Folkus Project
Join Folkus

Double bill
The Cadleys and Maria Gillard Trio
Join us for an evening of wonderful folk, bluegrass, swing, blues and jazz music.

CadleysFriday, February 19, 2016
8 p.m. / $12
Member price: $10 (see link below)

May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society
3800 East Genesee St, Syracuse, N.Y.

Cadleys' website / Gillard website

Two singers, one voice: John and Cathy Cadley are one of the area’s most entertaining and popular duos. Following in the tradition of great male-female duets like Ian & Sylvia, George Jones and Tammy Wynette, and Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons, they show how the simplicity of two voices blended in seamless harmony and two acoustic instruments can produce one powerful sound. Their live concerts feature everything from traditional mountain ballads and bluegrass classics to John’s originals.

Maria Gillard is a talented singer/songwriter from the Finger Lakes region. Best known as a folk musician, she has grown to embrace a wider style range including jazz, swing and blues. The Maria Gillard Trio — Maria Gillard (vocals and guitar), Elaine (Eva) Verstraete (vocals and bass), and Perry Cleaveland (vocals, mandolin, guitar and clawhammer banjo) — play Maria Gillard's original songs, which offer a mix of folk, swing, bluegrass, and jazz.

The Cadleys repertoire draws on the bluegrass of Bill Monroe and the Stanley Brothers, the tight harmonies of the Louvin Brothers, as well as the “new acoustic” sounds of Alison Krauss and Claire Lynch. John’s own originals, have been recorded by national bluegrass artists such as Tony Trischka, Jim Hurst, Missy Raines, and Lou Reid, who, with Vince Gill and Ricky Skaggs singing harmony, took John’s song, “Time,” to the #1 spot on the national bluegrass charts for three consecutive months.

The Cadleys have "an easy rapport that reveals much about their shared virtuosity and musical kinship . . . Their considerable chops give the duo an effortless, tight sound.” — Syracuse New Times

Maria GillardMaria Gillard’s compelling voice draws you into her lyrics which, when combined with memorable melodies, head straight for the heart. Maria’s songs offer wise, humorous, and sometimes painful observations on life and relationships. She tells stories through her music in ways that are soul stirring, evocative, contagious, lively and energizing. Perry Cleaveland is a SAMMY Award winning mandolinist. He has performed for festivals, colleges, arts centers, schools, PBS/NPR affiliates WCNY & WXXI, and New York State Council on the Arts-sponsored events. Elaine (Eva) Verstraete is in real life a respected illustrator and university faculty member, who draws from a wide-ranging musical background. She has a restless desire to sing almost anything and has drawn heavily from her strong family musical history.

“Maria Gillard sings from the soul, with a clear-eyed vision that cuts straight to your heart. Every time Maria sings, I learn something more about me.” - Julia Figueras, WXXI

Cadleys/Gillard: Advance Tickets thru PayPal
Please read Advance Ticket Policy to learn how it works, and for other advance options. Note: You do not have to have a PayPal account to use PayPal; charge to your credit card.

(MEMBERS ONLY: click for discount)

Songwriter Woodshed
A meeting of and for local songwriters . . . more info / Facebook page / e-mail list. Next Meeting: Wed., Mar. 2

Beer Belly DeliThanks to the Beer Belly Deli

. . . for providing meals for our visiting performers. The Beer Belly is a fun little Brooklyn-style gastro-pub on Westcott Street (in the former Seven Rays location). They have great ambience, an eclectic menu, reasonable prices, and (last we heard) a Monday night old-time music jam. Please stop by, have some sweet-potato tots and eggplant "wings," and tell them you appreciate their helping Folkus. > website

All shows listed below at . . .
May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society
3800 East Genesee St, Syracuse, N.Y.

Vance GilbertVance Gilbert
Accomplished songwriting, lyrical eloquence, virtuosic singing and outrageous, edgy humor

Friday, March 4, 2016
8 p.m. / $20
Member price: $17 (see link below)

Artist's website

"Vance Gilbert has some of the most exquisite and masterful vocals on the folk circuit." - Sing Out

Vance Gilbert occupies a unique niche as a folk musician. His music is an eclectic mix, strongly influenced by jazz and R&B, but with roots in '60s pop. His song stylings bop and weave, deftly weaving catchy melodies and insightful lyrics into a folk framework. His beautifully written songs and melodic artistry have led some to call him a musical visionary.

