Branford Folk Music Society

The Branford Folk Music Society, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization recognized as tax exempt under the Internal Revenue Service Code section 501(c)(3). The Society sponsors the Branford Folk Coffeehouse, a monthly folk music concert series, September through May, at the First Congregational Church, on the green in Branford, Connecticut.

The group also produces a bimonthly newsletter with schedules and information on concerts and folk performers in Connecticut and the region. Branford Folk Music Society members receive a copy of the newsletter in the mail, as well as discounts in admission to our coffeehouse concerts. Become a member of the Branford Folk Music Society. Facebook members: Look us up on Facebook.

Branford Folk Coffeehouse

The Branford Folk Coffeehouse is in the auditorium of the First Congregational Church of Branford, 1009 Main Street, Branford, CT. Wheelchair accessible. Concerts begin at 8:00 p.m. Admission prices are listed for each concert. Please pay at the door – there are no advance sales.

Directions: Take I-95 Cedar Street exit #54, go south on Cedar Street to the end (crossing Route 1), turn left on Main Street. The Congregational Church is the brick church on the green (on the right). For more information, call 203-488-7715. Email:
If parking immediately next to the Church and the Green is full, there is additional parking nearby.

Please contact us if you are interested in helping the coffeehouse as a volunteer. In particular, refreshment donations will be welcomed.

If you are wondering if a concert will be held on an evening when the weather is bad, please call 203-488-7715. (There is no one at the church who can give out concert information.) Also, cancellations will be posted on WTNH Channel 8.

Click here for a video clip of Toby Walker's concert on February 10.

March 10, 2018: Bob Bovee

And now for something completely different.

Bob Bovee has traversed the country since 1971 bringing his authentic cowboy songs, ballads, blues and ragtime, square dance tunes, sentimental songs, novelty numbers and yodels to audiences of all ages at folk festivals, fairs, concerts, dances, schools, libraries, music camps, radio and TV programs. This is rural music as played in homes, at dances and for earlier entertainments such as minstrel shows and country radio.

Now he brings this varied repertoire to the Branford Folk Music Society.

Bob hails from Minnesota, but he's a Nebraska native whose family sang and played the old-time songs. Many of the western and railroad songs he does were learned from his grandmother and uncle. He plays banjo, guitar, autoharp and harmonica and is renowned for his dry and witty stage humor spiced with stories, history and folklore. For nearly 35 years, Bob was part of a duo with Gail Heil, his wife, best friend and musical partner until her death in 2013.

In addition to performing, Bob has published numerous articles and reviews for The Old-Time Herald and Inside Bluegrass and served as an instructor for a course called "The History of Country Music" at the Honors Division of the University of Minnesota. He's also the artistic director for the Bluff Country Gathering and the organizing force for the Lanesboro Barn Dance, both Minnesota organizations.

Through the decades, Bob has appeared at just about every major folk festival in the United States and Canada and has performed on National Public Radio shows such as "Prairie Home Companion", "Mountain Stage" and "River City Folk." His extensive recordings go back to the days of tape cassettes and long-playing records, but he also has several compact disc offerings including the recent, "Rails, Trails & Tall Tales."

One writer in Cowboy Magazine summed up Bob's music perfectly: "Have you heard those real old recordings of a cowboy singing a traditional song? The songs have an 'old' quality about them, and the singers' voices seem to belong to a dried up old puncher just in from off the trail. Well, intentional or not, that is exactly how Bob Bovee sounds. His voice isn't pretty, but it's darn sure true to the genre ...he renders these songs with authenticity and affection. It seems as though he belongs to this music and it to him."

Join us on March 10 for a special musical program.

Admission: $20 non-members, $17 members, $5 children 12 and under.

Bob Bovee

Matthew Byrne

April 14, 2018: Matthew Byrne

Born into a family of Newfoundland music makers, Matthew Byrne's repertoire is heavily influenced by that unique musical lineage – the weaving of a great story with a beautiful melody – and he supports this tradition with powerful vocals, polished guitar work, and a presence that fills the listening room. His repertoire transcends time and place and his live performance reminds us how satisfying traditional songs can be when stripped down to their basic elements.

He's a young performer, but he holds a deep, seasoned respect and reverence for traditional music. His music has traveled well beyond the rugged shores of his Newfoundland home since his 2010 debut album, "Ballads." It wasn't long before his second album, "Hearts and Heroes", received Traditional Recording of the Year at the 2015 Canadian Folk Music Awards. With that, Matthew established himself as one of Canada's most authentic and vital traditional voices.

Touring both as a solo artist as well as a singer with The Dardanelles, Matthew has graced major festival stages worldwide and last summer he released his third album "Horizon Lines" a collection of traditional material exploring songs from both sides of the Atlantic and also continuing his journey through his own unique musical lineage. Accolades abound for Matthew's music with perhaps some of the highest praise coming from renowned Canadian singer-songwriter James Keelaghan who noted that Matthew "sings with a voice as true as a compass needle and is a dab hand on his instruments as well. His 'Ballads' is one of the finest English language traditional albums to come out in many a year."

