A Folk Alliance Member Organization

Acoustic Renaissance Concerts
11 West Maple Street
Hinsdale, Illinois 60521

Schedule - 2019/2020 Season

All shows begin at 8:00 pm. Doors open 45 minutes before performance time.

(POSTPONED from Saturday, April 4, 2020 —)
RESCHEDULED for SUNDAY November 8, 2020 at 4pm John Gorka with special guest Heather Styka .

Tickets: $20 adults/$18 student/senior

From New Jersey, John Gorka is a world-renowned singer-songwriter who got his start at a neighborhood coffeehouse in eastern Pennsylvania. Though small, Godfrey Daniels was and is one of the oldest and most venerable music institutions and has long been a hangout for music lovers and aspiring musicians. In the late 1970's, John was was one of these aspiring musicians. Although his academic coursework at Moravian College lay in Philosophy and History, music began to offer paramount enticements. Soon he found himself living in the club's basement and acting as resident MC and sound man, encountering legendary folk troubadours like Canadian singer-songwriter Stan Rogers, Eric Andersen, Tom Paxton and Claudia Schmidt. Their brand of folk-inspired acoustic music inspired him, and before long he was performing his own songs -- mostly as an opener for visiting acts.

Soon he started traveling to New York City, where Jack Hardy's legendary Fast Folk circle (a breeding ground for many a major singer-songwriter) became a powerful source of education and encouragement. Folk meccas like Texas' Kerrville Folk Festival (where he won the New Folk Award in 1984) and Boston followed, and his stunningly soulful baritone voice and original songwriting began turning heads. Those who had at one time inspired him -- Suzanne Vega, Bill Morrissey, Nanci Griffith, Christine Lavin, Shawn Colvin -- had become his peers. Many well known artists have recorded and/or performed John Gorka songs, including Mary Chapin Carpenter, Nanci Griffith, Mary Black and Maura O'Connell. John has graced the stage of Austin City Limits, Mountain Stage, etown and has appeared on CNN. His new song "Where No Monuments Stand" is featured in the upcoming documentary Every War Has Two Losers, about activist and Oregon Poet Laureate William Stafford (1914-1993).

Heather Styka dances where others fear to tread, gleefully cutting to the truth with gutsy vulnerability. She combines the lyrical intricacy of folk with a catchy melodic pop sensibility and the grit of classic country in songs that are smart and disarming. Call it folk, call it Americana, call it alt-country, but Styka's heartfelt croon draws as much inspiration from classic warblers such as Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald as it does from Shawn Colvin and Eva Cassidy.
After growing up in the Chicago suburbs, Styka moved to the city to study creative writing, meanwhile honing her song craft among Chicago's long-standing folk community. Her 2011 release Lifeboats for Atlantis brought her to national attention, hitting #3 on the FOLK-DJ charts. Styka's honest, image-heavy songs have garnered her a number of awards, including being a New Folk Finalist at the Kerrville Folk Festival (2015, 2017) and official showcases at Folk Alliance International, NERFA, SWRFA, and FARM.

(POSTPONED from Saturday, May 2, 2020 —)
RESCHEDULED for Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 7:30pm
Ordinary Elephant with special guest Wes Collins Wates

Tickets: $18 adults/$16 student/senior
International Folk Music Awards 2017 Artist of the Year Ordinary Elephant captivates audiences with their emotionally powerful and vulnerable songs, letting the listener know that they are not alone in this world. The collaboration of husband and wife Pete and Crystal Damore, their connection, and their influences (such as Gillian Welch, Guy Clark, Anais Mitchell) all meet on stage. "Two become one, in song...hand-in-glove harmonies surprise the listener with focused intensity and musical mastery," says Mary Gauthier. The Associated Press is calling their latest album, Honest, "one of the best Americana albums of the year." It reached No. 1 on the 2019 May Folk DJ Chart.

2015 Kerrville Grassy Hill New Folk winner Wes Collins calls his music "guitar driven folk-pop with teeth". He released his debut album, One Layer Down, in 2013. Since appearing at Kerrville, Wes has played throughout the Southwest, from the legendary Bluebird Cafe in Nashville to a formal showcase at the Southwest Regional Folk Alliance Conference in Austin. In 2017 Wes took second place in Moravia Texas's 2017 Songwriter Serenade and received a songwriting fellowship from the North Carolina Arts Council, which funded his brand-new CD Welcome to the Ether.

2019 2020 Season at a Glance:

September 21 2019: Michael J Miles and Lloyd Brodnax King
Tickets $18/$16 senior/student

October 05 2019: Co-bill of Zoe Mulford and Ariane Lydon
Tickets $18/$16

November 09 2019: Michael Smith
Tickets $20/$18

January 11 2020: Connie Kaldor Duo
Tickets $18/$16

February 01 2020: Heather Pierson Acoustic Trio
Tickets $18/$16

March 14 2020: Garnet Rogers
Tickets $20/$18

Postponed to November 8 2020 (was April 04 2020): John Gorka with special guest Heather Styka
Tickets $20/$18

Postponed to April 10 2021 (was May 02 2020): Ordinary Elephant with special guest Wes Collins
Tickets $18/$16

Season tickets at $132/$118 (seniors, 62 and over)

Dinner before the show? Vistro Restaurant .
Check out our friends at:

112 S. Washington Street
Hinsdale, IL

Mention Acoustic Renaissance Concerts (or ARC) for a 10% discount on your meal!

Printable ticket order form, just click and print!

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