Story last updated at 4:23 p.m. Thursday, June 20, 2002

Solstice festival warms Seldovia with hot picking
by Susan Mumma
Special to the Homer News

The second annual Seldovia Summer Solstice Music Festival kicks off this weekend with national and local favorites performing and teaching workshops.

Performances will be at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and workshops will from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday. A crafts fair will run all day Saturday.

Guitar instrumentalist Muriel Anderson, a Nashville national finger-picking champion, will headline the Friday show. Her eclectic guitar style reflects a gentle sense of humor, spanning the musical world from the sounds of Japanese koto music, Spanish flamenco to the Beatles. She has released six CDs in the United States and three in Japan, as well as two videos. In addition to her performance, she will be offering guitar lessons at the festival as part of the workshop program.

Friday's performances will also include Rick Brooks, a talented bluesy finger stylist from Anchorage; Siol, an Irish quartet; Alaska favorites Atz Kilcher and Dick Koskovitch from Homer; folksinger Annie Wenz from Maine; and the Anchorage band Resolution Road. Seldovia artists Judith Lethin, Susan Springer and Pixie Jones will round out the evening.

Saturday's evening show will feature national recording artists Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer. This duo has rocked the folk-music scene with their "Tanglewood Tree" album, which topped folk radio charts in 2001. They have just finished opening for the Joan Baez 2002 tour. Original songs by Carter blend the tones of his guitar, mandolin and banjo with Grammer's brilliant fiddle and harmonies, making them a benchmark for growth in the folk-music genre. Carter and Grammer will offer a duet-singing workshop on Saturday afternoon.

Also on Saturday's program are Alaska folk-music giants Robin Hopper, Mike Campbell, Steve Sutherlin, the Matanuska Thunder Pluckers, Jane Ferman and English John, Looney Creek, Cindy Bolognani, and Anna Stange. By popular demand, Seldovia's own Safety in Numbers Acapella Choir will be back for another performance after being well received last year.

Look for these workshops on Saturday afternoon:

<> Carter and Grammer will present duet-singing.

<> Robin Hopper (Alaska's music teacher of the year) will teach children's movement and song.

<> Children's music specialist Stange will teach traditional folk music and rhythms from Africa and beyond.

<> Folk diva Wenz will teach world music and storytelling from Southeast Asia, India and more.

<> Mike Campbell, "The Mooseman," will host a song-circle in which folks can share their songs in perfect harmony and fun. Larry French, a professor of environmental education, will conduct a hands-on workshop using trust-building techniques and environmental games for teens and adults.

There will be music during the day all around town, but the workshops and performances will be held on the waterfront in the Seldovia Village Tribe Tent. The crafts fair will be just next door, outside Main Street Market. The entire event will have a ticket price of $25 for adults or $15 for school-age folks. Individual performance and workshop tickets are available as well. All tickets may be purchased at the door.

Rainbow Tours will offer a special festival package on Friday night. Leaving at 6:30 p.m. from the Homer Small Boat Harbor, the tour includes one round-trip ticket to Seldovia plus performance admission for $47.

Other local carriers, including Central Charters, Smokey Bay Air, Homer Air, Mako's Water Taxi and Jakolof Ferry Service, are available for either air or water travel to and from Seldovia for this event.

The festival is sponsored by the Seldovia Arts Council, with support from the Seldovia Chamber of Commerce. For more information, call 234-7614 or visit

-- Susan Mumma is the director of the Seldovia Arts Council.