Jay Ungar and Molly Mason visited IPR's Studio A today for an interview and performance. The two will perform tonight at Milliken Auditorium in Traverse City as part of the Dennos Museum Concert Series.
Mason and Ungar have been musical collaborators since the late 1970s, and they married in 1991. They perform and record traditional American folk music as well as original compositions. Ungar and Mason are best known for the Ashokan Farewell, a piece they originally recorded in the 1980s. Director Ken Burns used the Ashokan Farewell as the main theme in his PBS Civil War documentary (1990).
The two have recorded with many different artists, including flutist Sir James Galway, baritone Thomas Hampson, and Jay's daughter Ruthy Ungar, who is half of the duo Mike + Ruthy. They provided the soundtrack for the documentary Brother's Keeper and appeared regularly on A Prairie Home Companion.