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Just 3 days until Ben Miller (Scottish border pipes) and Anita MacDonald (Cape Breton fiddle) arrive in Pasadena to wind up their current U.S. tour this Saturday, May 13 in Beckman Institute Auditorium (Little Beckman) at 8:00 PM. Anita is from Little Narrows, Cape Breton and Ben is American-born, now also living in Cape Breton. They have been performing together for a few years now, and their initial 2015 recording, A Day at the Lake shows them to be excellent performers who you won't want to miss . Zakk Cormier will join them on acoustic guitar for this show.

We like the way Radio Station 101.5 in Nova Scotia (known as "The Hawk") described them, "Ben and Anita have the unique talent of taking well known, traditional tunes and giving them life. They have a great respect and knowledge of how these tunes are to be played, but are able to inject an energy that brings them to life once again. That's the way you keep the music alive for a new generation to discover and enjoy." Come to the show and you will hear a generous offering of lively dance tunes, with a few slower songs, including a vocal or two. Listen to their instrumental prowess on An t-Alltan Dubh (The Black River.) Anita sings quite well, as you can hear on Eoghainn Mhóir a Ghràdhaich from A Day at the Lake. She often does a bit of step dancing, but on Saturday, that will depend on whether we can turn our carpeted stage area into a proper dance surface. Again, we include the link to their introductory video. Their web site is www.benandanita.com. We hope to see you!

Tickets for the show are $20 for adults and $5 for Caltech students and children. You can order them on the phone by calling the Caltech Ticket Office at (626) 395-4652. Online tickets are available here until the end of Thursday May 11. There is a service charge for online and phone tickets, but you can buy tickets without a service charge by visiting the Ticket Office or by purchasing them at the door on the night of the show. The Caltech Ticket Office is now in their new location at 1200 E. California Boulevard in Pasadena (Southeast corner of Wilson Avenue). Their usual hours are 9AM - 4PM, Monday through Friday. There is limited short term parking in front of the four story Spalding building on California Boulevard (note the yellow curb and the sign that indicates 15 minute parking for the Post Office station inside) Otherwise, you can look for street parking nearby. They are located just inside the door on the east side of the building, to the left of the entrance. And you can buy stamps or do Postal business while you are there!

A reminder that there is another show on campus on Saturday night so there may be a few extra people on campus, but there will be plenty of parking and room for us all. The Caltech Glee Club will be performing in nearby Ramo Auditorium. You can attend the same show yourself (free!) on Friday night, May 12 at 8PM.

Our apologies for getting Larry Wines' name wrong in the last email we sent out. He is a friend of ours and his Acoustic Americana Music Guide is a valuable guide, extremely comprehensive in its coverage of live shows in the Los Angeles area. We appreciate all the work he does on this calendar. Speaking of folk music calendars, we also want to mention Steve and Leda Shapiro's Folkworks calendar (be sure to check their home page for all kinds of news about many aspects of folk music) and Mary Katherine Aldin's Aliveandpicking calendar. These calendars are very useful, and we appreciate all these folks do to keep the music alive in our area. And speaking of people who help the folk music community and keep it vibrant, we remind you that you can help FolkScene and KPFK (90.7 FM) this Sunday night by pledging a donation between 6:00 PM and 8:00 PM. The phone number is (818) 985-5735.

The Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest and Folk Festival will be Sunday, May 21 from 9AM to 6 PM at Paramount Ranch. This annual event in the setting of the Old West movie set and the pastoral majesty of the Santa Monica Mountains features live music, workshops, folk dancing, food and a lot of fun! The Claremont Folk Festival will not be held this year, but it will return next year.

Some other festivals you might want to make note of:

Culver City's Boulevard Music Summer Festival No information at this time. Free Thursday night shows outside Culver City's City Hall. Web site in flux at this time.

Los Angeles Old-Time Festival
May 18-20 Several locations in Los Angeles

Simi Valley Cajun and Blues Music Festival May 27-28

Grand Performances
(Downtown Los Angeles, California Plaza) June 2- Sept. 22. Very eclectic line-up, including diverse music, films, children's shows, and theater. All shows are free

Route 66 Bluegrass Festival in Victorville June 15-18 Vintage Martins (Eric Uglum & Bud Bierhaus) who performed for us in Arlington Gardens last year are among the performers!

Live Oak Music Festival
(northwest of Santa Barbara) June 16-18

Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles in MacArthur Park- June 17- September 10 all shows free, schedule not yet set. All shows are free

Levitt Pavillion Pasadena in Pasadena's Memorial Park June 29- Sept 23. All shows are free

Kate Wolf Festival
Laytonville (Northern California) June 22-25

Twilight Concert Series Santa Monica Pier July 7- September 8 Free Thursday evening concerts- schedule not yet set

Summergrass San Diego (in Vista, CA) August 18-19

Millpond Festival Bishop CA September 15-17

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass (San Francisco Golden Gate Park) October 6-8 Multiple stages, all venues are free. Extravaganza festival with a lot of big names and a lot of people. No 2017 schedule as yet

Stow House Old Time Fiddler's Convention and Festival
Goleta CA

The Conscientious Projector shows the film, A Simpler Way: A Crisis in Opportunity, which considers simpler living in an era of political upheaval and climate change tomorrow, Thursday, May 11 The program will be 7:00 PM at Armory Center for the Arts 145 North Raymond Ave in Pasadena. As always, the program is free, and a discussion will be held after the screenings.

In professional bike racing, the Amgen Tour of California begins tomorrow, and will conclude next Saturday, May 20 with the final stage beginning at Mountain High in the San Gabriel Mountains, and finishing in Pasadena at the Pasadena Convention Center at 300 E. Green Street. The home stretch comes down the Angeles Crest Highway, passes through La Canada, runs east on Woodbury Road and turns south on Los Robles Blvd. The riders then turn east on Colorado Boulevard, go one block and turn right on Madison, then right on Green Street to the finish line. The race is expected to end around 1:45 PM. If you like bike racing, it will be an exciting place to be, and if you don't, a good place to avoid. If you want to see the finish, arrive early and allow time to find parking.
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