The Pasadena Folk Music Society/ Caltech Folk Music Society Home Page

Pasadena Folk Music Society
P.O. Box 60061
Pasadena CA 91116

updated 07/3/2014

A fundraiser for our friend, Pitt Kinsolving, was held at the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena 8/20/12, featuring The Witcher Brothers. It was a wonderful show, attended by Pitt, and a solid sum was raised. Pitt's needs will continue. Find an update here.

The Caltech Folk Music Society has become the Pasadena Folk Music Society, a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit organization! We will have the same great shows at Caltech with the same low prices. Tickets will continue to be sold at the Caltech Ticket Office. We'll be in transition for a little while (website, email address, etc), but if you aren't on our email list, be sure to sign up to be notified about each concert. Write the Folk Music Society at

And by the way, all of our concerts are held after Caltech business hours, so parking in the school lots is free!

Click on the cake for a bit more about our 30 year anniversary and our volunteers over the years

Moira Smiley & VOCO
Saturday, September 27, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. in Beckman Institute Auditorium (building 74 on the map)

Admission is $15 for adults and $5 for Caltech students and children.
Advance tickets may be obtained from the Caltech Ticket Office. For information, call (626) 395-4652, or from outside the greater Pasadena area, call toll-free at 1-888-2CALTECH (1-888-222-5832)

Moira Smiley & VOCO is a visionary blend of voices - redefining harmony singing with the power & physicality of folksong, the avant-garde fearlessness of Béla Bartók and delicious, vaudevillian accompaniment of cello, banjo, ukelele, accordion and body percussion. Moira Smiley's award-winning original music and spell-binding American and East European folksongs light up the stage with rompin’ stompin' body percussion and warm wit. Named #1 a cappella group in the U.S. in 2007, Moira Smiley & VOCO is the energy of street singing and the elegance of a string quartet. Expect magnificent, hair-raising performances – music that mourns and dances at the same time. Called "fascinating and multi-lingual" by the LA Times, "Persuasive, near perfect musicians" by the Herald Times, “gritty and ethereal, banjo to Bartók” by the Village Voice. This is their second appearance at Caltech, and you may also remember Moira from her performances here with the group, Molly's Revenge, with whom she sometimes performs. Be ready for a real treat with this show!

Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands
Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. in Beckman Institute Auditorium (building 74 on the map)

Admission: $18, with $5 for Caltech students and children.
Tickets may be obtained from the Caltech Ticket Office. For information, call (626) 395-4652.

We are extremely pleased to welcome back Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands to our series from Berkeley, California. Laurie is certainly one of the most prominent women of bluegrass today, with her voice, guitar, and fiddle, but her songwriting and song interpreting sets her apart from the bluegrass world. She can do a great job on Bill Monroe and Carter family songs, but her originals, from early ones, like Texas Bluebonnets to recent compositions, like Here Today, prove her to be a substanial songwriter. Fiddler, Darol Anger, said of her, " Laurie's strength manifests in many ways: her commanding presence on stage combined with an emotional vulnerability, the truths in her lyrics, her physical voice which transcends gender, her strong commitment to causes and issues in which she deeply believes, which all resonate with a respect for the land, the natural world, and human mercy and justice." The Right Hands consist of longtime sidekick, Tom Rozum, a spectacular manodlinist, singer, and guitarist, Southern California's own Patrick Sauber on banjo and vocals, Chad Manning on fiddle, and Andrew Conklin on upright bass. Their music is a joy to behold. Read the recent article in Bluegrass Unlimited that gives a pretty fair assessment of Laurie's music, including a bit about her most recent recordings, Laurie & Kathy Sing The Songs Of Vern & Ray, (with Kathy Kallick) and One Evening In May. Dont miss this show!

Jeni & Billy
Saturday, November 15 at 8:00 p.m. in Beckman Institute Auditorium (building 74 on the map)

Admission: $15, with $5 for Caltech students and children.
Tickets may be obtained from the Caltech Ticket Office. For information, call (626) 395-4652.