Gilbert is a gifted guitarist, but his most outstanding instrument is his rousing voice, with its remarkable power and range. He sings to the passions and pains of all of us with a voice that enthralls your soul. But it's his humor and spontaneity that make his live performances so compelling. Gilbert spends a lot of time telling stories and swapping gibes, his comedic skill and showmanship drawing audiences into the moment. His mission is to give people a good time and they return again and again, always expecting to be surprised, never being disappointed.

"His songs will make you laugh and cry simultaneously. But don't roar or sob too hard. You might miss something." - Fort Worth Star Telegram


Vance Gilbert: Advance Tickets thru PayPal
Please read Advance Ticket Policy to learn how it works, and for other advance options. Note: You do not have to have a PayPal account to use PayPal; charge to your credit card.

(MEMBERS ONLY: click for discount)

With two strong voices in harmony and superb instrumental arrangements, their sound is powerful and moving.

Friday, March 18, 2016
8 p.m. / $15
Member price: $12 (see link below)

Artist's website

With a career that has spanned forty years, Magpie has traveled the globe, bringing its unique sound and breathtaking versatility to audiences everywhere. Award-winning recording artists, songwriters, musical historians, and social activists, Greg Artzner (vocals, harmony vocals, guitar and English concertina) and Terry Leonino (vocals, harmony vocals, harmonica, mandolin, dulcimer, guitar, hand drum and Native American flute) always promise a presentation that is highly entertaining as well as provocative and deeply moving.

Magpie performs various folk music styles, including traditional, classic blues, country, jazz, and Celtic, as well as songs by musical heroes including Phil Ochs, Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Jean Ritchie, Tom Paxton, Buffy St. Marie, etc. Magpie also writes and sings songs they have written, many of historical, cultural, and social interest, and with a large selection of songs focusing on Civil Rights and the environment. Terry and Greg’s sound is that of two very strong voices, one female, one male, in powerful leads and two-part harmony, accompanied principally by Greg’s virtuoso guitar arrangements, embellished by excellent complement from Terry’s second guitar, harmonica, mandolin, and dulcimer. Theirs is a powerful sound, full of passion and fire, with a tremendous range and versatility.

"How lucky I am to have lived to see and hear more links in the chain." - Pete Seeger, Sing Out!


Magpie: Advance Tickets thru PayPal
Please read Advance Ticket Policy to learn how it works, and for other advance options. Note: You do not have to have a PayPal account to use PayPal; charge to your credit card.

(MEMBERS ONLY: click for discount)

Catie CurtisCatie Curtis
Vivid songwriting combining insightful lyrics with addictive melodies and energy.

Friday, April 1, 2016
8 p.m. / $20
Member price: $17 (see link below)

Catie Curtis is a "folk-rock goddess." - The New Yorker

Catie Curtis is a veteran on the singer/songwriter folk scene, crisscrossing the US for 20 years – and counting – performing shows, recording and releasing 13 CDs, with devoted fans following her every move. Curtis’s studio work, engaging live shows and impressive touring career in the US and Europe have earned her rave reviews and wide recognition.

Her songs have been featured on Dawson's Creek, Felicity, Alias, Chicago Hope, and Grey's Anatomy, as well as in several independent films. The winner of more than her share of Boston Music Awards, she also took the Grand Prize in the 2006 International Songwriting Competition (out of 15,000 entries) for her song "People Look Around," co-written with Mark Erelli. She’s performed at the White House several times, at two Presidential Inaugural Balls, with Lilith Fair, and at Carnegie Hall. She has also toured with Dar Williams and Mary Chapin Carpenter and recorded a duet with Kris Kristofferson for his CD "The Austin Sessions.”

Curtis’ 13th album, Flying Dream (2014), continues her songwriting signature of being deep and soulful, telling honest and universal truths of the experience of living. She came to the creation of this album with a desire to articulate “some really universal experiences.” It’s no accident that the album is bookended by songs that deal with choosing to not withdraw from life, but rather savor the simple, sensual and sacred surprises it brings.

When this Maine-native is not writing, recording, touring or producing concerts, she teaches at song schools around the country, leads high school songwriting workshops, and runs a songwriter retreat in Maine every summer called "Catie at the Cove."


