Monday, April 3, 2023

Adirondack musicians Dave Ruch and Colleen Cleveland to host workshops in early May

Musician Dave Ruch.

Musician and teaching artist Dave Ruch, along with Brant Lake, NY singer Colleen Cleveland, will present a series of free and open-to-the-public workshops to introduce some “heritage” music from Colleen’s family to area musicians and other interested parties.

Schedule of events for the workshops:

Thursday, May 4 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at View, Old Forge, NY Facebook event

Friday, May 5 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at TAUNY Center, Canton, NY Facebook event

Saturday, May 6 from 10:30 a.m. to noon at BluSeed Studios, Saranac Lake, NY Facebook event

Saturday, May 6 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at Folklife Center at Crandall Public Library, Glens Falls, NY Facebook event

Singer Colleen Cleveland

Singer Colleen Cleveland. Photo provided by Dave Ruch.

The “New Audiences for Old Songs” project aims to expand awareness for – and enjoyment of – this rare and important collection of folk songs and traditional ballads from the Adirondack region of New York State; the kind of “self-made” music sung by everyday people and passed down through the generations in earlier days. (Yes, that kind of thing happened here in New York State just as it did in KY, NC and TN.)


These songs have been kept alive in one family – the Clevelands of Hudson Falls and Brant Lake, NY – and the music is little-known today outside a small circle of enthusiasts. The goal of the project is to introduce this material to musicians working in more “mainstream” genres (country, bluegrass, old-time, contemporary folk, even rock and jam bands) so that they in turn can bring the music to their audiences.


Come learn about the collection and hear Colleen sing some of her favorites as learned from her grandmother. Immediately after the session, a wide selection of the Cleveland family repertoire will be posted on the project’s webpage for all to access, and participating musicians are then free to work up one or more songs in their own style to be presented in their future performances. Dave will also encourage musicians to submit audio and video recordings to be shared via the webpage and partner organizations’ social media accounts.


The workshop is open to singers and musicians of all genres, and the general public is  welcome to attend as well. Registration is not required, though interested parties can RSVP to the Facebook events linked above.

The “New Audiences for Old Songs” project is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

Photo at top: Musician Dave Ruch. Photo provided by Dave Ruch.



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