Happenings This Fall

Do the season right with these autumnal events!

Steamin’ Days at Auburn Heights
The Marshall Steam Museum
3000 Creek Rd., Yorklyn
First Sunday of the month through November
Auburnheights.org
Climb into an antique automobile or board one of the trains and experience what it was like to travel at the turn of the 20th century. Another option is touring the 1897 mansion that was home to three generations of the Marshall family. General admission is $8 for ages 12 and under, $10 for 13 and up, and free for Friends of Auburn Heights Preserve members.

Corn Maze & Fall Fun
Ramsey’s Farm
330 Ramsey Rd., Wilmington
Ramseysfarm.com
Embrace the fun of fall with the corn maze, sorghum maze, hay maze, pumpkin painting, hayrides, and more this month.

Kalmar Nyckel Adventures
Various October dates
Wilmington & Historic New Castle
Kalmarnyckel.org
Set sail on the Kalmar Nyckel in October for day sails, private sails, tours, or river cruises, setting off from multiple locations, including Wilmington and Historic New Castle.

Fort Delaware Ghost Tours
Pea Patch Island, Delaware City
Various October dates
destateparks.com
For three hours, participate in an actual paranormal investigation of Pea Patch Island’s Fort Delaware. All departures are on the ferry from Delaware City at 45 Clinton St. Admission is $50 per person.

Milburn Orchards
1495 Appleton Rd., Elkton, Md.
October through November
Milburnorchards.com
Milburn Orchards is the place to go for hayrides, a corn maze, farmyard playground, tractor tunnel, straw jump, and more. Admission is $5-$10, and free for ages 2 and below.

Harvest Moon Festival
Coverdale Farm Preserve
543 Way Rd., Greenville
Saturday, Oct. 7, and Sunday, Oct. 8; 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Delawarenaturesociety.org
This fall festival, located at the scenic Coverdale Farm Preserve, features fun activities for all ages with hayrides, live music, food trucks, artisan demonstrations, and children’s activities. The festival is free for all members and $7 for non-members over the age of five. 

Grainfest 2017
Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen
270 E. Main St., Newark
Saturday, Oct. 7; 12 p.m.
meetatgrain.com/grainfest
The second annual Grainfest will include more than 20 breweries, live music, food trucks, kids’ activities, live music provided by five bands, and more. Beers will be available as half pours ($3) or full pours ($6). Wine will also be available. Advanced admission is $12; $15 at the door. ?

Vendemmia da Vinci
Wine and Food Festival
Bellevue State Park
800 Carr Rd., Wilmington
Sunday, Oct. 8; 2-6 p.m.
Societadavinci.org
Dedicated to promoting the Italian-American heritage, the Da Vinci Society helps families in need, provides educational grants, supports cultural events and institutions within the community and throws one heck of a fall event. At the 14th annual Vendemmia celebration, guests can sample Italian wines and food, visit the Italian Beer Garden, listen to live entertainment, participate in a silent auction and handcrafted wine and homemade gravy contests, and more. Admission is $55 in advance and $60 at the gate.

The Ultimate Tailgate
Sheraton Wilmington South
365 Airport Rd., New Castle
Thursday, Oct. 12; 6-9 p.m.
Mealsonwheelsde.org
The Ultimate Tailgate fundraiser benefiting Meals On Wheels Delaware will include wine, spirits, and craft beer from 2SP Brewing Co. as well as area restaurants’ unique interpretations of tailgate food. Guests will enjoy live entertainment, a silent auction, tailgate-themed games, and a beer/wine toss. Tickets cost $65 per person and should be purchased online.

Musikarmageddon Finale
the baby grand
818 N Market St., Wilmington
Saturday, Oct. 14; 8 p.m.
Outandaboutnow.com/musikarmageddon
Local acts Rusty Blue, Carrier, Cologne and TreeWalker are the four finalists of this year’s Musikarmageddon battle of the bands. The finale will determine the 2017 championship.

DTC Wine Feast & Auction
Sponsored by Delaware Theatre Company
At Delaware Art Museum
2310 Kentmere Pkwy., Wilmington
Saturday, Oct. 14; 6-9:30 p.m.
Delawaretheatre.org
The 25th annual Wine Feast & Auction will include 500 food and wine aficionados from New York City to Washington, D.C. Proceeds go to providing artistic education and community engagement programs, as well as serving 35,000 theatergoers and 5,000 children throughout the state. Tickets are $100 through Oct. 1, and $125 after, though admission is $75 for people 35 years old and younger. Patron ticket: $250.

Delaware Wine & Beer Festival
Delaware State Fair Grounds
18500 S. Dupont Hwy., Harrington
Saturday, Oct. 14; 12-5 p.m.
Visitdelawarevillages.com
The Delaware Wine and Beer Festival is the First State’s “official” wine and beer festival, and still the only one that features all of Delaware’s breweries, wineries and distilleries in one location. The festival includes music, games, performers, DJs, and access to various local eateries featuring gourmet foods and Delaware specialties. Guests must be 21 or older. Admission is $10-$40.

October Free Writes
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Pkwy., Wilmington
Thursday, Oct. 19, and Sunday, Oct. 29; 6:30-8 p.m.
Delart.org
Visit the galleries and explore a topic or idea through writing inspired by prompts. These informal gatherings allow participants of all experience levels to write with the hope of unearthing new materials and perspectives. No writing experience is required and advanced registration is recommended. Author Dennis Lawson will lead a mystery and crime themed free write on Thursday, Oct. 19, followed by a horror free write with Jessa Mendez on Sunday, Oct. 29.

Boo at the Zoo
Brandywine Zoo
1001 N Park Dr., Wilmington
Friday, Oct. 20 and Saturday, Oct. 21; 5-7 p.m.
Brandywinezoo.org
Trick-or-treat and celebrate Halloween Brandywine Zoo-style with this merry, not scary, event. Here, kids can trick-or-treat in their Halloween costumes through the zoo as it gets dark.

Halloween Blue Jean Ball
Food Bank of Delaware
222 Lake Dr., Newark
Saturday, Oct. 21; 6:30-10:30 p.m.
Fbdbluejeanball.org
The Food Bank of Delaware’s 12th annual Blue Jean Ball will feature a small plate menu prepared by students from the Food Bank’s Culinary School as well as Iron Hill Brewery’s chefs. Admission is $75 per person, which includes unlimited beer and wine, food from Iron Hill Brewery, live entertainment from Mike Hines and The Look, and a commemorative beer mug. Tables of 10 are available for $750.