Jeni and Billy will be making their second appearance in our series. They put out a new double CD recording last year, Sweet Song Coming 'Round, which consists of live recordings from their western tour the year before. Now they have a brand new recording, Picnic in the Sky that we are looking forward to hearing. Though they write many of their own songs, this is American roots music at its best. Jeni hails from Jewell Ridge, Virginia, coal country in Appalachia, where she was influenced by church singing and family sing-alongs. She's also a storyteller and writer who earned a Masters degree in literature and studied under Irish writer, Paul Muldoon. She traces her vocal style to Virginia Lowe, the blind music minister of the Friendly Chapel Church on Smith Ridge, the Appalachian community in which Jeni spent her childhood summers. While her singing has been compared to the lonesome voices of Maybelle Carter and Iris Dement, her writing has been likened to that of Southerners Carson McCullers, Flannery O’Connor, and Lee Smith. Billy Kemp, a Baltimore native, embraced the sound of country music in the nearby community of Oella – the home of Appalachian migrants who came to the city looking for work in the mills. Fired on by dreams of the Grand Ole Opry and his passion for the sound of Flatt & Scruggs, Billy headed to Nashville and toured with country bands all over the US, Canada, Europe, and right onto the stage of the Opry. He went on to become a music instructor and producer of various roots music projects. Together, Jeni and Billy give us wonderful singing and harmonies, backed by guitar, banjo, mandolin, harmonica, and bass. Their music is straigtforward and pure. It is difficult to tell the original songs from the traditional ones. We dare you not to smile as you listen to their song, "If I Ever Get Ten Dollars." One listener commented, “This is either the most sophisticated simple music or the simplest sophisticated music I’ve ever heard.”

The Caltech Folk Music Society is a non-profit organization with all money collected going toward paying performers and for mailings and other expenses.

To confirm dates and times, contact Rex Mayreis or Nick Smith.

Visit the Caltech Public Events page at and choose "Series" from the main page, and then Caltech Folk Music Society Concerts. Their site also offers a listing of other programs on the Caltech campus.

Ticket information is available from the Caltech Ticket Office.

About the Pasadena Folk Music Society...

Graduate students, Brian Toby and Simon Davies, formed a Caltech student organization, the Caltech Folk Music Society, in 1983. The intent was to bring well-known performers of acoustic music from around the country, and around the world, to play at Caltech for a reasonable price. Long before playing "unplugged" became fashionable, the CFMS began to seek out a wide range of singer-songwriters, bluegrass bands, British Isles music, blues, Nueva Cancion, guitarists, and a whole array of other musicians that did not fit well into mainstream musical categories. While some of these performers emphasize elements of "folk tradition," others are boldly innovative and truly unique. Social activism, humor, and compassion are commonly present as well. In 2013, the Society became a 501(c)(3) organization and the name was changed to the Pasadena Folk Music Society. Concerts continue to be held at Caltech in the Beckman Institute Auditorium. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact to find out more.

Some Music Resources on the Web

Folkscene (Roz and Allen Larman)
Alive & Picking (Mary Katherine Aldin)
Bluegrass Etc. (Frank Hoppe, a former Caltech Folk Music Society volunteer!)
Heartfelt Music (John & Deanne Davis) - Keep in touch with the hosts of this fine show that is no longer on KPFK
Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Contest
Acoustic Americana Music Guide in (and around) LA
Bluegrass Association of Southern California
Tied to the Tracks (Larry Wines of KCSN)
Prairie Home Companion (Garrison Keillor)

Past Performances

Caltech Folk Music Society Concerts, since the beginning in January 1983, along with Brian's and Simon's pre-Folk Music Society concerts
(Thanks, Brian, for the updated early listings!)

