Kick-off Concert for Festival Features Alaskan Fiddler and Poet

Posted on 8/30/2016 9:40:06 AM

Ken Waldman 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.