Hartford, Conn. – This summer, the traditional sounds of French Canada, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean are celebrated during three free concerts on the beautiful grounds of The Connecticut Historical Society. The performances, which will be held June 16, July 21, and August 18, begin at 6 p.m. on the CHS grounds at One Elizabeth St. in Hartford (open for seating and picnicking at 5 p.m.). Visitors are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs, blankets and food. Rain dates are on the following Friday each month. For more information contact Lynne_Williamson@chs.org
The series kicks off June 16 with a concert by Daniel Boucher, a dynamic and accomplished French Canadian fiddler, singer, and composer. He is joined by French Canadian folk guitarist and singer Josée Vachon, and friends on accordion and spoons. Daniel has revitalized French folk music within New England’s large French-heritage community by organizing and performing at countless events. He received a Connecticut Office of the Arts Folk Arts Fellowship in 2015.
On July 21, Alfred Rivera and Amor y Cultura perform Puerto Rican musica tipica, traditional jibaro music of the countryside and mountains, featuring bongos, guitar, guiro (gourd scraper), vocals, and the signature instrument of this cuatro style. These musicians grew up surrounded by Puerto Rican’s traditional folk music including the décima.
The final concert in the series takes place August 18 featuring Hartford Steel Symphony under the musical direction of Kelvin Griffith. Known as the area’s premier Caribbean steel band, this symphony plays traditional steel pans (plus one drum), and performs at the annual Taste of the Caribbean and West Indian Independence Day Parade and Festival.
Although this is the first time the CHS hosts the Third Thursday concert series, the program has been celebrated for 25 years as part of the Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program (CCHAP). This statewide initiative documents diverse cultural traditions and shares the artistic creations and community cultural practices of folk artists living throughout Connecticut. CCHAP began at the Institute for Community Research in Hartford in 1991 and moved to the Connecticut Historical Society in 2015. The group partners with new artists and communities, contributes to other activities at the CHS, and develops new programming areas such as educational outreach with folk artists.
This event received generous support from the Evelyn M. Preston Memorial Trust Fund, Bank of America N.A., Trustee. Additional project funding comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Connecticut Office of the Arts/DECD, and the Connecticut Historical Society.
The Connecticut Historical Society (www.CHS.org) is a private, not-for-profit educational organization that includes a museum, library, and the Edgar F. Waterman Research Center. Founded in 1825, the CHS is the state’s official historical society and one of the oldest in the nation. The CHS works to connect visitors to the story of Connecticut, and to help create a society that values historical perspective and understanding as essential tools in shaping communities, and making informed decisions. To accomplish that, the CHS has collected more than 4 million manuscripts, graphics, books, artifacts, and other historical materials related to Connecticut’s social, cultural, and family history – which are available to the public onsite at Elizabeth Street in Hartford, off-site at other locations, and online.