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HomeFeaturesEntertainmentMusic and Other Events at The Buttonwood Tree, March 2023

Music and Other Events at The Buttonwood Tree, March 2023

Submitted by Amy Albert

(February 26, 2023) — The Buttonwood Tree at 605 Main Street in Middletown presents the following events in March. For  information on all shows, visit or call (860) 347-4957  Email:

Friday, March 3, 2023/ Story City Troupe. Show starts at 8:00 p.m. Admission is $10.Hosted by Mike Isko, a retired Public Defender, who has been telling stories since 2015, and is thrilled to continue coming to the Buttonwood Tree to share them. Also featuring the stories of Corrine E. Blackmer, Saul Fussiner, Wendy Marans, Tom Oimet, and Michelle Trieste.

Saturday, March 4, 2023/The Jen Allen Jazz Quartet. Show starts at 7:00 p.m. Admission is $25.Jen Allen is a pianist, composer, author and educator. She frequently performs in New York, the Northeastern United States and in venues throughout the world, as the leader of her own groups or as a member of other creative music ensembles. Notable appearances include the Winnipeg Jazz Festival, Cambridge Festival of the Arts, Greater Hartford Monday Night Jazz Series and Wexford Performing Arts Centre (Ireland). Jen has performed with many notable artists, including Don Braden, Jimmy Greene, Kendrick Oliver, Sarah Caswell, Camille Thurman, Freddie Hendrix, Nat Reeves, Kris Allen, Ike Sturm and Antoinette Montague.

Friday, March 10, 2023/Singer-Songwriters Anne Marie Menta and Fred Arcoleo. The show starts at 8:00 p.m. and will also feature Cadence Carroll and Richard Neal.  Admission is $15. Anne Marie Menta hails from New Haven, where she has been a long-time favorite. In 1998, she released her debut album, “Untried & True,” followed by “When the Love Ran Deep” in 2004, and “Seven Secrets” in 2009. Her fourth collection, “Sky Tonight” was released in December 2019. Anne Marie’s songs range stylistically from contemporary folk, Americana, acoustic pop, country, and folk-rock, all featuring her warm vocals and solid guitar. The tunes reflect her wide influences and devotion to Joni Mitchell, Rosanne Cash, Emmy Lou Harris, Lucinda Williams, and Mary Chapin Carpenter, to name a few.Sober, hard-hitting, and fiercely original, yet cradled in tenderness, Fred Arcoleo’s award-winning RALLY FOLK! music invites audiences to confront the difficult truths of the current state of our world with composure, optimism and determination, for as the Hopi people remind us: “We are the ones we are waiting for.” His last CD, “TODAY AGAIN,” made its debut at #7 on the Folk DJ National Radio Charts and his newest album, “WE ARE MIGHTY: Sustenance for the Struggle” is just out!

Saturday, March 11, 2023/Jazz-Fusion and Improvisational Music Group Altus. Show starts at 8:00 p.m. Admission is $20. Altus is a collection of five musicians and composers with friendships reaching back more than ten years. Together these musicians create sonic narratives derived from Black American improvisational techniques that blur the line between listeners’ immediate experiences and humankind’s mythologies. Three of the ensemble’s five members, trumpet player Dave Adewumi, double bassist Isaac Levien, and drummer Ryan Sands, met in Boston in the autumn of 2012 while pursuing their undergraduate degrees. Over the next few years as their personal and musical connections grew stronger, they met and collaborated with tenor saxophonist Neta Raanan and alto saxophonist Nathan Reising.

Friday, March 17, 2023/Youth-Based Jazz and Rock Group The Modern Riffs. Show starts at 8:00 p.m. Admission is $15. This Connecticut-based group showcases a unique, high-energy blend of experienced musicians and exceptionally talented young people. Performances are tailored to deliver the right combination of Jazz, Classic Rock and Swing that best suits each individual audience. A CD and a full song list is available upon request. They have played at the Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz, the Manchester Band Shell, The Hoop City Jazz Festival, and numerous private and public venues (including town concerts, fairs, restaurants and fundraisers).

Saturday, March 18, 2023/Folk Group Merganser, and Gracie Day.  Show starts at 8:00 p.m. Admission is $15. Merganser is a modern folk project that was founded by Derrik Bosse, Taylor Warinsky, and Xavier Serrano in the summer of 2021. The group plays a modern style of tradition-inspired tunes that border on post-punk and Irish Trad. The band is yet to be heard by the public, and their self-titled EP serves as their debut release. Bosse is a musician who is always looking for music off the beaten path. He is one of the few teachers who instruct in world styles on bass and conga. Warinsky is a public school music teacher with a background in jazz. Serrano, influenced by artists like The Pentangle, Bert Jansch and Nick Drake, fuses traditional melodic styles with forward-thinking and unconventional forms. His songwriting spins stories of reawakening, self-growth, and the contemplations of life utilizing on the discordant chords of jazz, folk, and alternative rock.

