Saturday, December 29, 2012

The April Verch Band on January 12, 2013

The April Verch Band will kick off our 2013 concerts on Saturday, January 12. April Verch, doesn’t just perform music, she exudes it. The internationally renowned Canadian fiddler, singer, songwriter and stepdancer has a passion for performing and her goal is to touch the lives of those who are listening at any given moment. “The world is this amazing puzzle that we can’t fully understand and music is the joy that pulls it all together and helps us make sense of it,” says Verch, with a dynamic excitement and confidence that makes you believe her in a heartbeat. 

Dirk Powell, a multi-instrumentalist, who’s worked with Jack White, Joan Baez, Riverdance and the film Cold Mountain, is awed by April’s ability to play any kind of roots music as though it was her native tongue. “She’s so fluent in the language of music that she never needs to imitate,” Powell says. “She hears the heart of it and lets that become part of her core. April’s just got that, man; she’s always speaking the language for real. She is a rare mix of all the technique and super-flashy things, along with the deep soul and tradition that comes from having grown up with the music." 

Verch was born to traditional music, in Canada’s hard-working, hard-dancing Ottawa Valley. She was a local star at four, step dancing with her sister and winning awards at contests. The fact that they were for “Youngest Competitor” didn’t dampen her child-eyed enthusiasm. She became the first woman in history to win both of Canada’s most prestigious fiddle championships, the Grand Masters and Canadian Open; and when Canada hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics, she was asked to represent her country’s music at the opening ceremonies. 

Powell also says, “April has an amazing ability to touch people’s hearts, get them having fun, and sharing the whole range of human emotions. She’s a grand master fiddler and a very expressive singer, but what sets her apart is the openness, humor and social fun she got growing up in the music. It's not always easy for professionals to keep that social joy in their music. Even though April is playing at a very high level, she brings that explosive joy with her.” 

That desire to share music is why she’s among the most in-demand performers in roots music today, both with her own crack three-piece band and Bowfire, with whom she occasionally tours. The April Verch Band consists of April at the helm and world-class musicians Clay Ross on guitar and Cody Walters on upright-electric bass and banjo. They have toured across Canada, the United States, the U.K., Europe, Australia and China. Together they have established a reputation as consummate performers with boundless energy on stage that inevitably brings audiences to their feet. 

Jenkins House Concerts is located in Manhattan's Upper West Side. To reserve a seat(s) for April concert on January 12, please email Sandy Jenkins for details and directions at

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Hanneke Cassel, Mike Block and Keith Murphy, Nov. 9

"Exuberant and rhythmic, somehow both wild and innocent, delivered with captivating melodic clarity and an irresistible playfulness," says The Boston Globe about Hanneke Cassel's playing. Such charismatic fiddling has brought Hanneke Cassel many honors and awards. She is the 1997 U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion, she holds a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from Berklee College of Music, and she has performed and taught across the U.S., Scotland, Canada, Sweden, New Zealand, Italy, China, and Austria.

In addition to her solo act, Hanneke has played for the Cathie Ryan Band, and is a member of Boston-based fiddle bands Childsplay and Halali. She has made guest appearances with Cherish the Ladies, Alasdair Fraser, Matt Glaser and the Wayfaring Strangers, Ensemble Galilei, and Joey McIntyre (from New Kids on the Block). Her fiddling has graced the stages of Bostons Symphony Hall (opening for Judy Collins), Mountain Stage, The Plaza Hotel, Lincoln Center, the Boston Hatch Shell, and the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage.

Native of Port Orford, Oregon, Hanneke started playing classical violin when she was 8-years old. She met Portland-based fiddler Carol Ann Wheeler when she was 10 at an Texas-style fiddle contest. She soon quit classical, started taking fiddle lessons with Carol Ann, and began competing in contests throughout the Northwest. In 1991, Hanneke entered the Columbia-Pacific Scottish Fiddle Contest in Portland. She won the Jr. contest and went on a year later to capture the U.S. National Scottish Jr. Championship in New Hampshire. With this honor came a scholarship to study on the Isle of Skye, Scotland with the renowned Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser and Cape Breton master Buddy MacMaster.


