LCC Presents Ken Waldman & Willi Carlisle: Real Alaska to the Ozarks

Published on March 19, 2021


7 p.m., Saturday, May 22 

Tickets start at $27 and go on sale April 1 at or 303-987-7845 


In a special outdoor performance, Alaska’s fiddling poet Ken Waldman teams up with southern folk singer and multi-instrumentalist Willi Carlisle for an evening of old-time string-band music, original poetry, down-home storytelling and soulful Americana. Don’t miss the good fiddling at Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park, 801 S. Yarrow St., at 7 p.m. on May 22.

Ken Waldman returns to Lakewood with his signature sound and storytelling that draws on 35 years as an Alaska resident. A former college professor with an MFA in creative writing, Waldman is a timely, published poet whose Appalachian style fiddle playing provides a rich backdrop for his poems and stories. He’s been a visiting writer at nearly 100 colleges and universities, a visiting artist at over 240 schools in 35 states and has led writing workshops from Alaska to Maine. The Boston Globe says Waldman “might tempt you to plan a road trip with a journal under one arm and a fiddle under the other." As a performer, he has played everywhere from the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage to Berkeley’s Freight and Salvage, occasionally as a soloist but more often as the leader of one of his ever-changing troupes of nationally recognized musicians.

Waldman brings with him Willi Carlisle, a multifaceted writer, performer and instrumentalist who is, according to The Guardian, “The greatest Americana artist you’ve never heard of. A storytelling titan in triple denim.” With a style forged in the fire of Ozark old-time music and his ever-growing collection of antique music and new songs, Carlisle’s stories hoot, stomp and saunter through joys and troubles uniquely southern and timelessly true. Equally at home on the banjo, accordion, fiddle, guitar and harmonica, Carlisle has earned accolades for his versatility with performances in the UK, Canada and across the US, appearing with acts such as Dom Flemons, Mary Gauthier, Los Texmaniacs, Carson McHone and more. Carlisle is recording a new album featuring a dozen tall tales, folksongs and cowboy ballads, to be released in late 2021 and produced by Grammy winner Joel Savoy.

Tickets for LCC Presents Ken Waldman and Willi Carlisle start at $27 and go on sale April 1 at 303-987-7845 or Concertgoers can bring their own chairs or blankets for lawn seating at the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Amphitheater, located at Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park. Jefferson County Public Health guidelines will be strictly followed, to include limited capacity, distanced seating and mask requirements.

Waldman will also share his craft in the workshop, “Four Writing Prompts: The Beginning of Four New Stories or Poems,” which will teach creative writers of all levels how to start a new piece. Two workshops will be held at Heritage Lakewood on May 22, at 10 a.m. for adults and at 1:30 p.m. for teens. Each two-hour session is $25 per person and registration is available at

LCC Presents Ken Waldman and Willi Carlisle: Real Alaska to the Ozarks is supported by a grant from WESTAF, the National Endowment for the Arts and SCFD.