Meeting House Presents: concerts, theater, music, entertainment

Unitarian Society of Hartford 2018-19 Performing Arts Concert  Series

50 Bloomfield Avenue  Hartford, CT 06105

Season Tickets are available after church or at concerts at the door. $140 for the remaining eight shows.

Ticket prices unless otherwise noted:

  • $20 general admission.

  • $14 for students with ID.

  • Children under age 12 are free with paying parent.

Save the dates for 2018-19 Upcoming Meeting House Presents Concerts (Click on the performer’s name for additional information) Unitarian Society of Hartford, 50 Bloomfield Ave. Hartford, CT.

Friday, November 30, 2018     Lula Wiles

Friday, December 28, 2019     Ellen Iovino and Sarah Harmon McKenzie

Friday, January 18, 2019         Hubby Jenkins

Friday, February 22, 2019       Citizen U

Friday, March 22, 2019           Special Concert Event – Artist to be announced

Friday, April 19, 2019              Special Concert Event – Artist to be announced

May 3, 2019                               Special Concert Event – Artist to be announced

Archive list of 2017-18 Meeting House Presents performers

Meeting House Presents uses Brown Paper Tickets for advance ticketing services until noon the day of the show.

To purchase tickets to a Meeting House Presents concert, click on “buy tickets” to the event you want to attend.  You will be taken to the Brown Paper Tickets website where you can complete your purchase.

When your ticket purchase is complete, you may print paper tickets on your own printer. You can also show the confirmation email received from Brown Paper Tickets on your mobile device at the door. Your ticket purchase will appear on your credit card statement as Brown Paper Tickets.

Ticket purchases are non-refundable. A small service charge in addition to the ticket price applies to every purchase. A portion of the service charge is used to support arts and cultural organizations throughout the United States. Tickets can also be purchased at the door with cash or check.

Contact information:

  • Buy tickets at Brown Paper Tickets or at the door if the show is not sold out
  • Email us at
  • Phone the Unitarian Meeting House at (860) 233-9897, Office Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 10:00-3:00
  • Phone Laura and Paul Cipriano at (860)298-9984
  • Check this web page or subscribe to our email list for notification if shows are sold out or rescheduled

Our email includes concert announcements, updates, and info about folk music events in the area. Subscribe to Meeting House Presents Email  send a message to Put “subscribe” in the subject line. We send one or two emails each month.

Friday, November 30, 2018  at 7:30 Lula Wiles

“They’re virtuosic musicians, they have a great three-part vocal, and they just have such a clarity of perspective and tone of voice and such biting wit. They seem like young women who know their minds and flex their intellects” – Jewly Hight, NPR Music

Click to listen:

Lula Wiles is a band deeply rooted in traditional folk music, but equally deep is their devotion to modern songcraft. Their songs span from heartbreak-drenched acoustic ballads to honky-tonk swagger to contemporary grit and back again, all anchored by powerful three-part vocal harmonies. Their lyrics are fiercely honest, littered with reinvented folk tropes and evocative images – a rainy field of daisies, a dusty bar lit by Christmas lights, an unmade bed. They deliver love songs that are at once defiant and heartsick, as well as new contributions to the folk ballad canon and timely explorations of what it means to live in America today.

Drawing from the deep wells of traditional old-time music, classic country, and contemporary indie-folk-rock songwriting and arranging, Lula Wiles melds diverse influences to create a sound all their own. The three band members deftly swap instruments and frontwoman duties, with Ellie Buckland (vocals/guitar/fiddle), Isa Burke (vocals/guitar/fiddle), and Mali Obomsawin (vocals/bass) each contributing their own singularly expressive vocals, instrumental lines, and songwriting. Onstage, the band gathers tightly around a single microphone for a spirited and emotionally resonant live show.

If you ask them about their self-titled debut album, they’ll be quick to tell you it was a long time coming. The album’s eleven original songs were written over the course of the preceding four years, tested and lived in on stages and in bedrooms and backyards in Maine and Boston, and reborn through the band’s collaboration with producer/guitarist Adam Iredale-Gray and drummer Sean Trischka. Self-released on May 27, 2016, the album represents Lula Wiles’ exploration of the space where traditional folk meets modern songwriting and production. Acclaimed singer-songwriter Aoife O’Donovan calls the album “a stunning collection of self-penned songs about love, loss, and drinking – the perfect blend of modern and timeless.”  Their sophomore album will be announced later this year.

