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Winter concert season underway at NYM Regional Cultural Center

Jack Hardy kicked off the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center winter/spring 2010 concert season last Saturday with a performance at the center.

The concert season continues through May 7. The next performance is Peter Ostroushko on Feb. 6.

All performances in this series are at the Cultural Center and begin at 7:30 p.m., unless otherwise noted.

Tickets in 2010 are $12 advance sale (also this is the member ticket cost). Buy tickets to four or more different concerts and the cost is only $10 per concert. At the door tickets are $15.

Greg Klyma-Thursday, Feb. 11

Born in Buffalo on his father's bowling night, songwriter, musician, and entertainer Greg Klyma grew up in a blue-collar town with a blue-collar work ethic and an appreciation of blue-collar fun. He has matured into man of homespun, timeless elegance, often clad in a vintage wear, and telling stories with a delightful precision of language. The stories blend seamlessly into songs, evoking a flavor of Mark Twain, Woody Guthrie, and David Sedaris.

Instruments: guitar, mandolin, voice, harmonica, some piano.

Bluegrass concert with the Mark Kreitzer Band-Saturday, Feb. 20

After beginning like so many of us with piano lessons as a kid, Mark Kreitzer soon fell in love with various musical styles and instruments. In addition to being an award-winning multi-instrumentalist, he is also an accomplished, award-winning songwriter and member of the Minnesota Rock and Country Hall of Fame as a member of the Middle Spunk Creek Boys.

Pieta Brown-Saturday, March 6

Straight out of the heartland comes Pieta Brown. The daughter of two preacher's kids, her early upbringing in Iowa was in a rural outpost with no furnace or running water. There, Pieta was exposed to traditional and rural folk music through her father, Greg Brown (Greg played the Cultural Center in the center's early years).

Jonathan Byrd-Saturday, March 13

A native North Carolinian, Jonathan Byrd grew up singing in the Southern Baptist church, where his father preached and his mother played piano. After four years in the Navy, he returned home to play in rock bands. It was at an old-time fiddle festival in the mountains of southwest Virginia where his writing began to change. Assimilating the sounds of southern traditional music, Byrd wrote new songs in an ancient style.

St. Patrick's Day concert; Paddy O'Brien and

Chulrua-Wednesday, March 17

The name of the group is Chulrua, and they play Irish traditional music.

Chulrua (pronounced cool-ROO-ah), translates from the Irish as "red back," and was the name and distinguishing feature of the favorite wolfhound belonging to ancient Irish hero Fionn MacCumhaill. It is also the name of an internationally acclaimed trio of some of the most respected and unique exponents of Irish traditional music. 

John McCutcheon-Saturday, April 10

John gave a Christmas concert at the Cultural Center in 2007. He is welcomed back for an encore performance this spring.

His songs tell of the nation's heritage. His words channel the conscience of our people into streams of poetry and melody. He writes about subjects small and great, from a child's haircut to freedom and human dignity - issues equally eternal and enduring.

Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas (at the James W. Mann Performing Arts Center, NY Mills Schools)-Saturday, April 17

Two amazing, world-class musicians will come together in one concert in New York Mills.

Vibrant young cellist Natalie Haas is already a seasoned performer, recording artist, and teacher. She has joined master Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser for festival and concert appearances in Scotland, Spain, France, and throughout the U.S., including Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow, Scotland; the Festival Interceltique de Lorient in France; and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C.

Eliza Gilkyson-Thursday, April 22

Eliza is returning to the Cultural Center. If you saw her two years ago, you won't forgive yourself if you miss this return engagement, and if you didn't hear her you can redeem yourself.

Tim Sparks and Phil Heywood-Friday, May 7

Local guitarist and composer wonder Tim Sparks will perform with Twin Cities blues guitarist Phil Heywood. Both have been national finger-picking guitar champions.

Peter Ostroushko concert in NY Mills on Feb. 6

The former music director of Prairie Home Companion, Peter Ostroushko, will give a concert at the Cultural Center in NY Mills on Saturday, Feb. 6. Tickets are $15 at the door or $12 advance sale. Peter will be accompanied by guitarist Danny Gotham.

Peter Ostroushko has come to be regarded as one of the finest mandolin and fiddle players in acoustic music. His tours have taken him to the stages of clubs, performing arts centers, music festivals and theatres across North America and Europe. He has earned an international reputation as a versatile and dazzling master of instrumentation and composition.

His recording contributions stand favorably alongside great Nashville session men of his generation. He's played with Jethro Burns, Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, Chet Atkins, and Johnny Gimble, but his hometown Minneapolis music scene has provided a fabulous variety of musical styles in which Peter remains unequaled: folk (Greg Brown, John Hartford, Taj Mahal, Robin & Linda Williams), bluegrass (Norman and Nancy Blake, Tim O'Brien and Hot Rize), jazz, classical, and even rock. Peter's first recording session was an uncredited mandolin set on Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks, and his work is featured on Robin Holcomb's 1992 release Rockabye (Elektra).

Peter is most passionate when he plays Ostroushko-a rich ethnic mix, at the heart of which is his Ukrainian heritage. His term for his gumbo of musical styles is "sluz duz," a phrase borrowed from his mother meaning, roughly "over the edge" or "off his rocker." Indeed, Peter is something of a first-generation hero in the Ukrainian community of North America. To his surprise, one town even held a parade in his honor.

Not surprisingly, Peter's resume is dizzying in size and scope. He's played lead ukulele with the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Sir Neville Mariner. He's barked like a dog on The David Lettermen Show. He's appeared on Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood (whose other rare musical guests have included Wynton Marsalis and Yo-Yo Ma). He's composed and performed scores for a number of theatrical productions including The Children's Theater in Minneapolis (with whom he traveled to Edinburgh's famed Fringe Festival), the ACT Theatre, and the public television special airing in 1993, The Dakota Conflict.

He's appeared on radio and television music shows including Mountain Stage, Good Evening, Prairie Home Companion, Nashville Network, Lonesome Pine Special and Austin City Limits. Recordings include his 1992 release Duo with Dean Magraw (named one of the Ten Best Albums of the Year 1991 by TowerPulse! Magazine), his brilliant 1989 release Blue Mesa; Buddies of Swing (featuring Jethro Burns, Johnny Gimble, Red Maddock, and Butch Thompson); Peter Ostroushko presents The Mando Boys (those four recordings available on Red House Records); Down the Streets of My Old Neighborhood and Sluz Duz (both available on Rounder Records).

He has recorded on over 100 other records. "Go out of your way to see Pete..." advises Jethro Burns. That's advice well taken.