Although rainy weather kept Craicdown, a trio of musicians, from performing in Weaver Street Market’s annual Jazz and More Sunday Brunch series on Oct. 13, the band plans to reschedule their performance.
Despite threatening dark clouds and misting rain, students worked on laptops, couples enjoyed pancake breakfasts and friends talked animatedly with one another. But Oren Mechanic, a 26-year-old doctoral student at the School of Medicine at the UNC-Chapel Hill, said something was missing.
“The band for this week sounded awesome,” he said. “I come here every Sunday for the food and music – it’s too bad there’s not going to be a band at all.”
The Jazz Brunch began in 1998 as a way to showcase local talent, Weaver Street Market events coordinator Linda Fullwood said. Each Sunday from May to October, a different band takes the stage – or the lawn – at 11 a.m.
Drew Cabaniss, 20, is a junior at UNC-CH and said he heard about Craicdown’s performance from a friend.
“I don’t know much about the band, but Weaver Street usually has some really good people to come out,” he said.
Fullwood co-founded the Jazz Brunch and said bands of all genres perform in the series.
“It started out as the Jazz Brunch, but we have so much local talent that we needed a venue for lower-key or fewer member bands to be able to play,” Fullwood said. “We started incorporating different genres of music into the Jazz Brunch, so we call it Jazz Brunch and More.”
Fullwood, a 57-year-old Chapel Hill resident, already selected bands for the remainder of the series, which ends Oct. 20, but said she and the members of Craicdown will discuss a later date for the band to perform at Weaver Street Market.
Fullwood said she invited Craicdown to perform because of their popularity, uniqueness and history with programs at Weaver Street Market. David DiGiuseppe, 61, lives in Chapel Hill and plays the accordion in the band. He has become a familiar face at Weaver Street Market since it opened 15 years ago.
“We love playing at Carrboro and Weaver Street Market,” DiGiuseppe said. “There’s such a communal sense. There are just so many great people, so many artistic people and musicians.”
DiGiuseppe, Rob Sharer and Jim Roberts make up the Craicdown trio. Each member plays a variety of instruments, from the accordion and Irish flute to African drums and the mandolin. DiGiuseppe said the band defines its music as “world acousticana.”
“There’s really no easy way to describe our music,” he said. “We’re influenced by so many different genres. Our repertoire is unlike any other band.”
The accordionist said cultures including Irish, Brazilian, Argentinean and Americano inspire Craicdown’s music. Rob Sharer, Craicdown’s vocalist and guitarist, and DiGiuseppe share a common interest in Irish music.
“There’s been a lot of interest in Irish music for many, many years,” DiGiuseppe said. “Musicians from Ireland came to the states and they kept their music tradition alive. Consequently, it was introduced to folk musicians in this country.”
The band’s music mixes different cultural influences through instrumentation. Each instrument contributes something unique to the band.
“All three members bring an important tone of voice to the band,” DiGiuseppe said. “With Jim on percussion, he’s not just in the background. He’s not just playing a rhythm behind what’s going on – he’s creating a whole percussive texture that’s an important part of our sound.”
DiGiuseppe said the trio enjoys introducing people to a different type of music than what they hear on the radio and was disappointed to cancel their performance at Weaver Street Market.
“It’s kind of a drag for us,” he said. “We enjoy playing, but you’ve got to roll with the punches.”
Jerry Oster, a 70-year-old Chapel Hill resident, agreed with DiGiuseppe. The retiree said he and his wife’s Sunday plans did not change because of the cancellation.
“We usually come here, have pancakes and then we go for a walk in the woods,” he said. “This is our routine, band or no band. It doesn’t stop us.”