Charlotte Folk Society logo celebrating 30 years

Dedicated to promoting the ongoing enjoyment and preservation of traditional and contemporary folk music, dance, crafts and lore in the Carolinas Piedmont,
since 1982.

March 9th Folk Society Gathering

Abigail Haynes Lennox and Earl's Chair
Abigail Haynes Lennox
Abigail Haynes Lennox

The Charlotte Folk Society celebrates St. Patrick's Day early this year! Please join us on Friday, March 9th, for traditional and original Celtic songs and tunes by Abigail Haynes Lennox and Earl's Chair. Their hour-long concert takes place at 7:30 PM in the beautiful Great Aunt Stella Center listening room, 926 Elizabeth Avenue, in downtown Charlotte.

Henry Lebedinsky
Henry Lebedinsky

Doors open at 7 PM for the family-friendly, free performance, which will be followed by refreshments and jam sessions. Donations are appreciated and essential to supporting the Gathering concert series. Free parking is available adjacent to the Stella Center and those needing accessible entry may use the ground floor doors on the parking lot side of the building.

Audio Clips from Earl's Chair
(Requires Apple Quicktime Audio Plugin)

Andy de Jarlis - The Better Man - The Swaggering Jig

Brenda Stubbert's - Iggy and Squiggy

Wolfe's Neck - Reel des Acadiens

Multi-instrumentalists Henry Lebedinsky and Michael Albert have performed together as Earl's Chair since 1996. They met in Maine while pursuing careers as classical musicians. The duo released Earl's Chair, a CD of new and traditional Celtic tunes with a distinct New England flavor, in 2010. Their common love for Celtic music from a variety of traditions brought them to Boston and led them to found the band The Beggar Boys with Larry Young in 2001. Heard round the country on National Public Radio, The Beggar Boys have performed widely, including a number of times in Charlotte. Abigail Haynes Lennox made her Charlotte debut in 2009 with The Beggar Boys in the nationally syndicated NPR holiday special A Carolina Christmas from Biltmore Estate with Kathy Mattea. She returned in 2011 to perform as part of Lessons and Carols from St. John's Church.

Abigail Haynes Lennox & The Beggar Boys
(Requires Apple Quicktime Audio Plugin)

Cherry Tree Carol

Have a listen to this wonderful recording of the Cherry Tree Carol by Abigail Haynes Lennox & The Beggar Boys.

Abigail Haynes Lennox is a multi-genre soprano whose beautiful voice has been described as "crystalline." Her musical interests include Irish traditional song, early plainchant, 19th century mélodie, improvised avant-garde, and bluegrass. Originally from Bartlett, Tennessee, where she was a regular in the local folk music scene, she earned a bachelor's degree in vocal performance at the University of Michigan, where she performed with the Michigan Opera Theater under Stephen Lord, was a frequent soloist appearing on premier recordings of contemporary works, and maintained her folk roots by accompanying the Michigan Irish Dance group, Leim.

Showcasing Abigail Haynes Lennox
and Henry Lebedinsky
A Carolina Christmas from Biltmore Estate
In 2007, Lennox completed her master's degree study in voice at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music where she studied under James Taylor. She has performed as soloist in such classical performances as Bach's St. John Passion under Simon Carrington, Mozart's Vespers with Sir David Willcocks, Purcell's Dido and Aeneas with Apollo's Fire, and Bach's Weihnachts Oratorium with the American Bach Soloists under Jeffrey Thomas. Folk engagements include a tours and recordings of Amazing Grace: A Gospel and Bluegrass Journey with Seraphic Fire and Come to the River: An Early American Gathering with Apollo's Fire.

Henry Lebedinsky began playing New England old-time fiddle at age ten. His passion for music gave rise to a career as a concert harpsichordist and organist, as well as a published composer of sacred choral music. With The Beggar Boys, he has released two albums on the independent Beggar Boys Records label, and is currently working on a third, A Celtic Christmas Live. Lebedinsky's original tunes and song arrangements were featured as part of Lessons and Carols from St. John's Church (2011) as well as A Carolina Christmas from Biltmore Estate with Kathy Mattea. In 2003, he co-founded the Beacon Coffeehouse Concert Series in Newton, Massachusetts, a popular venue for folk and indie pop artists. He has appeared in concert with Belfast's Noel Lenaghan and is in demand as a session bouzouki, piano, and bodhrán player. Henry lives in Minnesota, where he is serving as interim Director of Music at historic St. Clement's Episcopal Church in St. Paul.

John Michael Ryan
John Michael Ryan

For our March 9th Gathering, Earl's Chair will be comprised of Henry Lebedinsky and John Ryan. John Michael Ryan been involved in Irish music since birth, when he was born in the cellar of Carroll's Bar and Restaurant in Rochester, New York, in the midst of the trademark sessions in the summer of 1988.

John Michael Ryan
Featured on the Button Accordion
Between the tapping feet resounding overhead and the taproom pumping away, he couldn't have asked for a less comfortable spot to enter the world, but wasn't the craic mighty once his father ascended the stairs with the newborn? Imbued with the importance of the culture and music into which he was born, John is self-taught on the melodeon, whistle, and bodhrán, and credits the senior Irish musicians of the Rochester area - Marty O'Keefe, Ted McGraw, Lynn Pilaroschia, and the late Sean Walker - as his primary influences. Among his secondary informers are the legendary musicians of the Golden Era of Irish music recordings - melodeonists P.J. Conlon and Gene Kelly, flute-players Tom Morrison and John McKenna, and fiddlers Paddy Killoran and James Morrison.

Arts & Science Council Logo

This will be a very special concert, with extraordinary vocal and instrumental talent. You will not want to miss it!

Charlotte Folk Society Gatherings are made possible, in part, with funding from the Arts & Science Council and the North Carolina Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Cultural Resources, and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.