Live Music Breathes the Beat into Oral Storytelling

Dale Russ (L) and Jan Peters (R) playing a few Irish tunes before the second set of storytelling at our March 14 St. Patrick’s event.

March 14, 2023

We were proud to present two outstanding musicians that joined us on March 14 to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Irish stories and music at the Tim Bruce Performance Center in LaConner. To accompany our storyteller, Will Hornyak, we welcomed Jan Peters, a vocalist and harmonica player with a great devotion to Irish and fine acoustic music. Also, Dale Russ, who has been playing Irish fiddle for 45 years who came together for an evening that the audience can’t seem to forget.

Live music doesn’t just speak to the soul but sings your soul awake – a universal language, bringing people together from all walks of life to enjoy the experience. When paired with oral storytelling audiences experience a true journey into new and exciting worlds. With each lull of the music the story slows and each crescendo moves the story forward – breathing life into each sentence, each plot twist that the storyteller presents. The audience can feel the energy between the song and the story, the poem and the performance. This equals an experience that touches the heart, the senses, and will swiftly bring you to that moment in time. Perfect time to the music (and story), you might say. A truly special moment that makes you smile and laugh, maybe even moved to tears. And not just as an individual, but an audience that is transformed into a unique community. Music breathes rhythm into the soul when musicians gather and create the beat of our story.

Jan Peters

Jan Peters is a distinctive vocalist and harmonica player out of Bellingham, Peters devotion to Irish and fine acoustic and traditional music is a constant in his life. There is a strong traditional folk music influence in the music he writes and performs. Before moving to the Pacific Northwest he played and toured with various bands out of the Davis, California area for 17 years. Peters has had several bands in the Bellingham area including his own, Gallowglass, a contemporary Celtic folk band. The group has found inspiration in the reinterpretation of traditional folk music with a focus on vocal harmonies, unique instrumentation, and compelling arrangements. Jan Peters also is a music and show producer and enjoys collaborating with an array of musicians that he’s passionate about. He enjoys exposing audiences to “truly great music.” Peters says, “I sing, play harmonicas, Irish bouzouki, and still get on the piano at times. I enjoy arranging, composing, and recording as well. I am a co-founder of Gallowglass Irish Band, Rosin & Reed, created Irish and Folk Mondays, book superb folk, blues, and jazz shows in town, and love being a side man with great artists every chance I get.”