played together for years at pubs as well as kitchens around town on Thursday evenings. Players include:  Kerry Morse, Don Young, Dick Heitzman, Larry Hill, Barbara Price, Izzy Martin, Lisa Stine, Mike Euritt, Pamela Hodges, and Lona Whipple.

Holbrooke Celtic Session
This open Celtic Session can be found on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month in the library at the historic Holbrooke Hotel in downtown Grass Valley.  Players include Izzy Martin, Cindy Crockett, Ruth Griffin, Margo Duxler, Lisa Stine, Peter Suk, Shawn Prescott and Chris Hansen.

Auburn Session
 Scott Johnson, along with Pete & Phyllis Grant, Lonna Whipple, & Fred Knox have been part of hosting this lively session in Auburn for over a decade. They’ve had several homes , but currently they play every Sunday night at Sierra Grill Smokehouse in Auburn on Grass Valley Highway from 6:00-9:00.  The Auburn session includes tunes, songs and lots of laughter. Regular session players include Pete & Phyllis Grant, Scott Johnson, Jaya and Sharon Carl, Fred Knox, Lonna Whipple, Randy Keith, Elizabeth Townsend, Suzanne Caruthers and Alan Macleod.

Ragged Rogues
The Ragged Rogues host a weekly session at Lake Tahoe year round – unless there is a snowstorm!  Bev & Bentley Palfreyman, Candy Robinson and Peter Grant anchor this singing, tune playing High Sierra session.

Salem Street Session
The Salem Street Session from Chico has been playing together Sunday afternoons for many years.  They like to play tunes at “Donegal speed” so be warned.  A fun session with excellent players including Jewel Cardinet, Vita Segalla, Mark Tighe, BJ Tighe, Janice Williams, Izzy Martin, Pierce Marines and Emily Swanson.

Youth-Led Session
Again this year the youth of the Festival will lead their own Session!  In a Session that is hosted by the celebrated String Sisters, those that are young in age but old in experience be welcome to be part of a Session that features players under the age of 20.  Old folks are welcome to join in – but the youth are leading this one!

Scottish Tunes & Songs
The Nevada County Scottish Fiddlers meet on Sundays to play music, sing, and enjoy each other’s zest for the music.

Irish & Scottish Song Circle with Sharon Carl & Elizabeth Townsend
If you like to sing, these are the sessions for you!  Anyone can lead a song, join in on the choruses, or just sit and listen. A cappella mainly, but if you’d like to accompany yourself, that’s just fine. We focus on songs that celebrate Ireland and Scotland, Irish songs, but if you are not sure from where your song hails, that’s okay, we’ll sing it anyway!

Preliminary Stage Schedule
(subject to change)

Begin End Saturday October 3
10:00 11:00 Nevada County Kitchen Session
11:15 12:45 Cassie & Maggie MacDonald with Salem Street Session, Chico
1:00 2:30 Ragged Rogues
2:45 4:15 Irish & Scottish Singing Circle
4:45 6:15 String Town Ambassadors with the Nevada County Scottish Fiddle Circle*
Sunday October 4
10:00 11:00 Nevada County Kitchen Session
11:15 12:45 Paul Kamm & Eleanor MacDonald with Irish & Scottish Singing Circle
1:00 2:30 One Eyed Reilly with Auburn Session
2:45 4:15 String Sisters with the Youth Session
4:30 6:00 Daimh with Holbrooke Celtic Session

* Schedule is subject to change.