June 25, 2008 · Updated 11:01 AM
"A weekend of musicKevin Burke: Irish Fiddler, Oct. 15, 7:30 p.m. at WICA. Benefit concert for the Clinton Community Forum and Old Clinton Creek, with Laurie Riley opening. Tickets, $10 adults, $6 ages 13 & under; 221-8268.James Durst: Songs for a Small Planet, Oct. 16, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at WICA. Tickets, $5 matinee, $8 evening concert; 221-8268.Susan Gilles: Making the Connection, Fall Concert, Oct. 16, 7:30 p.m., Langley United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall. Donation at the door, $7, benefits LUMC Frank Goodnaugh Music Fund and Windstar Foundation.Jami Sieber & Charlie Murphy: Oct. 17, 8 p.m., Thomas Berry Hall on the Chinook lands. Cellist and singer-songwriter return for second concert. Tickets, $12, $6 kids; reservations recommended, 341-5922The Southend will hear the sound of music all weekend longLovers of music and song have a weekend full of entertainment options coming up. From fabulous fiddling to masterful harp, with songs that celebrate the season and songs for young people, various South Whidbey venues are hosting musical events Friday through Sunday.Kevin Burke and Laurie RileyGrand Master of the Irish Fiddle Kevin Burke, together with Laurie Riley, internationally known recording artist on the double stringed harp, play a benefit concert for the Clinton Community Forum and Old Clinton Creek on Friday, Oct. 15, at the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts.Opening for Burke will be Laurie Riley, internationally-known recording artist on the double strung harp who recently moved to Whidbey.Burkes powerful Irish fiddling has earned him the reputation of one of the finest and most influential players in music today.A lot of people think Irish music is wistful and melancholy, Burke said. Thats one side of it, but theres also a great, rough, resilient spirit in the music, an element of joy underlying even the most plaintive melody. I grew up listing to musicians with that spirit, and I value it.Born and raised in London, Burke picked up his first fiddle at age eight, and a few years later discovered Irish music, hearing and playing the styles of Kerry, Sligo, Galway, Limerick and Clare. He has played with The Bothy Band and Patrick Street, and has worked with artists as disparate as Kate Bush, Arlo Guthrie and Christy Moore. In the late 80s he formed Open House, a project with American musicians that he brought to Whidbey last year.Burkes new album, In Concert, is his first solo release in 15 years, with tunes drawn from throughout his long career. There are thousands of old tunes, good ones that havent been played in years...Good music is good music. It should be heard.Songs for a Small PlanetJames Durst returns to the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts with a program of his Songs for a Small Planet on Saturday, Oct. 16, playing two shows, a kids matinee an evening show. The concert is a spirited, often poignant, sometimes humorous collection of melodic songs.The New Hampshire-based singer/songwriter will perform an unplugged concert featuring a repertoire of original and traditional songs in 16 languages. They have evolved during a career spanning 30 years of international touring in 37 countries through North America, Europe, Scandinavia, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, South America, Russia, Azerbaijan, Taiwan and Japan, earning Durst the appellation of a new, ageless troubadour.Dursts concerts are an inclusive experience for his audience: He engages his listeners in a participatory journey distilled from his travels and uses his role as a minstrel to communicate global and social concerns -- the environment, world peace and greater human understanding.Once, after a concert in Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, a woman who spoke no English found Durst backstage. Through an interpreter, she said, I didnt understand a word, but... (touching the area of her heart) I understood what you were saying.Durst has recorded seven albums, most recently My Country is the World, honoring the life and work of World Citizenship pioneer Garry Davis and dedicated to mentors Pete Seeger, Theodore Bikel, Joan Baez and Bob Gibson. Recorded over a period of 22 months, it is a collection of songs from such cultural traditions as Vietnamese, Icelandic, Danish, Turkish, Greek, Hebrew, German, Chilean, Indonesian/Malaysian, Chinese and others, including songs in English.His previous solo release in 1994, Wish I Were Here, won praise worldwide as presenting a vision of a world where peace begins with functional relationships founded on individual empowerment and compassion.Making the Connection: Susan Gilles in ConcertSaturday also brings the new fall concert by Susan Gilles, guitar musician performing music and songs that connect us together in spirit, she says. She has chosen songs that reflect interconnectedness among everything, including the natural and spiritual world.Gilles will be accompanied by Island musicians Talia Marcus, Maureen and Richard Rorex, Ron Rossel and Shankar.I believe people dont want to be merely entertained as we move into the 21st century, Gilles said. We are beginning to recognize our disconnection from the earth nature, each other, ourselves and the spirit. The resonance with all of this is yearning to be remembered, rediscovered and reclaimed.Gilles music is intended to stir that reconnection, she said. The words and the melodies are intended to touch hearts, to make hearts swell with emotions of joy, pain, fear and most of all love.Gilles describes the pain when touching remembrances of wounds, and says there is fear when hearing songs of what has been or may be lost, especially when it comes to nature, the wilderness, our wildness. And the joy and love, she said, comes from allowing the music in and reaching those places, rekindling and hopefully moving a person to actions -- actions as grand as crusading to change an injustice or as common as a small at of kindness.The concert will take place in the Fellowship Hall at the Langley United Methodist Church, and donations benefit the church Frank Goodnaugh Music Fund and the Windstar Foundation. The music fund helps provided monetary resources supporting the music ministry of the church. the Windstar Foundation was founded in 1976 by Thomas Crum and John Denver in Old Snowmass, Colo. It is an educational facility with the mission to inspire individuals to make responsible choices and take direct personal actions to achieve a peaceful and environmentally sustainable future.A reception with the musicians will follow the concert, to which the audience is cordially invited.Jami Sieber and Charley MurphyThe Whidbey CyberC@fe hosts a second concert with cellist Jami Sieber and singer/songwriter Charlie Murphy on Sunday evening at the Thomas Berry Hall at Chinook (the Whidbey Institute) in Clinton.Sieber and Murphy are the creative core of one of Seattles most acclaimed bands, Rumors of the Big Wave, and they are known for songs that reach deep into the heart of human experience.Murphys lyrics have been called compelling poetry. They are accompanied by Siebers evocative cello performances. It is a vocal union seasoned over nearly two decades.During the concert, the audience will be enlisted in creating a vocal and musical experience with new songs for our times.Reservations for the concert are recommended; call the CyberC@fe at 341-5922 for tickets and directions to the Thomas Berry Hall."