Though the band is young, all the members of Lula Wiles have spent their lives grounded in songs. Born in Maine to musical families, they began playing music together as kids at Maine Fiddle Camp, and eventually each made their way to Boston to study at Berklee College of Music. Isa and Ellie began performing as a duo in 2013, and Lula Wiles was born when Mali joined the band a year later. When Lula Wiles performs, the band’s many years of friendship are clear from their electrifying musical chemistry and alchemic vocal harmonies. Now based in Boston’s thriving and close-knit roots music community, Lula Wiles have performed at premier festivals and clubs throughout the eastern United States, including Club Passim, the Sinclair, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, Fresh Grass Festival, and Green River Music Festival. They’ve recently expanded their touring territory to Canada and Europe, and have shared stages with artists like the Wood Brothers, Aoife O’Donovan, Darlingside, Sarah Jarosz, and Tim O’Brien. Roots authority No Depression predicts Lula Wiles “will be a huge force on the Americana scene for years to come.” All proficient vocalists, multi-instrumentalists, and songwriters, the three women of Lula Wiles are each uniquely powerful in their own right; but combined, they are a force to be reckoned with.

“This album is a stunning collection of self-penned songs about love, loss, and drinking – the perfect blend of modern and timeless. From rich swells of fiddles to powerful honky-tonk guitar, all anchored by rocking bass, this album delivers one gem after another. In an age where so much music feels trite and phoned in, Lula Wiles emerges with their own unique blend of honest lyrics and gorgeous singing. Do yourselves a favor and listen to this record. Or better yet, see a live show.”    – Aoife O’Donovan

“These young women […] will be a huge force on the Americana music scene for many years to come. The chemistry they bring to the stage is a joy to behold.”   – No Depression

“Lula Wiles are pushing the boundaries of Americana, crafting narrative lyrics that are just as detailed and complex as their tightly woven harmonies… The result is brilliant.” – Sound of Boston

Tickets are $20 at the door/$14 for students with ID. Children under age 12 are free with paying parent.

50 Bloomfield Ave. Hartford, CT.

Friday, December 28, 2018 at 7:30  Ellen Iovino and Sarah Harmon McKenzie

Sarah Harmon McKenzie is a multi-instrumentalist who plays songs from many genres while calling back to older folk traditions.

Sarah hand picks covers by a variety of artists, with a preference for songs with a strong sense of narrative.

Her strong vocals will carry listeners through stories of redemption, renewal, and mystery.

 Ellen Iovino‘s performances are dramatic, energetic and packed with variety. Her passionate, dynamic vocals and percussive guitar style are often combined with a little tap dancing and a variety of instrumentation – anything from harmonica to trumpet to steel drum and more.

Ellen performed alongside her husband, Larry Ruhl, the talented singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and dancer for more than 15 years. They sang and tap danced throughout the region at First Night celebrations, town concerts, church halls, daycare centers, senior residences… anywhere people were celebrating life. Most recently, they formed the duo We Got Rhythm! When Larry died suddenly in 2017, Ellen found comfort and purpose in continuing his legacy by performing his original music and experimenting with some the many instruments he played.

Ellen’s current repertoire draws from many genres and artists and includes compositions from Larry’s diverse, innovative catalog. Ellen’s raw, honest performances connect deeply with her audiences, touching on subjects of loss and struggle, but also of love, hope, redemption, and joy. Life is a wild ride. Buckle your seatbelts and join Ellen for a spin.

Ellen’s duo We Got Rhythm! with her husband, Larry Ruhl, who died unexpectedly in 2017.

