Monthly concerts on the third floor of the Town Hall (handicap accessible). We take donations for the musician at the door.
Thursday, March 23 at 7 pm
Jeff Brassell is a self-made singer songwriter, usually writing in moderate to slow tempo homespun music. He is a Lima Ohio native raised in Bluffton Ohio, and describes himself as a blue collar “regular kind of guy” and strives to reflect everyday life in his music.
Community is what makes Ethan Setiawan tick. Music can take on many faces, and for the Indiana born, Boston based musician and mandolinist that face is creative collaboration with others. For Setiawan, the passion lies in the synergy that happens when a group of unique individuals come together. The combination of vulnerability, courage, and openness that collaboration requires, while a lot to ask, can result in something totally fresh. This search for the next border and the experiences that create this space is essential in Setiawan's work.
Growing up in the Mennonite tradition was instrumental in the growth of this love of community and collaboration. Singing four part harmonies for hymns is a vital part of the Mennonite tradition. This experience is not limited to church; morning gatherings, evening potlucks, and meals with friends can all involve singing in rounds and parts. Time spent singing harmony with two hundred other people spoke to the young musician. The sound of so many voices together creates a strong feeling of togetherness within that group of people. It’s truly an experience that actively creates community.
While first and foremost an acoustic mandolin player, Setiawan also performs on mandocello and electric mandolin. Deeply invested in making the mandolin a larger part of music that it’s not normally found in, he’s situating funk and jazz on wooden instruments; one such outlet is the Ethan Setiawan Band, a group of musicians from Goshen performing Setiawan’s music as well as “music not meant for the mandolin”. He’s also a member of Boston based bluegrass groove band OctoPladd. During high school, Setiawan was a member of several bands in his hometown of Goshen, IN and in 2014 won the National Mandolin Championship. These days, you can find him dividing his time between Boston, where he attends Berklee College of Music on a full ride scholarship, and his home community of Goshen Indiana.
The Bluffton Town Hall Concert Series is excited to bring The Rough & Tumble to the third floor of the Bluffton Town Hall, 154 N. Main St, on Saturday, February 25 at 7:00 p.m. While they used to say they were from Nashville, TN, The Rough & Tumble has been on the road since April 2015. Mallory Graham and Scott Tyler share their sixteen foot camper with dogs Butter and Pud as they tour nationwide. This Americana-folk duo is a compact team of close harmonies, versatile instrumentation, and deliberate songwriting all presented with a nudge of the elbow and a tongue in the cheek. Haunting, quirky, solemn, and spritely, The Rough & Tumble are for the faint of heart and the strong of will. Admission is free, while a donation will be taken to support the musicians.
The Rough&Tumble will also be performing Sunday, February 26 for brunch at the Mustard Seed, in Bluffton.
Get ready for The Rough & Tumble by checking out their sound at http://www.theroughandtumble.com/music
In the great tradition of unique and beautiful music, Bluffton Town Hall Series brings Ted Yoder and his hammered dulcimer to us on Thursday, January 12, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. Ted’s fame started with being named the 2010 National Hammered Dulcimer Champion and has evolved from there. His inspired musical style “Yoderizes” the hammered dulcimer from its traditional folk origins to powerful, unique arrangements of favorite modern tunes. Ted’s wealth of original music and inventive covers has been described as innovative, visionary, spiritually uplifting and should not be missed! Ted’s recent accolade had him on a viral video on FB earning him the #2 spot for 2016 with over 85 million views. Check out his Facebook page.
Frustrated with politics as usual? The band Sour Cherry Pie is here to help! They sing songs of justice with a religious base and a dose of humor that can help others see the world with a slightly different tone. On November 10 at 7 pm, Sour Cherry Pie will perform on the third floor of 154 North Main Street, for the Bluffton Town Hall Concert Series. Phil Hart started writing folk songs in the early 70s, influenced by Dylan, Ochs, Paxton, Prine, and many others. He continues to create tunes that carry thoughtful stories about real stuff. Steve began adding his heady bass lines to Phil’s songs several years ago. They’ve been enjoying playing coffee houses, farmers markets, and house concerts, and are looking forward to helping Bluffton shake their PESD (Post Election Stress Disorder).
Donations at this event will benefit the Dare to Dream scholarship at Bluffton University. The scholarship fund, established by a group of Bluffton alumni, faculty and staff, provides support for undocumented, immigrant children in the United States who are ineligible for federal aid. They are often referred to as DREAMers because of the failed legislation known as The Dream Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act).
Those who know Lucas know that music flows out of him effortlessly. His talent on piano, sax, and Barbershop Quartets have delighted audiences most of his life. But lately, Lucas has been playing guitar more than ever, and has developed a unique and exciting style for pop songs to hymns. He'll be playing with his brother Christopher, and adding the musical stylings of Halle Steingass, for an unforgettable evening in B-Town. Don't miss Lucas in his first full length concert!