Hanneke has asked Mike Block and Keith Murphy to join her in New York on November 9. Please email: for more information.

This concert is sold out as of 10/17/12. Please keep in touch about future concerts.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Keith Murphy and Becky Tracy Duo on Oct. 13th

Becky and Keith are dynamic performers of traditional music from Newfoundland, Quebec, Ireland, France and beyond. Tracy’s fiddling pulses through tasteful arrangements of dance tunes and resonates with beauty on traditional slow airs. Keith’s gentle and expressive singing in English and French is balanced by the drive and power of his guitar playing and foot percussion. Combined, they produce a range and richness of sound that is striking for a duo. Their playing is seamless, the result of years of playing together and touring across the U.S., Canada and in Europe. Their repertoire also includes Keith’s original compositions (many of which are included in the Black Isle Music tune collection). He is a prolific tunesmith with a writing style strongly based on traditional dance music. Keith and Becky were two thirds of the popular Vermont trio, Nightingale and are veterans of several other bands including Childsplay and Assembly (Keith) and Wild Asparagus (Becky). They can be heard on recordings of all these bands and many others. Becky released her first solo recording, Evergreen, in 2001. Keith’s album, Bound For Canaan (traditional songs from Eastern Canada and New England) was released in the summer of 2005 and he has recently rededicated himself to his work as a solo performer.

To reserve a seat for this performance, please email

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Claire Lynch Band on September 22

We are pleased to announce that The Claire Lynch Band will  open The Jenkins' House Concerts' 10th season on Saturday, September 22. By any measure, these musicians are high on the bluegrass world's A-List, whose accolades include two International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Female Vocalist of the Year awards and two Grammy nominations for Best Bluegrass Album (Claire); the MerleFest Doc Watson Guitar Champion (Matt Wingate); two IBMA Bass Player of the Year awards (Mark Schatz) and an unprecedented triple first-place win at the Winfield Kansas National Flatpicking Championship on guitar, fiddle and mandolin (Bryan McDowell). 

Claire's musical direction dates back to the days of the Front Porch String Band, resulting in a seasoned sound that is simultaneously unpretentious and richly textured. It's a down-home, front porch sensibility—until you realize that it's a rare front porch, indeed, that has ever hosted musicians of this caliber. The band is grounded by bassist Mark Schatz's deft touch and masterful instinct for groove. North Carolina native Bryan McDowell brings gifted chops that reveal a captivating style and a balanced intellect. And Matt Wingate is a remarkably soulful young gun whose mature improvisational musicality is seemingly far beyond his years, making him instantly at home in one of the greatest acoustic bands currently on the scene. 

If you are interested in joining us on September 22, please contact Sandy Jenkins for further information at This house concert is located on The Upper West of Manhattan.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Banjo Master, Bela Fleck, on June 14th

Thanks to serendipity and our previous concert performer, Rayna Gellert for the recommendation, we were able to host an intimate, last minute concert for banjo master, Bela Fleck, who wanted to try out some arrangements for his solo set at the Clearwater Festival the next weekend. His program included many original compositions, Bach and a tribute to Earl Scruggs. Bela welcomed feedback after each tune and took some questions at the end of his set. He was even graciously good-humored about the banjo jokes. Thanks Bela and we hope you can stop by again. 

Happy Summer everyone. See you next season!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Teresa Tudury returns to NYC on May 19

Returning to our house concert series is Teresa Tudury-songwriter, singer, and "bringer of levity and grace." Teresa's first appearance in 2010 "brought the house down," with her comedic wit and passionate lyrics. You will not want to miss this unique evening. Having played along side of Teresa at the Sweet Chariot Music Festival, we look forward to welcoming her back to New York City during her 2012 East Coast tour.

TERESA TUDURY started writing songs at age 12 and was performing in San Francisco nightclubs by the time she was 15. She has played on and off in the Bay Area for years, and for almost two decades was based in Los Angeles where in addition to music gigs, she wrote comedy and worked as a character actress on stage and screen.

