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Geoff Kaufman (Special Event)

  • 05 Feb 2016
  • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
  • Malyszka home , Reston, VA
Sea Chanteys

Whether it's "Blow the Man Down ? or "Haul Away Joe, ? "Paddy Lay Back ? or a newer sea chantey from the annals of some errant whalerman, Geoff Kaufman, former chanteyman from New England's Mystic Seaport Museum, belts it out with gusto. When everyone joins in on the chorus, the rafters fairly ring. With that in mind, plan to chime in with Geoff during a lively session of sea music old and new on Friday, February 5, at the home of Mary and Bill Malyszka in Herndron, Va., and again in the Maritime Marvels Room at the annual Mini-Fest on Saturday, February 6. These events are fun for the whole family.

Sea chanteys derive from the Age of Sail when tall ships with billowing canvas sailed the high seas crammed with cargo or searching for whales. Singing coordinated the work of hauling lines or battening sails or weighing anchor and made the jobs seem to go faster. Lively lyrics kept the sailors' attention as they worked endlessly on the pumps or lifted a heavy spar aloft. Kaufman's expansive repertory captures the spirit of sailing men from New England to the West Indies and beyond and sheds light on their everyday concerns. The humor present in the music still resonates--expect a lot of smiles and laughter.

Everyone who comes is invited to sing--or at least tap toes and clap hands. With full-throated choruses that are easy to learn, audience members almost can't help themselves. With someone like Geoff Kaufman at the helm, expect an evening of rousing work songs with a sprinkling of timely ballads thrown in for good measure.


Accompanying himself on guitar, bones and squeezebox (concertina), Kaufman calls on a wide and varied repertoire of songs collected over a lifetime of travel. Whether he's singing songs of the spirit, music of the sea or songs that extol the beauty of the earth, Kaufman has touched and entertained audiences from the Alaskan northwest to the Florida Keys, with a sprinkling of European festivals tossed in for good measure. He's even done a stint or two aboard the Sloop Clearwater, the Hudson River's floating advocate. Ancient ballads, work songs, love songs, songs of hope and struggle--all come alive in Kaufman's concerts. Moreover his rich tenor voice and enthusiastic presentations welcome audience participation, and his personal warmth and congeniality create a family atmosphere where everyone joins in. 

Herndon House Concert doors open at 7 p.m. $15 donation. For more information or to make reservations call 571-643-5075.

At the Minifest on Saturday, February 6 at the Takoma Park Middle School, Geoff will be co-hosting the Maritime Marvels Room #114 from noon-5 pm.

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