Movies on Tap
Penn Cinema
401 S. Madison St., Wilmington
Thursday, Oct. 26, and Friday, Nov. 17
Premierwinespirits.com
On Thursday, Oct. 26, watch Young Frankenstein while enjoying brews from Argilla Brewing Company—all for a good cause. The viewing benefits Alex’s Lemonade Stand. And don’t miss Planes, Trains and Automobiles while sampling what Yards Brewing has to offer on Friday, Nov. 17.

Jack O’Lantern Jamboree
Gateway Garden Center
7277 Lancaster Pike, Hockessin
Friday, Oct. 27
Gatewaygardens.com
Bring your pre-carved pumpkins to the sixth annual Jack O’Lantern Jamboree, a free family-friendly walk through, and expect to see upwards of 70 carved pumpkins. Contact Gateway Garden Center in advance to save a place for your pumpkin.

Beers & Gears
Delaware Park
777 Delaware Park Blvd., Wilmington
Saturday, Oct. 28; 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Delawarepark.com
This car show includes rat rods, muscles, exotics, hot rods, turners, pro street, imports, trucks and classics. More than 450 trophies will be awarded during this family-friendly event, free for spectators, with live music and DJs.

Halloween Loop
Downtown Wilmington
Saturday, Oct. 28
Outandaboutnow.com
Featuring 13 local restaurants, pubs and bars, the 37th annual Halloween Loop is an extravaganza for guests to dress up in the spirit of the holiday. There is no official starting point. Select the nightspot you’d like to visit first, pay the cover charge, and you will receive a wristband that gains you admission to all other Loop venues without paying another cover.

Urban Bike Project
Fall Crisp Classic
Bellevue State Park, Wilmington
Saturday, Nov. 4; 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Urbanbikeproject.com
This autumnal bicycle ride begins and ends at Bellevue, with eight-mile or 12-mile riding options for riders. An after party at the finish line in Bellevue State Park is sponsored by Dogfish Head Brewery. Tickets are $30 with $15 non-rider tickets available for those who would just like to join the festivities at the finish. It’s $20 to sponsor an Urban Bike Project youth rider.   

5 Questions With Tom Segura

The Netflix comedy star brings his honest and deviant humor to The Playhouse on Rodney Square this Friday

When he was 18 years old, Tom Segura took way too many drugs while hanging out at a bar one night with friends. Along with instantly becoming the life of the party, he blacked out completely.

He also almost died.

At some point, he fell to the floor. His sister called an ambulance, and he was whisked away to a hospital, where he later woke up in the emergency room staring at the bright ceiling lights with multiple tubes running out of his mouth.

He had awakened from a coma. Doctors told him later he was lucky he ever woke up at all. What saved him from flatlining?

The fact that he was fat.

On the Comedy Central show This Is Not Happening, Segura recounts that traumatic cautionary tale in a way that is equal parts honest, relatable, endearing and frightening. It also may be the funniest drug-overdose story that you’ll ever hear.

Like Richard Pryor talking about catching fire from freebasing, it’s Segura’s willingness to joyfully hopscotch back and forth between the appropriate and inappropriate, the mundane and the outrageous, the tragic and the downright hilarious that makes his brand of stand-up stand out.

It’s probably also the reason the stand-up artist has two successful comedy specials – Completely Normal and Mostly Stories – currently running on Netflix.

This Friday, Segura brings all of his funny and perverse energy to The Playhouse on Rodney Square as part of his No Teeth, No Entry Tour. Here’s what he has to say about his act and his frame of mind.

O&A: The story about your overdosing on GHB [Ed: also known as liquid ecstasy] – and the whole embarrassing thing of almost killing yourself by doing something stupid – a lot of people would never share that. But you did. And that’s something that comes up again and again in your comedy, that you’re not afraid to make yourself look a certain way…

Tom Segura: A lot of times I’ve thought about the overdose, and the whole reason I took too much was because I had too much in my mouth, and I didn’t want to look dumb by spitting it out. You know? I had too much of a poison in my mouth and I’d rather swallow it. It’s so crazy that I would think like that. But it is one of those things where, in the moment, you’re like, “You don’t want to look like an amateur.”

Even to this day, I realize that I’m so polite, that I do things against my better judgment so that I don’t appear impolite. It won’t be a mouthful of drugs. But I’ll stay in situations where everything inside of me telling me “Say something,” but I don’t want to appear rude. As I get older, I’m like, “Just address what’s actually bothering you instead of appearing impolite.”

O&A: Do you feel that comedy is an outlet to express all those pent-up frustrations?

TS: Oh, yeah. 100 percent. I mean, you have to be bothered by something. Somebody was talking to me, like, “I know you think comedians are angry.” And I said, “Well, they should be. Not walking around wanting to punch holes in walls. But they should be bothered by something. Because if you’re not bothered by something, you’d have nothing to talk about.”

That’s the whole thing: You should be annoyed if you’re funny. If you are so enlightened, if you’re in a place of nirvana, you’re not funny. You might be inspiring. But you’re not funny.

I feel standup is a place [to share] all the things that may not be conversation points or things that you can grind-out about in everyday life. It’s an outlet where you can go: “This is what’s bothering me. This sucks.”

O&A: On that note then, what’s your definition of good comedy? What are the elements that make it work for you?

TS: You don’t want to be indifferent in comedy. For me, the whole thing about comedy is that you have an opinion on something. It doesn’t matter if it’s an opinion on oven gloves or if it’s an opinion on who’s being confirmed to be on the Supreme Court. As long as you have an opinion – and usually the stronger the opinion, the better – that’s a great start.

Then it’s always about highlighting, almost exaggerating, an element of what you are saying. That’s what makes something pop! You have something punched up. It’s a departure from normal dialogue. It’s that extreme example.

It’s also dropping those social guards. Letting that politeness drop is what makes, I think, the best comedy flourish. Because the person is not worried if this is PC or acceptable to everyone. When you have all those elements combined, I think you have good comedy.

