Rockport Music Presents Della Mae, Shawn Colvin, and more this September

On Friday, September 4 at 8 pm, the vibrant bluegrass group Della Mae performs at the Shalin Liu Performance Center. The all-female bluegrass supergroup from Nashville (via Boston) recall vintage string band sounds while folding in elements of rock, soul, folk and country. The group is made up of Celia Woodsmith (vocals, guitar), Kimber Ludiker (fiddle, vocals), Jenni Lyn Gardner (mandolin, vocals), and Courtney Hartman (guitar, vocals). Della Mae began in 2009 when two-time National Fiddle Champion Kimber Ludiker cobbled together some of the finest young pickers in the country to form a trailblazing new bluegrass group. They gained a tremendous following of fans at Boston-area clubs and folk festivals that by the time the self-released I Built This Heart came out in 2011, they were already a major force in the acoustic world. Their follow-up, This World Oft Can Be, came out on Rounder Records in 2013 earning a Grammy nomination for Best Bluegrass Album. The group released their self-titled record this past May to great acclaim. Tickets: $15-$28

Judy Collins performs two nights at the Shalin Liu Performance Center’Friday, September 11 and Saturday, September 12–both at 8 pm. A folk music icon who blew Rockport audience members away last year with her classically elegant voice and extensive repertoire. From the late 50s on, her star rose with the likes of Joan Baez and Bob Dylan with hits like ‘Both Sides Now’ and ‘Send in the Clowns’ that earned her two Grammy’ Awards. A true Renaissance woman, Judy Collins not only performs 80-100 concerts a year throughout the country, she is also an activist, author, painter and filmmaker! The Opening Act is Marina Evans. Tickets: $55-$93

On Sunday, September 13 at 7 pm, singer-songwriter Shawn Colvin returns to the Shalin Liu. In a career spanning more than three decades, Colvin has developed a devoted and loyal fanbase on the strength of her highly personal and emotive lyrical style combined with a knack for infectious melodies. She was signed to Columbia Records after touring with Suzanne Vega, instantly becoming part of the late 80’s ‘new folk’ movement that included the Indigo Girls, Tracy Chapman and Vega. Her debut record, 1989’s Steady On, won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album and her acclaimed subsequent records spread word of Colvin’s impressive musical gifts, culminating in 1997’s platinum-selling A Few Small Repairs and its breakthrough single ‘Sunny Came Home’ which won Colvin two Grammys and millions of new admirers. Colvin continued making acclaimed records throughout the next decade (gaining another Grammy nomination for Shawn Colvin Live in 2008, including her latest, 2012’s All Fall Down, which included guest spots from Emmylou Harris, Jakob Dylan and Alison Krauss among others. The Opening Act is Kali Stoddard-Imari. Tickets: $49-$68

On Wednesday, September 16 at 7 pm, Rockport Music presents a free concert and lecture entitled Russian Music and Icons with the Lyra Vocal Ensemble and lecturer Dennis Sardella, Museum of Russian Icons Docent. This concert and lecture will feature the music and icons of Russia. The concert portion will highlight music of Russian composers as well as Russian folk music. The lecture will focus on the historical background and origins of the Russian icons, how they came to Russia, and their place in Russian culture, as well as the symbolic language of icons and their role in Eastern Christian spirituality. The Lyra Vocal Ensemble is one of the most prominent choral groups in St. Petersburg, Russia. The main mission of Lyra centers on exploring and popularizing Russian choir music. Through its performances around the world, Lyra introduces audiences to the enormous musical heritage of the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as the many musical traditions of Russian folk music. Tickets: Free

On Wednesday, September 23 at 8 pm, British singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading performs for the first time at the Shalin Liu Performance Center. Her dynamic voice and uncanny ability to shift seamlessly between folk, rock, new wave, blues, jazz and funk has brought her tremendous fanbase over the years. After playing her songs in clubs around Birmingham and venturing into theatre with the musical Hair, she was signed to Cube Records and released her first album Whatever’s for Us in 1972. Armatrading’s star rose with her subsequent albums, her self-titled 1976 effort blending rock and disco into her folky arrangements, spawning a top ten hit single with ‘Love & Affection.’ Armatrading’s formidable guitar skills, both acoustic and electric, set her apart. Throughout the 80’s and 90s, Armatrading continued recording and performing, earning three Grammy nods and being nominated twice at the Brit Awards for a Best Female Vocalist award. Her most recent releases are her Grammy-nominated Into the Blues and the jazz-soaked cool of 2013’s Starlight. Tickets: $60-$98


On Thursday, September 10 at 7 pm, Rockport’s very own, Thi Linh Wernau, presents the New England premiere screening of her documentary film, Darkness and Light. In the film, Wernau interviews eleven wounded veterans, largely post-9/11 war veterans and Marines, through the lens of her photography series, “You. Are. Beautiful.”. Themes around darkness and light emerge in these candid, unscripted and conversational interviews, and ultimately, these themes will tie back to one of the project’s main sources of inspiration: love. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit wounded veterans and the Semper Fi Fund. An artist talk will be held prior to the screening at 6:30 pm. This event is proudly sponsored by Wernau Asset Management. Tickets: $15

The Manhattan Short Film Festival is a unique experience, extending beyond its headquarters in New York City by inviting participating venues worldwide to screen entries and allow audience voting to determine the winner. The festival takes place in 250 cities across 6 continents and i