Online edition of The Official Newsletter of the Jew's Harp Guild- The Pluck-n-Post -
A Word from the
2003 NAJH Festival - A Short Report
A Brief Review
Online Newsletter Archive
|A Word from the Executive Director
Janet Gohring JHG Executive Director
I hope this special NAJHF edition of the Pluck 'n' Post finds all of you well and happy and twangin' !
2003 NAJHF: If you weren't at the 11th annual NAJHF in August, you missed a very good time. We all were very pleased with the new festival location at the Bay City Arts Center. The center provided lots of room for all our activities and we very much appreciated the help and support we received from the folks at the Center as well as the City Council of Bay City.
A very SPECIAL THANKS goes to Denise Harrington and Curtis Chamberlain for all their hard work in coordinating the festival. It was a very casual, relaxed and TOTALLY FUN TIME! Curtis recorded the festival music; copies of individual performances are available upon request.
It was great seeing so many of our past festival musicians again. I often wonder if we shouldn't be calling it a "Reunion" instead of a 'Festival" !! We were happy to meet a new Jew's harp friend, Bruce Barlow (from Lawrence, Kansas). He and past festival attendee John Palmes (from Juneau, Alaska) traveled many miles to share the weekend with us.
All in all, it was the perfect weekend. Perfect weather ... terrific food (both from the great cooks at the Arts Center as well as local seafood fare) ... wonderful music ... and fabulous friends. I hope you enjoy the photos and related articles in this newsletter.
NAJHF 2004: We already have some great ideas for next year when the festival will again be in Bay City on July 30 and 31. Festival coordinators will be Denise Harrington, Curtis Chamberlain and Gene Ralph. Next year we hope to give more focus to Kid's Events. Lorraine Tendick volunteered to coordinate those events with help from her daughter, Amanda, and Amber Stiles. If you'd like to be a volunteer or have ideas for events, let me know.
GUILD NEWS: Many thanks go to all those who attended the post-festival Guild meeting. Its always good to get together and brainstorm. Good input was shared regarding the festival and its new location.
Bill Gohring resigned as an active Board member. Since he IS one of the founders of the Festival and Guild, he agreed to remain as an Honorary Board Member. Bill requested that Gene Ralph's name replace his name on the next Board Member ballot. We all want to thank Bill for his MANY contributions to the Jew's harp movement. Certainly, he has been a driving force here in America to bring all of us a little closer to the Jew's harp.
IJHS: As I mentioned last time, the International Jew's Harp Society was looking for another location for the 2005 Congress (apparently the new building that would house the Congress in Amsterdam could not be completed until 2005). We had been asked if it were possible to host it in conjunction with our festival, but we simply lack the funds, location and man-power to host such an event, especially on such short notice. I received word from Fred Crane and it now appears that efforts to hold the Congress in Hungary (Aron and Zoltan Szilagyi) have fallen through. We will keep you posted!
I'd like to close with a reminder that Guild membership renewals will be sent out with our next newsletter. We will be offering several membership renewal specials with discounted prices on 2003 NAJHF T shirts and the 1998-2000 NAJHF Festival Highlights CD (when purchased in conjunction with your membership renewal).
Till next time ... keep twangin' !! Janet Gohring - Executive Director, The Jew's Harp Guild
Back to Newsletter Index
|Change can be good. And that was certainly the case
for the change of venue for this years celebration of the magical Jews harp.
Thanks to the hard work and organizational skills of Denise Harrington & Curtis
Chamberlain, their group of local volunteers, and the folks at the Bay City Arts Center,
the belatedly announced event came off with very few glitches indeed. So well in fact that
we plan to host the event in Bay City, Oregon again in July, 2004.
Mild sea breezes and daytime temps in the 70s are marked changes from the smoke-filled skies and stifling heat we sometimes experienced in the previous location. The grand old southern-style mansion that is the Bay City Arts Center comes pre-equipped with piano and stage within an expansive, resounding room that is perfect for our performances (little or no set-up required!). The Arts Center folks provided many reasonably priced meals from the well equipped (open) kitchen and large dining room. Campers and RVers found inexpensive refuge in the adjacent city park.
Bay City (population around 1200) was a pleasant surprise to those of us whove never visited this part of the Oregon coast. A short walk away from Tillamook Bay. A short drive from Rockaway Beach and other scenic locales, it offers a bushel-load of vacation opportunities (make a week out of it).
Even though attendance was low this year (the late announcement), many locals and tourists found their way to the festival, drawn by well-placed flyers.
Good people make great events. A quick glance at the Festival Recap will reveal the names of all the fine folks that participated this year. Many are returning friends from past festivals, and there are several newcomers.
