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Portsmouth, RI, May 27, 2021 – 
The Norman Bird Sanctuary and Common Fence Music will present an outdoor summer concert series featuring nationally-renowned musicians performing in one of the Newport area’s most scenic outdoor spaces. This summer concert series brings together two Aquidneck Island nonprofit organizations for a diverse lineup of outdoor performances at the Norman Bird Sanctuary.“Nature and music have served as critical outlets for so many over this past year,” said Kaity Ryan, Executive Director of the Norman Bird Sanctuary. “We are thrilled to collaborate with Common Fence Music to bring the community together this summer.”

Celebrating Common Fence Music’s commitment to preserving diverse folk music traditions, these concerts provide an opportunity to enjoy time outside in nature at the Norman Bird Sanctuary set to live music. “After a long period of isolation, we as presenters at Common Fence Music look forward to giving people music to be excited about this Summer and a beautiful, safe outdoor setting to hear it in,” said Dick Lynn, Artistic Director of Common Fence Music. “We could not think of a better place and partner than the Norman Bird Sanctuary to bring this together.”

Generous support from Ragged Island Brewing Co. and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) have made this series possible. The Summer Outdoor Concert Series will begin on Friday, June 18 and continue through Saturday, October 2. General Admission tickets are on sale for $35 per person and can be purchased at www.NormanBirdSanctuary.org. A link will be provided on the Common Fence Music page, also.

Concert Dates
Friday, June 18 at 7:00 p.m.: Sean Rowe

Friday, July 30 at 7:00 p.m.: Dom Flemons

Friday, August 20 at 7:00 p.m.:Alisa Amador

Friday, September 24 at 7:00 p.m.:Oshima Brothers

Saturday, October 2 at 4:00 p.m.: Roanoke

Artists
Sean Rowe June 18: “While a teen in New York, acclaimed acoustic rocker Sean Rowe discovered the aged and toned soul of Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, as well as the well-produced spectacles of Marvin Gaye, The Beach Boys and Elvis Presley. Flash-forward some years, and that inspiration has steeped long enough to bring about the thunderous blues-folk and soulful, gravelly booms of Rowe’s own music. Appropriate to his love of folk-blues legends like Howlin’ Wolf, he ventured to Sam Phillips Recording studio in Memphis to work with Matt Ross-Spang. They tapped into the history of the legendary space to hone a sound that is at once rich and stark, putting Rowe’s deep and dynamic sound at the forefront. “Because if high notes can shatter windows, Rowe’s low and guttural ones can meld sand into glass.

Dom Flemons July 30: “GRAMMY Award Winner, Two-Time EMMY Nominee, 2020 United States Artists Fellow, Dom Flemons is originally from Phoenix, Arizona and currently lives in the Chicago area with his family. He has branded the moniker “The American Songster” since his repertoire of music covers over 100 years of early American popular music. Flemons is a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, actor, music scholar, historian, and record collector. He is considered an expert player on the banjo, guitar, harmonica, jug, percussion, quills, fife and rhythm bones. Flemons was selected for the prestigious 2020 United States Artists Fellowship Award for the Traditional Arts category which was generously supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Flemons currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Steve Martin Banjo Prize, Music Maker Relief Foundation and is a Governor on the Board of Directors for the Washington, D.C. Chapter of the Recording Academy.”

Alisa Amador August 20: “Alisa Amador’s music is a synthesis of the many styles she’s voraciously absorbed: rock, jazz, funk and alternative folk, all wrapped in the spirit of the Latin music she grew up with. With a sound described by Vance Gilbert as, “Shawn Colvin meets Joni Mitchell has lunch with Amy Winehouse meets Suzanne Vega and Diana Krall,” and NPR calls, “a pitch-perfect rendition of my wildest dreams,” her soulful singing, poetically incisive lyrics, and syncopated rhythms, are likely to make you cry, laugh and dance all within one set.”

Oshima Brothers September 24: “Maine-based indie duo, Oshima Brothers have been creating music together since childhood. The brothers blend songs from the heart with blood harmonies to produce a “roots-based pop sound that is infectious.” (NPR) On stage, Sean and Jamie offer lush vocals, live looping, foot percussion, guitars, vintage keyboard and bass – often all at once. Maine Public Radio’s Sara Willis describes their songs as “beautiful, those brother harmonies can’t be beat. They are uplifting and, let’s face it, we need uplifting these days.”

Roanoke October 2: “After five years spent rising through the ranks of Nashville’s thriving Americana scene, Roanoke has grown from their folksy roots into a seasoned, road-tested rock outfit, retaining an affinity for storytelling and rich vocal harmony that has won over audiences time and again. Roanoke crafts their songs with a sound at once timeless and youthful, seamlessly blending a 70’s aesthetic with modern sensibility.”


Common Fence Music and Norman Bird Sanctuary

Common Fence Music is a 501(c)3 non-profit arts organization whose mission is to celebrate and preserve diverse folk music traditions by creating community-based opportunities for cultural exchange. 
For over seventy years, Norman Bird Sanctuary has served as a wildlife refuge and environmental education center. Stewarding the largest contiguous open space on Aquidneck Island, Norman Bird Sanctuary enhances quality of life by providing access to nature and conserving critical wildlife habitat. 









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Ken Abrams

Lifestyle Editor Ken Abrams writes about music for What'sUpNewp, SO RI, Folk Radio UK and more. He's also a DJ Tuesday night 6-9PM on WRIU 90.3 FM.