LEXINGTON KY – When folk singer-songwriter Mark Dvorak began his career in music, he knew right away he was in it for the long haul. “For me, folk music has always been a part of our shared history,” said Dvorak, who is based in Chicago. “But it also gives us a language we can use to express ourselves, and to let others know what we are thinking and what we are feeling.”
“For years I’ve been trying to figure out a way to bring this music to more people. I’ve wanted to find the right situation where people can get into the songs, and also sustain myself as a touring musician,” he said.
Dvorak thinks he may have found a way with his latest project, the Community Concert Partnership, which debuts with civic and public performances in Somerset, Ludlow and Lexington beginning March 18.
“It’s pretty simple, really,” explains Dvorak, who is artist-in-residence at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. “This music has always thrived in small spaces. It has grown by being needed and used. It carries along with it the essence of our shared heritage and invites participation. Folk music is family music.”
On Friday, March 18, 7:00 pm, Dvorak will give a concert at the 3rd Friday Folk Coffeehouse series, Carnegie Community Arts Center, 107 Main Street, Somerset.
On Saturday, March 19, 11:00 am, Dvorak will give a free family performance at the Tates Creek Branch of the Lexington Library, 3628 Walden, Lexington.
He will then head north to Ludlow for a workshop and at 7:00 pm, an intimate evening concert at the Folk School Coffee Parlor, 322 Elm Street Ludlow. The workshop, “Acoustic Guitar Styles” takes place at 3:00 pm with a registration fee of $20. Admission to the evening concert is $5.
Dvorak returns to Lexington on Sunday, March 20 for two concerts at Sayre Friendship Village. At 1:00 pm he will perform in the Baunta Building and at 2:30 pm he will perform at Friendship Towers.
“He’s the real deal,” said Bau Graves, Old Town School of Folk Music executive director. “Mark has made music his life and his livelihood. He’s been a top faculty member at the school for more than twenty-five years. His performances are elegant, rich and powerful.”
Dvorak has released seventeen albums to date and performed in thirty-eight states, and in Canada, Ireland and Finland. His most recent CD “Back Home,” was released last summer and in 2013 he published his first book of essays and poetry, “Bowling for Christmas & Other Tales from the Road.”
Also in 2013 he was honored by Folk Alliance International with the FARM Lantern Bearer Award for his contributions to folk and community music. In 2012, WFMT 98.7 fm fine arts radio named him “Chicago’s official troubadour.”
“I’m absolutely thrilled to be coming back to Kentucky,” said Dvorak. “I hope to bring the Community Concert Partnership to other towns in the Midwest, and eventually involve other artists and feature different kinds of programs,” he said.
To learn more about the Community Concert Partnership, and for more information on Mark Dvorak, visit his home page at www.markdvorak.com.