A Folk Alliance Member Organization

Acoustic Renaissance Concerts
11 West Maple Street
Hinsdale, Illinois 60521
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Schedule - 2023/2024 Season

All in person shows begin at 7pm.
Call 630/941-7797 for all tickets.
Streaming tickets are also available.

Saturday, March 2, 2024 — John Gorka .

Tickets: $22

IN PERSON TICKETS are sold out. Unlimited number of people can watch on the livestream so call for those tickets.

"Listening to John Gorka sing, one can get goose bumps all over. There are many reasons: fresh lyrics, a stunning emotional baritone, and his twisted humor." - New York Times

"John Gorka is perhaps the quintessential iconic singer-songwriter of the 80's folk scene. Hailing from New Jersey, but forged in the Greenwich Village Fast Folk scene, he honed his craft and persona into an unmistakable image. The shy, wry, insightful, and yes, sensitive singer-songwriter has been copied and parodied. But the old coat he wove still fits, and still suits him well. The old songs ring as true as they ever did, and the new ones are just as good." - Music as Refuge: the Life of John Gorka

by Brian DAmbrosio on Huffington Post (01/04/14):
John Gorka's technique breaks free from the rules of modern music.
... With a tangle of songs that emotionally connect us all and leave a tender trace, John Gorka stimulates the cerebrum, keeps our smiles agile and fit and reconnects us with what really matters most in music: honesty. His atmosphere allows for the listener to feel his individualized attention, his lyrical tenderness, his care for the guitar and his true presence."

Gorka formed the Razzy Dazzy Spasm Band with Doug Anderson and Russ Rentler, which would also include guitarist Richard Shindell. After graduating from Moravian, he began performing solo at Godfrey Daniels coffee house in South Bethlehem as the opening act for various musicians including Nanci Griffith, Bill Morrissey, Claudia Schmidt and Jack Hardy. In 1984, Gorka was one of six winners chosen from the finalists in the New Folk competition at the Kerrville Folk Festival. Since then he has regularly toured Europe and North America.

In 1987, Gorka recorded his first album, "I Know". It was released by Red House-beginning a long association with that label. Although his next five albums were distributed by Windham Hill and High Street, he returned to Red House with 1998's After Yesterday and produced eight albums with them over the next twenty years-most recently True in Time (2018).

He has appeared with artists such as Suzanne Vega, Shawn Colvin, Antje Duvekot, Meg Hutchinson, and Lucy Kaplansky. He joined with Kaplansky and Eliza Gilkyson to form the folk supergroup Red Horse in 2010, touring together and releasing a self-titled album on which they performed each other's compositions. Red Horse toured through July 2014.

Saturday, April 6, 2024 — Claudia Schmidt .

Tickets: $20

Almost four decades as a touring professional have found Michigan native Claudia Schmidt traversing North America as well as Europe in venues ranging from intimate clubs to 4,000 seat theatres and festival stages in front of 25,000 rapt listeners.

Claudia has been astounding audiences with her beautiful voice, superb instrumentation and continually evolving songwriting style. (Claudia is reluctant to be categorized and prefers to call herself a "creative noisemaker.")

Audiences can expect anything at a performance: hymn, poem, bawdy verse, torch song, satire, and the gamut of emotions. She is well known for her many appearances on Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion. Claudia has released fourteen of her own CDs of mostly original songs, exploring folk, blues, and jazz idioms featuring her acclaimed 12-string guitar and mountain dulcimer playing which beautifully archive the musical journey she has undertaken.

Her performance background is not limited to the folk stage. She has collaborated in several theater productions, including Bertolt Brecht's Good Person of Szechuan at Chicago's Goodman Theatre.

Don't miss this opportunity to experience one of America's most renowned singer/songwriters!

Saturday, May 18, 2024 — Joe Jencks and Deidre McCalla .

Tickets: $20

Joe Jencks is a 25-year veteran of the international folk circuit, an award-winning songwriter, and celebrated vocalist based in Chicago. Merging conservatory training with his Irish roots and working-class upbringing, Joe delivers engaged musical narratives filled with heart, soul, groove and grit.

Having penned several #1 Folksongs including the ever-relevant Lady of The Harbor, Jencks is also co-founder of the harmony trio, Brother Sun. From Festivals like Falcon Ridge, Kerrville, Mariposa, and Old Songs, to venues like Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, Jencks has enthralled diverse audiences with his approachable style.

Joe is noted for his unique merging of musical beauty, social consciousness, and spiritual exploration. Blending well-crafted instrumentals and vivid songwriting, Jencks serves it all up with a lyric baritone voice that has the edgy richness of a good sea-salt caramel.

In August of 2022, Jencks released his 17th recording, The Coming of the Years, an album that stands firmly in the modern Celtic traditions and is still quintessentially a Joe Jencks record.

Centered around songs Jencks wrote while on tour in Ireland over a 12-year period, this album emerges as a synergistic blend of past and present merging with themes of immigration spanning multiple generations. The album has been received with critical acclaim.

Deidre McCalla doesn't merely take the stage - she owns it. Her songs embody hope and celebration, struggle, loss, and longing - sometimes all in one song!

A Black woman, mother, lesbian, feminist, Deidre McCalla has long been in the forefront of Black musicians redefining the understanding of how Black folk do folk. Deidre is riding high on her current release Endless Grace which dominated the June 2022 Folk Radio Charts as the #1 Album with the #1 Song - Shoulder To The Wheel and the #3 Song - I Do Not Walk This Path Alone, and finished for the year as the #13 Top Album.

PopMatters, Rhythms Magazine, and the Folk Alley Listener Favorites Poll ranked Endless Grace among the Ten Best Folk albums for 2022. In 2023 Deidre's song Shoulder To The Wheel won the 19th Annual International Acoustic Music Award for Best Folk/Americana/Roots song.

Deidre McCalla's songwriting reveals an unyieldingly honest perspective expressed with a lyric touch that relentlessly celebrates the power and diversity of the human spirit.

Sing Out! praises Deidre as one of our generation's most important singer-songwriters and the Austin-American Statesmen describes her as a highly distinctive voice in a crowded field of contemporary folk music. With five independent albums to her credit, Deidre McCalla has touched audiences from Maui to Maine, church basements and college coffeehouses to Carnegie Hall.

2023 2024 Season at a Glance: (Most shows $20 per ticket)

September 30 2023: The Kennedys

October 28 2023: Vance Gilbert with special guest Ashley and Simpson

November 18 2023: The Refugees

January 13 2024: Michael Miles with Jill Kaeding, co bill with Ariane Lydon

February 3 2024: Bruce Molsky

March 2 2024: John Gorka ($22 tickets)

April 6 2024: Claudia Schmidt

May 18 2024: Deidre McCalla and Joe Jencks co-bill

Details on these shows are all below:

Season tickets available

Printable ticket order form, just click and print!

One page season lineup, click and print!

Season brochure, click and print!

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