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Paul Schwartz

Concertina Workshop, Nyc, March 27th, 2004

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This is from Jody Kruskal:



You may have heard about the Incredible Concertina concert that I'll be performing in on March 26th in NYC. An Anglo playing acquaintance asked me if I thought the workshop I'm presenting on the 27th would be helpful for 'someone like him who is learning anglo in the Irish style'.


Of course I told him to come. In answering his question it occurred to me that other folks might be wondering the same thing. I'm not known as an Irish player. My specialty is English and American music using full chording and bass notes throughout. I play English ritual traditions and country dances as well as American contra dances where the repertoire includes, New England, Canadian, Old Timey and Southern tunes, original tunes that I wrote and also lots of Irish reels and jigs.


When I play Irish tunes I don¹t use much ornamentation, partly because I'm keeping my fingers free for added notes below the melody consistent with my harmonic approach to the instrument. Although I will demonstrate and talk about how I do that, there is much more to making music than how many buttons you push down at once. I can offer the straight ahead Irish player a new way of thinking about and analyzing the music that you play without asking you to change your fingerings to accommodate the chords as I do.


I am sure that any Anglo player would enjoy my workshop on Saturday and get a bunch of concertina information and inspiration. I plan to work with whoever comes to the workshop, at their level, using their material as well as my own, asking them to come prepared to play a few tunes and share what they have been working on. Beginners are welcome.


The workshop will not be so much about learning new tunes (though we may do that too) but more about playing musically and getting control of the instrument. We will be listening for phrasing, using the bellows to create rhythm, letting the melody sing with internal micro dynamics, accenting for added pizzazz and back beat, playing legato and staccato, the creation of tone... and what about all those other buttons that are not being used to play melody? What to do with them? Except for this last subject of chords and self accompaniment, the rest are all elements that can apply to any style at any level of accomplishment on the instrument.


I hope to see you there.


Jody Kruskal




718-369-3644; 914-737-0950


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