The Walkingwood Mandolin Quartet (WMQ) was founded at the turn of the century to apply the quartetto classico version of the mandolin quartet to a completely new repertoire. Whatever your preconceptions are about what a mandolin quartet is like, forget them.
The current and founding, members of WMQ are: Ellen Cohn, mandolin; Colin Healy, mandola; Betsy Rome, mandolin; and Gary Wikfors, mandocello. “Walkingwood” is the name given the home of mandocello player Gary Wikfors.
Gary had acquired a chronic itch to arrange music for mandolin quartet, and eventually a mandocello and mandola to do so. After experimenting with multitrack recordings, Gary felt the need to impose this affliction on some musical friends. Betsy likes to joke that this is the first band she was invited to join by email.
All WMQ members are playing out of their normal elements in this group: Betsy is a well-known flatpick guitarist anchoring the bluegrass-swing quartet “Too Blue,” Colin is a fiddler and multi-instrumentalist at the center of the “Ash Creek String Band,” Ellen is a sought-after accompaniest of traditional Irish and Quebecois tunes on piano and guitar, and Gary usually plays the wee-little mandolin with “The Fiddleheads” and others.
WMQ made its public debut in 1999 at the NOMAD festival in Newtown, CT. Since then, we have played other folk and traditional-music festivals, coffeehouses, concerts, apple orchards and private events.
Their influences? Not classical. Motown, TV themes, surf, O’Carolan, hard rock, traditional Swedish… A common response is “I can’t believe you can play that on mandolins!”
• Sunday, May 1. FREE AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM
• Monday, May 2. FILM SCREENING: “THE CANDIDATE”
• Thursday, May 5. BLUEGRASS: THE WALKINGWOOD MANDOLIN QUARTET
• Friday, May 6. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: SAMBELEZA
• Saturday, May 7. SOFT ACOUSTIC/ROCK: THE HERNANDEZ BROTHERS
• Monday, May 9. FILM SCREENING: “FRUITVALE STATION”
• Tuesday, May 10. ECLECTIC: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS, PRETEND IT DIDN’T HAPPEN, THE HUMAN LIGHT BOX
• Wednesday, May 11. ROCK: THE NEW CHASTITY
• Friday, May 13. THREE SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND: ANNE MARIE MENTA, DICK NEAL, GLEN ROETHEL
• Saturday, May 14. FILM SCREENING/WINE & CHEESE TASTING: VINO/NOIR
• Monday, May 16. FILM SCREENING: “SARAH’S KEY” (in partnership with the Jewish Community Center of New Haven)
• Thursday, May 19. EXPERIMENTAL: RIVENER, CRETELLA|PAOLUCCI DUO, FLANDREW FLEISENBERG
• Friday, May 20. JAZZ VOCALS & GUITAR: LINDA SATIN & JOE CARTER
• Thursday, May 26. EXPERIMENTAL: ELECTRONHIC
• Friday, May 27. ACOUSTIC ROCK: THE BIRDMEN
• Friday, June 3. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SHAWN TAYLOR
• Thursday, June 9. CABARET/SINATRA: RICH MORAN & FRANZ DOUSKEY
• Thursday, June 16. CHRISTOPHER ARNOTT & LYS GUILLORN CELEBRATE BLOOMSDAY
• Friday, June 24. SOLO GUITAR: GLENN ROTH, ALT-COUNTRY: LINES WEST
• Thursday, June 30. SINGER-SONGWRITER: EUGENE GALLAGHER
• Friday, July 1. POST-PUNK: TELEGRAM SCAM
• Friday, July 29. ART-ROCK: FE FI FO
• Friday, Aug. 5. INDIE ROCK: THE LYS GUILLORN BAND
• Tuesday, Aug. 30. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS
• Saturday, Oct. 8. THE NEW ENGLAND UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL