Branford Folk Music Society

The Branford Folk Music Society, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization recognized as tax exempt under the Internal Revenue Service Code section 501(c)(3). The Society sponsors the Branford Folk Coffeehouse, a monthly folk music concert series, September through May, at the First Congregational Church, on the green in Branford, Connecticut.

The group also produces a bimonthly newsletter with schedules and information on concerts and folk performers in Connecticut and the region. Branford Folk Music Society members receive a copy of the newsletter in the mail, as well as discounts in admission to our coffeehouse concerts. Become a member of the Branford Folk Music Society. Facebook members: Look us up on Facebook.

Branford Folk Coffeehouse

The Branford Folk Coffeehouse is in the auditorium of the First Congregational Church of Branford, 1009 Main Street, Branford, CT. Wheelchair accessible. Concerts begin at 8:00 p.m. Admission prices are listed for each concert. Please pay at the door – there are no advance sales.

Directions: Take I-95 Cedar Street exit #54, go south on Cedar Street to the end (crossing Route 1), turn left on Main Street. The Congregational Church is the brick church on the green (on the right). For more information, call 203-488-7715. Email:
If parking immediately next to the Church and the Green is full, there is additional parking nearby.

Please contact us if you are interested in helping the coffeehouse as a volunteer. In particular, refreshment donations will be welcomed.

If you are wondering if a concert will be held on an evening when the weather is bad, please call 203-488-7715. (There is no one at the church who can give out concert information.) Also, cancellations will be posted on WTNH Channel 8.

Click here for a video clip of Toby Walker's concert on February 10.

Ken & Brad Kolodner

May 12, 2018: Ken & Brad Kolodner

The society closes out its 2017-18 concert season on May 12 in fine fashion with the father-son duo of Ken and Brad Kolodner who have been taking old-time music into uncharted territory, creatively infusing the idiom with their tasteful and hypnotizing approach on hammered dulcimer, banjo and fiddles.

Long regarded as one of the most influential hammered dulcimer players and old-time fiddlers in North America, Baltimore's Ken Kolodner joined musical forces nearly a decade ago with son Brad, a rising star in the clawhammer banjo world, to create and perform old-time music that draws largely on tradition but also offers a neo-traditional approach through their innovative arrangements of the music and their own compositions.

They are a duo that's simply in-synch. As son Brad aptly puts it, "Playing as a father-son duo feels very natural." Whether rehearsing, jamming or performing on stage or in the recording studio, the Kolodners are always locked-in. "Our musical sensibilities are very aligned."

Ken Kolodner's roots run deep in folk music. He toured and recorded for many years with the legendary world music trio Helicon with Chris Norman and Robin Bullock. His extensive repertoire of thousands of pieces includes traditional music from over 30 countries on all continents. He's performed in every state in the U.S. and teaches locally in Baltimore with over 75 fiddle and hammered dulcimer students.

Brad Kolodner is recognized nationally for his delicate touch and expressive style on banjo and his original musical compositions. He has placed in the finals of the banjo contest in 2014, 2015 and 2016 at the Appalachian String Band Festival in Clifftop, WV, one of the most prestigious old-time banjo contests in the world.

Clawhammer banjo is experiencing a rebirth in American folk music and Brad is helping to lead the charge as a performer, teacher, DJ for WAMU's "Bluegrass Country" in Washington, D.C., jam leader, community builder and ambassador for old-time music. He is the recipient of the International Bluegrass Music Association's 2016 Momentum Award for Industry Involvement. In addition to touring with his father, Brad also regularly performs with the roots quartet Charm City Junction.

Ken and Brad have released three critically acclaimed albums. Their first recording, Otter Creek, in 2011, quickly became the most played instrumental recording on the international Folk-DJ Radio charts. Brad's original composition "Otter Creek" was the most played instrumental track on the charts that year. Their second album "Skipping Rocks" followed in 2013 and 2017 saw release of their third album, "The Swift House".

Concert appearances for the Kolodners include performances at The Kennedy Center, The Walnut Valley Festival, The Old Songs Festival, The Charm City Folk and Bluegrass Festival and The Champlain Valley Folk Festival. They have logged numerous live radio broadcasts and concerts and festivals along the Eastern seaboard from North Carolina to Vermont and across the country from Wisconsin to Arizona.

Admission: $20 non-members, $17 members. $5 children 12 and under.

House Hoot May 18

Dear Pickers and Grinners and Scowlers and whatever other facial expressions you have when trying to play and sing, or whatever,

The next House Hoot will be at 7:30 on Friday, May 18, at Tom & Amy's house, 95 Jackson Road, Hamden. The theme for the first round will be IN A PICKLE: SONGS ABOUT FRUITS OR VEGETABLES. Second round and beyond--you're on your own. Bring a snack or drink(s) to share.

The House Hoot, loosely associated with the Branford Folk Music Society, has been going since the 1950s. It's an opportunity to get together and Sing Good Songs, mostly folk but occasionally wandering into other musical realms. All acoustic instruments and voices are welcome.


Previous concerts at the Branford Folk Coffeehouse

Branford Folk Photo Gallery

Restaurants in Branford

Lodging in Branford


Branford Folk Coffeehouse performers are often provided overnight accommodations by volunteers in their homes. However, some performers are very sensitive to furry critters, so if you can provide overnight accommodations in a pet-free environment, please let us know, either at a concert or by email at Hosts receive complimentary admission to the show! Thank you!

Wanna be on our Board?

The all-volunteer Board of Directors of the Branford Folk Music Society is looking for new members with a passion for traditional and tradition-based folk music and the skills to help us bring the joy of that music to wider audiences. We are seeking interested people with the time and willingness to take an active role in creating awareness of Branford Folk Music Society events in Connecticut, particularly in the broader shoreline community, and with skills to complement those of members of the current Board. These could include experience in public relations, arts or events coordination (not necessarily in music), outreach or fundraising; or connections with media, historical and cultural organizations in the New Haven area and towns along the shoreline. Anyone interested should contact us at 203-488-7715 or

The Branford Folk Music Society is a member of the Folk Alliance International,
the Arts Council of Greater New Haven and the Shoreline Chamber of Commerce.

The Branford Folk Music Society primarily books "traditional" and/or "traditions based" acoustic music, rooted in the Anglo-Celtic and/or American folk genres, and other traditional forms, such as Cajun, French Canadian, Klezmer, etc. We are also open to booking "traditions based" performers who write their own material provided their music demonstrates a knowledge and respect for these long established traditions.

The Branford Folk Music Society posts monthly concert listings on the following web sites and blogs: at
Nonprofit Bulletin at

Other folk music events in Connecticut and southern New England

Please send event listings to the editor at

Branford Folk Music Society
P.O. Box 441
Branford, CT 06405