08/16/14Peter Feldmann and the Very Lonesome Boys
07/12/14Lisa Haley and the Zydekats
06/28/14Sabrina and Craig & Honey Whiskey Trio
05/03/14Robin and Linda Williams and Their Fine Group
04/12/14Alan Reid and Rob van Sante
03/29/14April Verch Band
03/22/14Steve Gillette and Cindy Mangsen
03/07/14Cherish the Ladies (marketing partner with Caltech Campus Programs)
03/01/14Ladysmith Black Mambazo (marketing partner with Caltech Campus Programs)
02/15/14Tannahill Weavers
01/24/14John McCutcheon
12/14/13Patrick Ball
11/23/13Kingston Trio (marketing partner with Caltech Campus Programs)
11/16/13Tony McManus
11/01/13Dan Crary & Thunderation
10/05/13Chris Proctor
08/24/13Evie Ladin & Keith Terry & Triple Chicken Foot
06/22/13Hay Dudes
05/11/13Susie Glaze & the Hilonesome Band
04/20/13Fishtank Ensemble
03/23/13Janis Ian
03/09/13David Mallett
02/09/13Joanna Cazden & Debra Cowan
2/02/13Atlantic Steps (marketing partner with Caltech Campus Programs)
1/19/13Severin Browne & James Hurley
11/17/12Lúnasa (marketing partner with Caltech Campus Programs)
11/10/12Kristina Olsen
10/27/12Cathy Barton & Dave Para
10/13/12Jez Lowe
9/7/12Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands
8/11/12Tom Russell & Thad Beckman
7/07/12Legends of the Celtic Harp, featuring Patrick Ball, Lisa Lynne, and Aryeh Frankfurter
6/22/12Aaron Jones and Claire Mann
5/12/12Jeni & Billy
4/21/12Salty Suites
3/31/12Michael Smith
3/17/12Cheryl Wheeler & Kenny White
2/25/12Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsen
1/27/12Spirit of Uganda (marketing partner with Caltech Campus Programs)
1/21/12Jim Malcolm
12/10/11Kevin Burke
12/03/11Tomaseen Foley's Celtic Christmas (marketing partner with Caltech Campus Programs)
11/19/11Rita Hosking & Cousin Jack
10/29/2011William Jackson and Gráinne Hambly
10/08/2011Small Potatoes & Dave Morrison
09/17/2011Moya Brennan & Cormac De Barra
08/13/11Loafer's Glory
07/23/11The Syncopaths
06/04/11Rosalie Sorrels
05/04/11Molly's Revenge
04/16/11Susie Glaze & The Hilonesome Band
04/02/11Nrityagram Dance Ensemble (marketing partner with Caltech Campus Programs)
03/19/11Gerry O'Beirne and Rosie Shipley
03/11/11Step Afrika! (marketing partner with Caltech Campus Programs)
02/26/11Country Joe McDonald
02/11/11Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana (marketing partner with Caltech Campus Programs)
01/29/11Katy Moffat
12/11/10Ronny Cox
11/06/10Patrick Ball
11/05/10Eileen Ivers (marketing partner with Caltech Campus Programs)
10/15/10JIGU! Thunder Drums of China (marketing partner with Caltech Campus Programs)
10/09/10Marley's Ghost
10/02/10Calpulli Mexican Dance Company (marketing partner with Caltech Campus Programs)
09/11/10Eliza Gilkyson
07/17/10Tannahill Weavers
06/26/10Andy Irvine
06/12/10Old Blind Dogs
05/15/10Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum
04/24/10Priscilla Herdman
03/20/10Chris Stuart and Backcountry
03/12/10Ladysmith Black Mambazo (marketing partner with Caltech Campus Programs)
03/05/10Tommy Sands with Moya & Fionan Sands
02/27/10The Wailin' Jennys (marketing partner with Caltech Campus Programs)
