Claudia Schmidt and Sally Rogers in Concert at the Jensen Center January 18

Sally Rogers and Claudia Schmidt

by Brent Frankenhoff

As part of the 25th series of Tomorrow River Concerts, the Jensen Community Center welcomes Claudia Schmidt and Sally Rogers to its stage Saturday, January 18, at 7:30 p.m. The show is sponsored by Kindred Spirit Books of Stevens Point.

The folk artist duo has performed at the Jensen Center several times in the past two-and-a-half decades and, before that, as part of Tom and Louise Pease’s “Kitchen Concert” series.

Schmidt and Rogers have been singing together since 1981, have recorded four albums together, and continue to attract folk music fans wherever they go.

With 19 albums recorded to date, Claudia Schmidt tours North America and Europe with a show that encompasses music, poetry, story, and laughter. She accompanies her folk, blues, and jazz songs on a 12-string guitar and mountain dulcimer. On her website, claudiaschmidt.com, she’s been looking back at her more than 40-year career, sharing songs and photos.

The Door County Advocate wrote, “To say that Schmidt is simply a performer with a talent to entertain would be a miscarriage of understatement. Schmidt takes her audiences into her world as easily as the child who discovers the endless universes that exist in a cardboard box.”

Sally Rogers trails Schmidt’s album output slightly, with just 17 albums recorded so far, but also brings humor to her performances, along with boundless energy. She is also a world-traveling performer and accompanies herself with guitar, banjo, and mountain dulcimer. In addition to performing with Schmidt, she also duets with her husband, Howie Bursen, and in interactive school residencies, where she helps students young and old find their creativity and musical genius.

Rogers’ career began in 1979, after encouragement from Canadian singer-songwriter Stan Rogers. More than a dozen appearances on the Prairie Home Companion truly launched her performing career.

On her website, sallyrogers.com, many fans wrote testimonials citing the energy and warmth she brings to every performance. A few years ago, Rogers received the Children’s Music Network Magic Penny Award for Lifetime Achievement for her work with children.

Tomorrow Concerts organizer Tom Pease told the Spirit, “For me, each of these women are top-of-the-line performers and musicians with unbelievable voices. Together, they take the performance to a different level. When they’re onstage there’s a comfort level that’s rarely seen.”

Tickets for the January 18 show are $15 each with general admission seating and are available at the Jensen Community Center, Stevens Point Area Co-Op, Kindred Spirit Books, and the Bookcellar. Tickets can also be purchased online by visiting the Jensen Center website at lettiejensencenter.org and following the link on the homepage, or by calling 800-838-3006,  or at the door the evening of the show.

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