Combine Erie Canal music with hot homemade soup and you have a perfect Saturday! Bring the family to the Niagara History Center, 215 Niagara St. in Lockport, for Soup and Song from 12-2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 6. You’ll enjoy “Songs and Stories of the Erie Canal,” the Canal music and musical knowledge of performer and teaching artist Dave Ruch, and a hot soup lunch.

Ruch is known as an interpreter of Erie Canal era music for all ages. He often performs at local schools and Canalside in Buffalo, and kids and adults alike love his music and humor. You won’t want to miss this entertainer who makes Canal music great fun for his audience.

Ruch will use audio of his own music and perform instrumental music to get us all singing and playing traditional Canal songs. He’ll demonstrate and teach us instruments like the washboard, bones, spoons and jaw harp, which harken back to the earliest Canal days.

His program will also offer historical tales from his research into the music and life of the Canal. The Erie Canal is the stuff of legend, so you can bet that we’ll hear some great stories told with humor.

A singer and instrumentalist for 35 years, Ruch is a specialist in the performance of traditional and historical music and folklore of New York State and North America. He released the solo CD “The Oldest Was Born First in 2008. He also founded and has been a member of The Canal Street String Band since 2010, which has released two CD’s. Ruch gives over 200 concerts and workshops each year for schools, libraries, music festivals, historical societies, museums and community events both at home and abroad.

He will appear through a grant with the New York State Council on the Humanities, as part of the Public Scholar program. Admission to Ruch’s program, which follows lunch, is free.

We’ll serve lunch at noon and offer several varieties of hot soup, bread, desserts and beverages. We request a donation of $5 per person for lunch.

Attendance is limited to the first 60 people, so please make your reservations now by calling the History Center at (716) 434-7433. Then get ready to enjoy great soup, plus Canal music fun with Dave Ruch, for your lunch at the History Center!

PHOTO: Musician Dave Ruch will present the songs, instruments and stories of the Erie Canal at Niagara History Center’s “Soup and Song,” Saturday, Feb. 6, from 12-2 p.m.

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