Folk in Fredonia Music Series

About the Folk in Fredonia Music Series

For the past 19 years, the Folk in Fredonia Music Series has been graciously sponsored by The Gilman Family.   From blues to bluegrass, country to Celtic, old-timey to new singer/songwriters, the Series is all about grassroots music and new acoustic artists.   Performers featured in the Series have ranged from well-known established artists to new, rising talent.  For a complete list of artists, visit here.

One of the unique elements of the Folk in Fredonia Music Series has been the creation, each year, of a colorful Folk in Fredonia t-shirt with the logo on the front and the complete list of Series concerts on the back.  Patrons of the Series purchase the shirts each season and have made it a game to take photos of themselves wearing the shirts wherever they travel.  After 22 years, the shirts have been all over the world as evidenced in this extensive list.

Currently a fund-raising effort is underway to help broaden support for the Series, Called The Opera House Rocks, the effort provides handcrafted traditional-style rocking horses as a thank you gift to those who make a donation to the Folk in Fredonia Music Series.  Visit here for more information.

The Special Consensus

Apr 27 2018 - 7:30pm

General Admission $17, $15 Opera House Members, $10 Students/ Children
Folk in Fredonia Music Series 

Formed in the Chicago area in 1975, Special Consensus is a four-person acoustic bluegrass band with a repertoire that features traditional bluegrass standards, original compositions by band members and professional songwriters, and songs from other musical genres performed in the bluegrass format.

The band has released 18 recordings and has appeared on numerous National Public Radio programs and cable television shows, including The Nashville Network and the Grand Ole Opry at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. International tours have brought the band to Australia, Canada, Europe, South America, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

The group has appeared in concert with many symphony orchestras nationwide and has brought an informative in-school presentation to schools nationally and internationally since 1984.

Band leader/banjo player Greg Cahill is the former President/Board Chair of the Nashville-based International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), the former Board Chair of the Nashville-based Foundation for Bluegrass Music and a recipient of the prestigious IBMA Distinguished Achievement Award (in 2011). Other band members include guitar player Rick Faris, bass player Dan Eubanks and mandolin player Nick Dumas.

The 2012 band release Scratch Gravel Road was GRAMMY nominated for Best Bluegrass Album and two songs from the 2014 band release Country Boy: A Bluegrass Tribute To John Denver won IBMA awards for Recorded Event of the Year and Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year.  The tune “Fireball” (featuring special guests Rob Ickes, Trey Hensley and Alison Brown) on the band's 2016 recording Long I Ride won the 2016 IBMA Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year Award.

One reviewer recently said of the band: "the vocals are spotless, the playing as shiny as a newly minted penny, and music like this is the reason people come to love bluegrass… Special Consensus approaches this hallowed American musical form with boundless energy and an aesthetic reverence that tickles the ribs, tugs at the heart, and puts a restless two-step in boots and bare feet… " 

Sponsored by The Gilman Family

Concert Sponsored by Bill & Judy Clark 



Sue Tillotson and Jim Cunningham

May 11 2018 - 7:30pm

General Admission $17, $15 Opera House Members, $10 Students/Children
Folk in Fredonia Music Series 

Sue Tillotson and Jim Cunningham hail from western NY and have played music together for many years, bringing a love of Celtic music and exciting instrumentation to their audiences.

You will hear Sue on fiddle, whistle and vocals and Jim on guitar, bouzouki, cittern, Celtic harp and vocals.  Sue, an award-winning Scottish fiddler, is in demand as a teacher and clinician and is always available to teach workshops.

With extensive experience performing for many types of events, including weddings, receptions, at art galleries and in festivals, the pair also have been a popular feature of the Jamestown Regional Celtic Festival for the past four years.  They make their first appearance at the Ligonier (PA) Highland Games this fall.

Their repertoire includes Scottish, Irish, Scandinavian and Breton tunes, as well as songs for Contra Dance, Square Dance, Celtic Christmas and original pieces. 

Sue and Jim released their first full CD in July of 2015; it is available on CD Baby, Spotify, and iTunes.  They currently are preparing for a second CD release later this year.  They can be followed on Facebook and ReverbNation.





Series Sponsored by The Gilman Family





Event Sponsored by Cool Little Music Shop 

Bill Staines

Nov 9 2018 - 7:30pm General Admission $17, $15 Opera House Members, $10 Students/Children
Folk in Fredonia Music Series 

Anyone not familiar with the music of Bill Staines is in for a special treat.

For more than forty years, Staines has traveled back and forth across North America, singing his songs and delighting audiences at festivals, folksong societies, colleges, concerts, clubs, and coffeehouses. A New England native, he became involved with the Boston-Cambridge folk scene in the early 1960's and for a time, emceed the Sunday Hootenanny at the legendary Club 47 in Cambridge.

Staines quickly became a popular performer in the Boston area. From the time in 1971 when a reviewer from the Boston Phoenix stated that he was "simply Boston's best performer," Staines has continually appeared on folk music radio listener polls as one of the top all time favorite folk artists. Now, well into his fifth decade as a folk performer, he has gained an international reputation as a gifted songwriter and performer.

Singing mostly his own songs, he has become one of the most popular and durable singers on the folk music scene today, performing nearly 200 concerts a year and driving more than 65,000 miles annually. He weaves a blend of gentle wit and humor into his performances and one reviewer wrote, "He has a sense of timing to match the best standup comic."

Over the decades, you have heard Staines singing on Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion, HBO's award winning series Deadwood, and Public Radio's Mountain Stage. Additionally, his music has been used in a number of films including Off and Running, with Cyndi Lauper, and The Return of the Secaucus Seven, John Sayles' debut as a writer-director.

In 1975, Staines won the National Yodeling Championship in Kerrville Texas.  In the fall of 2015 Yankee Magazine, New England's premiere magazine, published its "80th Anniversary Issue."  In the issue, along with the likes of Stephen King and Katherine Hepburn, Staines was chosen as "One of the 80 gifts New England has given to America." 

"Folk music is rich in the human spirit and experience. I've always wanted to bring something of value to people through my songs." With these thoughts, Staines continues to drive the highways and back roads of the country year after year, bringing his music to listeners, young and old.

Sponsored by The Gilman Family


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