50 Bloomfield Ave. Hartford, CT.


Friday, January 18, 2019 at 7:30 Hubby Jenkins

Click to listen to Hubby Jenkins song samples

You may know Hubby Jenkins from his performances with the Grammy award winning Carolina Chocolate Drops. Hubby is a talented multi-instrumentalist who shares his love and knowledge of old-time American music and his insightful sense of historical perspective. Born and raised in Brooklyn he delved into his Southern roots, following the thread of African American history that wove itself through country blues, ragtime, fiddle and banjo, and traditional jazz. Hubby got his higher musical education started as a busker. He developed his guitar and vocal craft on the sidewalks and subway platforms of New York City, performing material by those venerable artists whose work he was quickly absorbing. An ambitiously itinerant musician, he took his show on the road, playing the streets, coffee shops, bars, and house parties of cities around the U.S.

After years of busking around the country and making a name for himself, Hubby became acquainted with the Carolina Chocolate Drops. Since 2010 he has been an integral part of the Grammy award winning Carolina Chocolate Drops and continues to make solo performances.

Tickets are $20 at the door/$14 for students with ID. Children under age 12 are free with paying parent.

50 Bloomfield Ave. Hartford, CT.

Friday, February 22, 2019 at 7:30  Citizen U

Citizen U is the side project of Antonio Alcorn and Chris Freeman. The duo met in a
folk club at the University of Connecticut where they founded the five-piece folk/rock band Parsonsfield, known for its rich harmonies and high energy performances. As members of Parsonsfield, Freeman and Alcorn have spent the past six years touring across North America, releasing albums, scoring the music for and performing in an original play, and composing a live score to a silent film. Though their musical taste is broad, it’s the old songs that Alcorn and Freeman connect to.

Songs by Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, and tunes from Appalachia and
Ireland are what they find themselves playing when nobody is around. The energy
of Freeman hammering his banjo while Alcorn’s fingers move like spider legs across
his mandolin make for an intriguing take on folk classics that have never been heard
quite like this.

Based in the musical hub of Boston, Citizen U marks the return to the edge of the
folk music song circle which drew Freeman and Alcorn together. Join them for a
night of traditional music, old songs, and a whole bunch of other surprises they are
dreaming up right now.

Tickets are $20 at the door/$14 for students with ID. Children under age 12 are free with paying parent.

50 Bloomfield Ave. Hartford, CT.

Friday, March 22, 2019 at 7:30  Special Event – Artist will be announced in November

Tickets are $20 at the door/$14 for students with ID. Children under age 12 are free with paying parent.

50 Bloomfield Ave. Hartford, CT.

Friday, April 12, 2019 at 7:30  Special Event – Artist will be announced in November

Tickets are $20 at the door/$14 for students with ID. Children under age 12 are free with paying parent.

50 Bloomfield Ave. Hartford, CT.

Friday, May 3, 2019 at 7:30  Special Event – Artists will be announced in November

Tickets are $20 at the door/$14 for students with ID. Children under age 12 are free with paying parent.

50 Bloomfield Ave. Hartford, CT.

Our sister concert series

The Sounding Board Coffeehouse

Click to Reserve your seat for a Sounding Board Coffee House show

The Sounding Board Folk & Acoustic Music Coffeehouse is an all-volunteer, non-profit 501(c)3 organization founded in 1973 to present and preserve folk music in all its forms in the Greater Hartford area, They are co-producing the Meeting House Presents concerts.

Sounding Board concerts are at The Universalist Church, 433 Fern St., West Hartford, CT, unless noted otherwise

Upcoming Sounding Board Concerts in fall 2018. Saturday at 7:30:

Sally Rogers & Claudia Schmidt  (Nov 3, 2018)

Over four decades, Claudia Schmidt has recorded 14 albums of mostly original songs, exploring folk, blues, and jazz idioms. Sally Rogers has specialized in traditional folk, old-timey and children’s music on guitar, banjo, and dulcimer. Their collaboration has brought joy to audiences for 30 years. Get ready for a night of tight harmonies and soaring voices when these veterans of the folk world take the stage.

$20 General
$16 Sounding Board Members
$10 Full Time College/High School Students
$8 Children 12 and under with a parent/adult

STEVE GILLETTE & CINDY MANGSEN   (Saturday, Nov 17, 7:30 p.m.)

For more than 25 years, Steve Gillette and Cindy Mangsen have thrilled audiences with traditional music and original songs. Their live performances are known for rich harmony, compelling songs and a good dose of humor.