02/13/10Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsen
01/23/10Jim Malcolm
12/06/09Alasdair Frasier & Natalie Haas
12/05/09Don Vappie and the Creole Jazz Serenaders (marketing partner with Caltech Campus Programs)
11/21/09Anne Hills
11/07/09Battlefield Band
10/23/09Barynya (marketing partner with Caltech Campus Programs)
10/10/09David Mallett
09/12/09Cheryl Wheeler & Kenny White
05/09/09Bryan Bowers
04/18/09Moira Smiley & VOCO
02/28/09Lúnasa (marketing partner with Caltech Public Events)
02/20/09Carolina Chocolate Drops (marketing partner with Caltech Public Events)
02/07/09Kingston Trio (marketing partner with Caltech Public Events)
01/10/09Peter Ostroushko
12/06/08Tony McManus
11/07/08Andy M. Stewart & Gerry O'Beirne
10/25/08Natalie MacMaster (marketing partner with Caltech Public Events)
10/18/08Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem and Pine Leaf Boys (marketing partner with Caltech Public Events)
10/11/08Sara Grey with Kieron Means
09/06/08Patrick Ball
08/09/08Molly's Revenge
06/14/08Mary Z. Cox & Bob Cox
05/16/08The Limeliters
04/05/08Joel Fafard
03/08/08Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsen
02/23/08Nancy McCallion
02/08/08Leahy (marketing partner with Caltech Public Events)
01/26/08Campbell Brothers (marketing partner with Caltech Public Events)
01/25/08John McCutcheon
01/12/08Harvey Reid
12/01/07Santa Cruz River Band
11/10/07Sons of the Never Wrong
11/02/07Vishten (marketing partner with Caltech Public Events)
10/20/07Anne Hills
09/22/07Women on the Move: Beautiful CD Release Concert
07/28/07Susie Glaze & The Hilonsome Band
06/01/07Rosalie Sorrells
05/12/07Perfect Strangers
04/14/07Bryan Bowers
03/17/07Wilson & McKee
03/09/07Boys of the Lough (marketing partner with Caltech Public Events)
02/17/07Cheryl Wheeler & Kenny White
02/03/07Jim Malcolm
01/19/07Eliza Gilkyson
01/06/07Cathy Barton & Dave Para
12/9,10/06A Scottish Christmas with Bonnie Rideout (marketing partner with Caltech Public Events)
11/04/06Jamie Laval & Ashley Broder
10/27/06Dervish (marketing partner with Caltech Public Events)
10/14/06Aaron Jones & Claire Mann
10/07/06Inti-Illimani (marketing partner with Caltech Public Events)
09/09/06Peter Ostroushko & Arkadiy Yushin
07/01/06Fairport Convention
06/09/06Cache Valley Drifters
04/22/06Priscilla Herdman
04/29/06Natalie McMaster (marketing partner with Caltech Public Events)
03/04/06Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsen
01/21/06Chris Proctor
12/10/05Kevin Burke
11/04/05Patrick Ball in The Fine Beauty of the Island
11/05/05Battlefield Band (marketing partner with Caltech Public Events)
10/15/05John McEuen, David Amram & Buddy Spicher (3 Jammin' Gents, a show in honor of the late Vassar Clements & marketing partner with Caltech Public Events)
09/17/05Gerry O'Beirne (Andy Stewart forced to cancel tour)
05/14/05Old Blind Dogs
04/09/05Mary Z. Cox accompanied by Bob Cox
03/05/05Vishten (marketing partner with Caltech Public Events)
02/19/05The Perfect Strangers
02/05/05Jim Malcolm
01/21/05John McCutcheon & The Chapin Sisters
10/23/04Lúnasa (marketing partner with Caltech Public Events)
10/09/04William Jackson
