Port Allen – The Lagniappe Dulcimer Society is pleased to announce our 16th Annual Dulcimer Festival, a weekend music event for all acoustic instruments, from March 9 – March 11, 2017, on the grounds of the West Baton Rouge Parish Community Center and West Baton Rouge Museum, 749 North Jefferson Avenue, Port Allen, LA 70767.

The public is invited to “listen, learn and shop.” Whether you want to learn to play a new instrument, listen to wonderful acoustic folk music, participate in an acoustic music instrument jam session or purchase a dulcimer, we welcome you to our weekend Fête with a patriotic theme.

The WBR Museum and Community Center are opening their doors to welcome musicians, participants and teachers from throughout the United States for this exciting event. Features include:

•More than 70 workshops and jam sessions all day Friday and Saturday for beginner through advanced players including mountain dulcimer and hammered dulcimer, as well as classes for the fiddle, guitar, banjo, ukulele, autoharp, pennywhistle, percussion instruments and sacred harp singing. Registration fees apply for these workshops. Register in advance or at the door.

•Special series of workshops for beginners wanting to learn to play the hammered dulcimer. Some loaner hammered dulcimers are available with advance reservation.

•Talented performer-teaching staff recruited from nine states to lead the classes and give concerts on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 7 p.m.

•Louisiana State Mountain Dulcimer Championship on Thursday afternoon.

•The 2010 National Mountain Dulcimer Champion, Aaron O’Rourke, as festival headliner playing traditional, modern and innovative music.

•Cajun fiddler and mountain dulcimer player from Maine, Pam Weeks, as a first time festival headliner.

•Autoharp master player from Texas, Charles Whitmer, to teach and perform.

•“Dulcimer Orchestra,” a multi-instrument group, to perform Friday afternoon led by Lagniappe member Lisa Oivanki.

•Educational forums on “How to Build a Dulcimer” and “How To Purchase a Dulcimer.”

•Vendors all day Friday and Saturday selling mountain dulcimers, hammered dulcimers and instructional books, CDs and related accessories. This includes Gary Sager, from Ohio, bringing a full-service music store. Vendors include hammered dulcimer builder David Lindsey, and mountain dulcimer builders Terry McCafferty and Gary Sager. Danny and Dottie Shepherd will also bring ukuleles and hand-crafted children’s dulcimers for sale.

The Lagniappe Dulcimer Society was founded in 1998, and it is an all-volunteer music organization. Our mission is to share musical enjoyment of the dulcimer and other acoustic instruments by teaching and playing old time and modern music. We are a non-profit organization that strives to entertain and bring joy to others through our music. 

About the dulcimer

The mountain dulcimer is one of the few true American instruments originating in the Appalachian Mountains. Its antecedent instrument, the zither, was brought to this country by German settlers. The modern day mountain dulcimer evolved over time. Hammered dulcimers share the same name but are an entirely different instrument. This trapezoid instrument with multiple strings is played with hammers. This instrument dates from antiquity and is found in many versions across the world.

About our instructors

We have engaged performers and instructors from across the country who demonstrate a wide range of musical styles, from traditional folk music to contemporary music. We are especially pleased that five hammered dulcimer performers and instructors will be in attendance. We can provide CDs of our performers which can be featured on radio programs. For example, here is a link to a sound bite from Aaron O’Rourke’s recording of “Walking in the Parlor,” on his Prismatic recording: www.aaronorourke.com/prismatic.

For complete information about the 16th Annual Lagniappe Dulcimer Fête including registration fees and forms, performer bios, detailed class and concert schedules, class descriptions, and camping and lodging information, please visit our website at http://www.lagniappedulcimerbr.org.

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