With a deep, sultry voice that magnetizes audiences, and a scathing comedic wit to match, Teresa is a consummate performer who pours out her original songs with power, verve, passion, and disarming humor. Teresa's voice has been described as a cross between Bette Midler and Bonnie Raitt (LA Weekly). Her vocal stylings are perfectly complemented by her bluesy guitar playing.

Throughout her career, Teresa has recorded or performed with such greats as Leonard Cohen, Rickie Lee Jones, Lyle Lovett, Taj Mahal, Leo Kottke and Bonnie Bramlett. Now residing in Sonoma County, Teresa continues to perform and write new material. She recently rereleased her 1992 self-titled solo album, Teresa Tudury, her 2002 CD, River Of Life, and her 2010 release, Such Fine Things. With a steady stream of concerts coming up, Teresa is a gifted artist in her prime. 

Please email Sandy at:, for a reserved seat at this Manhattan based house concert.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Three Singer Songwriters on Saturday, April 28

Rayna Gellert grew up in a musical family, and has spent most of her life immersed in the sounds of rural stringband music, heartfelt gospel songs, and old ballads. After honing her fiddle skills playing at jam sessions and square dances, Rayna fell into a life of traveling and performing. Her fiddle albums are widely celebrated in the old-time music community, and she has recorded with a host of musicians in a variety of styles – including Robyn Hitchcock, Tyler Ramsey, Sara Watkins, Loudon Wainwright III, John Paul Jones, and Abigail Washburn. From 2003 through 2008, Rayna was a member of the acclaimed stringband Uncle Earl, with whom she released two albums on Rounder Records and toured like mad. These days she can be found on stage with Scott Miller, Toubab Krewe, or her father, Dan Gellert. She lives in Swannanoa, North Carolina.

Cassandra Jenkins also grew up in a musical family and has often performed as an opening act at the Jenkins House Concerts. She plays acoustic and electric guitar, banjo and keyboard and has been successfully experimenting with songwriting over the past five years. Recently she formed a band with a pianist and drummer both of whom will be performing with her on April 28. Cassandra has toured with several groups including The Jenkins Sisters and Uncle Earl on their Australian tour in 2010. She is in the process of recording her original songs and will perform several of them at the April concert.

Kristin Andreassen is a musician and dancer. She grew up in Portland, Oregon but has most recently made Brooklyn her home. Kristen, along with the Jolly Bankers, performed at our very first house concert in 2002. She is a singer song-writer and is a multi-instrumentalist who performs mostly on the guitar. From 1999 onwards she worked as a principal dancer, teaching & performing various related forms of percussive dance: clogging, tap, Irish & Canadian step dance with the Footworks Dance Ensemble. In December 2003 she joined the group Uncle Earl along with band-mate Rayna Gellert. With the song Crayola Doesn't Make A Color For Your Eyes, that she wrote together with Megan Downes, Kristin has won the 2006 the John Lennon Songwriting Contest in the "Children's" category.

For more information and a reservation for this Manhattan based concert, please contact

Monday, February 20, 2012

Miss Tess on Sat., March 3rd, & special guests, The Calamity Janes

Miss Tess is a Brooklyn based songwriter and performing musician, who tours regularly with her band, The Bon Ton Parade, including Will Graefe on guitar, Jared Engel on upright bass, and Matt Meyer on drums. Inspired by styles of vintage swing, blues, country, and folk, Miss Tess draws comparisons to artists such as Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson, Peggy Lee, and Chuck Berry, but maintains a style all of her own.

Miss Tess has just released Live Across the Mason Dixon Line, a true documentation the group's extensive tour history. The album features two live shows – one from the Regatta Bar in Cambridge, Massachusetts and one from Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, Georgia. This release proves to be a valiant effort by the band, Miss Tess & The Bon Ton Parade, to blur the lines that once clearly dictated style, genre, and location. Stemming from the truest meaning of “Americana”, the band pushes their influences into the current music scene with something totally fresh and soulfully timeless. The skilled musicianship of the quartet combined with Tess’s heartfelt songwriting and powerful stage presence creates a live experience that is more interesting and engaging then most by popular musicians today. It’s quality music you can’t define in one sentence.