O&A: You’ve been doing this a long time. You started standup almost right after college. When did you learn that you were funny?

TS: I felt that I had some ability early on. We moved a lot when I was a kid. And when you’re a kid, everything’s about that social acceptance.

When you’re moving a lot, every time you start off, you’re reestablishing yourself and trying to make friends. And I would make kids laugh. Sometimes I would really make kids laugh. Like really hard. In my eyes, I was making them laugh more than I’d seen other people make other kids laugh. That gave me at least the illusion that I had some ability to do that. The more that I moved, and the more that I tried to be funny and had success with it, the more I thought, “Maybe that’s something I can do.”

O&A: Every comedian has airplane or airport humor, but yours is different because yours involves more your interactions with people you meet, whether it’s the comedian Bruce Bruce, or Mike Tyson, or even everyday people you meet. Are you constantly recording this stuff in your head?

TS: I think I’m tuned in to those things as being funny. We all have all these interactions all the time. But different comics are more tuned in to certain interactions.

I get turned on by small, mundane interactions if I think they’re socially awkward or inappropriate. If somebody says something – and I’m like, “Wait… what?!” – my radar goes off, because to me, that’s funny. And I know I’m going to report on it. Almost like a journalist. I’m going to tell people about it. I live for those interactions. They have always been super funny to me.

Tom Segura will perform at The Playhouse on Rodney Square this Friday, July 28, as part of his No Teeth No Entry Tour. Showtime is 8 p.m. and tickets can be purchased via the website or by calling The Grand’s box office at (302) 652-5577.

Changing of the Guard

Delaware leaders help welcome world’s largest producer of live music concerts to Wilmington

Dylan, Bowie, Sam Cooke and Sheryl Crow all sang about change—the need for it, the inevitability of it, how it will “do you good.” Now, an exciting change has come to Wilmington with The Queen’s new caretakers, Live Nation, a live-events company based in Beverly Hills, Calif., whose website boasts that “somewhere in the world, there is a Live Nation event every 20 minutes.”

On June 14, a healthy mix of musicians, music fans, neighbors, politicians, non-profits and business leaders crowded the 500 block of Market Street to help welcome the new owners. Celebratory sounds from the Wild Bohemians brass band filled the air and three stoic “British guards” stood at attention onstage. (I caught Gov. John Carney trying to converse with one of the guards, to little avail, as she embraced her role.)

The excitement was palpable, especially after an enthusiastic welcome from Buccini/Pollin Group Co-President Chris Buccini and rousing words from Gov. Carney and Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki. Live Nation’s executive vice president for clubs and theaters, Michael Grozier, then stepped to the podium, channeling the Pointer Sisters with his first words to Wilmington. “I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it!” he shouted.

Live Nation’s Regional President Geoff Gordon (who previously oversaw bookings at Wilmington’s own Kahunaville) joined him to launch a gigantic burst of confetti onto Market Street and usher in a new chapter for The Queen and her city.

“The bones of this building are just fantastic,” Grozier said when I asked about his first walk-through. “And we feel that we’ve got the resources that can build upon that.”

Inside, most of the grand edifice will remain, as will a few familiar faces (e.g., former World Cafe Live talent buyer Christiana LaBuz has moved to the Live Nation team to continue in that role), but there’s also plenty evidence of what will be built with Live Nation’s “toolbox.”

Gathering at the soft opening were (L to R): Jazzi Hall, operations supervisor for The Queen; new General Manager Trenton Banks; Jason Bray, Live Nation Philadelphia Market general manager, and Angela Depersia, operations manager for the Queen. (Photo by Joe del Tufo)
Gathering at the soft opening were (L to R): Jazzi Hall, operations supervisor for The Queen; new General Manager Trenton Banks; Jason Bray, Live Nation Philadelphia Market general manager, and Angela Depersia, operations manager for the Queen. (Photo by Joe del Tufo)

New Bar by Thanksgiving

Guests were greeted by sleek architectural renderings of the new front bar and box office, which Buccini hopes to have completed by Thanksgiving. Walls and hallways were adorned with large music/pop culture-inspired, neon-tinged installations by artists Louis St. Lewis and Nate Sheaffer. Posters touted some of the shows that have already been booked, including Cheap Trick, The Alarm and comedian Jim Breuer as well as longtime local favorites Ben LeRoy and The Snap and Montana Wildaxe.

“From a talent perspective, our plan is to bring in a mix spanning all genres,” said Jon Hampton, Live Nation’s senior vice president for talent. “I expect us to book close to 100 shows annually, keeping the venue active and ensuring the calendar offers something for everyone.”

Grozier concurred: “We hope to bring over 100,000 people downtown for the best in international, national, regional and local talent—in all forms for all members of the community.” It seems that our new neighbor wants to celebrate the local scene as much as endorse Wilmington as a place to draw big-name acts.

“The level of financial, social and emotional investment in this city is amazing,” Grozier said, noting the enthusiasm he’s seen from surrounding businesses and residents alike. “We want to be sure to honor that.”

Community engagement will surely be part of the responsibilities of Trenton Banks, the new general manager of The Queen. Banks—now a downtown Wilmingtonian along with wife Jaclyn and their two young sons—has been busy discovering the surroundings of his new gig.

“We’ve definitely been exploring,” he said. They’ve traveled along Market Street, down to the Riverfront, and have made visits to La Fia and Chelsea Tavern. “As a [new] Wilmington resident, I’m excited to meet fellow residents and support neighboring businesses,” Banks said.

He seems enamored with his new venue and what it offers. “It’s such a gorgeous, spacious building, the possibilities are endless,” he said. “There is underutilized space; we’ll look at how best to serve the needs of the community as we get up and running.”

Banks and Live Nation have plans for concerts, special events and local nights. He noted the addition of the bar inside the corner of 5th and Market, which he envisions as a great enhancement to the neighborhood on both show and off nights, since it will be accessible to both concertgoers and the public.

Shine a Light to Return

Banks said that Live Nation’s involvement will encompass the larger community. “We’re 100 percent committed to supporting and advocating for local arts and community initiatives, and plan to be an active partner,” he said. In fact, at the June 14 event, the team confirmed Saturday, March 3, as the return of Shine a Light, the annual fundraising concert for the Light Up the Queen Foundation. Banks also announced a July 23 job fair for local staffing at all levels.

