New Audiences for Old Songs workshop in Canton NY

New Audiences for Old Songs workshop in Canton NY

Colleen Jim Cleveland singer

A free public workshop for musicians, bands and the general public.

The “New Audiences for Old Songs” project aims to expand awareness for – and enjoyment of – a rare and important collection of folk songs and traditional ballads from the Adirondack region of New York State; the kind of “self-made” music sung by everyday people and passed down through the generations in earlier days.

(Yes, that kind of thing happened here in New York State just as it did in KY, NC and TN.)

These songs have been kept alive in one family – the Clevelands of Hudson Falls and Brant Lake NY – and the music is little-known today outside a small circle of enthusiasts.

The goal of the project is to introduce this material to musicians working in more “mainstream” genres (country, bluegrass, old-time, contemporary folk, even rock and jam bands) so that they in turn can bring the music to their audiences.

Musician and teaching artist Dave Ruch and Cleveland family member Colleen Cleveland (fifth-generation singer of these songs) will present a free and open-to-the-public workshop on May 5 at TAUNY in Canton from 7:00 to 8:30pm to introduce this “heritage” music to area musicians and interested others.

Come learn about the collection and hear Colleen sing some of her favorites as learned from her grandmother.

Immediately after the session, a wide selection of the Cleveland family repertoire will be posted on the project’s webpage for all to access, and participating musicians are then free to work up one or more songs in their own style to be presented at their future performances. Dave will also encourage musicians to submit audio and/or video recordings to be shared with the public via the webpage and partner organizations’ social media accounts.

The workshop is open to singers and musicians of all genres including (but certainly not limited to) country, bluegrass, rock, old-time, jam bands, Americana and folk. The general public is more than welcome to attend as well, and registration is not required.

The “New Audiences for Old Songs” project is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.


Date: May 5, 2023
Time: 7pm

Cost: Free


TAUNY Center, Canton NY

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Have questions or looking for booking information? Call Dave at 716-998-2001, or send him a message below.