A celebration of the original tiny venues.
A celebration of all those small venues that fly under the radar. They’re the places that help the young musicians along. They’re the venues that help keep alive all the traditional music from around the world. They don’t do tribute bands. They don’t present bands just to draw a larger audience. They don’t sell beer or wine. They present music that needs to be kept alive. And they don’t do it for the money.
They inhabit church basements, the grange halls, the school auditoriums. They do it for the community, so people can meet, talk, make new friends, maybe raise money for a local cause. They not only keep nothing for themselves, they shell out of their own pocket to make the thing work. Who are these people??? They’re the original tiny venue curators.
Fire In The Kitchen Concerts and Workshops, Madison, Connecticut
Founded around 1994 by Charlie Shafer with his wife Stacy, it slowly grew from an informal place to hold small concerts to benefit local events to a regional destination for fans to see such luminaries as Mike Marshall and Darol Anger, Molly Tuttle, Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas, Väsen, and many others. Originally the focus was on small collegiate choirs in the area, simply in an attempt to give those students a place to perform outside of the campus, and hopefully raise a (very) few dollars for charities. There was no intention to grow, and the longevity surprises even Stacy and Charlie Shafer. In time, the Shafers saw a need for local young string players to have an alternative to the typical classical repertoire offered in schools and by private teachers. Thus, around 2003, the focus switched to workshops presented by the artists before the shows, and an accent on bands with a strong string element.
As time marched on, and music became more genre-less, the focus turned to alternative strings in many forms, with artists like Dana Leong, Christian Howes, 9 Horses and Dr. Dave Wallace’s alt/classical Hat Trick trio. The future promises to move both outdoors with more traditional bands, and present more cutting edge classical during the indoor season.