Asked how the community can support in return, he said, “We only ask that you come out to shows, embrace live music and give us your feedback and ideas so we can work to deliver a world-class venue in the heart of Wilmington.”

Buccini/Pollin Group’s overall vision for The Queen seems to align well with Live Nation’s plans. “Our goal is to fully maximize this space and the music experience in downtown Wilmington, but also to create a more varied talent base—everything from music to comedy,” said Buccini. “Live Nation has the ability to make that happen for us.”

Smiling, he added, “Wilmington is growing up.”

Later, I walked back to my car at 6th and Shipley and noticed a band of blue confetti had migrated there. I smiled myself, hoping it was a symbol of the burgeoning excitement, liveliness and transformation that will benefit all parts of Wilmington.

Food & Brew Hits 14

The annual Newark festival has become a celebration of community

The Newark Food and Brew Festival (F&B) returns for its 14th year on Saturday, July 22, from noon to 7 p.m. in downtown Newark.

F&B began in 2003 as an event aimed at showcasing the craft beer scene and the many restaurants of downtown Newark. But it quickly became more than a compilation of food and beer, evolving into a representation of the community. F&B gives the citizens of Newark a chance to enjoy their town, listen to live music, eat delicious meals, and indulge in a diverse selection of beers without the usual crowds. It also allows local businesses to connect with the full-time residents of Newark.

“So much of our business comes from not only the college students, but the support staff for the university—professors, staff, and their families,” says Sasha Aber, owner of Home Grown Café and a veteran of F&B. “During the summer, those patrons go their own way, and the locals begin to emerge in droves. It’s great to see people running into old friends and making new acquaintances in the heart of our town.”

F&B was one of the first craft beer events in Delaware. Fourteen years later, it has grown into one of Newark’s most anticipated summer festivals. “Food and Brew highlights the best of downtown Newark,” says Megan McNerney, Community Affairs officer for the city.

This year, 18 establishments along Main Street will participate. Each will be paired with featured beers from a selected brewery. Some of the breweries include Lagunitas, Brooklyn Brewing Co., Victory, Dogfish Head and more. To make the most of the $1-$2 beer samples, available at each establishment, the first 2,000 visitors to this year’s F&B will receive a commemorative five-ounce tasting mug.

Participating restaurants will serve tapas styled bites to go with the brews. “The restaurants are pairing specialty plates with beers to give customers a unique experience,” says McNerney.
Old Favorites, such as Catherine Rooney’s, Home Grown Café and The Deer Park Tavern, will also offer tasty plates. Some establishments, such as Café Gelato, have full entrée deals and larger beer samples for the attendees.

F&B is a pay-as-you-go festival. Attendees can stop at as many of the participating establishments as they wish and get their fill, while enjoying the town and a night out in their community. The pay-as-you-go aspect allows them to participate without breaking the bank—or expanding the waistline.
For more information and the full list of participating restaurants and featured breweries, visit newarkfoodandbrewfest.com.

Tuned In

Not-to-be-missed music news

Classical Guitar Performance by Duo 220 Set for Feb. 25

Hailed for their technique and musicianship, classical guitarists Adam Larison and Andrew Stroud of Duo 220 have established a firm position in a newly emerging generation of guitar ensembles.

The Wilmington Classical Guitar Society is hosting a performance by the duo at Presbyterian Church of the Covenant (503 Duncan Rd., Wilmington) on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 7:30 p.m.

Duo 220 strives to create programs that are new, fresh and accessible through a mixture of both standards and lesser-known works in the guitar duo. Admission is $10 for students, seniors and WCGS members and $15 for general admission, available at the door or online at wilmingtonguitar.org.

Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles

Join an intimate evening performance with Cory Henry and his band, The Funk Apostles, on Saturday, Feb. 11, at Clifford Brown Performance Center. Henry is a 29-year-old Brooklyn-born songwriter, organist, pianist and music producer well-versed in jazz, gospel and funk. He has toured with Bruce Springsteen, Michael McDonald, P. Diddy, Boyz II Men, Israel Houghton, Donnie McClurkin and Kirk Franklin and has released two albums, First Steps (2014) and The Revival (2016).

Doors open at 7 p.m. and the concert begins promptly at 7:30. Early bird tickets are $20 through Feb. 5 and $30 after. Tickets are available at ccacde.org.

The Arts at Trinity

On Saturday, Feb. 18, at Trinity Episcopal Church (1108 N. Adams St., Wilmington), The Arts at Trinity presents a performance by the Mid-Atlantic Chamber Music Society as part of its 2016-2017 music series. Admission is free. Donations are accepted. The performance is at 7:30 p.m.

Open Mic Night

The Music School of Delaware hosts a bi-monthly open mic night on the second Thursday of every other month, beginning in February. On Feb. 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the Wilmington branch – 4104 Washington St.—the event will include professional-grade equipment for artists: drum set, grand piano, electric piano/synth, guitar/bass amplification available upon request, microphones, PA system and monitors. A complimentary recording of the performance is available to all participants as well as an after party. The event is free.

Thrones in the Round in Philly

The Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience is coming to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on Sunday, Feb. 26. It will mark the first time an orchestral concert like this will be performed in the round.
The performance is expected to be massive in terms of sound, size, and visuals, sure to mirror the Emmy-winning show’s stature. Innovative music tour production and video technology will take the audience through the seven kingdoms of the Game of Thrones universe.

The Travel Songs Foundation

Delaware band and creative organization Travel Songs recently established a nonprofit, The Travel Songs Foundation, and launched its first project: preserving instrument-making in Peru’s Andean region.

In 2013, the band—now foundation—broadened perspectives with a successful Kickstarter campaign that funded the group’s first award-winning documentary, Travel Songs: Peru.

Now, the Travel Songs Foundation takes things a step further, and is chartered under the Delaware Community Foundation with the mission to connect cultures through music. Funded by grants and tax-deductible donations from its supporters, the foundation fulfills its mission by producing documentaries and other multimedia about music and culture from around the world. Paired with each film project, the foundation identifies a critical need in a host country’s local music or culture and launches a charitable initiative.