Admission: $20 non-members, $17 members, $5 children 12 and under.

April 28, 2018: Michela Musolino & Rosa Tatuata

This ensemble that performs infectious folk music and dance from Sicily and Southern Italy was snowed out for our December concert but we've been able to reschedule them this Spring in, hopefully, warmer weather.

Michela Musolino and Rosa Tatuata are driven by the love of the roots music from that region of the globe and they offer up passionate interpretations of the traditions and melodies of their ancestors. Just as their name comes from Tennessee Williams' beloved play about the happy, raucous collision of immigrant and American cultures, likewise Rosa Tatuata's performance relates that incredible commingling to their beloved audience through song!

And because it's Spring, Rosa Tatuata will be presenting a concert around the themes of rebirth, growth and renewal and the celebrations of Carnevale and St. Joseph's Day. Then there will be dancing.

Fueled by their research into traditional instruments like the tamburo (Sicilian frame drum), organetto, marranzano (jaw's harp) and zampogna (Southern Italian bagpipes), Rosa Tatuata introduces traditional songs into different musical contexts that rhythmically mirror the commingling of Old & New World. With an enchanting mix of ballads and dance tunes, Rosa Tatuata will take your imagination to sunbathed Southern Italy and the clear, crystal-blue waters surrounding Sicily.

Michela will be joined by Phil Passantino, Charlie Rutan and Jeffrey Panettieri as Rosa Tatuata in what is sure to be a concert with plenty of audience participation, whether singing or dancing. Bring your dancing shoes because in the concert's second half, Rosa Tatuata will teach and lead the audience in traditional Sicilian dances.

Michela is American-born-and-raised, but has been carrying on a love-affair with Sicilian music since growing up in a household where Sicilian dialect was spoken. Known for her fiery and passionate interpretations of both traditional and contemporary Sicilian folk and roots music, she turns world fusion songs into timeless pieces and infuses her vocals with the emotions of life. She enchants with a voice that seems to float between the ages.

Peter Covino, Pen America prize-winning poet and University of Rhode Island Assistant Professor of English said this about Michela: "Can you imagine the wild soulfulness of Tina Turner and the earthy yet ethereal voice of Neapolitan songstress Teresa De Sio combined? Well imagine that; then think even more vibrancy, more urbanity, in songs that somehow also feel impossibly intimate.... No wonder Michela Musolino has such a devoted underground following; full divahood seems scarily within reach."

Admission: $20 non-members, $17 members. $5 children 12 and under.

Rosa Tatuata

Ken & Brad Kolodner

May 12, 2018: Ken & Brad Kolodner

The dynamic father-son duo Ken & Brad Kolodner weave together a captivating soundscape on hammered dulcimer, banjo and fiddles pushing the boundaries of the Old-Time tradition into uncharted territory. Regarded as one of the most influential hammered dulcimer players and Old-Time fiddlers in North America, Baltimore's Ken Kolodner has joined forces with his son Brad Kolodner, a rising star in the clawhammer banjo world. Together, they infuse their own brand of driving, innovative, tasteful and unique interpretations of traditional and original fiddle tunes and songs.

Admission: $20 non-members, $17 members. $5 children 12 and under.

Previous concerts at the Branford Folk Coffeehouse

Branford Folk Photo Gallery

Restaurants in Branford

Lodging in Branford


Branford Folk Coffeehouse performers are often provided overnight accommodations by volunteers in their homes. However, some performers are very sensitive to furry critters, so if you can provide overnight accommodations in a pet-free environment, please let us know, either at a concert or by email at Hosts receive complimentary admission to the show! Thank you!

Wanna be on our Board?

The all-volunteer Board of Directors of the Branford Folk Music Society is looking for new members with a passion for traditional and tradition-based folk music and the skills to help us bring the joy of that music to wider audiences. We are seeking interested people with the time and willingness to take an active role in creating awareness of Branford Folk Music Society events in Connecticut, particularly in the broader shoreline community, and with skills to complement those of members of the current Board. These could include experience in public relations, arts or events coordination (not necessarily in music), outreach or fundraising; or connections with media, historical and cultural organizations in the New Haven area and towns along the shoreline. Anyone interested should contact us at 203-488-7715 or

The Branford Folk Music Society is a member of the Folk Alliance International,
the Arts Council of Greater New Haven and the Shoreline Chamber of Commerce.

The Branford Folk Music Society primarily books "traditional" and/or "traditions based" acoustic music, rooted in the Anglo-Celtic and/or American folk genres, and other traditional forms, such as Cajun, French Canadian, Klezmer, etc. We are also open to booking "traditions based" performers who write their own material provided their music demonstrates a knowledge and respect for these long established traditions.

The Branford Folk Music Society posts monthly concert listings on the following web sites and blogs: at
Nonprofit Bulletin at

Other folk music events in Connecticut and southern New England

Please send event listings to the editor at

Branford Folk Music Society
P.O. Box 441
Branford, CT 06405