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Cheers to 30 Years! Buttonwood’s 30th Year Anniversary Party: A 30 Hour Performance Marathon Fundraiser

October 18, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - October 19, 2019 @ 10:00 pm EDT

Join us for our first-ever 30 Hour Performance Marathon to celebrate our 30th Year Anniversary and raise funds to move The Buttonwood Tree forward!

This unique event will span 30 hours, 3 locations, fabulous food and drink, a Silent Auction, Art displays from our past, revealing archived photos and posters and countless performers!

SAVE and SUPPORT  our community’s creatives and city culture by purchasing an all-inclusive ticket!!  On sale now (Advance ticket price of $95. ends 10/10 at midnight.)  At door = $125.

Your purchase of an ALL-INCLUSIVE Pass (30 Hours)  and the GALA ticket also includes an ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP to The Buttonwood Tree!  A $50. – $75. value!


Remember the Jerry Lewis Telethon?  We’ll do our best to recreate a fun and exciting time for all by LIVE STREAMING the entire event and raising funds to keep Buttonwood going! Our goal: $1000 per hour! Help us do it!!  FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK


Here’s the schedule so far. Note times are estimated and are subject to change.

October 18
4-6 pm  at CHC Lawn (Community Health Center)
Free Outdoor Harvest Party

Family fun with pumpkin decorating, face painting and more activities. Takes place outside on the lawn of the new CHC building, corner of Main and Grand Streets.

5 -10 pm at Community Health Center Community Room

Refreshments and beverages provided by area restaurants

Friday Night at the CHC 

5 pm – The House Of Moses   Starts the music rolling! 

*Moses Randolph – vocals, guitar, keys
*Freddie Moses – percussion
*Scott Kessel – drums
*Ben Ross – harmonica
*Tim Rankin – bass guitar
Matt Solak – lead guitar
*Bumpy Chimes – lead guitar
*pictured above

Randy Moses, aka Moses Randolph is a Middletown music institution – and also a member of a Middletown music family (along with his brother Freddy, that has performed and toured going back 60 years. Over the past 25 years, Randy has written, performed and recorded as the House Of Moses, with many of the area’s finest musicians – always creating a deep soul, jazz and r&b musical feel that makes you want to groove!

6 pm – AEIOU 

Kālidāsa Joseph Getter on woodwinds, Mick Bolduc on guitar, Phil Faraci on keyboard, and Tim Gaylord on drums. The core members of ArtFarm orchestras and the Oddfellows Playhouse Circus Band present an eclectic repertoire drawn from rock, jazz, funk and more

7:00 pm – Poetry, Music and More

Welcome by TBT Board President John Bell, David Houston, “The Buttonwood Way” by Twisted Ric, Poetry by Kate Rushin

Kate Rushin is the author of The Black Back-Ups (Firebrand Books). Her “The Bridge Poem” appears in This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, a ground-breaking feminist anthology edited by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria E. Anzaldúa. Recipient of the Rose Low Rome Memorial Poetry Prize and the Grolier Poetry Prize, her work is widely anthologized and has been published in such journals as Callaloo.


and Middletown’s Poet Laureate, Cheryl Hale,

Cheryl Anne Hale is Middletown’s new poet laureate. Her works have been featured in several publications, including Long River Run, The Subway Ride, and numerous issues of Perspectives. She was also selected by Connecticut Poetry Society’s as spotlight poet in September

Music by Stankeye Jones and the Vagabond Librarians (Noah Baerman & Kate Ten Eyck), Pottery (Brian Wolfe & Matt Bruns), and Cathy Kreger Cathy Kreger


Ashley Hamel

8:30 pm – CT State Troubadours in the Round, opening by Ashley Hamel Featuring Kristen Graves, Kate Callahan and Lara Herscovitch

Kristen Graves is a folk/pop singer, songwriter and humanitarian. Mentioned by both Rolling Stone and the New York Times, and given her own day across the state of Connecticut by Governor Malloy for her musicianship and activism, she has shared stages with Pete Seeger, Harry Belafonte, Peter Yarrow, Noel (Paul) Stookey, Rusted Root, Holly Near, Dar Williams, Guy Davis, Dan Zanes, David Amram, and many more. Her latest album “Now Ain’t the Time for Tears” is available on iTunes.

Kate Callahan is Connecticut’s 16th State Troubadour, and one of the most awarded singer-songwriters in her home state. She gives a concert of soulful, optimistic and uplifting original music plus songs by Leonard Cohen, and Bob Dylan. Callahan has shared stages with songwriter legends Judy Collins, Noel Paul Stookey (Peter, Paul & Mary), the late Bill Morrissey, Aztec Two Step, and Regina Spektor. She is unapologetically optimistic in concert, singing original songs about the Earth, gratitude, marriage, love, and spirit


 Lara Herscovitch

…   “expertly written prose… songwriting at its best… Lara gets it all done with her skillful songwriting – musical timing, memorable melodies, and compelling lyrics. It’s good for your ears AND your soul.”

-Sound Waves Magazine

 At  The Buttonwood Tree (TBT) 

Many performances (see below) and artwork by Buttonwood artists, artifacts and archivals, refreshments available.