09/10/04Michael Smith
08/29/04Katy Moffatt
04/24/04Bryan Bowers
03/27/04Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsen
02/28/04David Crosby (marketing partner with Caltech Public Events)
01/23/04Kingston Trio (marketing partner with Caltech Public Events)
01/16/04Harvey Reid
12/20/03Cyntia Smith & the Lilies
11/15/03Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer
10/17/03Fil Campbell & Tom McFarland
09/09/03Peter Ostroushko
07/26/03Tom Smith
06/28/03Jon Wilcox, Danny Wheetman, & David West
05/31/03Priscilla Herdman
05/10/03Sparky & Rhonda Rucker
04/12/03Aoife Clancy
03/22/03Riders of the Purple Sage & Border Radio
02/21/03Robin & Linda Williams
01/17/03David Massengill
01/10/03EnsembleGalilei with Jean Redpath (marketing partner with Caltech Public Events)
11/09/02Cosy Sheridan
10/19/02Dan Crary & Beppe Gambetta
10/11/02David Mallett
09/20/02Fairport Convention & Equation (co-sponsored with Caltech Public Events)
09/06/02Old Blind Dogs
06/08/02Katy Moffatt
05/11/02James LeeStanley
04/13/02Bryan Bowers
03/23/02Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsen
02/23/02Michael Smith
01/11/02Chris Proctor
12/15/01Kevin Burke
10/20/01William Jackson
09/08/01Cache Valley Drifters
05/19/01Dave Para & Cathy Barton
04/13/01Priscilla Herdman
03/16/01Katy Moffatt
02/09/01Patrick Ball
01/12/01Rosalie Sorrels
12/16/00Gregg Miner
11/17/00Erica Wheeler
10/28/00Adie Grey & Dave MacKenzie
08/12/00New West
05/13/00Lui Collins
04/22/00Eileen McGann
03/25/00Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsen
02/12/00William Pint & Felicia Dale
01/29/00Patrick Ball
01/08/00Bluegrass Etc.
12/10/99John McEuen
11/13/99Chris Proctor
10/09/99Steve Tilston
09/10/99Tom Lewis
07/31/99Martin Simpson
06/12/99Rincon Ramblers
03/26/99Peggy Seeger
02/26/99Richard Greene, Peter Feldman, & Tom Sauber
02/05/99Cache Valley Drifters
01/17/99Bob Franke
09/26/98Duck Baker
08/28/98Michael Smith
07/18/98Cyrus Clarke Band
05/30/98William Jackson
03/28/98Joanna Cazden & Bob Franke
03/01/98Harvey Reid
02/14/98Lou & Peter Berryman
07/27/97Ruth Barrett & Cyntia Smith
04/26/97Louis Killen, John Roberts & Tony Barrand
03/22/97Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsen
03/01/97Harvey Reid
01/19/97Chris Proctor
05/04/96Carla Sciaky
03/30/96Ruth Barrett & Cyntia Smith
01/14/96Harvey Reid & Chris Proctor
10/28/95Brown Sisters & George Cavanaugh
10/07/95Erica Wheeler
05/20/95Kristina Olsen
02/26/95Utah Phillips
02/04/95Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsen
01/15/95Chris Proctor & Harvey Reed
12/10/94David Massingill
11/20/94Si Kahn
10/08/94Cache Valley Drifters
04/08/94Ruth Barrett & Cyntia Smith
03/27/94Iron Mountain String Band
02/05/94Utah Phillips
01/16/94Harvey Reid & Chris Proctor
12/12/93Kevin Burke & Open House
11/06/93Tom Lewis
10/09/93Sally Fingerett
07/24/93Katy Moffatt
06/19/93Ken Perlman & Rich & Maureen DelGrosso
03/13/93Don Haynie & Sheryl Samuel
02/14/93Golden Bough
01/22/93Chris Proctor & Harvey Reid
12/12/92Duck Baker & Molly Andrews
11/21/92Ruth Barrett & Cyntia Smith
11/08/92Jem Moore & Ariane Lydon
10/17/92Ed Miller
05/17/92Marley's Ghost
