Mystic Seaport to Host Annual Sea Music Festival

Musicians from around the world will come to Mystic Seaport to celebrate music traditions of the golden age of sail at the 32nd annual Sea Music Festival, Thursday through Sunday, June 9-12.

Festivities include concerts, special performances for children, instructional workshops, and an opportunity to witness sea music at work on the historic vessels Joseph Conrad and L.A. Dunton.

This year features music from maritime cultures around the world, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Iceland, Poland, the Netherlands, France, Canada, and Africa, as well as native peoples within the United States.

Here are some highlights:

  • Returning this year are the popular Northern Neck Chantey Singers from Virginia. This group of 6 men worked on menhaden fishing boats on Chesapeake Bay in their youth, where they hauled nets and sang as they worked. They will give a special concert and demonstration at the Museum’s Australia Beach at 11:00 a.m. Sunday.
  • New this year will be a whaleboat race between an Azorean crew from New Bedford and an American crew from Mystic Seaport on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. The race is part of the ongoing celebration of the ports of call of the whaleship Charles W. Morgan, currently being restored to return to sea in 2014. The acclaimed Azorean Grupo Raizes will sing before the race and later that night in concert.
  • International performers include Kapriol!, an exciting quartet from the Netherlands, Danny Spooner from Australia, Martin and Shan Graebe, Richard Grainger, and Brian Peters from England. Other featured acts are Celeste Bernardo, The Chanteens, Jeff Davis, Jack Dalton, Tom Kastle, Margaret McCandless, Robbie O’Connell and Dan Milner, John Roberts, Roll and Go, Rick Spencer, Ken Sweeney, Bob Webb, and Caryl P. Weiss.
  • A children’s stage with special performances, musical instruction, and an instrument-making workshop on Sunday, followed by a children’s parade through the village at 2 p.m.
  • * A Music of the Sea Symposium, hosted in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and the University of Connecticut at Avery Point, will be held Friday and Saturday, June 10-11. The 2-day Symposium, which features presentations of themed papers by some of the country’s leading maritime scholars, explores the interaction between sea, music, and song. For a list of Symposium presenters and topics, visit 32nd Annual Music of the Sea Symposium.

All workshops and daytime concerts are included in regular Mystic Seaport admission. Museum admission is good for 2 days upon ticket validation (visit must be made within one week of purchase date).

Special tickets are required for evening concerts and can be purchased by calling (860-572-0711, ext. 4210) or at the south gate. Weekend passes are also available. College students will be admitted into the festival for the youth rate upon presentation of a current student ID.

For more information, including musicians’ bios and a schedule of performances:

Mystic Seaport Sea Music Festival

Videos: (2009) 30th Annual Sea Music Festival



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