Catie Curtis: Advance Tickets thru PayPal
Please read Advance Ticket Policy to learn how it works, and for other advance options. Note: You do not have to have a PayPal account to use PayPal; charge to your credit card.

(MEMBERS ONLY: click for discount)

Loren Barrigar & Mark MazengarbLoren Barrigar and Mark Mazengarb
The area's favorite international guitar duo perform stunning guitar duets which feature their world class guitar talents.

Friday, April 15, 2016
8 p.m. / $18
Member price: $15 (see link below)

The international duo of Loren Barrigar (from Central New York) and Mark Mazengarb (from New Zealand) first met at a quite camp with Tommy Emmanuel in 2005 and have been touring extensively in both the USA and Europe ever since. They share a unique musical chemistry and stage presence seldom found among musicians.

Their varied repertoire of original and arranged songs gives them wide appeal. Their music is influenced by Bluegrass, Jazz, and Old-time/Country; their style of guitar playing is largely built upon the thumb-picking techniques pioneered by guitar greats Merle Travis, Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed, and their songs feature Loren’s superb vocals and some beautiful harmonies from Mark. Loren and Mark have headlined guitar festivals in both the USA and Europe and their fan base is rapidly increasing. In the short time the pair have been together, they have attracted the attention of several notable industry artists which has seen them perform with guitar sensation Tommy Emmanuel and record with 5-time Grammy winner Lloyd Maines.

Loren Barrigar started playing guitar when he was only four years old, and by the time he was six, he played the Chet Atkins hit “Yackety Axe” in front of thousands of country music fans at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. He went on to study with Jimmy Atkins (Chet’s brother), which led to a touring career with his family band from Nashville to Las Vegas. Since settling in Central New York, he has been in constant demand as a studio musician. He produced and played on the #1 rated CD in Syracuse, Dusty Pascal’s “Home” (2007). His finely-honed songwriting skills have launched his melodies on NBC’s hit show “ER”, “The Young and the Restless”, and on a Christmas CD with BB King and Patti Labelle. He has also recorded with Multiple Grammy winner and legendary producer Lloyd Maines. His 2008 album “Dance with Me” received a Syracuse Area Music Award for Best Country Album of 2009.

Mark Mazengarb began his formal musical training in Wellington New Zealand where he completed his Bachelor of Music Degree through the Conservatorium of Music, majoring in classical guitar (performance). In his final year, Mark undertook an exchange to the University of North Carolina where he discovered the world of Bluegrass and the music of guitar greats Chet Atkins, Merle Travis and Jerry Reed. Since then he has become hooked on finger-style guitar playing, and has also become a highly accomplished jazz, folk and bluegrass musician. At the Auckland Folk Festival in 2008, he was the recipient of the Frank-Winter memorial Award, given to aspiring young musicians with clear musical goals. In 2010 Mark was invited, with Loren Barrigar, to perform as a guest artist at the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society's annual convention in Nashville. Mark has toured extensively throughout New Zealand, the USA and Europe.

Loren and Mark recorded their first album together in the summer of 2011 which won a SAMMY (Syracuse Area Music Awards) for Best Album at the Northeast Music Industry Conference, and their most recent album Onward (released August 2012) also won a SAMMY for Best Americana Album. The title track Onward won first place at the International Acoustic Music Awards (IAMA 2013) for best instrumental.

“Fresh and exciting. . . . These guys rock!” - Tommy Emmanuel, Australian guitar virtuoso


Barrigar & Mazengarb: Advance Tickets thru PayPal
Please read Advance Ticket Policy to learn how it works, and for other advance options. Note: You do not have to have a PayPal account to use PayPal; charge to your credit card.

(MEMBERS ONLY: click for discount)

Burns & KristyBurns and Kristy
Indie folky pop with a spiritual, whimsical attitude.

Friday, May 6, 2016
8 pm / $15
Member price: $12 (see link below)

"Fine songwriting, married to excellent singing and performing with thoughtful arrangements" - John Apice, No Depression music blog

Terry Burns and Ron Kristy met after many years as independent musicians and singer/songwriters in Nashville, Tenn. They were married in 2004, but it was not until 2011 that they made the decision to become a musical duo and produce a CD. Terry and Ron launched their debut CD in July 2012 to rave reviews. The single "Blue Paper Boat" from that CD was a Top 3 Finalist in the International Acoustic Music Awards. They have made their home in Ithaca, NY and are currently recording a new CD. Their live show is one of a kind, with fine songwriting, deeply rich harmonies and great musicianship. As entertaining as it is moving, the show ranges from the deeply touching to the hilarious in a split second.

