Mari Black World Fiddle Ensemble – October, 2018 – Tentative

Find out more about the Mari Black World Fiddle Ensemble show.

Music at 4:00 p.m.
Socializing and light potluck at 3:00 p.m.
$20 suggested artist donation*

For an invitation to attend, please contact Lee
by email at
or at 312-810-3067

You will not be able to sit still for this concert! Your feet will be tapping along at the very least and most likely you’ll be dancing in your seat!

Multistyle violinist and champion fiddler MARI BLACK is rapidly building a reputation as one of the most dynamic young artists of her generation. Her energetic playing, engaging stage presence, and commitment to bringing people together through music have made her a favorite with audiences across the country and around the world.

Equally at home in a wide variety of musical traditions, Mari is the 2015 & 2013 US National Scottish Fiddle Champion, the 2014 Glenfiddich Scottish Fiddle Champion, the 2014 & 2012 Canadian Maritime Fiddle Champion, the 2011 Canadian Novelty Fiddle Champion, a 1st Prize Winner at the 2010 American Protégé International String Competition, and a 2-time laureate at the American String Teachers’ Association Alternative Styles Awards.

On stage, she creates shows that draw on elements from many different styles including jazz, tango, folk, Western classical, as well as Celtic, American, and Canadian fiddling. Her performances take listeners on a musical journey exploring the diversity and celebrating commonalities in the dance-driven folk musics of the world.


“One of the brightest young fiddlers around today”
— Brian O’Donovan, host of WGBH radio’s “A Celtic Sojourn”

“She is superb, inspiring, and unforgettable. Her magic is such that she
sweeps audiences along with the sounds she and her instrument make.”
— Willie Ruff, Professor of Jazz and Artistic Director of the Ellington
Fellowship Series, Yale University

“Particularly impressive”
— The Boston Globe

Watch and Listen to Mari Black and Her World Fiddle Ensemble

“Castlerock Road” on the beach in San Diego, CA
A set of original Celtic-style tunes at Boston’s Club Passim
Mari’s original composition, “The Purple Butterfly and Other True Beginnings”
Preview of Mari’s solo album “Flight”

To get emails about our shows, please click here to subscribe to our mailing list.

* All funds go to the musicians

Missy Raines and the New Hip, Sunday, November 12, 2017

Missy Raines and the New Hip at Club Passim

Music at 4:00 p.m.
Socializing and light potluck at 3:00 p.m.
$20 suggested artist donation*

For an invitation to attend, please contact Lee
by email at
or at 312-810-3067

Free child care provided (advance notice required)

With a smokey and seductive alto, 7-time IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Bass Player of the Year, Missy Raines, heads up this all-acoustic ensemble. The territory The New Hip covers is broad and the compass is set by Raines, planted right in the center of the stage directing with her bass every bit as much as she’s playing it. Raines, “…launches her well-tended craft off the bluegrass dock into the waters of jazz and folk, holding onto the anchor of bluegrass while pushing steadily at the boundaries of the music that engulfs her.” -Country Standard Time

Raines’ bluegrass roots are deep and long-reaching with touring and recording stints with 1st generation legends such as Eddie Adcock, Mac Wiseman, Jesse McReynolds, Josh Graves and Kenny Baker. A former member of the Claire Lynch Band, The Brother Boys, and one half of the acoustic super duo, Jim Hurst (who played for Windy City House Concerts three years ago this month) and Missy Raines, Missy is one of the most respected and popular figures within the bluegrass community. And in the small world department, Missy played with Bill Evans and our close friend, Steve Smith in the band Cloud Valley early on.

“A seductive amalgam of folk, country, bluegrass, and rock, recalling the earliest platters by Lucinda Williams and Rosanne Cash.”
– Icon Magazine

“Raines is not only a superb bassist but also an excellent singer, with a matter-of-fact, low-key delivery that’s sometimes hushed, sometimes seductive, sometimes channeling a simmering unease.”
– New York Music Daily

The New Hip, along with bands such as the Avetts and Churchill, add their brilliance to the swiftly growing collection of Newgrass artists that have brought southern music to the mainstream.
– Deep South Magazine

To get emails about our shows, please click here to subscribe to our mailing list.