04/25/92Tom Smith (did not play) & Tracy Moore
03/28/92Martin & Jessica Simpson
02/15/92Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsen
01/18/92Bob Franke
12/14/91Dan Crary
11/09/91Claudia Schmidt
10/05/91Margaret Christl
09/21/91Carla Sciaky
06/07/91Tom Ball & Kenny Sultan
04/23/91Andy Irvine
04/13/91Kristina Olsen
03/03/91John McCutcheon
02/02/91Martin & Jessica Simpson
11/11/90Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer
10/06/90Joanna Cazden
09/16/90Cilla & Ray Fisher
06/02/90Ed Miller
05/18/90Stanley Greenthal
05/05/90Margaret Christl
03/30/90Andrew York & Jennifer Robin
03/10/90Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsen
02/18/90John McCutcheon
01/13/90Kim Wallach & Carla Sciaky
11/10/89Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer
10/14/89Phil Salazar Band
09/23/89Priscilla Herdman
05/13/89Word of Mouth, Ciro Hurtado & Cindy Harding
04/15/89Sally Rogers & Howie Bursen
03/31/89Betsy Rose
02/04/89Joanna Cazden
01/21/89Martin & Jessica Simpson
12/02/88Kristina Olsen
10/08/88Laurie Lewis & the Grant Street Band
09/17/88?Bob Bossin & Collective Vision
05/29/88Priscilla Herdman
04/29/88?John Gorka & Roy Forbes (Bim)
02/12/88Utah Phillips
12/06/87Chris Proctor & Kim Robertson
11/06/87Martin Carthy & the Watersons
10/10/87Andy M. Stewart & Manus Lunny
09/12/87Kristina Olsen
03/13/87Sally Rogers & Howie Bursen
02/07/87?Carla Sciaky
01/17/87Dewey Balfa & Tracey Schwarz
12/13/86?Tom Ball & Kenny Sultan
10/18/86Joanna Cazden & Foxglove
10/05/86Silly Wizard
05/17/86Cyderman's Fancy
04/05/86Golden Bough
02/22/86Kim Wallach & Andrew Calhoun
01/17/86Rick & Lorraine Lee with Holly Tannen
12/06/85Banish Misfortune
11/16/85Mother Logo
10/12/85Rees & Gallagher
05/04/85Ruth Barrett & Cyntia Smith
03/30/85Joanna Cazden & Bob Bossin
03/02/85Cathy Fink & Fred Small
02/23/85Kevin Burke, Andy Irvine & Gerry O'Beirne
11/17/84Don Lange, Bob Franke & Dick Pinney
10/19/84Carla Sciaky & Kim Robertson
09/28/84Thom Moore & Janie Cribbs & Geoff Bartley
05/04/84Joanna Cazden & Hotte Ayre
04/13/84Backwoods Jazz Quartet
03/23/84De Dannan (co-sponsored with Caltech Public Events)
03/02/84Fred Small
02/03/84Tom Ball & Kenny Sultan
01/21/84Artie Traum & Kim Wallach
12/02/83Old Mother Logo
10/28/83Berline, Crary & Hickman
10/15/83Carla Sciaky
09/23/83Silly Wizard
08/27/83Geof Morgan
10/12/85Dave Frishberg
07/08/83Cache Valley Drifters
06/17/83Caswell Carnahan
05/20/83Train to Sligo & Matthew Allen & Julie Searles
04/29/83Dick Pinney & Chris Proctor
04/01/83Ruth Barrett & Cyntia Smith
02/25/83Kevin Burke & Micheal O Domhnaill (co-sponsored with the Caltech Graduate Student Council)
02/10/83Cathy Fink
01/21/83Joanna Cazden (the first offical show of the Caltech Folk Music Society, co-sponsored with the Caltech Y & Organization for Women at Caltech)
11/16/82Don Lange, (Caltech Y & Graduate Student Council)
10/05/82Geof Morgan (Caltech Y, Organization for Women atCaltech, & Graduate Student Council)
08/13/82Tracy Strann (Caltech Y)
05/20/82Stan Rogers (Caltech Y)
04/12/82Peter Alsop (Caltech Y)
01/29/82Joanna Cazden (Caltech Y & Organization for Women at Caltech)