The first initiative for the foundation launched mid-January in Cusco, Peru, and is called The Sabino Luthier School. While filming in Cusco in 2013, the team met and interviewed a Peruvian instrument maker named Sabino Huaman, who expressed a fear that his trade, which had been passed from generation to generation within his family for more than 100 years, would soon disappear.

In launching The Sabino Luthier School, the foundation hopes to help preserve this local art. By the end of this year-long intensive training course, students at the school will possess the general skills to be able to construct traditional Andean instruments, and will have the training to pursue building or repairing string instruments as a profession.

The project covers full day courses every Saturday in 2017, all travel and lodging for the students, a course instructor wage for Huaman, as well as the cost of all tools and materials. The Travel Songs Foundation will also provide equipment and training to a local videographer (Huaman’s son) to document the students’ progress throughout the year.

For updates, visit travelsongs.org.

melomanie-group-2015Mélomanie February Series

Mélomanie will present provocative pairings of early and contemporary works in innovative chamber music on Saturday, Feb. 4, at 4 p.m. at CAMP Rehoboth (37 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach) and on Sunday, Feb. 5, at 2 p.m. at The Delaware Contemporary (200 S. Madison St., Wilmington). Parking is free onsite and a reception follows the performance. These concerts feature the premier of “Just a Regular Child” by Delaware composer David Schelat and collaborations with two guest artists, violinist Daniela Pierson and cellist Todd Thiel. The repertoire also includes works by Couperin, Guignon, Bartók and Corelli.

General tickets are $25, and $15 for students ages 16 and older. For children through age 15 admission is free.

Purchase tickets online at melomanie.org, at the door, or at 764-6338.

Another All-Star Extravaganza

The Shine A Light concert series continues March 4, with a spotlight on 1977. The fundraiser once again features scores of the area’s top musicians.

67 musicians representing 83 bands
1,240 rehearsal hours
126 volunteers
38 songs
Countless creative collaborations

And that was last year.

The Shine A Light On The Queen concert series has been a hit with the public from the outset, and this year’s event, The Shine A Light on ’77, promises to exceed those numbers on its way to another sell-out and another lucrative fundraiser for the Light Up The Queen Foundation.

Set for 8 p.m. Saturday, March 4, at World Cafe Live at The Queen in Wilmington, the concert will once again bring together an all-star musical lineup of scores of the most popular and revered singers and musicians in the Wilmington area. They’ll be celebrating the music of 1977, when punk and disco were bursting into full flower, signaling a new wave in pop music.

One change fans will note this year is the March date. In previous years, the concerts took place in February, when the chance of inclement weather was a greater variable. In 2015, a stifling blizzard hit the area on the day of the show, rendering many roads impassable.

Yet, says bassist Betty Bullington, “It was a full house. You never would have known the weather was so bad outside.”

For its first three years, the series was a musical tribute to The Rolling Stones. Two years ago, organizers switched gears and decided to fete the music of 1975. It was a 40th anniversary retrospective on what concert co-producer and performer Rob Grant describes as “a time when some of the best music was being made.”

“Besides, we ran out of Rolling Stones songs and, let’s face it, the ‘70s were cool,” he says.
“It [will be] a really big mix of funk, folk, disco, good old country and badass rock and roll,” says Shine A Light performer Davey Dickens Jr. about this year’s show. “There was a lot of stuff going on in 1977—and the 1970s as a whole—musically.”

A Worthy Cause

Grant, who sits on the of the Shine A Light Planning Committee, also performs at the event. He says it gives him and other musicians “an opportunity to play some great music with really talented musicians and performers while also knowing we are helping a worthy cause.”
“The Light Up The Queen Foundation began in 2011 with a single arts education program and has developed and diversified over the years,” says Tina Betz, the Light Up The Queen Foundation executive director.

“The concert is by far the biggest fundraiser for the Foundation, pulling in approximately a half million dollars in its six-year run. The money raised has benefitted over 10,000 young people through musical arts programs,” she adds.

The foundation also provides education on social issues and healthy living, along with education through music and art.

“The concert for the Light Up The Queen Foundation is a truly worthwhile event in a city constantly struggling with their arts programs,” says Joe Trainor, who is seen by many as a leader in the area’s music and theater scene. Trainor has organized many tribute concerts for bands such as The Eagles, Queen and Genesis, outside of his own extensive oeuvre of original work. When asked for one word to describe the event, he didn’t hesitate: “Community.”

“This event brings people together and provides an opportunity to play with others you don’t normally get to play with,” he says, adding that this spirit of community forces everyone to “up their game.”
Trainor enjoys the wider palate the tribute to an entire year offers versus celebrating a single band’s repertoire, because the gamut of music is both a challenge and a change of pace. Other musicians share that view.

“There are no songs we wouldn’t want to play [on the playlist],” according to Tony Cappella, the troubadour bassist from Montana Wildaxe, who also performs with approximately a dozen other bands. “If anything, it gives us a chance as musicians to step out of our comfort zones. We love new challenges and styles.”

Cappella’s own musical career began a few years before 1977. “There is a really good chance I might be playing on a song I haven’t played on in 40 years,” he laughs.

For the performers, the journey to the night of the show rivals the actual show.

Performers jamming at last year’s concert. Photo Joe del Tufo
Performers jamming at last year’s concert. Photo Joe del Tufo

“In a way, the show itself is a bit anti-climactic for the musicians,” says Lew Indellini, lead singer of Special Delivery. “Don’t get me wrong, we love performing for this event, but the meetings, discovering the playlist, the rehearsals and collaborating with some of the most accomplished musicians in the area is one of the best parts of this event for us.”

No Egos

“It’s great to have helped invent something all the performers look forward to,” says Shine A Light Committee member and event co-founder Kevin McCabe, “especially since I’ve looked up to many of these musicians for such a long time.”

Despite the high level of musical accomplishment of the individual performers, “there is no ego” involved, according to McCabe, who also performs. “Everyone has a lot of respect for one another.”

Last year’s show ran much longer than the intended three hours. At the first musicians’ meeting for this year’s show, Grant emphasized quicker change-overs between songs. Singer Dan McGowan and guitarist Mike Petrillo discussed additional production value.