Gracie Day released her first EP in November of 2017 and quickly won attention for her songwriting, singing and performances, achieving “Best New Act” in 2017 and “Best in State for Connecticut” in 2018 at the New England Music Awards, an organization that acknowledges musical acts throughout all six states. Her song, “Tennessee,” gained tens of thousands of plays on Spotify and landed various radio placements. Recorded at the famous Sound Emporium, Day’s latest EP, “The Nashville Sessions,” was released in December, 2019.

Thursday, March 23, 2023/Folk Artists Halley Neal, Pretty Saro and Sam Robbins. Show starts at 7:00 p.m. Admission is $20. Halley Neal is a folk singer and songwriter based in Nashville, Tennessee. Influenced by artists like Joni Mitchell and Shawn Colvin, Halley’s sound combines inspirations of classic folk music and modern day singer-songwriters and her live shows center on themes of positivity and peace. Since graduating from Berklee College of Music in 2019, Halley has toured to house concert and listening room venues around the country.  She released her debut self-titled album in June 2021, and her sophomore record, “Beautiful and Blue,” was released to critical acclaim in September, 2022.Playing songs both new and old, Pretty Saro burst into the New England Bluegrass scene in 2016. Since then, the group has been homing in on their love for traditional music and contemporary songwriting. Dynamic arrangements and high energy performances take the listener on a journey through their personal experiences. Devon Gardner (Fiddle), Alex Formento (Guitar) and Joe Everett (Bass) bring together their wide array of musical backgrounds to create a sound that builds on the foundation made by the heroes who came before them.Sam Robbins is often described as an “old soul singer-songwriter.” A Nashville-based musician whose music evokes classic 1970’s singer-songwriters like James Taylor and Neil Young, Sam adds a modern, upbeat edge to the storyteller troubadour persona. He has gained recognition from extensive touring and also as one of six winners in the 2021 Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk competition, one of the largest and most prestigious songwriting competitions in the country.

Friday, March 24, 2023/New England-Based Singer/Songwriter Keegan James Blood. Show starts at 8:00 p.m. Admission is $15. Keegan James Blood is an eclectic singer/songwriter, blending folk rock and sharp-tongued humor into a distinctive sonic style. A native Vermonter, Keegan has been writing and performing songs since the age of 12. In his teens, he performed in bars and clubs across Vermont, fronting the power pop group, Stag Line. The group’s single, “I’m Much Better,” was in regular rotation on local rock radio.For five years, he cut his teeth in the Boston music scene, leading the eclectic rock outfit, Red Mill. The group released two EPs, two LPs, and a handful of singles, while giving high-energy performances around New England. Keegan graduated from Berklee College of Music in 2018. In 2019, he began crafting a new sonic identity, rooted in his love of alternative country, power pop, and roots music. Recorded during a mid-pandemic visit to Nashville, Tennessee, he released his first single, “Way Back In” in 2021. He released a self-produced EP called “Private Time” in July of 2022.

Friday, March 25th, 2023/Connecticut-Based Hip Hop artist The Life Giving MC. Show starts at 7:00 p.m. Admission is $15. An MC known for his insightful and uplifting messages, he continues to reach a universal audience with his rhymes. It is said by many that he is reminiscent of the golden age of Hip Hop and a breath of fresh air among the newer generations.Azeem, also known as Blessings, is a charismatic MC who lives up to his name. Known for his high level of skill as a lyricist combined with a constant message of healing, empowerment and uplifting his audience, he has been making a name for himself on a national level. Azeem is a farmer, mindset coach, and advocate for farmers of color nationwide. Well-versed in psychology, history, and scripture, he speaks to the day-to-day realities that people of color face in reclaiming the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to become independent. His mission is to see the rise of a new generation of empowered growers with the mindset to do for self and community. 

Friday, March 31, 2023/ Americana Singer-Songwriter Sarah King.  Show starts at 8:00 p.m. Admission is $15.  Known for her powerhouse voice and “fiery, vulnerable songs,” Sarah King creates thought-provoking, versatile Americana music. Her genuine stories about real-life emotions and situations also draw on classic folk-blues themes, balancing songs about the devil and booze with hard-won moments of reflection and acceptance. Her acclaimed 2021 EP, The Hour, produced by Simone Felice and David Baron, earned her recognition as the New England Music Awards Songwriter of the Year; performances include an appearance at the 2022 Folk Alliance International and Philadelphia Folk festivals, as well as supporting slots for acts including Blues Traveler and The Steel Woods.



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