City Fiddle, based in Buffalo, is known for performing old-time, Celtic, bluegrass and original tunes. Led by Phil Banaszak, the band also includes his wife Gretchen and guitarist Chris Panfil. Phil is a 2005 inductee into the North American Fiddlers Hall of Fame, former New York State Fiddle Champion and three-time Erie County Fiddle Champion. He also plays and teaches mandolin and guitar as well as violin and fiddle at the Community Music School of Buffalo, where he serves as chair of the instrumental department. City Fiddle will be performing Friday, September 8th at the festival kick-off party at Forrestel Farms.
A fictitious character based, in part, on Old Black Nell who was a cook on the canal in the year 1840. She speaks in an Irish brogue and weaves Irish Folk Tales into facts about the Erie Canal. You will laugh as you learn about one of the engineering wonders of the world. This script has been adapted into a children’s book entitled, “Erie Canal Sal”. Surly Sal appears Thursday, September 14th at the Heartland Passage Tour in Medina.
Dave Ruch is a Public Scholar for the New York Council for the Humanities and a full-time musician, researcher, and performer who travels regionally and internationally from his home base in Buffalo NY. He gives hundreds of concerts and workshops each year for schools, music festivals, historical societies, museums, community events and more, and writes for the Huffington Post and his own blog. Dave specializes in historical and traditional music from New York State – Erie Canal songs, Adirondack ballads, Native American chants, Great Lakes ditties and other forgotten music from New York’s farms, battlefields, lumber camps and kitchens. Dave recently performed on Sunday Morning CBS in a segment featuring the history of the Erie Canal.
Dave Ruch will perform with the Heartland Passage Tour, Thursday, Sept. 14th performing Erie Canal songs as well as appear at Epochs in Orleans on Saturday, Sept. 16th at 1:00 PM performing “The War of 1812: Songs and Stories from NY and Beyond.” In this lecture/concert, Ruch presents a fascinating portrait of the War of 1812 through the songs and stories of the people themselves. He has dug deeply into archival recordings, diaries, old newspapers and other historical manuscripts to unearth a wealth of rarely-heard music which, together with stories and humor, offers a rounded and fascinating picture of this “second war of independence.”
Kit has been a performing fiddler for over 40 years, and also has taught fiddle classes through adult education programs at regional colleges and independently at numerous venues in Rochester and the Finger Lakes region. She is currently a member of The Unholy Alliance (Finger Lakes fiddle/banjo duo featuring Appalachian and Adirondack tunes), Clan Tankerous (Celtic fusion), and Miller’s Wheel (Finger Lakes – original, novelty). These groups perform regularly at local wineries, festivals, restaurants, bars, outdoor events, parties, and weddings. Kit performs at the Heartland Passage Tour with the Dady Brothers, Thursday, September 14th in Medina.
The Dady Brothers are a musical duo who have been performing and winning the hearts of crowds professionally for over 40 years. Growing up in Rochester, NY, they had the chance to listen and learn from Irish master musicians at weekly music sessions which have been running from the 1970’s to the present day. John and Joe are singers, multi-instrumentalist and composers. They command many folk instruments including guitar, pennywhistle, fiddle, banjo, octave mandolin, harmonica, uilleann pipes, bodhran and ukulele. Their wide repertoire ranges from Irish folk ballads to bluegrass, acoustic blues and original contemporary folk music. The Dady’s 2000 CD, Songs of the Erie Canal, is a tribute to the contributions of the Irish to the construction of the historic waterway, and includes a concertina performance by Marty O’Keefe (1912-2015), a County Clare native and WNY icon in the Irish music scene. They have taken their talents to many venues from Alaska to Ireland, the Caribbean to Nova Scotia performing well over 5,000 shows. The Dadys have also hosted 22 guided tours of Ireland and garnered numerous awards and proclamations celebrating their contributions to community growth and culture. The Dady Brothers will perform at the Heartland Passage Tour, Thursday, Sept. 14th with Kit Fallon in Medina.