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The Festival features maritime and ethnic music that relates to the commercial fishing industry.
Send press packet and sample recording to:
Working Waterfront Festival
PO Box 6553
New Bedford, MA 02742-6553.
Ana Vinagre is one of the area's best known, and most respected Fadistas. Born in Portugal, she immigrated to New Bedford as a young woman with her husband Jose. Both had been members of folkloric dance and music ensembles and they have continued to perform at area Portuguese restaurants, community events, and in festivals and concerts around the nation. They take great pride in their culture and enjoy teaching American audiences about the tradition of Fado music, a genre that developed in the port city of Lisbon and was performed at waterfront clubs and bars frequented by sailors and seamen.
Anita Best has spent a lifetime exploring, cataloguing and celebrating the rural Newfoundland lifestyle and culture. In the process she has become one of the province's most prominent traditional singers. Born on Merasheen Island in Placentia Bay (since abandoned under the resettlement program), Best has worked as an educator, archivist, folklorist, broadcaster and singer. A particular interest in oral history - songs and stories passed down through generations - lead to her performing career. She has toured extensively as a storyteller and singer, made numerous television and radio appearances and added her voice to several Newfoundland recordings. She is best known for two albums: The Colour of Amber, a collaboration with Pamela Morgan, was released in 1993. Crosshanded, a collection of twelve songs for solo voice, followed a few years later. In these recordings and in her performances, Best tends to forego the standard Newfoundland repertoire in favor of the lesser known songs and stories collected from around the province.(back to top)
Calico Jack is the dynamic folk duo of Janie Meneely and Paul DiBlasi, whose music celebrates the people, places and history of the Chesapeake. Singer/songwriter Janie Meneely delves deep into the well of Chesapeake lore to produce songs evocative of the waterman's way of life, and her nautically inspired tunes have been recorded by artists throughout the country. Paul DiBlasi adds his powerful vocals, including a penchant for harmony, plus a strong hand on the guitar. Meneely's strong regional roots have led her to develop a hefty list of Bay-inspired songs that trace the history of the oyster industry or capture the tales told round a country store liar's bench, but her ditties are just as apt to poke fun at time-honored traditions. Calico Jack is eelgrass at its best. Sometimes saucy, sometimes serious Calico Jack offers audiences a glimpse of a rapidly disappearing way of life and invites them to join in on the chorus.(back to top)
Daisy Nell, native of Essex, MA, mainstay of the shipbuilding industry for over 300 years, brings alive New England's maritime history through traditional songs of the sea. A familiar voice on the North Shore music scene, she is known for her broad repertoire of traditional folk, chanteys, and contemporary songs. Daisy appears regularly at the Essex Elementary School where she provides an annual residency in music and folklore. Her husband, Stan Collinson, (Captain Stan), adds his guitar and dobro to Daisy's banjo and guitar. Pat Conlon of Gloucester and Jack Schwartz, of Essex fill out the band. Together they cover a lot of territory, from the foc's'le to the farm!(back to top)
Charlotte Enoksen's father emigrated from Norway's Loften Islands and pursued the work of generations before him, owning two fishing vessels, F/V Porpoise and F/V Louise. Once married to a fisherman, Enoksen's poetry often reflects the lives of those left on shore. Her work is both creative and cathartic, a "song without accompaniment." Currently a social worker, Charlotte has also worked in journalism, advertising, public relations and fundraising.(back to top)
Dave grew up in Alaska, in several Aleutian villages, with Kodiak being home town. He's been a lifelong fisherman, earning a full share on a Kodiak seiner by the time he was twelve and purchasing his first boat soon after. He skippered his first Bering Sea King crabber at 23, the youngest Bering Sea king crab skipper, at that time. He has trolled the west coast for salmon and Albacore, otter trawled for bottom fish, and fished Alaska for Black Cod and Halibut, King Crab, Tanner and Dungeness Crab. He currently fishes salmon out of Kodiak AK, and is gearing up for crab.
Dave started writing poetry in the late 70's "long before I heard anyone else write anything about commercial fishing." He's been published in numerous trade papers, magazines and newspapers and has a byline in a quarterly, the Columbia River Gillnetter. He was featured in the documentary Fisherpoets and on Good Morning America. A regular at the Astoria Fisherpoet's Gathering, Dave has also performed in Elko Nevada at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering and at events from fish fries to a sculpture dedication for the world renowned artist Mia Lin.(back to top)
Janice Marshall has been at home on the only inhabited offshore island in Maryland's Chesapeake Bay since her ancestors settled here six generations ago. Her father, husband and son have all worked the water for crabs and oysters while she tended peelers (soft crabs) and picked hard crabs for the market. Of necessity, she founded the Smith Island Crabmeat Co-op that has employed dozens of island wives. It stands as the longest lived women's co-op in America. As a participant in Ladies Aid and Waterman's events she is known for her original musical parodies and presentations which involve many of the island's men and women in hilarious skits for the community and the public. Like most Smith Island cooks and bakers, she is well-known for her crabmeat creations and her ten layer cakes, now the official Maryland state dessert.(back to top)
At ease with both traditional and popular music of the Cape Verde Islands, Joao Cerilo, accordionist and leader of Pilon Batuku regularly entertains large audiences at festivals and in the more intimate setting of local clubs. Joao grew up on Santiago, one of the Cape Verde islands where he learned to play ferinho (a percussive instrument made of an iron bar) and gaeta (accordion) as a young person. He performs the funana and batuko styles of Cape Verdean music, both of which have strong African roots. Funana is an accordion-based dance form, often employing vocal improvisation to comment on current events and history. Batuko, a call and response form was originally accompanied by rhythms beat out on sacks of flour held between the knees. In 1970, Joao left Cape Verde for Portugal where he studied music in Lisbon, learning guitar and keyboards and combining the traditional music of his homeland with more contemporary forms from around the world. Joao immigrated to Rhode Island in 1982. At the Working Waterfront Festival, he will be joined by several percussionists and two dancers.
