Arts & Culture

Common Fence Music presents Emmy-nominated Jay Ungar and Molly Mason

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — Common Fence Music will present Emmy-nominated duo, Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, in concert. 

The concert will be held Saturday, March 11, at 8 p.m. Doors will open at 7 p.m. The concert will take place at the Common Fence Point Hall, 933 Anthony Road.

Tickets to the show are $28 in advance, $30 at the door. Tickets and information may be obtained at, or at by searching Common Fence Music. Tickets will also be available for purchase at the door.

In their first performance at Common Fence Music in nine years, fiddler Jay Ungar and guitarist and pianist Molly Mason will exhibit their incredible talent and mastery of American folk music styles.

With a particular expertise in the music of Civil War era America, these favorites of the Common Fence Music family have a repertoire that spans 19th-century folk and Appalachian tunes, country, Cajun, Celtic and even orchestral music.

Since coming together in the late 1970s, they have garnered much respect within the folk community for both their performance acumen and famed Fiddle & Dance Camps held at the Ashokan Center near Woodstock, NY.

In the 1980s, Jay and Molly formed a collaborative relationship with filmmaker Ken Burns, contributing to the soundtracks of many of his films and documentary series. 

Most notably, Jay’s composition Ashoken Farewell (which was inspired by his educational activities) became the keystone to the Grammy Award-winning soundtrack to Burns’ PBS documentary series The Civil War, earning the pair international acclaim and an Emmy-nomination.

Since then, Jay and Molly have been featured on Great Performances, Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, NPR’s All Things Considered, and soundtracks to films such as Brother’s Keeper and Legends of the Fall.

They have also had the honor of performing at the White House for two sitting Presidents. They continue to perform and tour as a duo, as well as in the Jay Ungar & Molly Mason Family Band, which includes their daughter, fiddle and ukelele-player Ruth Ungar Merenda, and son-in-law, guitarist and banjo-player Michael Merenda (Mike + Ruthy).

They remain especially dedicated to their educational work both at the Ashoken Center and around the country, where they deliver programs that teach about the history of American music from the Civil War and post-Civil war eras.

Jay and Molly’s performance at Common Fence Music is part of the Common Fence Music Picnic Series. Concert-goers are invited to bring food and beverages to enjoy during the performances. Seasonal soups, homemade refreshments and soft-drinks will also be available for purchase. The hall is fully accessible.

Common Fence Music is a non-profit arts organization founded in 1993 with the mission to make folk, roots and world music performances and educational activities accessible to Aquidneck Island and Southern New England communities. For more information about Common Fence Music, please visit, or call (401)683-5085


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