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Folkstage is an uninterrupted, one-hour concert featuring some of the best traditional and singer-songwriter talent in folk music. The live concerts can be heard Saturday's at 8 PM on WFMT, immediately preceding The Midnight Special.

About 26 concerts per year are broadcast live from our studio in front of an audience. The remainder of the concerts are from our archives that stretch back 55 years, recent recordings made in the Chicago area, live broadcasts from the Old Town School of Folk Music, or recorded portions of our live studio concerts that were not previously broadcast.

The series is totally listener funded, and made possible in part by Nancy Clark, Andy & Becky Anderson, an Anonymous Family Foundation and the members of the WFMT Fine Arts Circle.

  Saturday, August 19

The Paper Birds (Claudia Russell, Bruce Kaplan, Katie Dahl & Rich Higdon)

The Paper Birds Any flock of birds knows there is power in numbers. Such is certainly the case for Paper Birds, a cross-country pop-up band fronted by two successful songwriters in their own right: Claudia Russell and Katie Dahl. Claudia Russell is a veteran of California's Americana Music scene known for her nimble, expressive voice and tightly knit songs. Russell brings grace and spunk to an eclectic array of music. Two thousand miles inland from Russell's Bay Area home, Katie Dahl is gaining a reputation as one of the Midwest's best young songwriters, writing keenly literate songs planted deep in the ground of her Wisconsin home. Her velvety alto carries a rich sense of depth and expression. Fold in Dahl's husband Rich Higdon on bass and percussion and Russell's husband Bruce Kaplan (on mandolin and guitar), and you have a musical outfit adept in creating music that is at once reflective, quirky, and poignant-and an onstage dynamic that is genuinely warm and lively. This "pop-up band" (as the quartet calls themselves) was born out of friendship. All four band members are fans and friends of each other who have long shared stages in both California (where Russell and Kaplan live) and Wisconsin (where Dahl and Higdon live). Paper Birds was born out of a desire to play together more often. And though the band's performances are somewhat rare, there is nothing thrown together about their live show. This quartet is as magic as a Blue Moon.

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Fresh roasted coffee for Folkstage members provided by Alchemy Coffee, 416 Linden Ave., Wilmette (one-block west of CTA Purple Line terminus). (847) 251-4334

To attend WFMT's live broadcast Folkstage concerts in our studio, you must join the WFMT Fine Arts Circle for one year. The first year requires an initiation fee of $25 plus $250 per person as the yearly membership and request Folkstage as your thank-you gift. After the first year, Folkstage membership costs $250 per person per year. Memberships are non-transferrable. We ask that you join during one of our fundraising Fine Arts Circle fundraisers in April or November, during the time Folkstage or The Midnight Special is being broadcast. (We will accept memberships at other times during the fundraiser by prior arrangement.) We present approximately 26 live studio concerts per year, although we make no guarantee of the total number. Under no circumstances do we sell admissions to individual concerts. You must subscribe for the year to attend. Donations to the WFMT Fine Arts Circle are tax deductible to the extent provided by law. All Folkstage memberships come with free parking for the concerts within yards of the door. If you have questions, please use our contact form.

Join the WFMT Fine Arts Circle