The various artists in the Sheffield constellation hail from a wide swath of genres. We list performances we present and others we highly recommend. While many of the events are hosted at Sheffield House, a few are "off-campus," so please note the event location.
FRIday, MARCH 1
FEAT. ZACHARIAH HICKMAN, Mina Kim and Annie Bartlett
Dietrich Strause’s songs are a mix of timeless melody, literate lyricism, and a “virtuosic command of imagery” (The Artery, WBUR). Strause released two albums last year: How Cruel That Hunger Binds and Dietrich Strause & The Blue Ribbons. His blend of mid-century modern pop and atomic-age folk has drawn comparisons to M. Ward and a young Paul Simon and has landed him support invitations from a wide swath of artists, from folk luminaries Sarah Jarosz and Anais Mitchell to indie pop acts Darlingside and Lake Street Dive.
TUESDAY, MARCH 5
Location: Brown Hall, New England Conservatory of Music, Boston, MA
Our beloved cellist from across the pond, Mina Kim, becomes a Doctor of Musical Arts this Spring (she's promised to keep hanging out with us, advanced degrees notwithstanding). But before that can happen, she has to run the gauntlet — her final recital at New England Conservatory. Fortunately, if you're familiar with Mina and the ice in her veins, you know this doesn't faze her. She takes the stage next Tuesday for her swan song performance (as a student, that is) and will be pulling out the stops with J.S. Bach's Cello Suite No. 6, Z. Kodaly's Solo Cello Sonata, an original piece of her own, and a handful of tunes from her neo-classical outfit Rosin (Mina Kim, Annie Bartlett, Zachariah Hickman, Jake Armerding).
NEC ain't gonna know what hit it. Come on out and watch the fireworks — it's a free show.
TUESDAY, MARCH 19
MISS TESS TRIO feat. JAMES ROHR & Zachariah Hickman
Location: Sheffield House
Join us on March 19 for a special debut performance of the Miss Tess Trio, featuring James Rohr on piano and Zachariah Hickman on double bass. Miss Tess—currently a resident of Nashville, TN—cut her teeth in the Boston jazz/roots scene through the late 2000s. A jazz- and honky-tonk-influenced songwriter and guitarist, Tess and her band The Talkbacks tour relentlessly all over the world, performing upwards of 200 shows a year. This is a special performance of new material—mostly jazz ballads—that will show off the virtuosity and restraint of three exceptional musicians.
THURSDAY, APRIL 4
SHEFFIELD JUKEBOX feat. JAKE ARMERDING, TAYLOR ARMERDING, MARK ERELLI, CHARLIE ROSE & Zachariah Hickman
Location: Sheffield House
The Sheffield Jukebox: the show where we play whatever the heck we feel like, and it's AWESOME. We say yes to Fleetwood Mac, Billy Joel, Hall and Oates and Rogers & Hammerstein; we say yes to George Michael and Bela Fleck; we say maybe to Imagine Dragons.
The five artists featured this year are a mutual admiration society, a collective of singers and players who enjoy collaborating on stage and generally deliver a good, solid performance. Gentlemen of etiquette and taste, hygienically faultless, they arrive appropriately attired and conduct themselves with the utmost musical integrity. You'll want to see them in action.
MONDAY, MAY 20
Sheffield Sessions Presents the Sheffield Chamber Players: 2+2=5
Location: Sheffield House
How does the greatest music always seem to add up to more than its constituent parts? This program splits the ensemble and journeys through three small duet masterpieces by living American composers, Kenji Bunch, Caroline Shaw and Andy Stein, and then comes back together with one of the greatest works of the western world, Brahms’ Quintet in F minor, here set for string quintet as it was originally conceived.
Cozy up with a glass of wine in the classiest living room for miles around and put yourself entirely in the capable hands of our "house quartet" for an evening that defines classy relaxation.
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the sheffield story
A quiet residential street in small-town Winchester, MA might sound like an unlikely birthplace for a tiny musical revolution. But it happened anyway.
A chance meeting between violist Annie Bartlett and violinist-composer Jake Armerding in 2011 led to all kinds of musical adventures. Their collaborative debut, a simple house show, was oversold in a matter of days; expanding into new venues, the duo added local double bassist Zack Hickman and took the Griffin Photography Museum by storm in Fall 2012. When the trio announced plans for a summer bash, dubbing it "Bluegrass & Bourbon" after the two primary influences on the evening, Winchester residents responded in force, selling out the first evening and demanding a second. It's been rolling from there, with the current slate of half-a-dozen annual performances making hardly a dent in the local demand for well-crafted acoustic music.
Bartlett's proficiency on viola and violin, extensive training in the classical field and ambitious musical nature make her a perfect foil for Armerding, whose songs, primarily an infusion of folk, bluegrass and 1980s pop, are also informed by his extensive classical violin training as a child. Hickman leads a strong cast of supporting players who never suspected they would find such demand for their talents on Sheffield Road.
As this humble musical juggernaut continues to expand on the greater Boston scene, it seems one should never bet against a small town's appetite for high quality, local art and entertainment.
April 2015 / Live at Futura Music, Roslindale MA
Eager Young Minds
June 2016 / Miles of Music Camp, Lake Winnepesaukee, NH