A collaboration spanning decades and continents unites Iowa’s beloved Irish trad band Coppers & Brass, Irish step dancer Tréa Champagne, TCRG, Champagne Academy of Irish Dance and McGovern Music Studio for a song to benefit United Action for Youth.
All proceeds benefit United Action for Youth in celebration of 50 years of serving youth and families in Eastern Iowa.
“Feet of a Dancer” is by Charlie McGettigan (Drumshanbo, County Leitrim, Ireland).
Tréa Champagne, TCRG, Irish step dance and vocals
Recorded at United Action for Youth in Iowa City by Kylie Buddin and Nick Mendoza. Mixing and sound editing by Kylie Buddin.
Cover art by Elyse Chapman in cooperation with Coralville Center for the Performing Arts.
We’re very grateful to Elyse and CCPA for allowing us to use this logo which originated with the first collaborative performance of this song at I LIFT MY LAMP: songs & stories of Irish immigration on November 16, 2019 at Coralville Center for the Performing Arts in Coralville, Iowa.
Happy New Year, one and all!
The Soft and Low, my folk-rock duo with Jeffrey C. Capps, has developed a largely unintentional but nevertheless delightful habit of landing performances on the full moon and January is no exception.
The Soft and Low, Cedar Ridge Winery & Distillery
Fri, Jan 10 – 6-9 pm
1441 Marak Road NW, SwisherCome for the tunes and the wonderful food and libations and let the full moon follow you home. More details here.
Hawkeye Area Grand Gaelic Isles Society (H.A.G.G.I.S.) Burns Dinner 2020
Sat – Jan 18 – 4-10 pm
St. Wenceslas Church Hall: 1224 5th St. SE, Cedar Rapids
Coppers & Brass, my Irish trad band, is delighted to provide music for this traditional annual Burns Dinner featuring Scottish food, ceremonial readings and toasts, bagpiping, Scottish social dancing, a raffle, and a dessert contest. The absolute deadline for reservations is January 11th. Go here to reserve your spot.
Burns Night hosted by David MacLeod Burt
Sat – Jan 25 – 7 pm
Sanctuary Pub in the Red Room: 405 S Gilbert St in Iowa City
This is a double fun opportunity because Burns Night begins at 7 pm in the Red Room and then the wonderful Saul Lubaroff is playing from 8 to 10 pm in the main area of the Sanctuary.
In February, Coppers & Brass, Tréa Champagne, and a collaboration of Champagne Academy of Irish Dancers and McGovern Music Studio musicians head into the studio to record a single to be released digitally as a fundraiser celebrating the 50th anniversary of United Action for Youth.
And then comes March. Oh, March! Never not a doozy. Stay tuned for the whirlwind.
I’m sending you love and wishing you well.
Tuned to truth,
I hope that all of you had a warm and nourishing Thanksgiving. December is full of seasonal fun! Here’s where you’ll find me celebrating all the treasures of this month:
Ron Clark’s Small Miracles – Fri, Dec 6th – 7-9 pm
Uptown Bill’s, 730 S. Dubuque St, Iowa City
A beautiful and rare offering by my friend and mentor Ron Clark:
“Get out of the cold and enjoy an evening of heart-warming holiday storytelling with Small Miracles, a moving, one-man show by Ron Clark. Small Miracles takes the audience on a nostalgic, heartfelt journey as Clark shares his recollections of growing up in a small Iowa town where the mayor/street cleaner doubled as Santa, a courageous dog, a terrifying audition for the fifth grade Christmas pageant, and his stint at a department store Santa. Clark’s vivid storytelling will captivate you and bring to mind your own fond memories. This show is perfect for the whole family.”
The Soft and Low Carol Countdown! – Sat, Dec 7th – 7-7:30 p.m
Sanctuary Pub, 405 S. Gilbert St, Iowa City
Doesn’t this just sound like something you need to experience?! Be sure to drop me a note with your carol request and then show up to see if yours makes the list!
and definitely stick around following the carol countdown for…
Coppers & Brass Christmas – Sat, Dec 7th – 7:30-9 p.m.
Sanctuary Pub, 405 S. Gilbert St, Iowa City
Celebrate the season with a traditional Irish twist. Coppers & Brass is proud to present our very last performance of 2019 with gratitude for the amazing year we’ve had as a band. We look forward to seeing you many more times in 2020 and beyond.
The Soft and Low – Fri, Dec 13th – 7-9 p.m.
