NEFFA Live Online November 2021
7PM Benjamin Foss and Bennett Konesni
Benjamin Foss is a musician and luthier based in Brooks, Maine. Benjamin grew up in southern New England attending and playing for contra dances and building fiddles and banjos out of everything he could find.
Benjamin plays in several contra dance combinations on fiddle, guitar, tenor banjo, and occasionally other stringed instruments and on rare occasions can be found calling dances. When he’s not playing, he’s building and restoring guitars, banjos and mandolins in Brooks. Some of Benjamin’s other pursuits include restoring player pianos and reed organs, stacking firewood, and finding forgotten fiddle tunes and dances to bring back into circulation.
Bennett Konesni grew up in Appleton, Maine, 10 miles downstream of Maine Fiddle Camp. He was naturally drawn into the strong communities of old-time music, sailing, and farming in the area. At thirteen he shipped as a deckhand aboard local schooners, sailing Penobscot Bay and learning the traditional work songs of the tall ships as he raised sails and hauled anchor. Later, at Middlebury College, Bennett co-founded the student farm and spent six months studying Zulu farming songs in South Africa. He was awarded a Thomas J Watson fellowship to spend a postgraduate year in Tanzania, Ghana, Mongolia, Vietnam, Switzerland, and Holland studying worksongs of sea, field and steppe.
Together Bennett and Benjamin play dances around Maine, teach at Maine Fiddle Camp, and help stack each other’s woodpiles.
8 PM Lissa Schneckenburger and Corey DiMario
When fiddler and folk singer Lissa Schneckenburger joins double bassist and tenor guitar wizard Corey DiMario for a live performance, they deliver a stunning tapestry of delicate ballads, original fiddle tunes, and gorgeous re-imagined pop classics. As a duo the two have performed together for over fifteen years, since meeting in the Klezmer ensemble at The New England Conservatory of Music where they each earned a Bachelors degree in performance. Ms Schneckenburger grew up in Maine as an active member of the folk community, where she learned to play at the feet of some of the most venerable musicians in New England. She has released numerous solo albums as an accomplished fiddler and singer, leading to “Thunder in My Arms" (released May 2019) which includes several memorable moments with Mr. DiMario on double bass as well. A diverse musician, Mr. DiMario adds rock solid, low-end accompaniment and driving rhythm to any musical situation. A founding member of the string band sensation Crooked Still, he brings a diverse musical palette and energetic approach to every performance.
Individually they have performed with an amazing array of folk bands including Crooked Still, Bela Fleck, Tony Trischka, Bill Keith, Pete Wernick, Eric Weissberg, Richie Stearns, Noam Pikelny, and The David Wax Museum (DiMario) and Solas, Cherish the Ladies, Childsplay, Halali, and Long Time Courting, (Schneckenburger). lissafiddle.com