You're invited to the Santa Cruz Celtic Slow Sessions, three free get-togethers every month, where you can enjoy playing and learning jigs, reels, slides, hornpipes, polkas, mazurkas, and slow airs at slow to moderate speeds with a great group of people of all ages and skill levels.
The first-Sunday-of-the-month Celtic Slow Session meets from 1-3pm at Deli-licious, 2-1505 E. Cliff Drive, in the East Cliff Village Shopping Center. This session was started particularly for people who thought the 3rd-Sunday session was too fast, but welcomes everyone and has been a great success.
The second-Sunday-of-the-month moderate/intermediate-speed session meets from 7-9pm at the Britannia Arms Pub in Aptos.
The third-Sunday-of-the-month Celtic Slow Session meets from 2-4pm at The Buttery bakery and cafe near downtown Santa Cruz.
"Foinn Session" tunebooks of 116 tunes commonly played at the sessions are sold at the 3rd-Sunday sessions for $15, and you can now download and print the 1006-tune "King Street Sessions Tunebook" for free — many thanks to Michael Long for putting the book together and now putting it online as well! Of course you can also always play by ear or look on with someone else.
Fiddles, mandolins, and guitars are the most common instruments, but you'll also find pennywhistles, flutes, concertinas/accordions, bodhrans, ukulele, and sometimes even bagpipes, cello, or harp.
Everyone sits in a circle and takes turns picking a tune and tempo, and no one gets annoyed if a tune gets messed up and has to be restarted, or if people drop out and then join back in as they lose and find their places in a tune.
You can join the Santa Cruz Celtic Slow Sessions announcement mailing list to receive monthly email reminders for the slow and moderate/intermediate-speed sessions, along with occasional pertinent notices:
Facebook users can join the Santa Cruz Celtic Slow Sessions Facebook group.
Google+ users can join/add/circle the Santa Cruz Celtic Slow Sessions Google+ page.