* All funds go to the musician

Heather Pierson Acoustic Trio – Friday, July 10, 2015

Heather Pierson Acoustic Trio

Socializing and Potluck at 6:30 p.m.

Two sets of music starting at 7:30 p.m.

Suggested artist donation $20 (all funds go to the Trio)

For an invitation to attend, please RSVP to Lee
by email at or at 312-810-3067

Heather’s back! And this time with her trio! We’re really excited to host her again!

Heather Pierson is an award-winning pianist, multi-genre singer/songwriter, arranger, bandleader, and performer. From New Orleans-style jazz and blues to rousing Americana and poignant folk narratives, Heather’s live performances move seamlessly and effortlessly from one style to the next, and a growing catalog of wildly divergent CD releases reflects her boundless creativity.

The Heather Pierson Acoustic Trio features Heather on piano, Shawn Nadeau on upright bass and Davy Sturtevant on, as Heather often puts it from stage, “everything else” – guitar, mandolin, dobro, fiddle, cornet. They are all singers in their own right but as the trio, produce harmonies way beyond their separate voices.

Originally hailing from Erie, PA, Davy Sturtevant is a veteran touring artist, producer, engineer, songwriter, and performer who now makes his home in Lovell, ME. Armed with a gorgeous tenor voice and a mighty arsenal of instruments ranging from dobro to fiddle to cornet that come to life in his capable hands, Davy is at once a witty, thoughtful, and engaging stage presence.

New Hampshire native Shawn Nadeau brings a rock solid thump and nearly two decades of performing experience to the trio, informed by a wide spectrum of unique rhythmic and melodic sensibilities ranging from rockabilly to reggae to jazz.

In their able hands, these three veteran musicians have catapulted Heather’s live performances of her deep well of Americana originals – folk, jazz, blues – with intricate instrumental arrangements and stirring three-part vocal harmonies. The trio has just released their debut EP, “Still She Will Fly”. You can preview the trio at the player on Heather’s website (first link below).

“Heather Pierson is an amazing talent. Her gorgeous, rich vocals are filled with soul. She can mesmerize you on the piano, the guitar – even the melodica. She’s as comfortable and adept with bluegrass as she is with jazz. With Heather, there is absolutely nothing not to like. Don’t you dare miss an opportunity to hear her live or to purchase her recordings.” – Al Kniola | 88.1 WVPE Public Radio

The Jammin’ Divas – Friday, January 17, 2014

The Jammin' Divas

We are thrilled to host The Jammin’ Divas in a rare house concert appearance. The Jammin’ Divas trio of Aoife Clancy (Ireland), Grammy Nominee with Irish supergroup Cherish the Ladies, Nicole Zuraitis (USA) and Kath Buckell (Australia), blend stunning renditions of traditional and contemporary original folk music and elements of improvisation from each of their cultures. Through stunning three part harmonies, The Jammin’ Divas draw the audience into an experience that transcends three continents’ histories by sharing songs and stories of how each country culturally influence and enrich one another. Each of The Jammin’s Divas is a noted artist in their own right; together they elevate each other to an even higher level of performance and musicality!

Aoife Clancy

Aoife Clancy (pronounced “Eefa”) brings a refreshing new voice to folk music, one that ranges from traditional Irish songs to ballads and contemporary folk. Aoife comes from the small town of Carrick-on-Suir, in County Tipperary, Ireland, where her musical career began at an early age. Her father Bobby Clancy of the legendary Clancy Brothers, placed a guitar in her hands at age ten, and by age fourteen she was playing with her father in nearby pubs. Through her career, she shared the stage with some of Ireland’s greatest performers, including The Clancy Brothers, Christy Moore, the Furey Brothers and the renowned Paddy Noonan.

In 1995 Aoife was asked to join the acclaimed group “Cherish the Ladies”, which is one of the most sought-after Irish American groups in history. For the past four years Aoife has toured extensively doing no less than two hundred dates a year throughout the United States and Europe. She has been a featured soloist with orchestras such as the Boston Pops and Cincinnati Pops and, while performing with Cherish the Ladies, collaborated with the Boston Pops on their Grammy nominated Celtic album.