Terry Burns's music has been described as "fresh, contemporary, moving, melodic and fun". Her songs have been recorded by many artists, including David Kersh, Lari White, River Road, Alecia Elliott, Ruby Lovett, Pam Rose, Dawn Sears, Jason Sellers, The Burns Sisters, and many more. Her music has been featured on various TV shows, including "The Fosters", "Alecia", and "Who Wants to Marry My Dad?". While in her Early 20's, Terry recorded 2 CDs on Columbia records with her sisters, "The Burns Sisters". She has also recorded an independent CD of some of her favorite tunes that she has written.

Ron Kristy has been composing music for Film/TV for many years. You can hear Ron's music everyday around the globe on shows such as "20/20", "Good Morning America", "Inside the NFL”, and "Dancing With the Stars" to name just a few. He has composed award winning music scores for "Angel Stories", "Miracle Stories", and "Life after Life" on the Discovery Channel, and "Soul of the Senate - The Robert Byrd Story" on PBS, among many others. Ron is a former staff writer at Warner Chappell Music in New York.

They are joined by the multi-talented Janet Cotraccia on vocals and keyboard and Doug Robinson on guitar and vocals. Janet Cotraccia has been making beautiful music since she started singing solos in the fourth grade. She says that singing with the Burns and Kristy Band nourishes her soul. Doug Robinson is a guitarist, bass player, and singer. He has had a lengthy career as a performer and studio musician. In addition to being a key member of the Burns and Kristy Band, Doug has toured frequently in the US, Canada, and Europe with the Burns Sisters Band and others.

“Burns & Kristy's 'Caravan' is an amazing journey through some of the best songs I listened to this year…I didn't know 'em and I'm glad to have the chance to give coverage to their music.”- Remo Ricaldone, American Roots DJ, Italy


Burns & Kristy: Advance Tickets thru PayPal
Please read Advance Ticket Policy to learn how it works, and for other advance options. Note: You do not have to have a PayPal account to use PayPal; charge to your credit card.

(MEMBERS ONLY: click for discount)

Susan WernerSusan Werner
Spend an evening with the “Empress of the Unexpected”

Friday, May 20, 2016
8 p.m. / $20
Member price: $17 (see link below)

“Susan Werner, a clever songwriter and an engaging performer, brings literacy and wit back to popular song.” - The New Yorker

Dubbed by NPR as the “Empress of the Unexpected,” singer/songwriter Susan Werner has a reputation as an artist that is as changeable as the weather. Werner keeps her audiences guessing and laughing simultaneously, lending her wry humor and passionate voice to subjects such as farmer’s markets, climate change, and longing for a sense of place.The characters and perspectives are varied and colorful, the lyrics are sharp as thistles, the music is handmade and hoppin’. Werner continues her reign as one of the most bold and creative forces on the acoustic music scene today.

At age five, Werner made her debut, playing guitar and singing at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Manchester, Iowa; she learned both piano and guitar by ear. After earning a degree in voice from the University of Iowa, she attended Temple University in Philadelphia, performing in numerous recitals and operas while completing her graduate studies. On occasion, Werner, who calls Chicago home now, still closes any one of the 125 club dates she plays annually throughout the US and Canada with “Un Bel Di” from Madame Butterfly or “Habanera” from Carmen, but ultimately, she opted to forgo a career as an opera singer, dedicating herself to songwriting instead, building a reputation at jazz clubs, coffeehouses, and folk festivals along the Eastern Seaboard.

“When it comes to crafting a song, Ms. Werner’s only peers are Jimmy Webb and Paul Simon.” - No Depression

After launching her career with the self-released “Midwestern Saturday Night” in 1993, her second recording “Live at Tin Angel” impressed executives at Private Music/BMG, which released her critically acclaimed major label debut “Last of the Good Straight Girls” in 1995. She also received critical accolades for her subsequent recordings “Time Between Trains” (1998) and “New Non-Fiction” (2001). “Hayseed” (2015) is the fourth in a series of concept albums, beginning with “I Can’t Be New” (2004), which features original songs in the style of Cole Porter and George Gershwin, followed by “The Gospel Truth” (2007) and “Classics” (2009). “I like concept albums because they give the audience and the artist a place to meet, something in common to talk about, right from the word GO”, Werner says.

