Ward's to play benefit Yule Log show at Caffe

SARATOGA SPRINGS -- Celebrate the season, the solstice and do something good for a local organization Saturday night at Caffe Lena.

Folklorists and musicians George and Vaughn Ward will entertain at the coffeehouse, and proceeds will benefit Shelters of Saratoga. The organization hopes to buy a new freezer with proceeds.

The show, entitled " Don't Hog the Yule Log," begins at 8 p.m. at the Caffe, 47 Phila St. Tickets are $10, and donations to the Shelters of Saratoga are welcome.

The Wards, collectors and performers of traditional music, are students of regional ethnic traditions, and educators. George and Vaughn Ward work separately as well as together.

George Ward has performed in concerts, museum interpretive events, festivals, thematic tours and television specials from coastal Virginia and Maine to Great Britain (where he once won a song-writing contest).

He said he plays more than 17 instruments, and has earned his " canal balladeer" nickname through years of in-depth research and performance of regional waterways music, according to the press release.

An arts educator, George Ward has taught the music and lore of New York state's canals, woods and waterways in schools, camps, workshops and seminars. He has composed a number of songs based on his research into canal and woods life, as well as the scores for four PBS documentary films.

In addition to his solo work and his work with his wife, he performs with the Irish traditional group the Broken String Band and with the Vic Kibler Band, featuring the Kibler family's Adirondack fiddle traditions.

Vaughn Ward is a storyteller and lecturer who specializes in family folklore, oral history and the performance and tale traditions of communities north of the Mohawk.

Since 1983, she has interviewed and taped more than 200 regional rural tradition bearers and presented them in seminars, concerts, conferences and festivals.

Vaughn Ward is the " Mama Liar" of the Adirondack Liars Club and the Adirondack editor of Greenfield Review Press' Bowman Books Series of Living Folklore. She conducts " Storycatcher," " Family Folklore for Positive Parenting," and " Multiculturalism from the Inside Out" workshops.

A few times a year, Vaughn commutes to southeastern Texas, where she is a consultant on developing curriculum based on regional traditions.

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