“We believe adding more production value will enhance the experience for the audience,” says Petrillo.
The meeting also was an opportunity for “rookie” musicians—most of them younger—to meet the rest of the members.

“I couldn’t believe how passionate everyone is,” says Samantha Poole, who will be performing at her first Shine A Light event.

“The gig itself is one thing, but the relationships you develop are very special,” she says. “My father used to play in The Sky Band with Nick Bucci when I was 10 years old. I’ve performed onstage with Nick since then, but it will be amazing if I get to perform with him at this year’s event.”

Poole’s father will be in attendance, making it extra special for her.

Newcomer Pat Kane, the wunderkind 20-something guitarist, may be the youngest performer at this year’s event. He will share the stage with some of the “silverbacks”—the musicians who are his grandparents’ age.

“It would be great to continue to add more young musicians and singers each year,” says Poole, to continue what has quickly become a tradition and centerpiece event of the local music landscape.
The Light Up The Queen Foundation “helps feed and cultivate the local arts,” says Betz, “by bringing music to young people who may, one day, be up on that stage themselves performing in a Shine A Light event.”

Tickets are available at the World Cafe Live website, WorldCafeLive.com. General admission is $60 and a limited number of VIP tickets are available for $250. Kathleen Ford, the Shine A Light Committee chair, says a portion of the price of the tickets is tax deductible. “But,” she adds, “don’t hesitate, because they are going quickly.”

Sips

Here’s what’s pouring

Golden Wine Event

FranksWine, at 1206 N. Union St. in Wilmington, is celebrating 30 years in 2017. And that’s not all. This month, FranksWine is hosting a fundraiser—a pop-up Golden Wine Event on Saturday, Feb. 11.

After a five-year break, the event is back at Harry’s Savoy Ballroom at 2020 Naamans Rd. Twenty vendors will be pouring wine that comes from various regions, and guests are invited to meander from station to station—which include craft beer from four local brewers. Overall, the drink menu comprises 80 wines and 16 craft brew selections.

Tickets are $100, and $25 of each ticket and 100 percent of the proceeds from the FranksWine Big Bottle Silent Auction will be donated to Kids Runway for Research, which raises awareness and support for The Nemours Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.

The event runs from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Get tickets at frankswine.com.

Bob’s 1st Ale is Back

From now through March 30, the South Burlington, Vt. Magic Hat Brewing Company’s Bob’s 1st Ale—the brewery’s inaugural 1994 ale, originally dubbed Magic Hat Ale—is back. Magic Hat has moved away from its seasonal brews, which the ale was originally among, and is introducing the Limited Run series, offering beers from its vault that have been fan and staff favorites over the years. The rotation of the series will have a two-month window for each—totaling five brews for this year. An Irish-style, deep ruby red ale at 4.6 percent ABV, Bob’s 1st is fermented with the brewery’s 150-year-old strain of top-fermenting English yeast. Find the brew at local liquor stores.

dogfish-head-flesh-blood-ipa-canned1Dogfish Head Canned Flesh & Blood IPA

Brewed with a ratio of fruit, freshly-squeezed juice, and Northwest citrusy-hop varieties, Flesh & Blood India Pale Ale—Dogfish Head’s newest year-round brew—is now available at local liquor stores. Clocking in at 7.5 percent ABV and 45 IBUs, and exclusively available in six-pack cans, Flesh & Blood is crafted with orange peel, lemon flesh and an aromatic blood orange juice, resulting in a balanced and zesty ale.

Dogfish remains consistent in its use of all-natural culinary products in which consumers can easily identify the whole ingredient and trust in the freshness of fruits and vegetables, and thoughtfully sourced spices.

“Because we derive flavors and aromas from actual fruits you would recognize at your local farmers market and not jugs or buckets of flavoring created in a laboratory, you will not see statements like ‘brewed with natural flavors’ or ‘natural flavors added’ on our labels,” says Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head founder and CEO.

Flesh & Blood represents more than 21 years of commitment to tweaking and perfecting the fruit IPA style. Dogfish Head is a leading pioneer in this arena; it was the first American brewery to package and ship fruit IPAs nationally.

“We’ve been experimenting with fruit and citrus IPAs since 1996 when we released Aprihop, an IPA brewed with apricots,” Calagione says. “We think the fruit IPA category will surge the fastest in 2017 and we are proud of Dogfish Head’s innovator position in this realm.” To find Flesh & Blood IPA, visit dogfish.com/brewery/fishfinder.

Back by Popular Demand

After a three-year hiatus, Dover brewery Dominion has brought back its Millennium Ale. This Barley Wine Style Ale uses the original recipe first brewed in Ashburn, Va., to commemorate its 1,000th batch of beer.

This full-bodied English/American style barley wine comes in at 10.5 percent ABV. Millennium is brewed with Pale and Crystal Malts, Perle, Hallertau, Mt. Hood and EKG hops, and pure Virginia honey. The limited 100-barrel release is a labor of love that takes 24 hours of non-stop brewing before spending 15 weeks in the fermenter. Dominion Millennium Ale paired with sharp cheeses or a variety of desserts promises to be an ally in the cold winter months.

Says Head Brewer Daniel Louder: “This beer’s complexity, nostalgia and demand makes it something special and a pleasure to brew. Beer drinkers that have had it will be pleased that it’s available again, and ones that haven’t tried it will not be disappointed.”

Dominion Millennium Ale was released last month and is available in six-packs and on draught at local liquor stores.

Fresh Pours

New Belgium Brewing is on a roll. Four new year-round beers are now available from the Fort Collins, Colo., brewery, which is tweaking some other brews, too.

Fresh out of the gate are Dayblazer Easygoing Ale, Citradelic Exotic Lime Ale, Tartastic Lemon Ginger Sour and Voodoo Ranger 8 Hop Ale. A new line of hoppy beers under the Voodoo Ranger trademark is also being introduced, while Blue Paddle Pilsener paves the way for New Belgium Bohemian Pilsener. To make room for all these new flavors, Snapshot Wheat, Slow Ride Session IPA and Shift Pale Lager will roll off into the sunset (at least for now). In a purely cosmetic tweak, Sunshine Wheat will be newly adorned with a Colorado state flag to signify its roots.

