news & buzz

The American Folk Song


WASHINGTON IL - The Washington District Library welcomes Chicago’s “official troubadour” Mark Dvorak to its performance series on Monday, September 26 at 6:30 pm. 

Dvorak will present “The American Folk Song,” a musical exploration into the roots of American music.  Dvorak will perform, examples from African-American and British Isles traditions and songs from American folk artists such as Lead Belly, Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger. 

Dvorak is an integral member of the faculty at Chicago’s remarkable Old Town School of Folk Music. Since 1986 he has worked with thousands of music students who have passed through his classes. …



Mark Dvorak to pay tribute to Pete Seeger in Steel Beam show

By Kathy Cichon Aurora Beacon-News

AUGUST 15, 2016

At age 18, Mark Dvorak bought his first guitar - while working in a xylophone factory.

“I didn’t even know what the place made,” he said of taking the job. “it was owned by the Ludwig Drum Company. It was called Musser. I needed a job, I was 18. The labor union we were in was the same union as a guitar company.”


Instruments with slight imperfections were made available to the union members at reasonable prices, Dvorak said, including the guitar he bought.

“I think it cost me $40,” he said. …

Batesville IN Applefest


Chicago folk artist Dvorak featured at Applefest September 24

BATESVILLE IN - Chicago’s “official” troubadour Mark Dvorak will appear at the 27th Batesville Applefest for two shows and a workshop on Saturday September 24. 

At 1:00 pm Dvorak will present a one hour workshop. “Finding Your Folk,” at Amack’s Well Community Coffee House, 103 E. George Street. The workshop will cover several approaches to instrumental technique and an introduction to the history and teaching philosophy of Chicago’s remarkable Old Town School of Folk Music, where Dvorak has been on faculty since 1986. …

Larry Penn Memorial Fund


Songwriter guitarist Larry Penn remembered at 3rd annual  concert December 4 in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE WI - The Milwaukee folk music community will gather to remember mentor, friend and songwriter Larry Penn in a memorial concert on Sunday, December 4, from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The event will take place at Anodyne Coffee Roasters, 224 W. Bruce Street.

“We miss Larry,” said event director Marc Revenson, who will emcee the concert. “We lost him in October of 2014, and his wife Pat just two months later. We’re committed to keeping Larry’s music alive and it’s wonderful how his friends have responded to this annual event.”

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