Art on display by Pierre Sylvain, Ed Friedman, Rosie Warren, Jenavieve Hawks, Don Logie, Maria Louise, Frank Varela, David Bauer and others

10 pm – 11:30  Tom “The Suit” Forst featuring Vincent Brike on piano

American Bluesman and Blues-Rock Journeyman, Guitarist and Songwriter Tom The Suit Forst is one of the most riveting and electrifying performers on the modern blues scene. He’s a 2018 CT & NY Blues Hall of Fame Inductee and host of the popular blues podcast www.ChasingTheBluesPodcast.com

A guitarist, whose style has been called a cross between Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Joe Walsh, Tom Forst’s debut solo album “On Fire” was produced by Grammy winning guitarist Paul Nelson of the Johnny Winter Band.

“Rock on. Proud to have been with you every step of the way!”   Beehive Queen of Soul Christine Ohlman (SNL House Band)

See his website www.tomthesuitforst.com


Midnight –  Improv by Sea Tea’s Blind Date and Robot Love


We welcome two teams from Hartford’s Professional Improv Theater – Sea Tea Improv – Blind Date and Robot Love. Both teams will take your suggestion and create dynamic on-the-spot improv that explores characters, locations, and fun worlds.

1 am – 3 am – Terri and Rob Duo 

3:15 am – The Silver Bug Reunion  (featuring members of The Butterflies of Love)

Two of the main proponents and purveyors of the “Rapallo Avenue Sound” of the mid-nineties in Middletown, CT, Daniel Greene and Jeffrey Greene went on to world-wide obscure fame and regular roles on England’s BBC radio over the following decades. The Buttonwood Tree was an original home, however: a workshop, where these “musicians” honed their initially shambolic, rambling, and seemingly inept, but unique and soulful, performance chops. Clearly, 3:15 in the morning is the ideal time to witness these two as they meet each other for the first time in a decade.

4 am – 6 am – Drum Meditation: Craig Norton with Andrew Prue

6 am – 6:30 am – Piano Meditation by Greg Gaylord on piano

7 – 7:30 am – Yoga & Qigong with Terri and Charles Giardino

Charles Giardino

Charles has been studying the Internal Chinese martial arts for over 15 years. His practice includes elements of Qigong, Dao yin, Hun Yuan Chen style Taiji, Xingyi quan and Silk Reeling.

Terri Giardino

Terri has been a practitioner of yoga for more than 20 years. She is a 200 hour registered yoga instructor and a certified Pranakriya prenatal yoga teacher. Her practice is centered around breath, movement and meditation.

8 am – Story and Song Share with Stephan Allison, Joe Flood,  Laszlo Gardony, Paul Howard, Ben Ross and Brian O’Rourke  – Hear the stories and music from some of the musicians who have been with The Buttonwood Tree from its beginnings …  Did you know … ?



11 am – 1 pm – Bob Gotta with Stan Sullivan, Frank Pergola, David Culler, Diane Chodkowski, Doug Mallard, Cece Borjeson, Nina Romanenko and Andy Buzzi,

1:30 pm – Family music and drumming with HEARD, special guest: Elaine Nadal
Expect to be engaged and energized by traditional rhythms from West Africa fused with the creative and harmonic nuances of American jazz! This interactive show will provide the opportunity for audience members to learn basic rhythms on Ghanaian percussion instruments as well as learn some introductory Ghanaian traditional dance sequences. Dress comfortably and prepare to have fun! Participants will be invited to play with the group at the evening fundraising event!

With: Jonathan Greene—woodwinds, Bobby Kendall—bass, Brian Melick—percussion, Fosino Nelson—Ghanaian dance, Zorkie Nelson—Ghanaian drums/percussion and Elizabeth Woodbury Kasius, keyboards. All members of Heard sing!

Appearance by Elaine Nadal:
Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee, Elaine Nadal has published her book of poetry Sweat, Dance, Sing, Cut with Finishing Line Press. Her second book When will be released in February 2020.

2:30 pm – Elizabeth Thomas and Youth Poets

3:30 pm – John Basinger, Carolyn Halsted, Neely Bruce and Kitty Kathryn

5 – 10 pm at the Community Health Center (CHC)

Gala “Glamping Style” – it’s a Syc (sic) Celebration
Delicious food and beverages, a Silent Auction, Music and Dancing!
Special Guest Emcee: Tom “The Suit” Forst

5 pm – 6:30pm Rooftop music by BADSLAX  (Funky Jazz)  Featuring: Dave Razza, Mark Kaplan, Jim Ludoviconi and Keith LeBlanc

7 pm – Introductions by Executive Director, Anne-Marie McEwen,
Mr. Larry McHugh and from the Mayor’s office, Bob Santangelo
“The Buttonwood Way” by Twisted Ric

Dancing to music by HEARD

“Energetic, joyous, fresh, fun…Heard’s sound aims to waken up your ears, enliven your heart, and even get you up and dancing! Original world music with jazz roots, influences from West Africa, Brazil, places in between and points beyond…”


For a special treat, a moment with Elaine Nadal:
Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee, Elaine Nadal has published her book of poetry Sweat, Dance, Sing, Cut with Finishing Line Press. Her second book When will be released in February 2020.

Poem: “Blue Bridge”

and DJ Manny Face the Musiq

Announcement of Silent Auction winners


Advance Tickets

$95 – Full 30 hour pass, sale ends midnight on 10/10.




October 18, 2019 @ 4:00 pm EDT
October 19, 2019 @ 10:00 pm EDT

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