Thomas S. Curren at Harvard Book Store


All Join Hands:
Dudley Laufman and the
New England Country Dance Tradition

in conversation with VINCE O'DONNELL


June 15, 2023
7:00 PM ET


Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138


This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes music historian THOMAS S. CURREN for a discussion of his new book All Join Hands: Dudley Laufman and the New England Country Dance Tradition. He will be joined in conversation by musician VINCE O'DONNELL.

Update on Event Masking Policies

Masks are not required for this event. As of June 1, 2023, masks are encouraged but not required for most Harvard Book Store events, unless otherwise specified. Please review individual listings.

About All Join Hands

All Join Hands is the story of what happened when a ten-thousand-year-old musical tradition was put into the hands of a seventeen-year-old Boston boy in 1947. While in high school, Dudley Laufman apprenticed with fiddlers and callers throughout New England. Eventually, he squired the old country dance traditions through to their revival in the 1960s at the Newport Folk Festival, the Club 47, and Robert J. Lurtsema’s Morning Pro Musica broadcasts. Decades of performances in famous venues and small villages led to his receiving the National Heritage Fellowship Award in 2009.

As Tom Rush, iconic singer/songwriter says, “Tom Curren has done a brilliant job here, weaving an engaging narrative of how Dudley Laufman coordinated and energized the amazing resurgence of an ancient art form―the contradance/square dance―in New England and beyond.” All Join Hands calls for a new quickening of spirit, nurtured and energized by the traditional arts of New England.

Thomas S. Curren
Thomas S. Curren

Thomas S. Curren

Thomas S. Curren is a writer, farmer, conservationist, and historian. He has served as a town selectman, a town moderator, and a non-profit consultant, and volunteers for the Folk New England Archive at the University of Massachusetts. As project director with the Pew Charitable Trusts and as director of local conservation organizations, he has helped enable the conservation of nearly 900,000 acres in New England, New York, and Pennsylvania’s Amish country. An authority on New England culture and landscape, his previous books include I Believe I’ll Go Back Home: Roots and Revival in New England Folk Music as well as four histories of New Hampshire towns. Part of the group “The Good Old Plough,” he plays and sings traditional music—at times with Dudley Laufman and friends. He lives in rural New Hampshire. 

Vince O’Donnell
Vince O’Donnell

Vince O’Donnell

Vince O’Donnell plays fiddle for English, Contra and Scottish dancing. He discovered country dance music in 1965, through Dudley Laufman and the Canterbury Country Orchestra, with whom he still plays. A former jazz guitar player, Vince loves ensemble interaction, harmonizing and improvising, along with the challenge of keeping all of that reasonably within traditional bounds and making it fun for the dancers. He plays with Calliope, a versatile group skilled at contras, English, couple dances and vintage, and with the White Cockade, a Scottish Country Dance band. Every once in a while, he manages to compose a danceable tune. He supports outreach to new musicians, both adults and children and serves on the Board of the New England Folk Festival Association. Vince’s day job is consulting to nonprofits and public agencies to promote the production and sustainability of affordable housing.

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

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As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

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