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Hillside Series welcomes Greenwood Tree

Greenwood Tree continues the Heritage Hillside Series with traditional music of the British Isles. Submitted photo

The Heritage Hillside Series continues at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 9with Greenwood Tree, a duo that has been a part of the series in the past. Greenwood Tree performs lively, lyrical traditional music of the British Isles, a blend of lively jigs and reels, haunting airs, and sweet waltzes, with melodies deftly traded between instruments. Greenwood Tree is the duo of Bill Cagley (guitar, mandolin, bodhran and limberjack) and Stu Janis (hammered dulcimer, bowed psaltery and concertina).

Greenwood Tree was formed when Janis and Cagley met in 1985 at the Tapestry Folkdance Center in Minneapolis at an event called "Contra Corners." The combination of Janis's sprightly dulcimer with Cagley's driving flat-picked Martin guitar provides energy for quick dance tunes, while slower selections are enhanced by dulcimer arpeggios and a finger-picked guitar. Lively music, good humor and unusual instruments make for an entertaining and educational show for all ages with toe-tapping traditional music, sing-alongs that everyone knows or can learn, and music that appeals to young, old and everyone in between.

Janis began playing hammered dulcimer in 1983, mostly self-taught, having grown up with piano and flute lessons. He also performs with Eisner's Klezmorim and Neptune's Keep, the world's only band with fish musicians, and he frequently accompanies area choirs on Malcolm Dalglish's unique arrangements for choir and hammered dulcimer. Janis has been a front man and puppeteer with Freshwater Pearls Puppetry, and was also the musician for the Vorpal Sword English Rapper dance group for many years.

Outside of Greenwood Tree, Cagley has recorded two collections of old-time fiddle tunes with fiddler Tom Schaefer, banjo player Bob Black and bassist Sandy Njoes. He also appeared on Greg Brown's recording "Down in There." Cagley is a regular solo performer operating with the motto, "Music of all ages for all ages."

The evening is sponsored by Westfields Hospital & Clinic. There will be pop and popcorn available for purchase. In case of inclement weather, the show will move into the pavilion with limited seating. For further information, call the Heritage Center at 715-246-3276.

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