“This is our most ambitious portfolio reimagining since our beginnings,” says New Belgium Brewing spokesperson Bryan Simpson. “We’ve got a lot of excitement, momentum and energy and that makes for a bounty of great beers with interesting twists—2017 is shaping up to be an awesome year for drinking beer.”

Sips – Jan. 2016

Here’s what’s pouring

Release Party Jan. 8

Hops cone

On Friday, Jan. 8, Fordham & Dominion Brewing Co. will hold a brewery release party for a new spiced winter ale called “Son of a Nutcracker.” The party will be at the brewery’s headquarters in Dover from 5 to 8 p.m. Admission is $5.

Food Trucks, Wine & Beer

On Wednesday, Jan. 13, The Pig + Fish Restaurant Co. in Rehoboth Beach will host a unique event for the taste buds. Starting at 6:30 p.m., the restaurant’s culinary team will present four courses from food trucks paired with craft beer and boutique wines. Tickets are $59.95 and include all food and drinks.

Return of the Hops

Due to the shortage of Citra hops, Iron Hill Brewery’s most popular seasonal beer has not been brewed in more than a year. On Friday, Jan. 15, the area brewery will celebrate its return with the Riverfront IPA Beer Release event from 5 to 8 p.m. at Iron Hill’s Wilmington location.

A Local & National Favorite

z3Newark’s Argilla Brewing Co. has been deemed No. 8 on Food & Wine Magazine’s list of Top 50 Nanobreweries in the country. Initially a pizza shop when it opened in 1978, the company transitioned into a 1.5-barrel brewery. Argilla is the smallest brewery in the state.

Waway: An Annual Tradition

This year’s sixth annual Wine About What Ales You features wine, ale, food, dancing, a silent auction and more. Hors d’oeuvres by Penn’s Bistro from William Penn High School will be served in addition to a wide array of beer from area breweries and wineries, including 3rd Wave Brewing Co., Mispillion River Brewing Co. and Crow Vineyard. It will be held in The River Room at the New Castle Senior Center in New Castle on Saturday, Jan. 16, from 5:30-9 p.m. Tickets are $40, and all proceeds benefit the Wayside Exhibit Project.

Painting & Beer

On Tuesday, Feb. 9, Victory Brewing Co.’s Brewpub in Downingtown, Pa., will offer its spin on ladies night, Girls Just Wanna Have Suds, featuring painting and beer. From 6:30-9 p.m., guests can paint, eat snacks and enjoy seasonal beers on tap. Tickets are $45 and availability is limited.

Getting Out Indoors

Say farewell to cabin fever with this collection of classes, exhibitions, performing arts, and more

Ushering in post-holiday doldrums and cooped-up blues, winter is arguably one of the dreariest times of year. But fear not: we’ve compiled a list of fun indoor options to get you off the couch and out of the house. From concerts to children’s activities to beer-or-wine-and-yoga sessions (yes, you read that right), we’ve got every taste covered.

Floral Fun at Longwood Gardens
At Longwood Gardens, winter is far from bleary, thanks in part to the annual Orchid Extravaganza, on view this season free with Gardens admission from Jan. 23-March 27. The Conservatory transforms into a tropical oasis featuring Longwood’s largest and most diverse display of orchids ever.

For a personal challenge, try the Botanical Illustration Studio. Use your artistic skills to illustrate plants and flowers from Longwood’s greenhouses and grounds. The studio time gives you a chance to receive individual attention, constructive suggestions, and encouragement. Work at your own pace on your project, large or small, surrounded by fellow artists. This is a six-session course, on Mondays from 12:30-3 p.m., Jan 4-Feb. 8.

DSC_1584-2
Johnny Gallagher

Johnny Gallagher at The Queen
Wilmington native Johnny Gallagher—musician, award-winning actor and Broadway performer—will come to World Cafe Live at The Queen on Friday, Jan. 22, to showcase his singer-songwriter skills.

His debut album, Six Day Hurricane, is set to be released Jan. 15 via Rockwood Music Hall Recordings. The first single of the album, “Two Fists Full,” is available through Soundcloud.

The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15-$25.

For those up for a jaunt to New York City, Gallagher can be seen on Broadway in the Roundabout Theater Company production of Long Day’s Journey Into Night starting in March.

The Musical Box: Recreation of Genesis’ Foxtrot
In 1972, the English rock band Genesis toured to promote their fourth album, Foxtrot. The first concert on the tour began a trend of combining music and theatre.

The Musical Box—a Sunday, Jan. 17, performance at the Grand’s Copeland Hall—undertakes the reproduction of the original concert to give people an illusion of being at the actual Genesis show. Visual reconstruction of the show is based on photos and slides of the original concerts, magazine articles and first-hand experiences. Tickets are $32-$39.

FSBT102 Cinderella large
Photo courtesy of First State Ballet Theatre

Cinderella at the baby grand
First State Ballet Theatre—Delaware’s professional ballet company—presents Cinderella, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 20-21, at the baby grand in Wilmington. The classic fairy tale with the ultimate happy ending is told with wit and elegance. Tickets begin at $14 for students ages 18 and under. Senior, group and military discounts are available. The performance starts at 7 p.m. on Feb. 20 and 2 p.m. on Feb. 21.

Wine, Cheese & Honey Pairings at Penns Woods Winery
Penns Woods Winery in Chadds Ford, Pa. is teaming up with local cheese and honey artisans to bring exclusive wine, cheese, and honey pairing events on select dates (Jan. 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30 and 31). Indulge in a sit-down pairing of five premium Penns Woods wines matched with various cheeses and honey from local farms. Admission is $28; reservations are required. Live music is on Jan. 9, 16, 23, and 30 from 2-5 p.m.
Contact Penns Woods at 610-459-0808 to make a reservation.

Great Balls of Fire!
From Feb. 6-May 30, the Great Balls of Fire! exhibit at Delaware Museum of Natural History explores the pop culture fascination of a catastrophic impact from an asteroid or comet. If there was a dinosaur-killer in earth’s past, is there a human-killer in our future? The exhibit asks: What are the chances and how do we assess the risks? For that matter, what are asteroids, comets, and meteorites, and where do they come from?