Steve and Cindy have voices and musical styles that meld seamlessly with gentleness and maturity. Come to The Sounding Board for a warm evening with two of our oldest musical friends.

$20 General
$16 Sounding Board Members
$10 Full Time College/High School Students
$8 Children 12 and under with a parent/adult

Sounding Board Too at Winding Trails concert.

This concert will take place at The Lodge at Winding Trails, 50 Winding Trails Rd., Farmington CT.

ZOE MULFORD  Sunday, Nov. 18, 3:00 p.m. at Winding Trails

Open jam/song swap 2:00-2:45 p.m.

Trans-Atlantic singer-songwriter Zoe Mulford charms audiences with powerful, story-driven songwriting, an engaging stage presence, and an unlabored vocal style. She backs her voice with guitar or claw-hammer banjo, drawing on the traditional music of Appalachia and the British Isles and stealing a few pages from the American Songbook to create music that feels both comfortably lived-in and sparklingly fresh.

Her fifth album, Small Brown Birds, centers on a new collaboration with English fiddler and mandolinist Tom Kitching. The songs trace a progression from winter to spring, with a message of resilience, community, and hope in times of trouble. The song “The President Sang Amazing Grace” drew the attention of Joan Baez, who has covered it on her 2018 album Whistle Down the Wind.

$20 General
$16 Sounding Board/Winding Trails Members
$10 Full Time College/High School Students
$8 Children 12 and under with a parent/adult

And in 2019…

Mari Black World Fiddle Ensemble

Nerissa & Katryna Nields

Joe Jencks


Uke U (all-day ukulele workshop &
evening concert)

The Malvinas


Ernest Troost

The Lodge at Winding Trails, Farmington, CT Jam & Song Swap 2:00-2:45 p.m. Concert begins at 3:00 p.m. on Sundays, dates TBA.

Unitarian-Universalist Society: East presents:

Black Music in Motion

Sunday, November 4th at 3 PM 153 Vernon Street W., Manchester, CT 06042

Find a fresh appreciation of the beauty and messages of “Black Music” through Kareem Mack, Baritenor, and friends Chelsea Lorraine, Soprano, Tyler Panek, Baritone and  Sarah Puckett, pianist. They will perform spirituals and other selections by African American composers, from traditional hymns to contemporary music. Through singing and movement, Kareem Mack aspires to change the face of many performance fields with his avant-garde persona and willingness to be bold.

$20 adult; $18 senior; $10 student, under age 10: free

Truly Troubadours

Saturday, December 8th at 7 PM 153 Vernon Street W., Manchester, CT 06042

Lara Herscovitch, songwriter-poet-performer and former Connecticut State Troubadour, brings her contemporary folk with blues, pop and jazz influences. Music that’s “good for your ears AND your soul,” says Sound Waves Magazine. Joining Lara is MARMO—Three Connecticut singer-songwriters with a folk/Americana feel, performing thoughtful, witty, soulful songs about life, love, and beverages. MARMO features Bill Ludwig (Current Troubadour of Manchester CT), Dan Thompson (Troubadour Emeritus), and Christian Loftus (Vocalist/Instrumentalist).

$20 adult; $18 senior; $10 student, under age 10: free  is a comprehensive web site maintained by Brent Hall  featuring folk music events in Connecticut and southern New England.


Archive 2017-18  Meeting House Presents Shows

  • Oct. 27          Sam Moffett Quartet
  • Nov. 24         David Massengill
  • Jan. 19          Jacques Lamarre
  • Jan. 26          New World Trio
  • Feb. 23          Dennis McCorkle with Idalberto Perdomo, Edilio Bermudex, Desiree Negron-Carrero and Adèle Paxton.
  • March 23       JP Cormier
  • March 30       Susie Burke and David Surette
  • Apr. 27           An Evening with Mary Gauthier

Archive 2018-19  Meeting House Presents Shows

  • Sept. 14, 2018          Jill Friedman, Tang, Self-Suffice, David Giardina, and friends
  • Sept. 29, 2018         Peter Mayer
  • October 26, 2018   Charlie King


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