2017-06-08 / Upcoming Events


It was 13 years ago when Bill Knapp came across boxes of music as he was rummaging through the basement of a Wakefield consignment store.

The music once was owned by the Spencer Orchestra, a band that entertained Rhode Island resort guests years before Marconi captured the Nobel Prize.

“I think I paid $10 for all of them,” Knapp said.

With radio in its infancy during those days, listening to music was a pastime predominantly experienced live. Those sounds, forged during the turn of the 20th century, didn’t have the luxuries of MTV, iPods and Bluetooth, which is why that music is unrecognizable to many Americans born after World War II.

In Jamestown, however, it’s alive and well.

After sorting through the relics, Knapp discovered about 100 arrangements, some partial, some complete. That was the impetus for Tres Moutarde, a seven-piece band that will perform from 1-3 p.m. Saturday at the Jamestown Community Farm. The tango, one-step and waltz, Knapp said, is complemented perfectly by the roaming chickens and sprawling fields, which captures life in the early 20th century.

Soon after forming the band, Knapp was volunteering for Bob Sutton at the farm when the two discussed having Tres Moutarde become the house band.

“We were amused and liked the idea,” Knapp said. “The ethos of the farm and the time period of the music seem to match. In short, Tres Moutarde and its relation to the farm happened because one never knows what’s around the corner.”

The founding members of Tres Moutarde, which is French for “too much mustard,” were Knapp, late pianist Bill Murray and cellist Ann Zartler, but only Knapp remains. Featured on the CD, “American Music for Small Orchestra from Another Time,” are Knapp, who plays the treble and baritone concertinas, pianist Janet Grant, flautist Cheryl Rebecchi, violinist Mary Moroney, bass clarinetist Tom Pederson and clarinetists Bob Saunders and Fred Basso.

“The personnel has grown and changed throughout the years,” said Knapp, who’s met the member through the community band. “We use substitutes, but basically the personnel has been unchanged for the last six or so years.”

There will be light refreshments at the free concert and CDs will be available. Indian head pennies, Knapp, will be accepted.

— Tim Riel

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