James Ruff - Skinner Hall, Vassar College - October 1, 2016
Ruff’s original (and still principle) musical career focus has been voice, and I’m not sure I would have attended if that was the extent of this solo concert. But he also performs on early Gaelic wire harp (you know, the one on the Guinness logo), and is a scholar of the instrument’s history and repertoire. So the combination was sufficiently beguiling, and proved worthy. The singing was in old Gaelic, and Ruff dives deep into ancient authenticity here as well, bringing us back hundreds of years with his expressive tenor voice. Unfortunately, a harp string broke, but luckily it was on the final tune.