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Laura cortese and the dance cards

Saturday, January 28th, 2023
Gerald C. Wilson Auditorium
Doors open at 7:00 pm; 
Concert begins at 7:30

"Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards create a stunning, forward-looking sound that charts a path for innovation in folk music."



Laura Cortese might best be described as a sonic magpie: a curious and resourceful adventurer traversing great distances, collecting melodies and rhythms that glitter like jewels in the sun. Driven by the gravitational pull of human connection, her tendency towards exploration and collaboration have led her into countless niches, each providing its own unique feather with which to decorate her distinct and ever-evolving sound. But all of these explorations have one thing in common: the power of strings. This may seem limiting to some. To her, it is anything but. “Strings are at the core of what I do,” she says. “Genre is secondary to that palate.” 


Alongside doing solo projects, Cortese also adopted the philosophy of learning by teaching, co-founding a music camp from which to grow community and artistry. Alongside Shannon Heaton, Cortese co-founded the Boston Celtic Music Festival in 2003, which she describes as “kind of a thank you to the community that had nurtured me and that I grew up in.” To this day, this festival celebrates and uplifts the deep Celtic folk music traditions that exist within Boston’s music scene, honoring the shared repertoire and musical vocabulary of the artists that perform and jam there. Conversely, in 2011, she partnered with Kristin Andreassen to found Miles of Music Camp, which brings together repertoire-based folk musicians with contemporary songwriters. The goal of this camp is not only to introduce these diverse musicians to new genres and musical catalogs, but to build community and spark creativity. “The two groups are in awe of each other and they start to work together,” notes Cortese, describing the unique magic that is found among the attendees and instructors at Miles of Music camps, “They find their own connections.”


All of these threads have joined together, culminating in her work leading the musicians’ collective known as Laura Cortese & the Dance Cards. Here, she showcases all of her varied experience and expertise–as a master fiddler, an instructor, a leader, and a musical collaborator–using it to craft a new sound from whole cloth: a nearly symphonic hybrid of countless traditions and influences, full of layered vocal harmonies and rich interplays of virtuosic string instrumentation. 

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What to expect

  • Masks are encouraged, but not required.
  • We will not be limiting seating capacity. Audience members can expect to sit directly adjacent to other parties. 
  • Please stay home if you feel sick or have symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Our flexible refund policy allows for ticket refunds for any reason up to 24 hours in advance of the concert. We will honor and issue refunds up to the concert start for those who have symptoms or otherwise feel unwell.
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