While Open Mike performances and workshops were rather sparsely attended, those that were there were treated to a variety of musical expressions. Everyone seemed to enjoy the chance to try their hand at the Musical Saw (Thanks, Curtis and Alan), were surprised by the throat singing Andy and the pop-n-clap routine by Bruce. Whether laid-back or high-energy, all the performances were a treat to hear.
The highlight of the festival was Saturday as the crowd swelled with the influx of local folks to experience the Band Scramble and featured performances. Baby Gramps and Curtis Chamberlain picked up the energy level with their very unique set while Jim Nelson soothed us all with his Celtic harp. There was a little bit of everything packed in to these few hours and every one of the local folks I talked to were astounded, and thrilled to welcome our show to their town.
Every new machine needs a little tune up to run smoothly and we do have a little work
to do for next year. I hope that having this time to get the word out about NAJHF 2004 we
can inspire many more folks to join us in our annual celebration.
< Denise Harrington
NAJHF 2003 Recap
Denise Harrington and Curtis Chamberlain
Performers participating in the Open Mike,
Allan DeLay - Musical Saw, Portland, Oregon
Bill Gohring - Jew's Harp, Sumpter, Oregon
Bruce Barlow - Jew's harp, Lawrence, Kansas
Curtis Chamberlain - Ukulele, Musical Saw, Washtub Bass, Jew's harp, Kazoo, Clackamore, Portland, Oregon
Dan Adams - Piano, Tillamook, Oregon
Dan Gossi - Jew's Harp, Clackamore, Didj, Boise, Idaho
Denise Harrington - Jew's Harp, Garibaldi, Oregon
Gene Ralph - Guitar, Jew's harp, Banks, Oregon
Gordon Frazier - Jew's Harp, Clackamore, bones, kazoo, other stuff, Seattle, Washington
Homer Welty - Chorded Zither, Kaiser, Oregon
Ingrid Berkhout - Jew's harp, Seattle, Washington
Jack Roberts - Vocal, Guitar, Banjo, Carson, Washington
Janet Gohring - Piano, Autoharp, Jew's harp, Shakers, Voice, Sumpter, Oregon
Jim Nelson - Guitar, Voice, Clogging, Celtic Harp, Garibaldi, Oregon
John C. Bogert - Harmonica, Fiddle, Orofino, Idaho
John Palmes - Mouthbow, Juneau, Alaska
Lisa Kendall - Voice, Tillamook, Oregon
Mark Poss - Jew's Harp, Clackamore, Hand drums, Odd stuff, Nampa, Idaho
Michael Bruesch - Guitar, mandolin, Clackamore, Jew's harp, Guiro, stir xylophone, shakers, Caldwell, Idaho
Nikki Jones - Ukulele Portland, Oregon
Roger Tendick - Jew's Harp Veneta, Oregon
Wayland Harman - Jew's Harp, Clackamore, MouthBow, Odd stuff, Boise, Idaho
Curtis Chamberlain & The Blind Rootin' Hogs
Denise Harrington & Homer Welty
Denise Harrington, Ingrid Berkhout, Janet Gohring and other ladies
Jim Nelson and Denise Harrington
Jew's HarpGordon Frazier
MouthbowWayland Harman & John Palmes
Musical SawCurtis Chamberlain & Allan DeLay
BAND #1- "The Mother Shuckers"
Gene Ralph, Denise Harrington, Bill Gohring, Nikki Jones, John Palmes, Homer Welty, Roger Tendick, John Bogert
BAND #2 - "Tennessee-ans"
Michael Bruesch, Bruce Barlow, Gordon Frazier, Dan Gossi, Lisa Kendall, Dan Adams, Curtis Chamberlain
BAND #3 - "Weapons of Mass Destruction"
Jack Roberts, Ingrid Berkhout, Chris Towne, Wayland Harman, Allan DeLay, Mike Stiles, Janet Gohring
POST YOUR NOTES
- This is a really great site. I stumbled onto it when someone mentioned it on the Acutab banjo list. I've got a question concerning the Jew's Harp tuning. How important is it? I know that harmonica players tend to carry an assortment of harps in order to play in various keys. Is this necessary with a Jew's Harp? Could someone play a Jew's Harp tuned to say C# along with someone playing a guitar tune in G? email@example.com
Hello: I'm an 18th Century Amer. Rev War re-enactor and my battalion has an interest in my forming them into a Jews harp orchestra for evening entertainment and general merriment. Can you tell me what you would recommend for a whole slew of beginners? Any tips or ideas in how to teach a group, and what sort of simple beginning music to consider leading them in (I'm actually a trained operatic soprano with this weird reenacting hobby and I imagine I can at least get the rudiments down of this ancient art form). Many thanks for any guidance. Cathy Thorpe email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Hi, I play the Jew's harp in my Celtic and Swiss accordion bands. I am interested in learning some information about playing the Jew's harp in my Renaissance band. Is there any documentation of this as a true instrument of the Renaissance, and any information on how it could be played? What kind of tunes etc? Dawn email@example.com
Back to Newsletter Index
|Kou XiangChinese Brass Harp Sets
are similar to the type that Gordon Frazier played at NAJHF 2003.
