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48th Annual Turtle Hill Folk Festival

Rochester, N.Y.—Enjoy a great weekend of folk music at the 48th Annual Turtle Hill Folk Festival, presented by the Golden Link Folk Singing Society at the Rotary Sunshine Campus, 809 Five Points Rd., in Rush, NY on September 6, 7, and 8, 2019. The Festival will feature evening concerts by Debra Cowan, Annie & The Hedonists, Jay Ungar & Molly Mason, The Heather Pierson Trio, Scott Cook and Richie & Rosie. Festival tickets will be available in the near future at www.goldenlink.org, with discounts for Golden Link members.

At Turtle Hill, the audience not only gets to see these performers on stage, but also interact with them during workshops and small presentations during the day on Saturday and Sunday, with many informal opportunities to sing and play music together. There will also be a Saturday afternoon contra dance, and late-night singing and jamming. Rough camping is included with the ticket price; for a small fee, you can reserve a bed in the rustic, heated bunkhouses.


Friday, September 6, 7:00–10:00 pm—Concert features (in performance order):

Debra Cowan: “Stunning” is a word that is often used to describe Debra Cowan's vocals. She performs unaccompanied and with guitar, interpreting a wide range of traditional and contemporary folk songs. Debra’s performances impress listeners with her clarity, warmth, agility, all the while encouraging the audience to join in on choruses and refrains. Her four recordings have been met with high praise world-wide and in June 2015, she was featured in the UK folk music magazine, Living Tradition. She tours extensively in the United Kingdom and in North America. “Debra has a voice which beautifully combines Celtic and Appalachian sensibilities…deeply satisfying, lyrical and musically elegant.” - Roseanne Cash.


Annie & The Hedonists: This fun four-piece Albany-based band is known for its great lead singer, Annie Rosen, and the tight harmonies and superb musicianship of the Hedonists, a.k.a. Jonny Rosen (guitar and vocals), Peter Davis (clarinet, tenor guitar, piano, and vocals) and Don Young (upright bass and vocals). “Jazz, blues, country, folk, bluegrass ... it's all here. Annie Rosen's versatile, vintage-tinged voice is the perfect match for the Hedonists' ace musicianship.” – Albany Times Union

Jay Ungar & Molly Mason: These extraordinary musicians won international acclaim after Ken Burns’ “The Civil War” hit the airwaves. Their performance of Jay’s haunting composition Ashokan Farewell, which became the musical hallmark of the PBS series, left a lasting impression on everyone who tuned in. The soundtrack won a Grammy and Ashokan Farewell was nominated for an Emmy. Jay & Molly are masters of music and storytelling who generously share their lives and their music with audiences. Jay’s fiddling is brimming with playfulness, drama, soulfulness and technical verve, as he explores the many musical styles and idioms that he has internalized and made his own. Molly’s total mastery and inventiveness on piano and guitar is always spot-on, as she supports the tunes and follows the flow of the melody. Her rich and expressive vocals along with the resonant strains of Jay’s violin, reveal the deep emotions that flow in the duo’s veins.

Saturday, September 7, 7:00–10:00 pm—Concert features (in performance order):

The Heather Pierson Trio: Heather Pierson is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter, and performer. From New Orleans-style jazz and blues to rousing Americana and poignant folk narratives, Heather’s live performances, both solo and with her acoustic trio (Davy Sturtevant on strings/cornet and Shawn Nadeau on bass) move seamlessly and effortlessly from one style to the next, and a growing catalog of wildly
Divergent CD releases reflects her boundless creativity. She is best known for her virtuosity at the piano, her bell-tone vocals, and her quiet yet engaging stage presence.

Scott Cook: A roots balladeer with a rare personal warmth, Canada's Scott Cook has managed to distil the stories collected over eleven years touring across Canada, the USA, Europe, Asia, Australia and elsewhere into straight-talking, keenly observant verse. Road-worn, painfully honest, and deeply human, his tunes weave threads of folk, roots, blues, soul and country over spacious fingerstyle guitar and clawhammer banjo arrangements. His fourth release, One More Time Around, was nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award, and its opening track "Pass It Along" won the Folk and Acoustic category in the 2013 UK Songwriting Contest, with UK magazine Maverick Country naming him "one of Canada's most inspiring and imaginative storytellers".

Richie & Rosie: Richie Stearns is a legendary banjo player and singer, and a founding member of the neo-traditional alternative band The Horse Flies and roots music band Donna the Buffalo. He also has performed with Natalie Merchant, Bela Fleck, Pete Seeger, David Byrne, Billy Bragg & Wilco, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Joan Baez – and he is the president of the iconic GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance. Rosie Newton is a talented fiddler and singer who graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in viola performance, and has become an integral part of the Ithaca old-time music community. She has performed with The Duhks, Louisiana legend Preston Frank, Evil City String Band, Home Remedy and The Pearly Snaps. Richie & Rosie collaborated in various projects over the past few years. Steeped in old-time music, Appalachian folk, blues, African, rock, and country, they create a scintillating blend of traditional and original songs.

Festival Site, Camping, Children’s Activities, and Food: Turtle Hill will be held at the Rotary Sunshine Campus, 809 Five Points Road, Rush, NY, a short drive south of Rochester. Rough camping (tents or RVs; no hook-ups) is included with the ticket price. For a small fee, you can reserve a bunkhouse bed. Showers are available for campers. Vendors will provide food, including vegetarian and gluten free dishes. There will be other vendors as well. Nature trails, two playgrounds, and mini-golf on site. All facilities are wheelchair accessible. The Rotary Sunshine Camp is a pet, smoke, and alcohol free facility. Attendees are welcome to bring their children and grandchildren to the festival. Admission for children 12 and under is free.

Tickets: Tickets will be available at www.goldenlink.org, with a discount for Golden Link members.

Founded in 1971, the Golden Link Folk Singing Society is dedicated to presenting, promoting, and preserving folk music in the Rochester area. Golden Link is a volunteer-operated and member-supported 501(c)3 not-for-profit arts, cultural, and educational organization.


Calendar Listing

Turtle Hill Folk Festival
Rotary Sunshine Campus, 809 Five Points Rd., Rush, New York

Friday, September 6, 2019
Gate opens 5:30 pm
Food and craft vendors on site
Concert, 7:00–10:00 pm:
Debra Cowan
Annie & The Hedonists
Jay Ungar & Molly Mason
Evening concert followed by an indoor fireplace singaround and informal jamming.

Saturday, September 7, 2019
Gate opens 9:30 am
Daytime workshops, round-robins, and jamming on three stages.
Saturday afternoon contra dance with Jay Ungar & Molly Mason
Concert, 7:00–10:00 pm:
The Heather Pierson Trio
Scott Cook
Richie & Rosie
Evening concert followed by an indoor fireplace singaround and informal jamming.

Sunday, September 8, 2019
Gate opens 9:30 am
Daytime workshops, round-robins, and jamming on three stages: 10:00 am–2:00 pm
Closing Concert featuring all performers 2:00–3:30 pm