Showcasing three local singer-songwriters: Sam Stucky is a graduate (almost!!) of Bluffton University where he studied Math and Music. He has been writing songs since his sophomore year of high school about everything from girls to world problems and in genres from everything from folk to pop punk. He has been involved with his own personal music, a band called The Luna Program, and several different groups during his experience at the Contemporary Music Center in Nashville, TN during the fall of 2015. After graduation, he is looking forward to focusing more on writing and getting involved with other groups. Jeff Brassell is a self-made singer songwriter, usually writing in moderate to slow tempo homespun music. He is a Lima Ohio native raised in Bluffton Ohio, and describes himself as a blue collar “regular kind of guy” and strives to reflect everyday life in his music. Brett Prothro is a recent Bluffton transplant from outside of Wichita, Kansas. Raised on a steady diet of early rock and roll, classical, jazz, and everything in between and around, his musical tastes and influences are as eclectic and unpredictable as a Kansas spring. He enjoys reimagining jazz, early Americana and blues, and rock and roll artists ranging. Brett is also coming into his own as a composer and songwriter. He has a keen ear for elegant complexity and a knack for articulating the tragedy and beauty of the human experience. Using music to connect with people in an authentic, simple and soulful way, Brett desires to share his love of music to reflect the universal voices and themes already within each of us. There are no tickets required, but musicians are paid by donations at the door. Everyone is welcome, and the town hall is wheelchair accessible.
Dave Haas and Joe Steiner perform April 23rd as part of the Bluffton Town Hall Concert Series
Dave Haas is a nationally-acclaimed performer and recording artist who has been playing and delighting audiences for the past 20 years with the wonderful sounds of the mountain dulcimer. Come listen to a wide variety of music, including traditional fiddle tunes, Celtic favorites, hymns, classical, and contemporary arrangements played on this versatile Appalachian instrument. A very popular instructor at dulcimer festivals, Dave is known for his gentle, patient, and humorous teaching style. He grew up in Findlay, Ohio and now lives in Charleston, WV where he works as a chemistry professor at the University of Charleston. Here, one of his favorite teaching activities is singing chemistry songs with his students! More information on Dave is available at www.davehaasmusic.com.
Dave will be accompanied in concert by Joe Steiner from Findlay, Ohio. Joe is a well-respected and innovative instructor on several instruments, and has many recordings to his credit with various bluegrass and old-time groups. Joe is nationally recognized for his banjo knowledge and skills, both in bluegrass and clawhammer style, but is just as comfortable with a guitar, harmonica, mandolin, bass, or mountain dulcimer. Join in the fun as Dave and Joe engage the audience in some wonderful and funny songs. It will be an evening to remember!
The concert is scheduled for Saturday, April 23, 2016, at 7:00pm at the Bluffton Town Hall. For more information on the concert, contact Wendy Chappell-Dick: email@example.com.
Earlier in the day, Dave will be teaching both advanced and beginning dulcimer workshops, beginning at 9:00am, at the First Mennonite Church, 101 S. Jackson Street, Bluffton, OH. Contact Alice Lora: firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. Pre-registration is not required.
Jeff Gundy, Bluffton University professor and poet of the people, brings his Midwestern Mennonite sensibilities to the Town Hall Series on Thursday, April 7 at 7:00 p.m. Having transfigured poems from his last two published collections, Somewhere Near Defiance and Abandoned Homeland, into lyrics, Jeff will be sharing his folksy, irreverent and wide-ranging poetic art to benefit the Town Hall Music Series. His poetry has been compared to the tradition of Walt Whitman- if Whitman had “listened to Dylan and the Dead and loved to laugh at himself” (Poet Phillip Metres). After reading Gundy’s recent collection, critic Kate Fox was filled with awe and envy: “Such exquisite lines about belief, desire, small-town life, grief, grace, mercy, failure and faith.” Jeff will be joined by his musical wife Marlyce Gundy and his friend and harmonica whiz Perry Bush. Join this Ohio Poet of the Year for an evening’s journey to places absurd, lovely, raw and real. Can’t wait for the concert? Check out Jeff’s link at https://soundcloud.com/gundyj/sets/somewhere-near-defiance-by-jeff-gundy And remember, all your contributions will be donated back to the Town Hall Series!
Theory Expats are a folksy swingin' band based in Goshen, Indiana, featuring Andrew Pauls, Ethan Setiawan, and Sadie Gustafson-Zook. Their sound is centered around drawing their collective backgrounds in folk, bluegrass, jazz, swing, rock and pop into a cohesive musical vision with acoustic instruments, rich harmonies and technical chops. After taking music theory 201 together at Goshen College and playing together sporadically in the spring of 2014, they decided to form a band together. Sadie (fiddle, guitar, kazoo, ukulele, vocals) has performed across the United States and Europe with her family band and solo since 2000. In 2010 she released her first album, Mélange, and has since sold over 500 copies. In 2011 Sadie won the New Song Showcase songwriting competition with her song, “Unless I Loved”. Currently Sadie is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in vocal performance at Goshen College. Ethan (mandolin) is also a member of the band Mutual Kumquat. He won the National Mandolin Championship held in Winfield, KS in 2014. Starting on cello when he was 8, and picking up mandolin when he was 13, he has been playing music over half his life. He is currently studying with jazz mandolinist Don Stiernberg. He has also toured with bluegrass duo The Matchsellers. Andrew (banjo, guitar, vocals) is a second year student studying music at Goshen College. Originally from Lancaster, PA, he enjoys reading, having enriching conversations, and of course, making music with others.