We are thrilled to announce the return of our Sea Music Festival on August 17, 2024!

The San Francisco Sea Music Festival will be a lively day of sea music and festivities, bringing the whole waterfront to life. Set against the picturesque backdrop of San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park and Fisherman’s Wharf, this exciting event will feature multiple stages at Aquatic Park, the Crab Wheel Plaza, and more. We will be celebrating sea music traditions from around the world and offering a diverse lineup of music and dance performances. Join us for a music-filled day, honoring the spirit of the sea!

Featuring:

  • Liz Carroll
  • The Johnson Girls
  • Ron and Natalie Daise
  • Manilatown Ancestral Ensemble
  • Shay Black
  • Brass Farthing
  • The Flying Angels Chinese Dance Company
  • Riggy Rackin
  • Richard Adrianowicz
  • Susan Walsh
  • Tom Lewis
  • Patrick Landeza & Sons
  • DíaPaSon 
  • Holdstock, Clegg and Pratt
  • The Kingtide Band
  • Sons of the Buccaneers
  • Dave Nettell
  • Kathryn Daskal
  • Amelia Hogan
  • Maureen Brennan
  • Chris Koldewey
  • Talitha Aho
  • More details and performers to be announced soon…

 

Sponsors:

   

If your business or organization is interested in being a sponsor for this event, please go here.

Performer bios:

Tom Lewis

As winner of the inaugural “Trophée Stan Hugill”, French fans dub Tom “The Springsteen of Sea Chanteys.” Old Songs Festival (Altamont NY) declares “This man knows the sea … from the bottom up!“, whilst Living Tradition (UK) says “Although I always knew he was good, I was not quite prepared for HOW good.” 24 years in the British Royal Navy, “provides him with that vitally authentic stance with which to tackle nautical song” Living Tradition.

Tom’s repertoire—from traditional shanties to songs fashioned out of his own seafaring background—recruits his audience for a voyage by turns reflective, dramatic and humorous. Born in Northern Ireland, Tom’s Celtic heritage is obvious in his clear, strong voice, evoking quiet sorrow for a fisherman lost to the sea just as honestly as it powers out a shanty “to be heard above the gales.”

With songs that have become folk standards; known and sung wherever great choruses ring out; Tom accompanies himself on button accordion and ukulele—but it’s that powerful vocal style and infectious humour—that quality of entertaining—which keeps audiences coming back again … and again.

Manilatown Ancestral Ensemble

This dynamic ensemble presents the pre-colonial music, dance, and attire traditions of Mindanao, Southern Philippines and Kalinga, Northern Philippines. All trained in the traditional manner by indigenous Philippine culture bearers, the Manilatown Ancestral musicians and dancers take pride in introducing audiences to the joyful and unifying power of tribal Philippine polyrhythmic percussion music, song and dance.

The Johnson Girls

Internationally acclaimed The Johnson Girls have been a force on the folk and maritime music scene since 1997 as the leading all-woman, a cappella maritime group in the world. Believing that sea chanteys and sea songs were the first real “World Music,” Joy Bennett, Alison Kelley, Bonnie Milner, and Deirdre Murtha know how to serve up a chantey in salty and authentic style that will leave you longing for the age of sail. Whether performing chanteys with hair-raising harmonies or sharing tender ballads at national or international festivals, coffeehouses or libraries, The Johnson Girls remain true to their mission of keeping chantey singing alive, bringing women’s voices to the fore, and sweeping their audiences along in a tidal fervor.

Brass Farthing

Brass Farthing is a company of vocal-centric musicians whose catalog spans five centuries. From folk music of the British Isles and America, to rousing music hall and drinking songs, their catalog carries familiar tunes from yesteryear, as well as original compositions reminiscent of days gone by.

Flying Angels Chinese Dance Company

The Flying Angels Chinese Dance Company celebrates over 30 years, entertaining audiences and communities throughout the Bay Area. They are a company of dancers who love to entertain, educate and excite their audiences with their performances. Experience their passion for Chinese dance and Asian Heritage, reflected in their colorful presentation of traditional, contemporary and original dance choreography. Their dancers will ignite your creativity and inspire you!

Riggy Rackin

In the mid-’70s Riggy Rackin was asked to be part of an ambitious bicentennial production by the Cambridge, Massachusetts Proposition Theatre. The goal was to weave entries from actual ships’ logs and traditional whaling songs into a true-to-life dramatic presentation. Riggy found the music, taught the actors how to sing in an authentic style, served as Music Director, and provided concertina accompaniment. The Whale Show succeeded to considerable acclaim, and they toured the show in New York and throughout New England.

Shay Black

Shay Black, a renowned songcatcher and musician originally from Dublin, Ireland, has established himself as a prominent figure in Irish, English, Scottish, and sea music traditions. After relocating to Berkeley from Liverpool in 1994, where he had spent two decades, Shay immersed himself in the folk music scene. He collaborated with notable figures like author and song collector Stan Hugill and the renowned sea shanty group Stormalong John. Shay is a key member of Ireland’s Black Family, performing alongside his siblings Michael, Martin, Frances, and Mary Black. When Shay performs, his music creates a sheer celebration of singing, always welcoming audience participation. His infectious humor, wit, and unalloyed joy in singing make it difficult for anyone to remain a spectator for long!

Dogwatch Nautical Band

The Dogwatch Nautical Band was formed in the late 1970s to perform at the Dickens Christmas Fair in San Francisco. They were recreating a mid-19th century ships band, known as a Fou Fou band on large sailing ships.

Over the years they’ve performed on all the various Bay Area Public Radio stations, for museum events, and aboard sailing vessels, California’s official tall ship Californian, Scow Schooner Alma from the National Park Service collection of historic vessels and the Baltic Trader Jacqueline now based in Europe.

Patrick Landeza & Sons

Two-time Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award winner (Hawaiian GRAMMY), Patrick Landeza returns to the San Francisco Sea Music Festival 2024. Patrick Landeza & Sons features Justin Firmeza on Hawaiian steel guitar and keyboard along with the newest addition to the band, son Danny Landeza.

A native Hawaiian who was born and raised on the continent, Patrick Landeza found his roots in the music shared with him by his mother, Frances Kawaipūloʻu Kuakini OʻSullivan Landeza. The songs that she taught him, were songs that she learned growing up in Hoʻolehua, Molokaʻi. The music filled cultural gaps left by his childhood in California, providing him with a firm foundation upon which he built his musical career. The music he grew up listening to sparked an interest in the traditional art of slack-key, connecting Patrick with some of kī hōʻalu’s most legendary names: Cyril Pahinui, Raymond Kāne, George Kuo, and Dennis Kamakahi. Under their tutelage, the network of roots that his mother had carefully established grew and Patrick’s style of music became firmly rooted in slack-key.

Holdstock, Clegg and Pratt

Dick Holdstock will join with Aaron Clegg and Travis Pratt for this year’s sea music festival. Together these talented singers will present sea songs and shanties in a way that invites every audience to sing along. All those within hearing distance will feel compelled to join the chorus, feeling the energy rush that sailors need to complete the difficult tasks on board square-rigged ships.

Travis Pratt, part of the Bay Area’s folk-music-loving Pratt family, has sung sea songs and shanties all his life. Aaron Clegg has singlehandedly built a great following of his songs-of-the-sea sessions over recent years in Santa Cruz.

Dick Holdstock has performed music of the sea for years at music festivals throughout the U.S. and abroad. A sea-song session with Holdstock, Clegg and Pratt is just the ticket for a great shanty experience!

 

More performer bios and details coming soon.