Mystic, Conn. (May 24, 2018) – Musicians from around the world will come to Mystic Seaport Museum to celebrate the musical traditions of the Golden Age of Sail at the 39th annual Sea Music Festival, Thursday through Sunday, June 7-10. The Festival is the premier sea music event in North America.
The weekend’s festivities include daytime and evening concerts, special performances for children, instructional workshops, a scholars’ symposium, and a unique opportunity to witness sea music at work aboard the Museum’s historic ships.
As one of the world’s premier sea music events, performers come from around the world and across the United States. This year’s highlights include the music of Matthew Byrne from Newfoundland, The Vox Hunters from Rhode Island, FUNI from Iceland, Dan Zanes from New York City, Walter Askew from California, the group 3 Ravens from Massachusetts, and the English an Irish duo of Jim Mageean & Pat Sheridan. They will be joined by the Mystic Seaport Museum Chantey Staff, including Geoff Kaufman, Craig Edwards, Denise Kegler, and Don Sineti.
“We are very proud to present this extensive program of song and story from some of the foremost performers and scholars of sea music,” said Denise Kegler, program manager for performances at Mystic Seaport Museum and a Festival organizer. “They are the people responsible for keeping the traditions alive for future generations.”
To celebrate the recent opening of two new exhibitions, The Vikings Begin: Treasures from Uppsala University, Sweden and Science, Myth, and Mystery: The Vinland Map Saga, the Festival features performers with Viking themes to their music and storytelling. The group FUNI will perform traditional Icelandic folk music and Lynn Noel will perform “Gudrid the Wanderer: First Viking Woman in the New World.” On Saturday afternoon, FUNI and Lynn will be joined by Matthew Byrne from Newfoundland for a workshop on the North Atlantic Crossing, a musical exploration of the Viking voyages to North America.
For families with children, Grammy Award winner Dan Zanes will perform with Claudia Eliaza on an expanded Family Stage. On Sunday, Dan and Claudia will be joined by Mary Anne Roberts of Rokus Korus for a special workshop on “Haiti and the Sea.”
Mystic Seaport Museum is rare in its ability to showcase chanteys in use on our historic vessels. For 2018, the Festival will feature four workshops of “Chanteys at Work” on the ships Charles W. Morgan, Joseph Conrad, and L. A. Dunton. In these workshops, festival musicians join with Museum chantey staff to lead visitors in setting sail, lifting cargo, weighing anchor, and other shipboard tasks.
On Sunday, a rousing, but reverent, hymn sing of traditional hymns and religious songs will be led by Judy Cook, Stephen Sanfilippo, and long-time supporters of the Festival, the Heavenly Twins.
All workshops and daytime concerts in the Festival are included in regular Museum admission. Special tickets are required for evening concerts and can be purchased online, in person at the Museum’s entrances, or by calling 860.572.0711. Weekend passes are also available. College students will be admitted into the Festival for the youth rate upon presentation of a current student ID.
As part of the Festival, the Museum will also host the annual Music of the Sea Symposium Friday and Saturday, June 8-9. The Symposium, co-sponsored by Mystic Seaport Museum, Williams College and the Williams-Mystic Maritime Studies Program, features presentations of themed papers by some of the country’s leading maritime music scholars and explores subjects from history and folklore, to literature and ethnomusicology, along with many other related topics. Admission to the Symposium is included with Museum admission and Festival passes.
For more information, including ticket packages, musicians’ bios, and a schedule of performances, visit mysticseaport.org/seamusicfestival
This event is made possible by the Friends of the Festival, who raise funds each year to generously support sea music at Mystic Seaport Museum.
About Mystic Seaport Museum
Mystic Seaport Museum, founded in 1929, is the nation’s leading maritime museum. In addition to providing a multitude of immersive experiences, the Museum also houses a collection of more than two million artifacts that include more than 500 historic vessels and one of the largest collections of maritime photography. The iconic Thompson Exhibition Building is a state-of-the-art gallery that is hosting The Vikings Begin: Treasures from Uppsala University, Sweden through September 30, 2018. Mystic Seaport Museum is located one mile south of Exit 90 off I-95 in Mystic, CT. For more information, please visit https://mysticseaport.wpengine.com/ and follow Mystic Seaport Museum on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.