Jake Blount, Nic Gareiss, and Laurel Premo at The Parlor Room

  • April 19, 2023 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
  • The Parlor Room

    32 Masonic Street
    Northampton, Massachusetts 01060
Ticket Price $20.00-$25.00 This event is now over

Jake Blount, Nic Gareiss, and Laurel Premo
at The Parlor Room
Wednesday, April 19th
SHOW 7:30pm // DOORS 7:00pm

ADV Tickets: $20 GA / $18 MEMBERS
DOS Tickets: $25 GA / $23 MEMBERS

PUBLIC ON SALE: Friday, March 3rd


Jake Blount
Jake Blount (pronounced: blunt) is an award-winning musician and scholar based in Providence, RI. He is half of the internationally touring duo Tui, a 2020 recipient of the Steve Martin Banjo Prize, and a two-time winner of the Appalachian String Band Music Festival (better known as Clifftop). A specialist in the early folk music of Black Americans, Blount is a skilled performer of spirituals, blues and string band repertoire. Blount has performed at the Kennedy Center, the Newport Folk Festival, NPR's Tiny Desk, and numerous other venues across and beyond the United States. He has presented his scholarly work at museums and universities including the Smithsonian Institution, Berklee College of Music and Yale University. His writing has appeared in Rolling StonePaste Magazine, No Depression, and NPR. His most recent album, The New Faith, is the latest installment of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings' African American Legacy Series.

Blount enrolled at Hamilton College in 2013. He received his first banjo lessons from Dr. Lydia Hamessley the same fall, and started to structure a course of study around the early traditional music of Black communities in the United States. An electric guitarist since age twelve, Blount shifted his focus to string band music after taking up the banjo and fiddle. In the years that followed, Blount studied under modern masters of old-time music: Bruce Molsky, Judy Hyman (of the Horse Flies), and Rhiannon Giddens and Hubby Jenkins (of the GRAMMY-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops).

Blount first achieved widespread recognition within the old-time scene when his band, The Moose Whisperers, claimed first place in the traditional band contest at Clifftop. Blount was the first Black person to make the finals in any category, and he has repeated the feat multiple times since. He launched his career in earnest in the summer of 2017: he received his B.A. in ethnomusicology and released his debut EP, Reparations, with Tatiana Hargreaves. The next three years saw the release of Tui’s Pretty Little Mister, Blount’s victory in the Clifftop banjo competition, and his selection both as a 2020 Strathmore Artist in Residence, and as a member of the International Bluegrass Music Association's Leadership Bluegrass Class of 2020.

Blount released his debut solo album, Spider Tales, on May 29, 2020 through Free Dirt Records. Produced by Jeff Claus and Judy Hyman (of the Horse Flies) and featuring Tatiana Hargreaves, Nic Gareiss, Rachel Eddy and Haselden Ciaccio, the album debuted at #2 on the Billboard Bluegrass Chart and received widespread critical praise. The Guardian declared it an "instant classic" and awarded it five out of five stars. Bandcamp selected it as Album of the Day, and it received positive coverage in NPRRolling Stone CountryBillboard Pride and AV ClubSpider Tales later appeared on "Best of 2020" lists from NPRBandcampThe New Yorker, The Guardian, and elsewhere. It was nominated for Album of the Year at the 2021 International Folk Music Awards, and received "Best of the Americas" at the Songlines Music Awards in the same year.

Blount's latest record, The New Faith, was released on September 23, 2022 as part of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings' African American Legacy Series, in collaboration with the National Museum of African American History and Culture. An Afrofuturist concept album, The New Faith explores traditional Black religious music as it might exist post-climate crisis. The album represents a significant progression in Blount's sound, utilizing his formidable skills as an acoustic musician as well as newfound affinities for electric guitar, looping, and digital processing. The album received widespread critical acclaim, garnering five-star reviews from The Telegraph, Songlines and Financial Times and receiving positive coverage from outlets including NPR, Bandcamp, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times and more. It appeared on "Best of 2022" lists from Rolling Stone, NPRPopMatters, SonglinesFolk Alley, The Guardian and more.

Most recently, Blount has been nominated for Artist of the Year at the 2023 International Folk Music Awards.

Blount has appeared on podcasts including Radiolab and Soundcheck. He regularly teaches fiddle and banjo at camps like the Augusta Heritage Center’s Old-Time Week, the Ashokan Center’s Old-Time Rollick, and Earful of Fiddle Music and Dance Camp.

Jake Blount plays a five-string Nathaniel Rowan fiddle and banjos made by Seeders Instruments and Renan Banjos.


