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Winter Village Music Festival offers array of acoustic sounds

The Jeremy Kittel Trio

The seventh annual Winter Village Music Festival returns to Ithaca this weekend, bringing an array of acts to La Tourelle Spa and Resort from Thursday night to Sunday afternoon. 

Several national touring bands will be playing progressive acoustic music – bluegrass, old time and swing with an infusion of Celtic music to celebrate the St. Patrick’s Day season. This year’s featured performers are the Jeremy Kittel Trio, The Barefoot Movement and 10 String Symphony. They will be joined by local favorites Paris Texas (Bobby and Doug Henrie with Rick Manning), Suitcase (Judy Hyman and Jeff Claus), and downstate band Too Blue.

In past years, the festival would move to a larger venue – either the State Theatre or the Hangar Theatre – for the big Saturday night show. But this year, it will remain on South Hill for its entirety, with four concerts in the 150-seat La Tourelle Music Hall

“We decided to stay at La Tourelle this year since it’s such a great intimate venue and listening room and cozy for jamming and hanging out,” said festival founder Rick Manning.

Tickets range in price from $15 for students to $95 for a weekend pass. Visit www.wintervillagebluegrass.org for more information.

Here’s the schedule:

• The Festival begins Thursday evening with a “Distinctive Duos” concert featuring the Nashville-based 10 String Symphony and Ithaca’s own Suitcase with Judy Hyman and Jeff Claus of Horseflies fame.

• Friday features afternoon workshops on all instruments and a 10 String Symphony band workshop and casual concert. Friday evening’s festivities begin with a happy hour reception hosted by South Hill Cider with a cash bar and southern comfort dinner served from the La Tourelle Bistro. The Friday evening “Fiddle Fever” concert begins at 6:30 p.m. with Too Blue, followed by headliners 10 String Symphony and the Jeremy Kittel Trio.

• Saturday, a variety of instrumental, singing and band workshops will be held throughout the day. At 5 p.m., the Lobby Jam will be hosted by Pickin’ in the Pasture’s host band, the Jesse Alexander Band, with a cash bar and southern comfort food from the Bistro. The Saturday night concert – “The Little Big Show” – will feature Paris Texas (Bobby and Doug Henrie with Rick Manning), and headliners The Barefoot Movement and the Jeremy Kittel Band.

• Sunday morning will feature the Barefoot Movement and Jeremy’s Trio playing contemplative and Sunday soul music from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. During the afternoon, there will be a fiddle master class lead by Jeremy Kittel at 1:30 p.m. and a mandolin master class at 4 p.m.

More about the headliners

• The Jeremy Kittel Trio is led by its eponymous award-winning fiddler, violinist, and composer. The Compass Records recording artist is a master in Celtic, classical, jazz and bluegrass traditions. Kittel was a member of the Turtle Island Quartet for five years and has also worked with Mark O’Connor, Bela Fleck, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile, Paquito D’Rivera, My Morning Jacket and Jon Batiste and Stay Human. He has been a guest artist with several symphony orchestras, was twice featured on “A Prairie Home Companion,” and has performed around the world at venues as diverse as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Bonnaroo and the Celtic Connections Festival in Scotland. Kittel is joined by mandolin maestro Josh Pinkham and guitarist Quinn Bachand.

Barefoot Movement
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Barefoot Movement

• The Barefoot Movement is an award winning ensemble whose heady blend of Appalachian bluegrass, folk, and country blend with tight three-part vocal harmonies that sizzle with a 21st century sensibility. Winners of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s 2014 Momentum Award, and selected by the U.S. Government as cultural ambassadors for their 2014 international Arts Envoy program, The Barefoot Movement has opened for The Milk Carton Kids, and shared the stage with the likes of The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Steve Earle, The Duhks, and Del McCoury.

10 String Symphony
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10 String Symphony

• Nashville duo 10 String Symphony began as a partnership of mutual admiration a much-needed creative release valve for Rachel Baiman and Christian Sedelmyer, two five-string fiddle players and veteran sidemen of Nashville’s music scene. Baiman, a former Illinois state fiddle champion in the old time tradition, needed an outlet for the new sort of songs she was writing, while Sedelmyer, originally a classically trained violinist, now a current touring member of the Jerry Douglas Band, was looking to get in touch the impetuous spirit of the rock bands he played in before his arrival in Nashville. With the love of the five-string fiddle and its musical possibilities as its focal point, the band’s mission statement was as clear as it was expansive: “Two fiddles. Two Voices. Epic music.”