The following is a republished press release from the Community School of Music and Arts and NOT written by the Ithaca Voice … click here to submit community announcements directly to The Voice, or contact me at

ITHACA, NY – The dynamic upstate NY musicians of Tempest will set the dance floor whirling when they blow into Ithaca; we hope they’ll bring some much needed rain! This swing-influenced contra dance band features Tim Ball on fiddle, Chuck Abell on guitar, and Eric Metzger on percussion.

For eight years, they’ve been honing their fusion of traditional Irish and American fiddle music with inventive, progressive grooves and harmonies from jazz, big-band, world music, and R&B, creating some seriously fun music.

This versatile band is in high demand from Asheville and Glen Echo to New York and New England, and for English country dancing and swing as well as contra. For this Hands Four Dancers of Ithaca event, they’ll be fully energized after a tour of the Pioneer Valley dances, Concord Scout House, and Maine. Sarah VanNorstrand, a stalwart of the Syracuse contra community, will elevate and amplify the fun with her smooth and savvy calling.

No fear if the weather is warm; CSMA is air-conditioned. Newcomers of all ages are welcome, and a workshop at 7:30 pm is a good way for beginners to learn the simple steps. Sarah will briefly teach the dances and experienced dancers will offer friendly help.

No need to bring a partner, but please bring clean, soft-soled shoes to protect the excellent dance floor. Admission: $8 HFDI members; $10 nonmembers. Children 12 and under free. Membership (teens and students $5/year; other $10/year) benefits include discounted admission to HFDI dances. More info:

Contra Dance with Tempest and Caller Sarah Van Norstrand

Saturday 27 August, 8:00-11:00 pm; beginners’ workshop at 7:30 pm

CSMA (Community School of Music and Arts), 330 E. State Street, Ithaca

Michael Smith

Michael Smith reports on politics and local news for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached via email at, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.