Virtual PMFF - programme – Sunday 25 September 2022

Page contents:


Programme as at 12 September 2022

Session details

Historical background for Room Names

Biographies for Song Circle and Workshop leaders




Hi everyone

We are delighted to bring you the programme for the Virtual Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival.  Further details may be added!  We are excited to be creating this – which we believe will be the first time that a Folk Festival has run both live and live-streamed AND with an integral Virtual component, all at the same time!   This is a free folk festival, donations to help meet costs welcome to:  The Virtual PMFF will run on Zoom. Please see details below on how to register and join. Here’s the plan…

Programme as at 12 September 2022

Time slot


UK time Break-out room “Morning Light” Break-out room “Noonday”
Noon-1pm ET 5-6pm Sara Banleigh:”Sea Shanties at the Movies: Maritime Songs in Film and Television” NONE
1-2pm ET 6-7pm Janet Bee Brown storytelling and shanties Trevor Clarke

Song Circle 

2-3pm ET 7-8pm Bob Zentz and Co: live from Yorktown Folk Festival NONE
3-4pm ET 8-9pm David Kidman Song Circle  Workshop – Brigitte Kloareg
4-5pm ET 9-10pm Shanty Big Sing “Round the Horn”, til late – co-hosted Linn Phipps & Jim Lucas NONE

Session Details

Sara Banleigh: “Sea Shanties at the Movies: Maritime Songs in Film and Television”

Bob Zentz and Co: live from Yorktown Folk Festival

Jan Bee Brown storytelling and shanties: “Tha She Blows! – A Whale of a Tale” – the myths, legends and changing fortunes of the giants of the seas and of the men who went ‘fishing for the whale’ and the women and children left behind.

David Kidman Song Circle: “Poetry of the Sea” – song circle for songs expressing the sea’s poetic qualities and/or based on actual maritime poetry.

Trevor Clarke Song Circle: “Atlantic Trade”, including whaling and fishing.

Brigitte Kloareg:“Women and the Sea”: hear songs in Breton, French, Creole English etc.  and learn a song or two.

Linn Phipps & Jim Lucas: Shanty BigSing Number 6, themed on “Round the Horn”, til late.

Historical background to Room Names

– with thanks to Gail Finn

The Clipper ship, Morning Light (1,713 tons), was built in 1853 at the Tobey and Littlefield Shipyard, Noble’s Island, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA, for Glidden and Williams of Boston, Massachusetts. The Morning Light sailed as a “California” clipper for ten years, made four westbound Cape Horn passages and sailed from Boston to San Francisco in 131 days under the command of Captain Ed Knight, of the Queen of the Seas. In 1861, the Morning Light sailed from San Francisco to Callao, Peru to load guano (the excrement of seabirds and bats, used as fertilizer) for Queenstown. The Morning Light was sold in 1863 in London, England to James Baines & Co. and then renamed Queen of the South and was then used for the British colonial trade between Liverpool or London and Queensland, Australia, as part of the Black Ball Line.

The Clipper ship, Noonday (1,177 tons), in 1855, was the last clipper ship built at the Fernald & Pettigrew shipyard on Badger’s Island in the Piscataqua River, Kittery, Maine,USA. Noonday was built for Henry Hastings of Boston, Massachusetts, USA to deliver goods during the Gold Rush. Noonday’s hull was black with the name in gold letters at the bow and a gilded carving of the American flag and eagle on the stern. Noonday sank in 1863 on New Year’s Day, with no loss of life…just cargo, and was discovered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 2014, buried in mud, just west of San Francisco. The now charted rock that sunk her is called Noonday Rock.

After 151 years, wreck of Maine-built clipper ship found off California

Biographies for Performers and for Song Circle and Workshop leaders

Sara Banleigh is a singer, songwriter, and arranger of original and traditional folk music. Her debut album of traditional music from Ireland and the British Isles, The Folk EP, won an award from Sing Out! Magazine and was featured in their 2011 spring quarterly edition. Her newest album Secrets to Tell was released in February of 2019 and features her original folk music, along with her innovative arrangements of traditional folk material. It contains the sleeper hit Blue Bottles (Song for Lily), which has received extensive radio play, as well as Sara’s arrangement of the beloved traditional song Silver Dagger. Sara is a frequent performer at the New England Folk Festival (NEFFA), making her inaugural debut at the festival in 2017, and joining the roster for NEFFA’s first official online festival in 2021. She has performed at Lincoln Center and The Institute for Sacred Music at Yale University, and has been a proud artist-in-residence at NYC public schools, where she directs students in plays, performances and musicals, and teaches them historical folk music.

Bob Zentz is a prolific musician, and plays several dozen instruments with a repertoire of more than 2000 songs. Bob began performing professionally in his native Norfolk, Virginia, in 1962. Over the past 60 years he has served in the Coast Guard, written music for television, won awards for his songwriting, run a guitar shop and folklore center, hosted his own radio show, taught courses in traditional music, performed at folk festivals and maritime venues around the world, and recorded extensively. In 2007, at a symposium at the Library of Congress’ American Folklife Center honoring members of the Seeger family for their contributions to American music, music legend and humanitarian Pete Seeger asked Bob, “Are you still writing those good songs?  Your songs get around!”

