Arts and Entertainment

Dulcimer player to visit Isadora’s Cafe Hammers and strings

Washington musician and storyteller Carolyn Cruso brings her blend of instruments and styles to Isadora’s Books and Cafe this month. Cruso seeks to bring the audience into rapport with her music. - Courtesy photo
Washington musician and storyteller Carolyn Cruso brings her blend of instruments and styles to Isadora’s Books and Cafe this month. Cruso seeks to bring the audience into rapport with her music.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Carolyn Cruso, a singer, songwriter and musician, will put on a concert of folk, jazz and Celtic-inspired contemporary acoustic music.

Cruso is a multi-instrumentalist who moves between hammered dulcimer, flute, guitar and voice, incorporating song, instrumental music and storytelling into a musical journey.

The Orcas Island resident told the Valley Record that her goal is to give as much of herself and her music to the audience as possible, to connect with her listeners and keep them engaged.

“My heroes are Joni Mitchell, Bonnie Raitt, Ani DiFranco, Emmy Lou Harris and Patty Larkin,” she said. Cruso’s varied styles of playing and singing bring together many worlds, fusing Appalachian music, Irish music, blues and jazz.

“It’s interesting for the audience, because there’s always something new,” she said. “For me, it gets easier to transition from instrument to instrument. At first it was quite challenging.”

The sounds, stories and images that music evokes can be transporting and nourishing, Cruso said. She hopes her music allows listeners “to open up to that emotional, intuitive part of ourselves and gain access to it as another source of knowledge.”

Cruso has led a musically adventurous life. Her career has led her from performing in Europe with musicians, jugglers, comedians, one-man bands, mimes and contortionists, to traveling the Renaissance Fair circuit.

As an innovator, Cruso pushes the boundaries of the hammered dulcimer, bending notes and playing two notes with one hammer.

The performance is 7 to 9 p.m., Friday, March 13, at Isadora’s Books and Cafe, 8062 Railroad Ave. N. in downtown Snoqualmie. Admission is a suggested donation of $5 to $7.

For more information, call Isadora’s at (425) 888-1345 or e-mail to us@isadorasbooks.com. Cruso’s music can be heard at www.carolyncruso.com.

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