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Bullock Plays Bach ROBIN BULLOCK performs Bach Cello Suites on Mandolin Appearing Sat May 26th 2018 at 8pm

$15 in advance

$18 at the door

I’ve loved Johann Sebastian Bach’s transcendently beautiful music all my life, but as a non-classically-trained steel-string guitarist and mandolinist I assumed for years that actually performing any of his work myself was out of the question. Then I acquired my first vintage Gibson mandolin, and vaguely remembered that Bach had composed for unaccompanied violin and for unaccompanied cello…and thought, that should be possible on mandolin, maybe I could learn one or two short pieces…and one thing led to another
-------Robin Bullock

About Bullock;'s recent recording of the Bach Cello Suites for Mandolin:

Suites 1-3 for solo cello by J.S. Bach, exquisitely interpreted on vintage Gibson mandolins by an Indie Award-winning master instrumentalist. ~ Since their rediscovery in the late 19th century by legendary cellist Pablo Casals, Johann Sebastian Bach's Suites for Solo Cello have been celebrated as unquestioned masterpieces of the Baroque era, in the repertoire of virtually every cellist as well as being adapted for viola, string bass, lute, harp, classical guitar, electric guitar, marimba and even trumpet...but never before has the complete cycle been recorded on mandolin.
Now, Indie Award-winning multi-instrumentalist Robin Bullock, touring sideman for many years with Grammy-winning folk icon Tom Paxton and one of the world's foremost Celtic guitar and cittern masters, explores the boundless beauty and emotion of the Suites and their ethereal lightness when transposed from cello to mandolin. The result is nothing short of magical: a feast of otherworldly music overheard from some mysterious, enchanted realm.
This volume contains the first three Suites, performed on Gibson mandolins from 1920, 1921 and 1909 respectively, and volume two will follow with Suites four through six.

Hailed as a “Celtic guitar god” by Baltimore City Paper and “one of the best folk instrumentalists in the business” by Sing Out! Magazine, Robin Bullock is one of the preeminent acoustic music masters of our time.

His virtuosity on guitar, cittern and mandolin blends the ancient melodies of the Celtic lands, their vigorous American descendants, and the masterworks of the Baroque and Renaissance eras into one powerful musical vision. The 17th-century harp tunes of legendary Irish bard Turlough O’Carolan, the spirited jigs and reels of rural Ireland, the haunting ballads of the southern Appalachians and the timeless compositions of Bach, Dowland and Francesco da Milano all find a musical common ground in Robin’s music, where lightning-fast fingerwork one moment is perfectly balanced with tender, quiet intimacy the next. A warm, friendly presence onstage, Robin effortlessly creates a magical world for the audience with his multi-instrumental wizardry, taking them on an unforgettable journey into the deep heart’s core and through the music of the spheres.

Originally rising to prominence as a founding member of the innovative acoustic world-music trio Helicon (winners of the Association for Independent Music’s prestigious INDIE Award for Best Seasonal Recording), Robin’s solo career has won him three Washington Area Music Association WAMMIE Awards (Traditional Folk Instrumentalist 1997 and 1999; Traditional Folk Recording of the Year 1998), a Player’s Choice Award from Acoustic Guitar Magazine in the Celtic guitar category, a Governor’s Award from the Maryland State Arts Council and a feature broadcast on National Public Radio’s hugely popular Celtic music program “The Thistle and Shamrock.”

His fifteen solo and collaborative recordings range from loving yet innovative interpretations of Celtic tradition, to the beloved carols and hymns of the Christmas season, to deep explorations of J.S. Bach’s incomparable masterpieces, and his many years as a leading exponent of Turlough O’Carolan’s Irish harp melodies on acoustic guitar culminated in 2015’s The Carolan Collection, a compilation CD benefiting animal rescue organizations in Robin’s home state of North Carolina. Robin also appears on The Road Home, a tribute to his late friend and collaborator Butch Baldassari, alongside such greats as David Grisman, Ricky Skaggs, Sam Bush, Tim O’Brien and the Nashville Mandolin Ensemble; his arrangements for guitar and mandolin have been featured in several of Mel Bay’s Master Anthologies, and his chamber orchestrations of traditional Celtic tunes have been performed by the Baltimore Choral Arts Society and members of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Writing about Robin in The NPR Curious Listener’s Guide to Celtic Music, Thistle and Shamrock host Fiona Ritchie says “Bullock’s music accents the connections between Celtic and American traditional and acoustic music. That he is able to do so by playing almost any stringed instrument to perfection is his specialty.”

Robin maintains a busy international touring schedule, performing in a number of settings; though his primary focus is solo performance, he can also be heard in Celtic duos with guitarist Steve Baughman and Irish singer Aoife Clancy, as a member of the award-winning world-folk trio Helicon, as part of an Asheville-based John Denver tribute group, and most notably, as sideman with Grammy Award-winning folk icon Tom Paxton. Robin’s many years of touring with Tom have included collaborations with such luminaries as John McCutcheon, Grammy-winning songwriters Jon Vezner and Don Henry, and on their 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2015 “Together at Last” tours, Tom’s fellow Grammy winner Janis Ian.

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