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AAFFM Presents: Adam Miller, and Mark Dvorak
May 18 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm EDT$8 – $10
One of the premier autoharpists in the world, Adam Miller is a renowned American folksinger and natural-born storyteller from Oregon. Miller accompanies his rich, resonant baritone voice with lively finger-picking acoustic guitar and stunningly beautiful autoharp melodies. A masterful entertainer who never fails to get his audience singing along, he has distinguished himself as one of the great interpreters of American folksongs and folktales, and as a performer who appeals to audiences of all ages.
George Winston calls him “one of the great autoharpists and folksingers of our times.” Pete Seeger praised his “wonderful storytelling!” The Walnut Valley Festival described his performance as, “An outstanding slice of American folksongs performed with his perfectly suited voice and tasty autoharp accompaniment.” As a concert promoter in Melbourne Beach, Florida, observed, “It will charm even the most die-hard iPod-loving kids or reluctant significant-others.”
Adam began his lifelong pursuit of collecting old songs while still in grade school. Armed with an audio-graphic memory and an uncommonly good ear for melody, his childhood ambition was to learn every song he heard. An accomplished folklorist, historian, and song-collector, he has now amassed a remarkable repertoire of over 5,000 songs. Miller’s repertoire evokes a by-gone time when entertainment was homemade. A master of the art of storytelling, he skillfully interweaves folksongs and the stories behind them with the elegance of a documentary filmmaker.
Traveling 70,000 miles a year, this 21st-century troubadour performs over 200 concerts annually, from the Everglades to the Arctic Circle. More than1.5 million American K-12 students have attended his Singing Through History! school assembly programs. He has performed in more than 2,000 American public libraries in 48 states.
He has recorded six CDs that receive airplay across North America and Europe. His numerous appearances at the Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival, the Brookdale Bluegrass Festival, the Tumbleweed Music Festival, the California Traditional Music Society’s Summer Solstice Festival, and the Kentucky Music Weekend have made him a national favorite.
Miller’s folk songs and ballads are the songs of America’s heritage: a window into the soul of our nation in its youth. Frank Hamilton, co-founder of the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, former member of the folk quartet The Weavers, and co-founder of Atlanta’s Frank Hamilton School, says, “His performance is truly entertaining and riveting. He’s doing a real service for folk music: defending the treasury of American tradition.”
When Chicago-based singer-songwriter Mark Dvorak began his career in music, he knew right away he was in it for the long haul. Thirty-four years later he’s still on the road, performing and recording.
“He’s the real deal,” said James Tomasello of the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, where Dvorak has been on the faculty for 30 years. “Mark has made music his life and livelihood. His performances are elegant, rich and powerful. He is one of the Old Town School’s Distinguished Teaching Artists.”
Mark Dvorak is the third son of four, born to a working class family on Chicago’s southwest side. After reading Anthony Scaduto’s biography of Bob Dylan in high school, his interest in American folk music was born. Soon the recordings of Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly and Pete Seeger found their way into his collection. He purchased his first acoustic guitar and enrolled in classes at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music after a summer of touring the country by motorcycle. In 1982 Dvorak borrowed a five string banjo and began teaching himself how to play, mastering the claw-hammer stroke. In 1986 Dvorak joined Old Town School faculty.
In December of 2013, Mark published his first collection of essays and poems, Bowling for Christmas and Other Tales from the Road. The book sold out of its initial printing in nine days and received glowing reviews.
Dvorak has performed in 38 states and in parts of Europe and Canada. He has released 17 albums and has won awards for journalism and children’s music. He received the Woodstock Folk Festival Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008 and the Lantern Bearer Award from Folk Alliance International in 2013. In 2012 WFMT 98.7 FM Midnight Special host Rich Warren named him Chicago’s “official troubadour.”