A World Premier!

Bonjour Mes Amis! (That’s French for “Hello My Friends!”)
 
I’ve been back in Detroit for a week or so now and the culture shock is real. I can’t pretend like the systems we take for granted aren’t failing us. I also can’t stop doing the cultural work I’m doing.
 
For a while my attitude was, There’s nothing else I can do so I’ll make beautiful music on the deck as the ship is going down. Now my attitude is, To the lifeboats! And as I sometimes say at the end of a show when I introduce Jordan Is a Hard Road to Travel, we have a lot of hard work ahead of us, but it doesn’t need to be done in misery and isolation. We can work together with optimism and joy.

 

In this issue of AJL’s Coolest Newsletter Ever:
– A World Premier!
– Support My Work — Patreon
– Ragtime Banjo Revival Update
– September West Coast Tour with Corn Potato String Band
– October Midwest Tour + Brooklyn Folk Festival with Lovestruck Balladeers
– New Video on YouTube
 
A World Premier!
One week from today, in Manchester, MI: World premier of the Manchester Village Rag, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the incorporation of Manchester, MI, written by Bruce Gartner and Mark Palms and arranged for string quartet by Yours Truly. The string quartet will perform five additional pieces I arranged for the Ragtime Banjo Revival project, and Alex Belhaj will join me on guitar for a number of fine banjo/guitar duets. Free, outdoor concert at Wurster Park, 215 W Main St, Manchester, MI 48158. Bring blankets, lawn chairs, picnic items. Rain location across the street
 
Support My Work — Patreon
Help me continue my work as a creator and cultural worker by becoming a Patreon supporter! In addition to the warm feeling you’ll get from donating the equivalent of a cup of coffee each month and knowing that you’re keeping incredible musical morsels from the dustbins of history, you will also have early access to behind-the-scenes video and audio from rehearsals, concerts, and more, and inner thoughts from my mind/body systems.
 
Ragtime Banjo Revival Update
Yesterday I had two wonderful rehearsals for the RBR project. The first was with Angela Penrose, who is playing Violin I in the string quartet, and the second was with Stephen Warner, who is playing the largest pipe organ in the state of Michigan with me.

 

 It’s such a privilege to be able to include such a unique and magnificent piece of living history in this project! As mentioned above, rehearsal videos are being posted on Patreon, and may eventually get posted on my TikTok and/or Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube accounts (Like! Follow! Subscribe!).

 

Next week the Ragtime Banjo Revival String Quartet will rehearse in preparation for our concert on the 28th as well as in preparation for our recording session on the 30th. Once that session is done the only recording left to do will be with the organ, and once that’s done we will begin the long process of mixing, mastering, and creating a strategy for release.

 

I still need to raise about $70k to cover all the expenses of paying musicians and engineers, manufacturers, marketing, publicity, promotion, etc etc. It’s the most ambitious project of my life and I’m inspired by the support of my colleagues and friends to keep going and find a way to make it happen.
 
September West Coast Tour with Corn Potato String Band
The Ears and Eyes of America are playing at this year’s Berkeley Old Time Music Convention with some fantastic performers on the bill. More gigs are still TBC but here’s what we have so far:
9/18 – Lake Oswego, OR – Bermese Mountain Concert Series – Contact kerstanruffer@hotmail.com for tickets
9/21-24 – Berkeley, CA – Workshops, concert and square dance sets at Berkeley Old Time Music Convention
 
October Midwest Tour + Brooklyn Folk Festival with Lovestruck Balladeers
Soldiers Grove, WI!
Chicago, IL!
St Louis, MO!
Toledo, OH!
Brooklyn, NY!
More dates TBC, stay tuned
 
New Video/s on YouTube
I usually have some new videos up, let’s see… Here’s a recent one of Alex Belhaj and me rehearsing Frog Legs Rag for the concert next week.
 
That’s all for now my dears, stay well!

 

Banjovially as ever,
Aaron