Wild Culture Kombucha, 210 N. Linn St, Iowa City
Jeff played at this great new venue a couple of months ago, but this will be the first time for our duo! While we’ll play much of our standard fare, you can bet that a couple of those holiday songs will sneak into this set, as well. Come for the tunes, and stay for the delicious kombucha, beer & wine!
Champagne Academy of Irish Dance Irish Christmas Céilí – Sat, Dec 21 – 2-5:30 pm
South Slope Community Center, 980 Front St, North Liberty
A fabulous afternoon of Irish dance and music! Irish dance (beginners to champions from Champagne Academy of Irish Dance) & music performance with a social dance (Céilí, no experience needed!) and potluck to follow featuring Caller Tadhg Mac Aindriú and the Champagne Céilí Band of which I am a proud fiddler. Doors open at 1:30pm. $16 at the door, 4 and under free. Contact Trèa Champagne TCRG for more details.
Wherever you are and however you choose to spend this season that can be so cold and dark, please know that I am wishing you all that is calm and bright.
Tuned to truth,
Please join Coppers & Brass and the sister schools of Champagne Academy of Irish Dance and McGovern Music Studio for an Irish music and dance spectacular on Saturday, November 16th at the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts.
I LIFT MY LAMP is the first of several events presented by Coralville Center for the Performing Arts inspired by “I lift my lamp beside the golden door” from the sonnet inscribed on the pedestal of The Statue of Liberty – “The New Colossus” by American poet Emma Lazarus.
The aim of the series is to highlight the immigration stories that enrich our nation and to celebrate our immigrant friends and neighbors.
The Sunday version of the show at Kalona Brewing Co. is their annual Drink or Treat Halloween-themed night. We’ll provide haunted music from across the pond and the Champagne Academy Irish Dancers will be joining us for a bit of extra fun!
On tap for this event will be KBC’s Trick or Treat Pale Ale, made with actual Jolly Ranchers – available in-house only.
No cover for this special event; heavenly beers on tap and scratch kitchen open till close (8pm). Join us…if you dare!
We will be playing Dave’s music to accompany my McGovern Music Studio’s sister school, the Champagne Academy of Irish Dance, at the Iowa Dance Festival at The Englert Theatre this Saturday night October 19 at 7 pm.
I’m thrilled to share this information from my friends at ArtFarm19! I will be there with bells on. Bells and heaven knows what else. Anything is possible.
Dear creative friends and collaborators,
I wanted to let you know about ArtFarm19, a festival of creativity happening near Iowa City this July. ArtFarm19 brings together artists, educators, entrepreneurs, healers, and movement builders, to share creative practices, find renewal and restoration on Scattergood’s rural campus, and participate in the launch of new regional arts programming. The mission of ArtFarm19 is to connect people across differences and harness the power of the arts to build a more JEDI (just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive) world.
Throughout the month, ArtFarm19 will gather together creative folks to participate in a variety of creative activities. Check out the opportunities below and RSVP for one or all of them:
July 9 (RSVP) – Art Bazaar to meet the Swarm artists in residence.
July 14 (RSVP) – join The Great Parade in the Muscatine County Fair Parade in West Liberty – we will give you costumes, musical instruments, and puppets to play with as we make a spectacle and recruit more people to the creative force
July 15-17 – join us as we Build-a-Show in three days. The first day will be for designers who want to get inside the making of the show. The second day will be for people who want to be in the show. The third day will be for people who want to see the show we made. RSVP to join us for Day One-Designers, Day Two-Performers, or Day Three-Final Performance!
Attached is a flyer you can share with your networks. Please follow our social media platforms (linked below!) to keep up on all the events as they unfold. You can also fill out our contact form to be added into our events email.
I have very good days and very hard days. Just like you. On the very hard days, I try a number of things to get back in tune. Different things work on different days. Social media never works. Dogs are a pretty reliable win. Poetry has never let me down.
Naomi Shihab Nye wrote this in one of my favorites of her poems: “I want to be famous in the same way a pulley is famous, or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular but because it never forgot what it could do.”
This is me being the very best buttonhole I can be:
I remember this day. It was a terribly sad day for me because it was the last performance of a band I had played with for almost fifteen years.
Here I am happy though because I am useful. I love these three dancers and their joy gives me joy. Dance needs music and music needs dance.
Thank you, Tréa Champagne and the Champagne Academy of Irish Dance for being my buttons.
The international Irish dance community has suffered a tremendous loss in the death of beloved young dance champion Ian Luebbers.
Today is an important day to reflect on the truth that we all belong to each other and what’s most important is how we can love each other best in this world.
Without my buttons, I’m just a hole.