The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will kick off the 2017 contra dance season on January 6th and 7th with a special event spanning two days.
“A New Year’s Affair” will feature nationally renowned bands including Playing with Fyre and Buddy System at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Calling the dance will be the ever popular combo of Will Mentor from Vermont and Beth Molaro from Asheville, NC. Admission for the entire event is $40, $30 for HJDS Members and Students. Session tickets are available for Friday night, Saturday day and Saturday night at anewyearsaffair2017.eventbrite.com or dancers can pay at the door.
“This is our 12th year in Jonesborough. It’s hard to believe that we have produced close to 350 dances in that time, but we are even more thrilled to have these two bands to start the year”, adds event organizer, David Wiley. A New Year’s Affair will offer over 12 hours of contra, waltz and techno contra over two days. Beginners are welcome but there will be no formal lessons offered.
Buddy System melds the driving beats of electronic dance music with live fiddle tunes and improvisation. “They have been on tour for over a year now and keep getting better and better” offers David Wiley, event organizer. “We are very lucky to have them here again this year”.
Noah VanNorstrand is known for his playing with The Great Bear Trio, one of the hottest and most influential dance bands in the country, as well as the Andrew and Noah Band and Giant Robot Dance. His driving rhythm, epic dynamics, creativity, and uniquely rocking style have given him a loyal following.
Julie Vallimont performs nationwide with the bands Nor’easter, Firecloud, and more. She is known for her driving piano style, skill in matching tunes to dances, and music with heart. The pioneer of this new live form of techno contra, she fuses musical worlds and strives to create a transcendent dance experience.
VanNorstrand playing fiddle, foot percussion, didgeridoo, vocals and Vallimont working computer, piano, synths, accordion, and jaw harp create live sonic landscapes that’ll put you in a dance trance. The techno contra starts Saturday night at 9:00pm.
Playing with Fyre returns for 2017 after wowing the dancers during last year’s performance and leaving them full of dance bliss and joy. The band is made up of journeyman pianist and composer, George Paul. For years, Paul performed with the Avant Gardeners, one of the premier contra and swing dance bands in the country. Their music consisted of American hybrid variety tunes, facile improvisations, and a range of performing styles from traditional swing, Celtic and old time. Rob Zisette has played fiddle since age 8, somehow continuing to get better despite few lessons and little practice. That would take all the fun out of it! Rob is the intellectual in the band, getting lost in his world of improv, unaware of what’s going on around him– like the “hup” (the signal to change tunes), or noticing that the dancers have stopped dancing, or that it is time to pack up the gig and go home. Rob is also famous for remembering that he left his fiddle home just as we are getting to the airport. He is easy going with a pleasant dry wit. When Rob starts to play, the rest of us just go along for the ride. Rob recently graduated from Virginia Tech majoring in physics and math. He’s now enjoying a respite from classroom work by playing lots of music with Playing with Fyre and his family band, Toss the Possum. Steve Kemble rounds out the band with a full percussion set up.
Will Mentor and Beth Molaro are nationally renowned callers who loving coming to Jonesborough.
For more information on this dance event or any upcoming events, please contact David Wiley at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org. Or Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.