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Live performers for 25th anniversary celebration


As part of the celebrations on Oct. 11, the MCCS will also launch a much-anticipated 11-track music project, Heartbeat of Home, celebrating Maine and its communities. This state-wide project is a collaboration of some of Maine’s finest musicians, poets, and storytellers who worked together to tell a story of what makes the state special.

Click the link to view a press release with more information about "Heartbeat of Home."

Artists scheduled to perform live at the 25th anniversary celebration include:

  • David Mallett
  • Marianna Filippi
  • Kristyn Murphy
  • Jack Fossett
  • Dwayne Tomah

Please see below for artist bios.

David Mallett

Photo of David Mallett, close up, holding guitarThe cool breezes of Maine’s northlands have flowed through the songs of David Mallett for more than four decades. His latest, Greenin Up, is a compilation of some re-recordings of his finest work. Released in conjunction with the Maine Farmland Trust, it is a celebration of rural life

Although it is rooted in place, David Mallett’s music speaks to the essential things that move us all. Mallett knows the factory work, the field work, the memories of summer dances, the loves and losses, and the stunning incidents of courage and despair.

Born and raised in rural Sebec, where he still lives, David Mallett has been writing and singing about his home state for 55 years. His professional music career began when he was just 11, playing in a country and folk duo with his older brother, Neil. Later, as an acting student at the University of Maine, Mallett discovered guitar-wielding bards like Gordon Lightfoot and Bob Dylan, which led him to his eventual career. A turning point in Mallett’s career came in 1975 when he met Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary. Stookey produced Mallett’s first three albums in his Blue Hill recording studio. He also brought David’s tune "The Garden Song" to the attention of Pete Seeger, who included it on his retrospective album, Circles And Seasons. The song has since gone on to become a folk classic, recorded by everyone from John Denver to the Muppets. "It was never that big a hit," says Mallett."It’s gotten around, but in a very human way—through the mouths of children, at campfires and wedding ceremonies. I’m so proud to be associated with such a simple and beautiful thing."

Mallett has recorded 17 albums and penned hundreds of songs, many recorded by major artists including Arlo Guthrie, Emmylou Harris, Kathy Mattea, Marty Stuart, and Alison Krauss. Many of David's songs and albums are inspired by Maine places, people and history. He has made a career of writing and singing songs that connect the listener with a specific place, whether that's a backyard garden, a town in decline, or "a deep pool where the fish wait," as he describes in "Summer of My Dreams."

Named one of the most memorable "Mainers" in the millennium edition of The Bangor Daily News (along with Marshall Dodge, Andrew Wyeth, E.B. White, Stephen King, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and others), Mallett's songs are filled with passion, evocative imagery, and a sense of the inevitable passage of time. The struggle of the common man and the loss of American towns and landscapes are the subject of many of his songs.

When he is not touring, the place where he makes his songs is in his writing room in an old farmhouse with a view across the field and a tintype of his great-great grandfather on the wall.

"I like to keep reaching out to touch the past," he says, "to connect it with what's going on now. To me music is one of the few things that is timeless...human emotion is one continual chain."

Marianna Filippi

Photo of Marianna PhilippeMarianna Filippi received her Bachelors of Music Honors Degree in music composition from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, Wales. Over her years of academic study, she developed her musical language, inspired by the music of Maurice Ravel and Japanese film composers Nobuo Uematsu and Joe Hisaishi.

She has always harbored a love of scoring for theatre and film , and in college she was commissioned to score a series of theatrical productions, most notably the adaption of Lars Von Trier's film 'Dogville', performed at the Burton Theatre, and Bruce Guthrie's 'Man to Man' premiered at the Welsh Millennium Centre in Cardiff.

Recent premiers include 'Ephemeros' at the Back Cove Contemporary Music Festival 2018 in Portland Maine, and 'Jeweled Wings' at the highSCORE Contemporary Music Festival 2018 in Pavia, Italy.

She is proficient in notating for live instruments from solo piano to chamber orchestra, as well as recording and composing with software and virtual instruments, including Vienna Symphonic Library.

She works efficiently with directors and collaborators, and can adapt her compositional voice to whatever is needed in order to match the film's narrative and emotions. Her core compositional style can be described as impressionistic, thematic, and whimsical, with a focus in storytelling.

Jack Fossett

Photo of Jack FossettJack started playing guitar at 18, while attending the University of Southern Maine. He would later earn his Bachelor's Degree in Media Studies with a concentration in writing, but his primary focus was developing his musical and performance skills. While at USM, Jack also spent time in theater and became a collegiate award winning actor (Irene Ryan nomination for portrayal of Puck in "A Midsummer Night's Dream") and playwright (production of original One-Act "Heavenly Match").

