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.
Saturday September 29
10:00 Nevada County Kitchen Session
11:15 Molly’s Revenge & co-hosts Wild Eye Pub Session
1:15 Seven Nations & co-hosts Auburn Session
2:45 Celtic Song Circle
4:45 Galen Fraser & co-hosts San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers
Sunday September 30
10:00 Nevada County Kitchen Session
11:15 Celtic Song Circle
1:15 Ha’Penny Bridge & co-hosts Chico Session
2:45 Bywater Band and co-hosts Youth Session
4:30 Daimh & co-hosts Starry Plough Session
Auburn Session with Pete & Phyllis Grant: Many of the players have hosted this lively session in Auburn for over a decade. They currently play every Sunday night at Sierra Grill Smokehouse in Auburn on Grass Valley Hwy 6-9 p.m. The Auburn Session includes tunes, songs and lots of laughter.
Celtic Song Circle: If you like to sing, these are the sessions for you! Anyone is welcome to come 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. Led by Sharon Carl and Elizabeth Townsend, we focus on songs that celebrate Ireland and Scotland, but if you are not sure from where your song hails, that’s okay, we’ll sing it anyway!
Chico Session: These folks have hosted a session Friday afternoons at Duffy’s Tavern for many years. They like to play tunes at “Donegal speed” so be warned. A fun session with excellent players.
Nevada County Kitchen Session: This Session is hosted by musicians who have played together for years on Sunday afternoons and can now be found at the Lucchesi Wine Tasting room in downtown Grass Valley on the 2nd & 4th Sundays of the month 3-6 p.m. They play a variety of Celtic traditional tunes and often just burst into song without warning.
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.
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.
Wild Eye Pub Session: These players have been playing together in Grass Valley for many years and currently play at the Pub on the 3rd Thursday of the month from 6-9 p.m. The session welcomes players from all skill levels from just beginning Celtic musicians to very advanced. Singers are an important part of the experience.
Youth-Led Session: 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!