In late 2016, Bob announced the donation of the first phase of his Folklife collection to Old Dominion University as well as the founding, with his partner  Jeanne McDougall, of the Ramblin’ Conrad Folklife Institute, to provide a place for all folk to explore the transmission of tradition among people, for people; to preserve documents, images, books, recordings, and other artifacts of folk production; and to unite people of all cultures by sharing and exploring our rich diversity while celebrating our commonality. The decade was capped by the announcement that Bob would be the first folk artist ever honored by a star in the Virginia “Legends of Music Walk of Fame” in his hometown of Norfolk VA, and the 2019 announcement that Bob would join his fellow Folk-Legacy Records artists on the new label Smithsonian Folk-Legacy, after the acquisition of Sandy and Caroline Paton’s beloved record label by Smithsonian Folkways.  From schools to concert halls, festivals to fairs, museums to libraries, and everywhere in between, Bob is dedicated to a life of presenting, performing and introducing traditional music and its derivatives to those who are already fans…and those unaware of its existence.

Jan Bee Brown: Living on Shetland Jan is a professional storyteller inspired by a sense of place, who loves telling stories on tall ships, on shore and singing songs of the sea. The Skipper of two shanty choirs, ‘The Dreadnought Shanty Crew’ online and the dementia-friendly ‘Shalder Shanty Singers’ on Shetland, Jan is passionate about equality and inclusion and the power of sharing stories and songs  in the community and in care settings and online.

Trevor Clarke is a committee member and webmaster for Lyceum Folk & Acoustic Club of Newport, South Wales.  Guitarist and keyboard player, Blues, Shanty, Ballad and Parody singer and songwriter.  Collector of all genres of music.

David Kidman is a UK-based singer, specialising in the chantey and maritime song repertoire over the past 20 years. I am a frequent attendee and song leader at the various online chantey sings including Portsmouth Maritime and Hyde Street, and part of the team of regular MCs at the London Shanty Collective’s zoom Singarounds. I also have an established track record in hosting/co-hosting and leading themed workshops and song-circles at online festivals staged on both sides of the pond.

Brigitte Kloareg is a traditional singer from Brittany who spent twenty years in the British Isles. A fluent Welsh-speaker, she sang with various Welsh bands at the fore-front of the traditional music revival in Wales in the 80s and 90s. She moved back to Brittany in 1999 and has been very active on the music scene both as a performer (concerts, poetic recitals, festoù-noz, singing sessions…) and as a voice and dance teacher in music schools as well as at the University of Western Brittany where she taught Welsh and a module on the intangible heritage of the Celtic countries. 

She is a versatile performer who works solo, in duos or trios with other singers (including her two daughters) and/or musicians (harp, flutes, melodeon, accordion, bandoneon, percussions, fiddle…). She sets contemporary poetry to her own music and gives poetic recitals. She performs in Breton, French, Welsh and English in Europe, the USA and Canada. She is also a storyteller and writes songs.

Jim Lucas just loves to sing!  Especially shanties and other folk songs, which I discovered more than 50 years ago. Although it’s never been my profession, singing solo, in groups’ nd simply along with others has been my passion ever since. Born and bred in the US, I’ve been living in Denmark for more than a quarter century, and I’ve also developed strong connections to Sweden.  Along with the singing, I’ve always tried to discover(I don’t call it “research”) as much as I could about the songs, singers, and singing traditions…  and then I like to share the songs and knowledge with others who are interested.  The songs are my first love, but I also love stories and tunes, and I play concertina and tin whistle.

Linn Phipps is a UK-based traditional singer in English and Gaelic.  During the pandemic period she has created a website, issued 5 CDs including “Silk and Leather” as The Sillertides with her US based co-sing partner, Doug Huggins, and a 2-CD set of piping songs and stories, Salute to Rona Lightfoot.  She has launched two Youtube channels, and led around 30 learn-song workshops in the UK, US and around the world. She is a frequent song circle Host at regular Sings and virtual Folk Festivals, and hosts a monthly international Celtic language ceilidh on zoom, Srùbag.  Linn has passionately loved the sea since she could walk and sings a variety of sea songs in Gaelic and in English.  As a shanty singer she recently enjoyed featuring in-person at the Oban International Shanty Festival, and she is co-hosting a series of Single-Shanty sings with Jim Lucas, sponsored by PMFF.  Linn is thrilled to be Co-ordinating this innovative Virtual programme.


We are delighted to open registration for the Virtual Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival. This is a free folk festival, donations to help meet costs are welcome to:  The Virtual PMFF will run on Zoom. Sign up to join us at the Festival and receive the joining link 24 hours prior to the event – apologies google form is not working for most people – please email Linn via Contact below. 


Any questions, please contact Virtual PMFF Co-ordinator Linn Phipps via her website or