After quickly establishing a unique lead style, adding a modern melodic pop edge to blues voicings, Jack joined Boston jam/acoustic band Tables Up, and performed with them at festivals, clubs and colleges throughout New England.

For the next several years, Jack continued to play with original bands and also began studio session work with pop, blues and jazz singers, including work with producer Kenny Lewis of Mixed Emotions (formerly a producer and road manager of Stryper). Jack also studied audio production, and honed his skills working as a recording engineer at Tune Town Music Studios. This time was also personally significant as Jack got married and started a family.

While working with several classic rock bands, Jack self engineered and produced his three albums: Jacks & Aces, Singer/Songrocker and My Rebecca. In 2013 he had his first big break: while taking a hiatus from live performances to focus on studio work, Jack entered Guitar Center's Blues Masters competition featuring Joe Bonamassa. Out of over 2500 entries, he was hand selected by Bonamassa as one of the top 10 undiscovered blues guitarists in America, and was flown out to Los Angeles California to perform with Joe and his band at the legendary blues club, The Mint Theater. Later on in that same year, Jack's guitar interpretation of The Beach Boys previously unreleased track "Going To The Beach" became a top 10 winner in an international contest.

Currently Jack continues to record his original music and plays with Jack Fossett & Friends. He lives with his wife Shannon and daughters Annabelle and Celeste at the beach in Maine. Jack also surfs, paints, writes plays, practices martial arts as a second degree black belt, helps with his father's book business and cooks gourmet family cuisine.

Dwayne Tomah

Photo of Dwayne Tomah

Dwayne Tomah is a Language Keeper, he is a teacher of the Passamaquoddy language and culture. He is the youngest fluent speaker of the Passamaquoddy Tribe and has served on the Tribal Council.

He has also worked with Animal Planet on a segment called "Winged Creatures" highlighting the history of the Thunderbird.

His life has been dedicated to working on language and culture preservation, he has edited the Passamaquoddy dictionary and worked to help create the Apple ~ Passamaquoddy Language App. He shares Native legends through song and dance.

Dwayne is currently working with the Library of Congress on translating the Passamaquoddy Wax Cylinders. These recordings are the first recordings in the world of Native languages. They were recorded in 1890 by Jessie Walter Fewkes, who borrowed the device from the inventor Thomas Edison. As you will see momentarily he continues to teach and pass down his traditional knowledge that has been handed down form one generation to another and continues to keep the language alive.

Click the link to view an NPR story on Tomah's work to translate Passamaquoddy Wax Cylinders.

Click the link to access a digital archive of the Wax Cylinder project on the Passamaquoddy People website.

Kristyn Murphy

Photo of Kristyn MurphyKristyn Murphy has been captivating international audiences for several years by the weaving together quality music and history and legends from the Celtic cultures. Her musical versatility is pleasing to varied musical palates, and her energetic personality keeps performances lively.

Celtic Life International Magazine writes: "American soprano Kristyn Murphy makes all the pieces of the musical puzzle fit with her debut recording A Time to Remember. The Vocalist breaks down borders, crossing genres seamlessly. There is no denying this singer's incredible voice. Murphy is one to keep an eye on in the coming years."

"I have always been interested in history," she tells Celtic Life magazine, "and recently I have been focusing on using music as an avenue to preserve history and culture by performing a series of shows at venues that are important to communities, such as museums, heritage centers, churches, old theaters etc. I think sometimes music is seen only as a luxury entertainment, sometimes we forget that as a people what we create musically is representative of who we are and what we have been through, what we hope for, and desire".

Murphy started ventures in producing in 2015 with the release of her debut album, followed shortly series of performances of a cabaret she co-produced and performed in historical venues in around the East Coast and into the Midwest.

In 2017 Murphy co-produced a show of Celtic music, story and dance with a Welsh band, and toured the show in England, Wales, and Scotland. Murphy caught the attention of and was welcomed enthusiastically by the U.K. press. She made her U.K. radio debut singing live on national BCC radio to an audience across the country.

In 2018 Murphy began collaborating seriously with Maine composer and accordionist Marianna Filippi. Earlier this year the two co-wrote and recroded charity single for the U.K. charity Riding Stars which will be released later this year. Murphy's most recent project is producing the Heartbeat of Home album for Volunteer Maine, which features one of her original pieces titled "Canvas of Home." Murphy has already begun work on producing her next project, which builds on the Celtic show she brought to the U.K.