Pioneer Valley Folklore Society Happenings

September 2009


  • Storyteller Motoko will join the September 5 Song & Story Swap
  • Two September shows - Bread & Puppet, Tom Juravich
  • Agawam Celtic series

Storyteller Motoko will be featured at Sept. 5 Song & Story Swap

Please come share in an evening of music and stories at the Pioneer Valley Folklore Society Song & Story Swap.

Saturday, September 5 , 7:00-9:30 p.m. at the The Nacul Center, 592 Main St., Amherst, Mass (see map).

Motoko will tell stories at Sept. 5 Song & Story Swap in AmherstGuest performer at the September 5 Song & Story Swap will be award-winning storyteller Motoko.

Motoko enchants audiences of every age with her weaving of ancient lore, original tales, lyrical movement and traditional music.  Her repertoire includes Asian folktales, Zen tales, comical tales from rakugo (a Japanese traditional style of storytelling), funny mime vignettes, as well as personal stories from her childhood in Japan and her life as an immigrant in the U.S.

A native of Osaka, Japan, Motoko has been telling stories professionally since 1993.  She came to the U.S. as an exchange student to the University of Massachusetts and early in her career trained with late master mime Tony Montanaro. She credits her partner Eshu Bumpus with introducing her to the world of American storytelling.

Motoko has appeared on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood and has been featured in an educational video by Harcourt.  Her debut CD, The Promise of Chrysanthemums won a 2002 Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Award and a 2003 Storytelling World Award. Motoko has been showcased on the Exchange Place Stage at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee, representing the Northeast region. and has toured Miyazaki, Japan, as a part of CarnegieKids in Miyazaki Project, sponsored by Carnegie Hall.

More about Motoko can be found at her web site,

The warm-up theme this month is Houses.Houses

The Song & Story Swap is open to the public, free of charge with donations accepted.  People of all ages gather to share stories and songs that are traditional, newly written, or of personal experiences. You can tell, sing, or lead everyone in singing, or request a song or story.  Listeners are welcome.

For information contact Paul Kaplan, (413)-687-5002 or Jeff Lee, (413)-256-0433 or visit

September shows of note: Bread & Puppet, Tom Juravich

The internationally known theater group, Bread and Puppet Theater, will perform their Sourdough Philosophy Cabaret at the Amherst Regional High School on Friday, September 18, at 7pm in the auditorium.  Tickets are $8 for Students, Seniors and low income and $15 for all others.  Tickets can be purchased at Food for Thought Bookstore, 106 North Pleasant Street in Amherst or Broadside Bookshop at 247 Main Street in Northampton. For info contact Kevin Eddings, 413-256-1984.

Labor champion, Tom Juravich will perform on Saturday, September 26, 7:30 p.m. at the Echo Lake Concert Series, 9 Montague Rd., Leverett, MA. The concert will be preceded by a pot luck supper at 6:00 p.m. Admission: $8-$10. For more info: 413-548-9394.

Agawam Celtic Series

Traditional Celtic concerts are scheduled monthly at The Captain Charles Leonard House, 663 Main Street, Agawam, Mass. All shows are at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $14 reserved, or $18 at the door. Call 413-789-9267 or email

  • September 19, 2009 - Cape Breton traditions with Nikki Maranchie Engstrom on fiddle and Janine Randal on piano, Sean Brennan guitar and vocals
  • October 17, 2009 -An Irish legend... Aoife Clancy
  • November 21, 2009 - Andrea Beaton and friends from Cape Breton Island, Canada
  • December 19, 2009 -Doug Lamey and Kimberley Fraser
  • January 16, 2010 - Sarah Michel and friends
  • February 20, 2010 - SONAS
  • March 13 and 14, 2010 - J J Chaisson and friends ..Saturday 7:30 Sunday 2:00
  • April 17, 2010 - Zoe Darrow and The Fiddle Heads
  • May 15, 2010 - The Milliners, Portland Maine's new super Celtic group

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Pioneer Valley Folklore Society, Amherst, Mass.
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Director/Host: Paul Kaplan
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September 1, 2009