ChicagoThe Musical at The Playhouse
ChicagoThe Musical has it all: a universal tale of fame, fortune and “all that jazz,” one show-stopping song after another, and fantastic dancing. The award-winning show is coming to The Playhouse Feb. 23-28. Based on a 1926 play of the same name by reporter Maurine Dallas Watkins, it’s based on actual criminals and crimes she covered. A satire on corruption in the administering of criminal justice, the performance explores the concept of the “celebrity criminal.”

Photo courtesy of Delaware Art Museum
Photo courtesy of Delaware Art Museum

Poetry in Beauty: the Art of Marie Spartali Stillman
Marie Spartali Stillman (1844-1927), one of a small number of professional female artists working in the second half of the 19th century, was an important presence in the Victorian art world of her time and closely affiliated with members of the Pre-Raphaelite circle. Poetry in Beauty, the first retrospective exhibit of Spartali Stillman’s work, runs through Jan. 31 at Delaware Art Museum. In addition to approximately 50 of her pieces, works from public and private collections in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada, many of which have not been exhibited since Spartali Stillman died, will also be on view. After the exhibition, her art will be transported overseas and on view at the Watts Gallery in Guildford, England, through June 5.

Winter Classes & Fun at CCArts
Center for the Creative Arts in Yorklyn offers a bounty of fun and productive wintertime activities. First up, “Ballet for Adults” runs Tuesdays (10-11 a.m.) from Jan. 12-March 15. Study under Ballet Master Val Goncharov in these adult classes. Tuesdays (9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) from Jan. 12-March 1, try your hand at oil painting. Learn basic techniques through demonstrations, discussions and application. Tuition is $184 for members and $204 for non-members. For a one-day class on Saturday, Jan. 9, “Glass Fusion” (9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.) will explore the art of melting glass into designs to create one-of-a-kind pieces. Create a sun-catcher, pendant, tray or dish using glass that will be provided. Tuition is $40.

Additionally, try out “Yorklyn Live,” a CCArts Open Mic Night every third Thursday. It’s free, with a cash bar and food. Lastly, a Dinner Theater called “Blind Love” on Saturday, Feb. 6, is about how a blind man sees what a fool does not. People can come for dinner, drinks and dessert. The show is at 7:30 p.m. and tickets, which can be purchased online, are $35.

Call 239-2434 for more information about these activities.

Hagley Fun
Robots: they’ve explored the far reaches of space, the depths of oceans, and the inner workings of the human body. Now children ages 4-14 can explore robots themselves at Hagley’s Invention Convention, from Jan. 16-18.

The weekend includes robotic demonstrations, hands-on engineering challenges, and in-person conversations with professionals who use robots in their daily work. Visitors will discover how the Wilmington Police Department uses bomb robots to dispose of explosive devices, and guests also will take part in tinkering tables, create-an-invention fun, and a hands-on science fair. Invention Convention will be in Hagley’s Soda House and Library. Admission is $8 and $6 for children. Hagley members and children ages 4 and younger get in free.

Additionally, Hagley features the exhibit “Driving Desire: Automobile Advertising and the American Dream” through autumn. It explores the relationship between automobile advertising and Americans’ car buying decisions. Driving Desire is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Yoga in the Paradocx Tank Room
Uncork, relax and unwind at Paradocx Vineyard in Landenberg, Pa., on two Sundays—Jan. 10 and Jan. 24—for Yoga in the Tank Room at 11 a.m. Your focus will be drawn away from the everyday hustle and bustle with this unique yoga class in the winery tank room. Each class is designed to relax the mind—and open the senses to encourage a mindful wine-tasting experience. Tickets are $25, and the event includes a 60-minute yoga session with wine tastings of four wines to follow. (Bring your own yoga mat.)

Photo courtesy of Winterthur Museum
Photo courtesy of Winterthur Museum

Winterthur Book Club & Exhibition
Embrace learning and quality time at Winterthur’s Pages of Time: Mother & Daughter Book & Craft Club. On the first Thursday of each month through May, from 6-8 p.m., this is ideal for book worms and crafty girls in 4th-6th grade. Discussions will revolve around historical fiction books, and there will be tasty snacks and crafts related to the book each month. Tickets are $25 per member adult/child pair; $35 per nonmember pair for the complete seven-month series. Winter dates and books include: Jan. 7, Betsy Zane: The Rose of Fort Henry; Feb. 4, Seaman: The Dog Who Explored the West with Lewis and Clark; March 3, The Smuggler’s Treasure. Call 800-448-3883 to register and for more dates.

Made in the Americas: The New World Discovers Asia, an exhibition running March 26-Jan. 8, 2017, examines the profound influence of Asia on the arts of colonial Americans. This scholarly exhibition is the first Pan-American study to explore how craftsmen across North, Central, and South America adapted Asian styles in a range of media—from furniture to silverwork, textiles, ceramics, and painting.

Delaware Theatre Company Acting Classes
Attention, aspiring actors: ready to take a step in the right direction? Have fun while exploring characters and scenes in a six-week course at Delaware Theatre Company, Sundays from Feb. 7-March 13 (5:15-7:15 p.m.). Take on the actor’s role of examining scripts, finding characters’ objectives, and exploring various acting techniques to bring out your richest performance. Though no experience is required, students should be ready to participate, to jump in and work together—and have fun. The course is $180, and open to adults ages 18 and up. Classes are also available for children and teens.

Photo courtesy of The Delaware Children's Museum
Photo courtesy of The Delaware Children’s Museum

Touch Tank: Lunch and Learn
Join the Delaware Children’s Museum staff daily from 12:30-1:30 p.m. for feeding time at the Touch Tank Aquarium. Learn about the food marine creatures eat, the habitat they live in, and special facts about the vertebrates and invertebrates who share the tank. Or stop by Try Science: Be a Physiologist, Jan. 9-10, from 11 a.m. to noon, to learn about the body’s parts that work to keep it running. Children can become junior doctors or nurses as they take a hands-on and entertaining look at the organs and systems inside a very unusual patient—the DCM’s 7-ft. doll, Stuffee.

Beer & Yoga at Victory Brewpub
Victory Brewing Company’s Kennett Square brewpub is hosting Beer & Yoga on Saturday, Jan. 9, at 9 a.m. After the yoga session, enjoy food and beer pairings. Instructor Diane Rogers will guide participants through the yoga process. Tickets are $30.