She has toured the nation with acts such as Richard Thompson, and Joan Armatrading, and was featured in a 1998 Peter, Paul, and Mary PBS special as one of the best of the next generation of folk songwriters.

“One of the most innovative songwriters working today.” - Chicago Tribune


Susan Werner: Advance Tickets thru PayPal
Please read Advance Ticket Policy to learn how it works, and for other advance options. Note: You do not have to have a PayPal account to use PayPal; charge to your credit card.

(MEMBERS ONLY: click for discount)

VolunteersVolunteer with Folkus

Help staff a show. Help manage Folkus. And join a community of Central New Yorkers who love great acoustic music. For info, e-mail

Other Ways to Help

Bring Baked Goods to a Show! The snack counter at Folkus shows features a mixture of store-bought and homemade goodies, but of course everyone prefers the homemade stuff! If you're a baker, next time you come to a show, bring a plate of cookies, brownies or such. Thanks.

Help Get Our Posters Out There! Join the Poster Club.. Give us your e-mail address and we'll send you Folkus show posters (as a PDF attachment). Print and post it wherever you like. To join, send an e-mail to


Address questions about this website to Dana Cooke,

Folkus on Facebook
Reminders and late-breaking news. Click here

About Folkus

Become a supporting member, help us grow, and receive concerts discounts and other rewards. Click for info

About Folkus

General Comments. Tell us what you think. Send us ideas. Ask us how it all works. . . . E-mail

Ticket Queries. Questions about ticket purchases for upcoming shows (or about tickets already purchased) . . . E-mail

Urgent Problems. If you have needs unanswerable by e-mail, call Steve at 315 638 4740. But please exhaust website and e-mail options first. And do NOT call May Memorial UU Society, as they merely host but otherwise have no role in our programming. Thank you.

To learn more about us, visit
this page: About Folkus

The Venues
May Memorial UU Society
First and third Friday of the month
All shows at 8 pm (doors open at 7:30)
3800 East Genesee St., Syracuse / how to get there
(Please do NOT call May with questions; see above.)

Westcott Community Center
Second Saturday of the month
All shows at 8 pm
Corner of Euclid Ave. and Westcott St., a half-mile east of SU / website / how to get there

Ticket Policy
New PayPal Deadline: Noon Day-of-Show. See Ticket Policy

Advance sale tickets through PayPal and other methods. (Don't have a PayPal account? You can still use PayPal to make a credit card purchase.) More info here.

Note: If you have questions about a show at May Memorial, please do NOT call May. Review Ticket Policy and, if necessary, select from the Comments / Questions options above.

Friends of Folkus

Bill Knowlton's Bluegrass Ramble. Bill's bluegrass radio show (and associated events) date back almost as far as Bill Monroe himself! / website

CNY Bluegrass Association. Folk music's mountain-bred second cousin / website

"Common Threads." Folk music on the radio. / website

Guitar League. Talk and workshops about your ax. Meeting monthly / website

Irish Sessions. A great, ongoing jam of Celtic and old-timey types. Every Sunday / website

Kellish Farms. This Pompey Center farm has been converted into a music center, featuring concerts and jams of folk, bluegrass, and country types / website / Syracuse Post-Standard article

Oswego Music HallOswego Music Hall. One of upstate New York's most venerable music venues, in a beautiful location to boot! / website

Syracuse Community Choir. Songs of peace and social justice / website

Syracuse Country Dancers. Contra dances and the like / website

Join the CNY Friends of Folk listserv. For info: website

Photos & Video
Taken and posted by Larry Hoyt. Thanks, Larry!

FacebookHelp Facebook Help Folkus
We're trying to make Folkus and its events more prominent on Facebook

  • Visit our Facebook page and make sure you've Liked us
  • Hover over the Liked box and turn on Notifications (so you receive more of our news)
  • Find event pages for upcoming concerts (also linked on this page within concert descriptions) and Share them
  • Post videos and other info about upcoming artists, or report on Folkus shows you've attended.

It all helps make Folkus more Facebook effective. Thanks.