We feature Cape Verdean music to honor the many ties Cape Verdean Americans have with the working waterfront. Many Cape Verdeans came to New Bedford aboard whaling ships during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Packet ships such as Schooner Ernestina shipped goods between New England and the Cape Verde islands, keeping these connections strong. As whaling ended, many Cape Verdeans found work as longshoremen, stevedores and merchant mariners.(back to top)
Jon Broderick and Jay Speakman have been playing original songs celebrating the commercial fishing industry for a decade, not only at the annual FisherPoets Gathering in Astoria, Oregon but at venues as varied as, among others, the Jack London Bar in Portland, Oregon, the Steam, Sail and Power Museum in Rockland, Maine and Kodiak Out Loud in Kodiak, Alaska. With over fifty seasons' commercial fishing experience (and counting) between them, Jon and Jay play honest songs with roots in authentic experience.
Jay packs about three dozen harmonicas and plays most of them during shows. He's a bluesman, he's a cowboy, he's a gypsy, he's a heavy-loaded freight train going up a steep hill, he's heavy traffic on El Camino Real. He writes lyrics that take listeners downeast to the mackereling and lobster grounds off the Maine coast, to the harbors and halibut grounds of the Gulf of Alaska. He gave us "Mechanico, the voice of NOAA weather radio" and the Skookum Troller who "cuts through the water like she's eatin' pie."
Jon's guitar and occasional old-time banjo playing keep the sound friendly and back porch. With melodies both manouche and American, his songs travel from the mudflats of Bristol Bay, through southeast Alaska's narrow channels, clear to the bistros of the Silicon Valley. He brings "Les Yeux Noirs" to the cannery, "Auld Lang Syne" to a distant Alaskan future and Texas swing to Nushagak Bay. If he pulls out his tin whistle, hold your breath.
In addition to recording two CDs, Pitched Off, Heading Home and Miles Away, Jon and Jay collaborated with Dallas, Oregon poet Clemens Starck on his CD Looking for Parts.(back to top)
Jon Campbell owned a workboat before he owned a car. In those days bay scallops, clams, and quahogs, flounder and lobsters were abundant in the coastal ponds and Narragansett Bay. Regulations were few and the commercial fisheries were still represented by independent men in wooden Eastern Rigs.
For the past 25 years Jon has been writing and performing music based on the wide range of experience available to those people living in coastal regions, the tourists, the cuisine, the fisheries, cranky Yankees and an assortment of humorous and poignant characters. Jon has been a recognized Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Folk Artist since 1982, and he has been involved in a large number of recording projects both as performer and producer. He is presently retired from a 25 year career in the motion picture industry, and yes he did work on the Perfect Storm, in addition to many more major releases.
To fill in the blanks, Jon's musical activities in the last year have ranged from Camden Maine to Kodiak Alaska.
Hosted and organized by the Schooner Ernestina, this 43-member chorus was created in 2001, and is made up of some of the Ernestina's most vocal volunteers. The repertoire includes a variety of chanteys and songs that reflect the rich maritime heritage of New Bedford, and the region. Sea Chanteys were traditionally sung as work songs on board sailing ships both as a way to pass the time and as a means of helping establish a rhythm for various types of work aboard the ship.
As a sampler of musical traditions connected to New Bedford Harbor and the New England seafarer, their performances feature the chanteys of the Yankee sailor, along with the ballads and ditties of global mariners and coastwise fisherfolk in North America, the Cape Verde Islands, and the British Isles.
Sharks Come Cruisin' plays an energetic mix of original and traditional sing-along songs, keeping the themes of audience participation and celebration at the center of their music and live performances. SCC has played several festivals up and down the Eastcoast, from Florida to Maine. They have played with Dropkick Murphys, The Loved Ones (Fat Wreck Chords), and Lemuria (Bridge Nine Records). They have been compared to Flogging Molly, The Pogues, and Against Me! and have been described as sea shanty punk, Irish punk, and folk punk.(back to top)
The Souls of the Sea Band sings about the lives and experiences of the fishermen of the North Atlantic. The original, musically diverse songs are unique interpretations of life around the working harbor. The group of nationally acclaimed musicians, singers and songwriters are based in America's oldest seaport, Gloucester Massachusetts, and perform throughout the Northeast.
The trio consists of guitarist and lead singer Allen Estes, a long time performer and former songwriter for the Merit Music Corp in Nashville, TN; former Stompers lead guitarist, Sal Baglio, who has opened for The Beach Boys; and fiddle player Matt Leavenworth, whose virtuosity is legend throughout the New England states. Frank Tedesco writes the lyrics.