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Jonathan Tortolano
Jonathan Tortolano

Preview: solo cello concert

Cellist Jonathan Tortolano is in his home state today for a recital at St. Michael's College in Colchester, Vermont. Tortolano grew up in Vermont, studied with renowned cellist Elsa Hilger and lived and performed in Europe for years. He now lives in Toronto and regularly performs with orchestras across the region, including the Orchestra of Northern New York. Todd Moe spoke with him about a solo suite for cello by Bach.  Go to full article
Robin Rhodes-Crowell digs up leeks in her woods near Canton
Robin Rhodes-Crowell digs up leeks in her woods near Canton

In search of wild leeks

As part of "Local Flavor", our occasional series on growing, cooking and eating locally, Todd Moe heads into the woods near Canton in search of wild leeks. It's planting season in many backyards, but not all local food is cultivated. Sometimes it's nice to reap delicacies from nature's garden. This story first aired last spring.  Go to full article
Raz-de-Maree. Source: tidalwavemusic.com
Raz-de-Maree. Source: tidalwavemusic.com

Contradance faves return for music festival

Raz de Maree, or Tidal Wave, returns to the North Country this week for a lively festival of traditional Quebecois music and dance. Raz de Maree has become a favorite for concerts and contradances throughout North America. They headline a dance party in Plattsburgh Saturday night, and concert Sunday in Saranac Sunday afternoon. The festival is sponsored by Hill and Hollow Music. Todd Moe talks with pianist Rachel Aucoin, who met her husband, Sabin Jacques, through Canada's music community. She explains how the group got its name and describes the traditional Franco-American music and dance party known as a "veillee."  Go to full article
Andrea Malik mixes a potion of BTI, deadly to black flies...
Andrea Malik mixes a potion of BTI, deadly to black flies...

Taming black flies in Colton

It's one of the cruelest fates dealt the North Country. The snow's gone. The warm sun's finally back. Just when we're dying to bask in spring...the black flies begin to swarm - and bite. More than 30 towns in the region fight back. They treat 3500 miles of streams to kill the black flies before they even hatch. It's all done by hand -- dozens of people bushwhacking miles through the deep woods to deliver doses of a bacteria known as BTI. One woman in St. Lawrence County has dedicated 24 years of her life to battling the black fly. David Sommerstein profiles the "black fly diva."  Go to full article

Teen pianist Joey Izzo balances music, sports

14-year old Lake Placid teen pianist Joey Izzo balances his time between home schooling, skiing, mountain biking and music. He joined Todd Moe live in the studio for music and conversation shortly after stealing the show at the Saranac Lake Winter carnival in February. Here's a reprise.  Go to full article

Book celebrates country walks

A Plattsburgh advocate of long-distance rural hikes tells us why it's more fun than trekking through the wilderness. Todd Moe talks with Ellie Berger about her new book, "Stepping Out, a Tenderfoot's Guide to the Principles, Practices and Pleasures of Countryside Walking." Berger signs copies of her book from 10-1 this Saturday at the Brewer Bookstore in Canton.  Go to full article
Dancers swirl and swing with Cullen's Cross at the Crary Mills Grange.
Dancers swirl and swing with Cullen's Cross at the Crary Mills Grange.

Another contra dance season begins

This Friday night the contra dance season kicks off at the historic Crary Mills Grange Hall, south of Canton. Contra dance, a type of folk dance, was a main form of recreation during the Colonial period. It saw a revival during the folk music era in the 60's and 70's. The dances offer an all-too-rare intergenerational experience, where folks 8 to 80 dance and socialize together. We listen again to Todd Moe's visit to a contra dance in Crary Mills last fall. The guest that night was David Kaynor, a nationally known dance caller and fiddler.  Go to full article

Dance party for kids and adults

If you and your kids are looking to shake off that cabin fever, try "Boogie Wonderland". It's a family-friendly dance party at the Higher Ground Ballroom in Burlington, with a real dance floor and a real disco ball. And adults can even have a drink while the kids dance. The next Boogie Wonderland is Saturday, January 17th. Tom Bacon is music lover, father, DJ, and host of Boogie Wonderland. He told David Sommerstein his wife read about similar family dance parties in New York and Philadelphia, and he thought why not in Burlington?  Go to full article
Birders watch and tally numbers from the roadside during last year's Christmas Bird Count.
Birders watch and tally numbers from the roadside during last year's Christmas Bird Count.

Volunteers flock to annual bird count

For the 109th year, volunteer birders are fanning out across the country for the annual birding census this winter. The all-volunteer effort takes a snapshot of bird populations to monitor their status and distribution across the Western Hemisphere. The Audubon Society started the Christmas Bird Count in 1900 as an alternative to a Victorian-era holiday hunting tradition of shooting the greatest number of birds. Data collected during the Christmas Bird Count helps researchers monitor bird behavior and bird conservation. You could call it bird watching with a benefit. Todd Moe tagged along with some Adirondack bird enthusiasts last winter who began their avian adventure at first light.  Go to full article

Many farmers prefer illegal labor to H2a program

The Bush Administration is pushing last-minute changes to the national farm labor law known as H2A. New rules designed to cut bureaucracy are set to go into effect in mid-January. The H2A system has already caught on here in the North Country, gaining wide acceptance in Champlain Valley apple orchards. Dairy farmers say they hope H2A can be adapted to help fill their labor shortage. But nationwide, the vast majority of farms still prefer to use undocumented or illegal workers. Brian Mann has our story.

NOTE: NCPR's series on H2A first aired in September, 2008.  Go to full article

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