The Lively Arts at IUP will present the kick-off concert for
this year’s Northern Appalachian Folk Festival featuring Alaskan fiddler and
poet Ken Waldman. The concert will be held in the Indiana Theater on
Philadelphia Street starting at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 8, 2016.
Admission is free.
Titled “Ken Waldman and Friends: aka The Secret Visitors,” Waldman will be joined by well-known Pittsburgh area folk musicians Mark
Tamsula and Richard Withers. Also joining the music-making will be the Early
Mays, an all-female trio from Pittsburgh and Morgantown.
There will be a host of other special guests from the region,
including Carl Rahkonen, who is assisting in assembling the musicians and
coordinating many of the details.
Waldman has drawn on his 30 years in Alaska to produce
poems, stories, and Appalachian-influenced fiddle tunes that combine into a
performance uniquely his. Since 1995, he has toured full-time, performing at
some of the nation’s leading universities, festivals, arts centers, and clubs.
He has played across the country from the Kennedy Center
Millennium Stage to Berkeley’s Freight and Salvage, occasionally as a soloist,
more often as leader of one of his ever-changing troupes of nationally recognized
musicians. He has nine CDs to his credit that mix Appalachian-style string-band
music with original poetry.
In addition, he has written eight books, including six poetry
collections, a memoir, and a children’s book. For his Indiana engagement, he will
be creating some original poetry, including an ode to Jimmy Stewart.
This concert will be followed by community reception
Upstairs at the Coney, and those attending are invited to bring their own
instruments for an open music jam. There will be a $10 charge to attend the
jam. The Coney is located across the street from the Indiana Theater.
As a former college professor with an MFA in creative
writing, Waldman has been a visiting writer at nearly 100 colleges and
universities, a visiting artist at over 230 schools in 33 states, and has led
workshops from Alaska to Maine.
While in Indiana, the former professor will offer two free workshops
for the community. On Tuesday, September 6, at 3:30 p.m. in the IUP Cogswelll
Hall Music Library. Waldman will talk about living an artist’s life and
demystify his nomadic life living primarily on the road full-time.
On Wednesday, September 7, at 6:30 p.m. in the Indiana Free
Library, Waldman will lead a free two-hour writing workshop titled “Beginning
Four New Stories or Poems.” This will be of particular interest to writers of
any genre or experience.
The Lively Arts is a program of the Indiana University of
Pennsylvania’s College of Fine Arts and presents nearly 200 performing and
visual arts events each year.
The Northern Appalachian Folk Festival runs September 9–11 in Downtown Indiana.