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Arts & Artists

New Hampshire Traditional Arts & Folklife Listing

Sugar River Band
New England Contra Dance & Swedish Music Band

The Sugar River Band plays traditional fiddle music from New England and Sweden on fiddles, piano, and accordion. New England dance music is influenced by French-Canadian, Irish, Scottish, English, and Cape Breton styles. The group is led by Jane Orzechowski. Her musical children include: Francis who plays piano, bouzouki, and accordion; and Russell, Neil, Sophie who all play fiddle, piano and accordion. Traditional arts apprenticeship grants have helped to support each of them to learn contra dance piano playing from Bob McQuillen of Peterborough, NH. Neil also received an apprenticeship grant to learn New England barn dance calling and fiddling from Dudley Laufman. The Sugar River Band has performed in New Hampshire and Vermont for retirement homes, farmers’ markets, schools, town celebrations, parties, dances, and weddings. In New Hampshire, they have been featured at the annual Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend in Durham, the Christmas Revels in Hanover, and regularly perform at the Revels North Summer Solstice festivals. Regionally, they have performed at the New England Folk Festival and the Eastern States Exposition in Massachusetts; and the Indian Neck Folk Festival in Connecticut. The band has recorded with Two Fiddles: Jacqueline and Dudley Laufman on their instructional publications, White Mountain Reel and The Sweets of May as well as the most recent CD, “Where’d You Get them Great Chunes?”

Preferred activities and age groups: Performances at contra dances, family dances, barn dances, schools, community locations such as libraries, historic societies, fairs, festivals, and museums for all ages.

Availability: Statewide year round.


Contact Information:
Jane Orzechowski
334 Chandlers Mill Rd
Newport, NH 03773-
Phone: 603/542-8978

Notes: Jane is also a member of the group Old New England. Click here for Old New England. Neil is a member of the contra dance band Cuckoo’s Nest (not on this Listing).

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