The Calamity Janes, a stringband of four ladies, will warm up the house with some old time tunes at the start of each musical set.

For more information and reservations for this concert, please contact Sandy Jenkins at; If this is your first visit to our blog, our concert location is in Manhattan. More information will be provided by email.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sara Caswell, Jazz Violinist, on February 11 with Special Guest, Poet Bill Zavatsky

Sara Caswell is fast becoming one of today’s foremost jazz violinists through her technical facility and gift for lyricism. Originally from Bloomington, Indiana, and now living in New York City, she began playing violin at age 5, made her orchestral debut at 15, earned degrees from Indiana University and Manhattan School of Music, and amassed over 100 awards in the jazz and classical competition worlds. Currently she gives concerts nationwide with her two groups, the Sara Caswell Quartet and the Caswell Sisters Quintet, and has soloed numerous times in Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops Orchestra. Sara has released two highly-acclaimed CDs ~ First Song and But Beautiful ~ and is working on a new CD project with her sister, jazz vocalist Rachel Caswell, and jazz pianist Fred Hersch.

Currently, Sara tours with vocalist Roseanna Vitro as part of Vitro’s 2012 Grammy- nominated album The Music of Randy Newman. During 2010-11, she toured internationally with bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding (2011 Grammy winner for “Best New Artist”) in support of Spalding’s CD Chamber Music Society. Sara has also toured with violinist Mark O’Connor‘s American String Celebration and violinist Darol Anger’s Four Generations of Jazz Violin, and performed and/or recorded with such artists as Gene Bertoncini, Charlie Byrd, Skitch Henderson, Bucky Pizzarelli, Lynne Arriale, and John Clayton, as well as Jon Gordon, Ike Sturm, and the Alan Ferber Nonet and Strings.

Sara’s formidable teaching experience includes the Mark O’Connor String Camps, the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops, the Indiana University String Academy, the Manhattan School of Music College and Precollege Divisions, and a private studio. In addition, she has given numerous jazz string improvisation workshops and masterclasses and is involved with MENC (National Association of Music Education), JEN (Jazz Education Network), and ASTA (American String Teachers Association).

The Sara will perform at the Jenkins House Concert Series on February 11 Her quartet consists of Sara:violin, Ike Sturm:bass, Jesse Lewis:guitar and Ziv Ravitz:percussion.

Poet Bill Zavatsky, will be reading poems from his collection, "X Marks the Spot" preceding each musical set.

For reserved seats and information please contact Sandy at; If this is your first visit to our blog, the concert location is in Manhattan.

This concert is sold out as of 2/6/12. See you next time

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Rani Arbo and Daisy Mayhem on Saturday, January 21st

"A tart, smart meld of American folk melody with buoyant splashes of jazz, pop, bluegrass, and blues." -The Boston Globe

The Jenkins House Concert series is pleased to welcome Rani Arbo and Daisy Mayhem to the Upper West Side. All of roots music is a stage for daisy mayhem, and this four-piece string band loves nothing more than choreographing a jubilant mix of traditional, original, and contemporary sounds. With Arbo's bewitching alto at the helm, stunning vocal harmonies, a 100% recycled drum set, fiddle, guitar, and bass, daisy mayhem "has a grand knack for pumping new blood into old music" (The Boston Globe). Imagine, for example, a pre-civil war song from the Georgia Sea Islands sung over a New Orleans-style groove. Or, an old Irish fiddle tune with new lyrics, capped with a solo on a South American box drum. A Sondheim tune done jug band style? An original Unitarian funk gospel song? You begin to get the idea. With influences from Doc Watson to Django Reinhardt, from Ghanaian drumming to the funky Meters, and from Fiddlin' John Carson to Bob Dylan, Daisy Mayhem celebrates America's rich musical past and brings it into the present with good humor, impeccable musicianship, powerful songwriting, and a clear love of playing together. Here are four musicians who pick up what's lying around—from tin cans to old songs and wry observations of modern life—and create something new.

For reservations and information please contact