Pickers’ Paradise Celebrates Music, Food and Community at the LPCA

For Immediate Release
June 6, 2019
Press Contact: Alison Simcox; 518.523.2512

Pickers’ Paradise Celebrates Music, Food and Community at the LPCA

Lake Placid, NY: The Lake Placid Center for the Arts (LPCA) is pleased to present Pickers’ Paradise, a special concert on Saturday, June 22 at 7:30 pm featuring traditional music from two string groups, Tamburaški Sastav Ponoć from Pittsburgh and Danny Knicely’s Next Generation from the Shenandoah Valley. Tickets start at $20 and are available by calling the LPCA Box Office at 518.523.2512 or online at www.lakeplacidarts.org.

About the Performance

Pickers’ Paradise will bring together bluegrass and tamburitza – two dazzling, virtuosic string ensemble traditions with deep roots in American communities. Though these two distinctive styles emerged out of very different cultural communities—one is rooted in urban/industrial immigrant culture, while the other was born in the uplands of the American South—they have much in common, so much so, in fact, that tamburitza has been hailed as the bluegrass of the Balkans.

Tamburaški Sastav Ponoć represents a new generation of brilliant players of tamburitza, the traditional string band music of the Balkans. Tamburitza has flourished for over a century in ethnic communities across the industrial Mid-Atlantic and Upper Midwest, where Eastern European immigrants flocked to work in the region’s factories and mines. The ensemble’s repertoire focuses primarily on music from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia.

The members of Ponoć (“midnight”) grew up surrounded by Eastern European culture, Peter Kosovec in Detroit and Mark Stafura, Ben Wagner, Nikola Vranesevic, and John Huckle in the Pittsburgh area. The five musicians met when performing during their college years in Pittsburgh and now make their homes there, where they are respected performers and teachers of the tradition.

Danny Knicely’s Next Generation is a multigenerational ensemble including five young up-and-coming players – Eli and Aila Wildman, Victor Furtado, Andrew Vogts, and Jack Dunlap – and long-time performer Danny Knicely. Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley has long been fertile ground for the development of old-time and bluegrass music, and the Knicelys are one of its most prominent musical families. Danny is now sharing his knowledge with a new generation of young bluegrass musicians. These amazing teenagers and twenty-somethings have already left their mark on the music, with countless contest winnings on their respective instruments.

About Volunteer Day at the LPCA

Tamburitza and bluegrass share more in common than virtuosity on stringed instruments; both are but one piece of community gatherings that consist of multiple treasured traditions. Ponoć and Next Generation will delve deeper into their cultural exchange during a special afternoon that situates their music traditions in these larger contexts.

On Sunday, June 23 at 12pm, volunteers will gather at the LPCA to work on several projects, including landscaping, construction, and office work. After attendees have worked together to spruce up LPCA facilities, they will celebrate with music, dance, and food. A master Croatian chef will demonstrate and prepare two dishes that are often enjoyed at celebratory gatherings in Balkan communities for all to try. Each ensemble will also perform with a master dance teacher who will lead attendees through the square dances and kolo dances that traditionally accompany the music.

The LPCA is now seeking volunteers to take part in this project. Those interested in participating can contact Tara Palen at tara@lakeplacidarts.org or 518.523.2512. Online registration is also available at www.lakeplacidarts.org/performances/pickers-paradise-volunteer-day-lpca.

Support for this engagement has been provided by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation – Folk & Traditional Arts Touring Network and the National Council for Traditional Arts.

About the LPCA
Nestled in an Olympic village, the Lake Placid Center for the Arts is a year-round treasure to residents and visitors of the Adirondacks and is the premier art and cultural hub of the region. Orchestrating quality programming, performances, rotating art exhibitions, and education experiences to residences and visitors alike, the LPCA provides an ensemble of offerings in music, theatre and dance, and supports local, regional and national artists in its Fine Arts Gallery. At the heart of this hub is hands-on learning experiences for children exploring their creativity and adults finding new passions. As a leading organization, the LPCA collaborates with other Adirondack non-profit partners to build, support and cultivate the arts community. Inspiring excellence in the arts for generations, the LPCA continues to thrive today at its unique and captivating Lake Placid campus.


...dedicated to presenting and fostering quality arts, which inspire, enrich, educate and entertain people of all ages.
Lake Placid Center for the Arts

The Lake Placid Center for the Arts is a year-round performing and visual Arts Facility.  Located in the Adirondack Park of Northern New York, the LPCA consistently presents arts of the highest caliber in music, dance and theatre performances, film exhibitions and visual arts presentations. 

In addition, the Arts Center provides special arts-in education programs, workshops and residencies for aspiring and renowned artists.

The Arts Center is the home of the Lake Placid School of Ballet, LPCA Children's Theatre, Community Theatre Players, as well as the Summer home of the Lake Placid Sinfonietta.

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