Annapolis Maritime Museum / 723 Second St / Annapolis, MD 21403
Contact: Janie Meneely / 443-786-0463
What: A Chesapeake Christmas
Where: Annapolis Maritime Museum, 723 Second Street, Annapolis, MD 21403
When: December 15, 7-9 p.m.
Admission: $20/door / $15 advance (call 410-295-0104 or go online at www.amaritime.org)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Sept. 28, 2012
Calico Jack hosts “A Chesapeake Christmas” at Annapolis Maritime Museum
Annapolis duo Calico Jack (Janie Meneely and Paul DiBlasi) joins forces with Seattle-based William Pint and Felicia Dale and Washington, DC’s Jennifer Cutting and Steve Winick (Ocean Orchestra) for an evening of seasonal songs and stories from the maritime traditions of the Eastern Shore and the world beyond on Saturday, December 15, at the Annapolis Maritime Museum. Sit back with a cup of spiced cider and revel in tales about skipjacks, oystering and holidays afloat, led by Steve Winick as the gallant Captain Christmas.
“Back by popular demand,” says Janie Meneely, whose “Sailing into the Season” program last year drew audiences from Washington and Annapolis. “This year we’re tightening our focus a bit and adding more regional material to the show, which features spoken word and instrumentals as well as plenty of singing.” To add to the evening’s fun. Meneely has enlisted the help of Eastport’s own Crabernackle Choir, an assortment of students from the Eastport Elementary School who will spin their infectious harmonies into program.
Meneely, songwriter and chronicler of all things Chesapeake, brings her vision of Chesapeake Bay traditions to the stage, joined by her partner Paul DiBlasi. Calling themselves Calico Jack (after a ne’er-do-well-pirate) they have been performing Chesapeake Bay songs and stories for nearly a decade. “Expect some new songs with a holiday twist,” says Meneely, who culls her material from years of living on the Eastern Shore and interviewing watermen from all over the Chesapeake region.
Steve Winick narrates the evening as Captain Christmas, a larger than life embodiment of the spirit of the maritime holiday. “His witty couplets stole the show last year,” says Meneely,” especially when he started ‘ad libbing’ according to what was going on in the audience.” Winick, a folklorist with the Library of Congress, sings with Jennifer Cutting’s Ocean Orchestra when he isn’t doing period pieces with the Ship’s Company Chanteymen.
DC artist Jennifer Cutting adds the merry tones of her rollicking accordion—a must for any Christmas pageant. Whether it’s a lively dance tune or a more somber accompaniment her playing transports listeners to the world of salt-washed decks and smoky forecastles alive with yarning sailors.
This year’s special guests William Pint and Felicia Dale have spent the last twenty years presenting traditional sea music with a modern flare. Their driving rhythms and lyrical arrangements derive from a solid backdrop of research into the origins and variations of maritime texts. To this they add, in addition to their powerful vocals, the hurdy gurdy, Irish whistles, fiddle, octave mandolin and guitar.
“We try to call forth images of folks on the sea or at home during the cold lonely months of winter, especially as the holidays approach,” says Meneely. “The skipjack fleets are no longer gone for weeks on end, harvesting oysters in the dead of winter, but imagine what it must have been like for those watermen and their families. Or for the sailors who were out of sight of land at Christmas time, hardening up in a winter storm or just passing the time of day until they could be homeward bound again.”
Admission to the concert is $20 at the door, $15 in advance. For reservations click on www.amaritime.org or call 410-295-0104.