Hammer Down

Dulcimer Heritage Festival

Joni Mitchell’s 1971 album, Blue, did as much for the modest dulcimer as any folk or old-time music. She played the Appalachian version of the instrument—really a diatonic fretted zither—on “California” and “Carey” and sold a lot of “mountain dulcimers” to aspiring hippie-girl singer/songwriters. Sigh . The other variety, the hammered dulcimer, looks medieval and requires a mallet, not to mention lots of practice, but you can still sing along with it like Joni. The good folks of Southern California folk, traditional, Celtic and every other kind of strumming or hammering convene Saturday to celebrate both instruments. Highlights include performances by national dulcimer champions (who knew?), master classes, workshops, food and vendors. Beginners, intermediate or advanced—all are welcome. And bring your fiddle-, ukulele-, mandolin- or pennywhistle-playing friend along for the all-instrument jam.
Sat., Sept. 27, 9 a.m., 2008

 
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