GuitarWitt and the Acclaimed Santa Barbara Folk Orchestra

Tickets are selling fast! Be sure to get your tickets in advance. The Scottish program is expected to be our best yet! 2 Shows! At El Presidio de Santa Barbara, 125 E. Canon Perdido St.
Thursday, November 30, 7:30-9:30pm GET TIX NOW!!
&  Sunday, December 3, 4:00-6:00pm  SOLD OUT!!!
The final program of the Folk Orchestra's inaugural season is Scottish! Come and enjoy the gorgeous acoustics of the Presidio and join us for a tasty beer from Telegraph Brewing at intermission.
Flower of Scotland, Scotland the Brave, Ca the Yowes, The Skye Boat Song (Outlander Theme) and MANY MORE! Here are links to the TWO DIFFERENT event pages: 


GuitarWitt warming up on his Larrivée Guitar before his folk orchestra performance at the El Presidio Chapel. The acoustics are incredible at this historic venue, built in 1782, with about 30 amazing acoustic musicians at the helm of SBFO Director, Adam Phillips. This is truly a unique experience for both the musicians and the audience, which we encourage participation. Thanks to our sponsors, such as craft brewery - Telegraph Brewing and the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation.

Santa Barbara Courthouse Wedding Performance of Freight Train

Michael learned this song when he learned Travis Picking method early in his classical guitar career and the song has become a versatile piece with very deep meaning and connection to his life. Folk blues tradition runs in the Witt family's history and Michael spent part of his musical academia career living in Chapel Hill, North Carolina where Elizabeth Cotten was from. The lyrics have deep meaning...

The composer and original performer of Freight Train, Elizabeth "Libba" Cotten (née Nevills) (January 5, 1893 – June 29, 1987) was an American blues and folk musician, singer, and songwriter.

A self-taught left-handed guitarist, Cotten developed her own original style. She played a guitar strung for a right-handed player, but played it upside down, as she was left-handed. This position required her to play the bass lines with her fingers and the melody with her thumb. Her signature alternating bass style has become known as "Cotten picking".

The guitar, a Sears and Roebuck brand instrument, cost $3.75. Although self-taught, she became proficient at playing the instrument. By her early teens she was writing her own songs, one of which, "Freight Train", became one of her most recognized. She wrote the song in remembrance of a nearby train that she could hear from her childhood home. The 1956 UK recording of the song by Chas. McDevitt and Nancy Whiskey was a major hit and is credited as one of the main influences on the rise of skiffle in the UK. See GuitarWitt's repertoire page for more songs arranged for instrumental guitar that will work for your joyous event, or wedding.

Wedding performance at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse (above).

5th Annual FEED THE FUNK Benefit Concert at Soho Music Club

Join us for the most unique line up we've ever had! Only $15 ($20 Door) to see some amazing live entertainment at Soho on Saturday, September 16, 6:30-11:30pm. Support Teen performing arts in our community and catch some incredibly talented headliners: The Big Whoo, and Distant Cousins!  GET TIX HERE


This year’s Feed the Funk welcomes all ages from 6:30-9:00 pm to enjoy dinner and teen entertainment. Be sure to make dinner reservations via Soho Music Club. Tables are filling fast!

The Jewish Federation’s Teen Comedy Club will kick off the event to warm up the crowd, featuring emcee Louise Palanker, and comedy headliner Tom Clark (@tomclarkcomedy) followed by the Cate School Jazz Band, and other great teen performances.

The Big Whoo (9:10-10:10pm): John Whoolilurie has founded several bands and released a live-loop duo record under the name of Whoolilicious. He currently works as composer and producer at Select Studio, performs and records as a freelance multi-instrumentalist, and has recently started a new band called The Big Whoo. A lover of all music, John’s group of talented Santa Barbara musicians plays funky, eclectic grooves that rock. Also, help us celebrate John's birthday at his The Big Whoo's Feed the Funk performance!

This year’s headlining act (10:15-11:45pm) with a new album releasing this Fall, Distant Cousins is multi-layered collaboration of three songwriters/producers/performers; cousin Ami, cousin Dov, and cousin Duvid. Feels like singing along with family! Based out of Los Angeles, Distant Cousins was the grand prize winner of the 2015 USA Songwriting Competition.
Feed the Funk is an annual Santa Barbara community outreach event that seeks to highlight the importance of educational development through music and performance based art. Feed the Funk benefit concert supports local teen mentorship arts and music programs, including the Jewish Federation’s Teen Comedy Club.  More details on facebook