Nicole Zuraitis

As diverse as the city that spawned her music, Nicole Zuraitis uses world travel experience as inspiration for her sound. Genre-bending is her forte; cultivating her diverse musical background into a sound that can only be described as hybrid innovation. A broad mixture of jazz, R&B and Indie fusion, Nicole bridges the gap between styles with her unparalleled vocals. Motivated by all genres, Nicole received her Bachelor of Music from New York University in classical vocal performance, and has been pursuing a successful and diverse career ever since.

She was recognized as a finalist in the 2013 Songdoor International Songwriting Contest, as well as a selected competitor for the 2013 New York City WNYC Battle of the Boroughs. Nicole has opened for jazz legend Dave Brubeck, the doo-woop group, The Platters and collaborated with world renowned Indian carnatic guitarist and composer Prasanna. She is fortunate to have played with jazz all stars such as Jane Monheit, Bobby Militello, Rachel Z, Panagiotis Andreau, Lauren Sevian, Michael Kanan, Don Braden, Dave Stryker, Charli Persip, Winard Harper and Chris Brubeck.

Kath Buckell

Kath Buckell is not only a singer-songwriter, she’s a bridge builder — between people, cultures, and genres of music. “We all come from different places, but we all have something that connects us, which is the beauty of the human race and our connection to our environment.” At only 26 she has already been touring internationally for eight years, opening for Jewel, Ben Taylor (son of James Taylor) and Carly Simon. She found “… from each culture I came across I was immersed in their connection to traditions and sense of belonging to their land especially whilst living in Israel for three years. Being Australian I wondered what is it that defines me and how did the culture of Australia come to exist from early colonial times and who voiced this…well I found it in the poetry.”

After identifying this connection with her roots in Israel she met the renowned Aoife Clancy… “After meeting Aoife, I was not only incredibly touched and inspired by such a beautiful person and natural artist though my understanding about tradition really took hold as she is preserving such a rich tradition of Irish music and the music of her father and uncles whom had such an impact on the people I admired and respected such as Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Judy Collins and Van Morrison.”

Music at 7:30 p.m. Potluck and socializing at 6:30 p.m. Please bring a dish and beverage to share. Wine or beer are welcome. Water, glasses, dishes and silver provided.

For more information and an invitation, please contact Lee by e-mail at or at 773-334-5776.

Suggested artist donation $20 (All funds go to the musicians.)

To get emails about our shows, please click here to subscribe to our mailing list.

Friday, March 15, 2013: 2-Bit Palomino

2-Bit Palomino at Shreveport Concert Series

2-Bit Palomino won the 2011 “Vocal Group of the Year” award by the Academy of Texas Music for the Texas Music Awards and is nominated for the same award in 2013!

2-Bit Palomino is a Trio of Houston Singer/Songwriters Andi Renfree, Ren Renfree and Bill Ward. Founded in March of 2010, 2BP (as their fans call them) have made huge strides and are quickly becoming a household name in Texas Music, and across the country.

Each of the members bring their own flair and style to the group. Their music is a blend of all three coasts; West Coast, Gulf Coast and East Coast. More than just the sum of its parts, this band is a unique, harmony-driven, horse of a different color. Vocals are the key element with harmonies so pure they sound like one voice!

2-Bit Palomino brings tremendous energy to their performances. Upbeat songs will have you tapping your feet and bouncing in your seat. Sad songs will bring tear to your eye, story songs and ballads will provide food for thought and happy songs will cheer your heart.

Potluck and Socializing at 6:30 p.m. Music at 7:30 p.m.

For information and an invitation, please contact Lee at 773-334-5776 or 575-571-9178 or e-mail

Suggested artist donation $20
(All funds go to the musicians.)

Saturday, May 21, 2011: Big Wide Grin

BWG Postcard
Big Wide Grin is the right name for this trio! When you hear them, you will have your own big wide grin! Their music and performance is joyful and uplifting, a mix of traditional and original music. This bi-coastal trio of Karl Werne, Elaine Dempsey and Lawrence Lambert from California and Virginia, bring diverse backgrounds of experience, music and theater together to form a rich, soulful blend of character and deep harmony. They are constantly on the move- whether at festivals, concert series, shows, or select house concerts and have shared the stage, collectively, with such artists as Janis Ian, Harriett Schock, Lowen & Navarro, Richie Havens, Bruce Hornsby and toured with legendary blues man Keb’ Mo’.