Nic Gareiss

A child of the folk revival, Gareiss grew up being dragged to folk festivals in the Midwest. At these events Nic learned Appalachian, Irish, English, and Canadian percussive dance surrounded by fiddlers, banjo-players, balladeers, and folksingers. This mix of movement, instrumental melodies, and traditional songs from rural places has become the heart of Nic's creative work.

At age sixteen, he moved to Maryland to apprentice with Eileen Carson-Schatz, a National Endowment for the Arts Choreography Fellow, and to perform with her company, Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble. In his twenties, Nic lived in Ohio for the purpose of studying under Sharon Leahy and performing in her company, Rhythm in Shoes.

Nic then earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology with a minor in music from Central Michigan University, and a Master of Arts in ethnochoreology (dance ethnology and ethnography) from the University of Limerick in Limerick, Ireland. While a student at the Irish World Academy between 2007-2011, he studied Cape Breton step dance with Mats Melin, Irish sean-nós dance with Seosamh Ó Neachtain, and Irish step dancing with Colin Dunne.

Gareiss’ education, ethnographic work, and many collaborations with artists based in Ireland have led to a sustained relationship with Irish audiences and creatives. In 2011 Gareiss was commissioned by the Cork Opera House to create and perform two new solo percussive dance pieces to celebrate the 75th birthday of composer Steve Reich. His setting of Reich’s Clapping Music for percussive dancer and video installation was hailed by the Irish Times as “a leftfield tour-de-force with irresistible wow factor.” Gareiss also received a Traditional Arts Commission from the Irish Arts Council to create an evening-length fiddle and dance duo show with Caoimhín Ó Raghalliah. The resulting piece, Mice Will Play had a sell-out run at the Project Arts Centre during the 2013 Dublin Fringe Festival. 

Simultaneously, Nic has worked to enrich dance communities in his home state. In 2008 he co-founded Earful of Fiddle Music & Dance Camp, which brings nationally-recognized folk artists to teach and perform in rural Michigan every summer. He also served as community liaison for the Wheatland Music Organization’s 40th Anniversary production Carry it on..., supervising a cast of 70 dancers from communities across the state of Michigan. In 2020, Nic received the Michigan Heritage Award, the highest honor bestowed on traditional artists in Michigan.

Gareiss’ work enmeshes ethnographic research and embodied dance practice. His MA thesis based upon interviews with LGTBQ step dancers was the first piece of scholarship to query the experience of sexual minorities within Irish dance. Gareiss’ essay, “An Buachaillín Bán: Reflections on One Queer’s Performance within Traditional Irish Music & Dance” appears in the book Queer Dance: Meanings & Makings edited by Clare Croft on Oxford University PressRecent writing commissions include the online journal Critical Studies in Improvisation’s special issue Improvisation, Musical Communities, and the COVID-19 Pandemic and Jean Butler’s Our Steps project. Gareiss has lectured, taught, and presented work at McGill University, the University of Michigan, New York University, the University of Notre Dame, Princeton University, and the University of Virginia. From 2018-2019 he was artist-in-residence at the Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland, the School of Scottish Studies, and the Moray House School of Education at the University of Edinburgh in Edinburgh, Scotland.


Laurel Premo

Laurel Premo is known for her rhythmically deep and rapt delivery of roots music on fiddle, guitar, and vocals. Her solo performances dive deep into traditional and new fiddle music, musically revealing a bloom of underlying harmonic drones, minimalist repetition, and rich polyrhythms. Presenting these sounds on finger style electric guitar and fiddle, Premo fully leans in to the archaic melodies and in-between intonations that connect folk sounds to the mystic and unknown.

She is a Michigan-based artist who has been writing, arranging, and touring since 2009 with vocal and instrumental roots acts, and is internationally known from her duo Red Tail Ring. Premo holds a BFA from the Performing Arts Technology Dept. of the University of Michigan School of Music, and has spent half-year stints at both the Sibelius Academy of Music in Helsinki, Finland and the University College of Southeast Norway in Telemark to study traditional music and dance. Important mentors who have helped shape Laurel’s lens in folk arts have been her parents Bette & Dean Premo (fiddle, guitar, and traditional song, Michigan), Joel Mabus (clawhammer banjo, Michigan), Arto Järvelä (fiddle, Finland), and Ånon Egeland (fiddle, Norway). Alongside several continuing music projects, she is active in organizing community events that connect people with folk art and dance.


The Parlor Room is a BYOB venue.  Tickets are non-refundable. 

The Parlor Room is located at 32 Masonic Street Northampton, MA 01060

Date & Time

Wed, Apr 19, 2023 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM

Venue Details

The Parlor Room

32 Masonic Street
Northampton, Massachusetts 01060 The Parlor Room
The Parlor Room