Back to Newsletter Index
A Brief Review of
A change is in the future of the VIM journal. Editor and publisher, Frederick Crane, starts this issue with a Farewell, Sort of. In the opening paragraph he states, "After 21 years and 11 issues, VIM is wishing its readers farewell. Just sort of a farewell. For its place will be taken by the new Journal of the International Jews Harp Society. At his age, the editor and publisher will not change much between now and the end of 2003, which should bring the first issue of the new journal, and it will look a lot like the old one a bit of a new look may be the only difference worthy of note. The journal will go to members of the IJHS; it will cost more, as the annual dues will also pay for a newsletter and other expenses of the Society. But it will be a still very modest $20 a year, and I hope youll stay with us. So hail and farewell.". Fred told me in an email that he will remain editor and printer.
These116 pages overflow with photographs and reproductions. Most useful to any collector (or Ebay bidder) are pages 67 through 116 which highlight reproductions of Trumps In American Musical Instrument Trade Catalogs. These clear, crisp images, with text that is almost entirely readable, have already become my reference standard to identify English, Irish, Scotch and American harps from 1874 through 1982. The catalog pages also show measurements and descriptions. Speaking of references, this issue supplements the Trump bibliographies previously published in VIMs 7 & 9.
Being an expert on medieval musical instruments, Fred has a penchant to include historical data and translations covering word origins (Trompe, Cacapensieri), personalities (Koch), and folklore (Trolls and Trumps). I have faith that the new-look Journal of the IJHS will continue this inclination as it rounds out my education and understanding of the history of the instrument.
VIM is not stuck in the past. We learn about modern makers (Clayton G. Bailey, USA, claytonbailey.com) (Dr, Abe Kazuhiro, Japan] My Mukkuri), the recent fieldwork of José Pignocchi of Formosa, Argrentina, (beautiful full-page photographs), and honors to Trân Quang Hai and Mike Seeger. You just dont see this stuff anywhere else!
This issue is superb! It is fitting such quality should denote the last of VIMs long run. I wish I could be half the editor/good-all-around-guy/printer/publisher/musicologist, that Fred has become. VIM is his legacy that I hope will evolve.
Back to Newsletter Index
Announcing the publication of
A HISTORY OF THE TRUMP IN PICTURES: EUROPE AND AMERICA
by Frederick Crane
The subject matter of the book is 179 pictures plus variants-paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures-from the years 1353 to 2000 that include trumps or trumpists. The book is illustrated with 237 pictures, including details. The accompanying text discusses each picture or group of pictures, and draws generalizations about the trump-where it was known, how it was played and by whom, and what were the attitudes toward it.
The complete list of pictures forms the appendix, with basic data on the pictures, artists, owners, and literature. There is an extensive bibliography.
Price per copy including postage: U.S.A. $22 - Other countries $25
To order, state the number of copies required and send your payment.
Payment: check on a U.S. bank, international postal money order, cash (with some risk).
These methods of payment only, please.
601 N. White St.
Mt. Pleasant, IA 52641 U.S.A.
The PLUCK-N-POST needs more contributors!
If you have ideas for articles, sketches, or pictures, etc. Please query the editor at:
924 10th. Ave. N.
Nampa, ID. 83687
Or use the JHG Feedback form.
Compact Disc - DBS-2707 - Total Time : 61:47
US$12.00 each + US$ 3.00 S & H in USA (US$ 5.00 international).
Send check or money order to:
The Jew’s Harp Guild
c/o Ralph Christensen
2239 Fairfield Street
Eureka, CA 95501
Highlights 1998 - 2000
Theres nothing else like the
See the JHG STORE for makers, sellers. publications & jhg products
|North American Jew's Harp Festival
1997 Highlights CD
The CD features 20 of the
best Public Domain, spontaneous music,
US $12.00 each
International - 1 item US$ 5.00
Blank note cards w/envelopes
39995 Sumpter Valley Hwy.
Back to Newsletter Index