I saw Big Wide Grin in their Premiere Showcase at FAR-West (Western Region Folk Alliance) and was blown away by their performance. The opportunity to host them came up as the result of their being one of the winners of a contest sponsored by Concerts in Your Home. 30 artists submitted videos of their songs and 45 house concert hosts reviewed the entries and in multiple rounds, narrowed the top submissions down to 3 artists, each of whom won merchandise, cash and a house concert tour. Big Wide Grin’s tour is in the southwest, including Las Alturas House Concerts.

Born on the Mississippi, raised on the James, educated on the Appomattox and the Boneyard; Elaine has lived most of her life on the the Chesapeake and San Francisco Bays. She moved to the San Francisco Bay area from her home in Virginia with a desire and dedication to write. As a singer, songwriter and performer Elaine blends a background of folk, rock, gospel and blues to create a dynamic vocal and acoustic guitar style truly her own.

Raised on a farm in rural Virginia, Lambert started singing as a child with his twin brother and older twin brother and sister. Although the group could never replace the “Jackson Five,” it was a great way to spend those quiet nights in Pungo, Virginia. Music has always been a big part of Lambert’s life. Early piano lessons lead to the tenor sax and finally the show choir in high school. He found his voice again and the power of a well written song. Lambert continued to pursue his interests in music and theater at the University of Virginia. Although Lambert has developed the nickname “the Voice” for his unique vocal style; he wants nothing more than to write the kind of music that ‘helps someone to get over that broken heart; music that will make a difference and make the world better place.’ But, if you asked his mother, she would say that he should sing more in church.

Karl Werne has been entertaining the Hampton Roads area of Virginia Beach since he was 16 years old. Eight years with The Lewis McGehee Group and four years with his own Instant Karma have made Karl a local favorite with his versatile guitar work and smooth hypnotic vocals. Highlights of those years include touring as the opening act for Bruce Hornsby’s Grammy winning ‘The Way It Is Tour’ and numerous recordings still receiving airplay. When not on the road with BWG, Karl can be heard these days playing with saxophonist Eddie Williams and electric guitarist Curtis Eley.

“Big Wide Grin … Good singing. Great songs and the hardest working band in folk music.” Keb’ Mo’

“Take three supremely talented performers, throw in a generous portion of intelligent and heartfelt songwriting, add a dash of wit and charm, then sit yourself down to a spellbinding evening of top-notch entertainment with Big Wide Grin … guaranteed to put one on every face.” BJ Leiderman, theme composer, National Public Radio

“Big Wide Grin is well named. Their groove and their vibe will put a big smile on your face and in your heart.” Freebo, singer/songwriter, formerly Bonnie’s Raitt’s bass player

Suggested artist donation $20

Music starts at 7:00 p.m. Socializing from 6:00 p.m.

Light refreshments provided, guests are welcome to bring wine or refreshments to share.

Attendance is by invitation only. For more information, please contact Lee at 575-522-5197 or by e-mail at lasalturashouseconcerts (at)

Saturday, June 26, 2010: Calaveras


Singer-songwriters Greg Beattie and Victoria Blythe, along with instrumentalist Dave Decker, combine voices and a half dozen acoustic instruments into original songs that are both fresh and timeless–from the roots of American traditional song forms to explorations of contemporary sounds.

Their songs and performances have captured the prestigious Kerrville New Folk prize, grand prize in the West Coast Songwriters International song contest, Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artists, the Napa Valley Emerging Songwriter award, West Coast Songwriter’s Association Song of the Year honors, and have appeared in TV shows and movies. Their songs have been recorded by other artists and on numerous compilations with such well known artists as Joan Baez, Cheryl Wheeler and Livingston Taylor.

Their live show is a mix of Victoria’s soaring, ethereal vocals and hauntingly beautiful fiddle on pure folk ballads and sultry jazz-fusion torch songs, Greg’s energetic and insightful musical treatment of birth, death and everything in between, and Dave’s constantly creative lead-guitar commentary.

Suggested artist donation $15

Music starts at 7:00 p.m. Socializing from 6:00 p.m.

Light refreshments provided, BYO wine and/or potluck refreshments to share are welcome.

For more information, please contact Lee at 575-522-5197 or by e-mail at houseconcerts (at)