Sunnyside Singers Club hosted by Donie Carroll and Steve Suffet brings special guests Bonnie and Dan Milner, Join these amazing voices of the folk music community in an evening of maritime songs and more!
Bonnie & Dan Milner have performed together at Lincoln Center’s Roots of American Music Festival, the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, and other important cultural institutions. They encourage audience participation in sharing their love of folk song.
Connecticut native Bonnie Milner has been singing all her life, most notably as a member of the internationally acclaimed all-woman maritime song group The Johnson Girls. Her interest in sea songs was sparked by hearing shanties sung at South Street Seaport Museum in New York and Mystic Seaport, and carried further by her acquaintance with the last working shantyman in the Age of Sail, Stan Hugill, one of her important mentors. He exhorted her to “keep these ditties alive” and she took him at his word. Her music interest centers on unaccompanied Irish ballads, which have come to her through field recordings and from singers met abroad, most notably on the Inishowen Peninsula of Co. Donegal. She carries love and respect for the old singers and cherishes their enduring styles.
Blessed with a keen ear for a fine song and a clear sense of its cultural context, Dan Milner has been involved in the Irish song tradition all his life. The son of a traditional singer, he was partly raised in Ireland, England, Canada and the United States. Dan is a former ranger at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and the Statue of Liberty, a writer for Irish Music magazine of Dublin, Voices: New York Folklore Quarterly, and Sing Out! Other credits include a classic book of Irish and British folk songs entitled The Bonnie Bunch of Roses (Oak Publications, 1983). His latest recordings, made for the Smithsonian Institution are Irish Pirate Ballads & Other Songs of the Sea and Civil War Naval Songs. Dan is an adjunct professor of geography at St. John’s University in New York City.