Diane offers unique programs that explore various eras through the music of the time. She wears clothing she has sewn by hand from reproduction fabrics, adding a striking visual element to her performance. She accompanies her singing on instruments similar to those played hundreds of years ago, and her approach to the music reflects the way it would have been heard at the time.
We know a lot about the rich and famous in history, but we have much less information about the lives of common folk, who have always made up the vast majority of people. Women, especially, left behind few written records. One way to peek into their lives is through folk songs, which deal with an amazing range of topics. The brightest joys and deepest sorrows appear in surprisingly frank language, in songs that span all emotions: lively or serene, rude or contemplative, tender or boastful, mournful or gleeful, despairing or romantic, devout or irreverent.
Listening to songs created by people who lived through momentous events adds a compelling depth of understanding about the way men and women of ordinary means lived, loved, and thought about themselves and their place in the world.
Click on a program to learn more:
For the holidays, Diane offers a fascinating program of Christmas music from the Victorian era, when many of today's familiar carols were written or revived. Diane creates a festive mood, clad in the highly decorative clothing of the mid-1800s, the era of Charles Dickens. Her hoop-skirted gown contains more than seven yards of fabric! There are many chances to sing along as Diane explains the origins of beloved holiday songs. Click on the title to learn more.
Programs usually last about an hour, but they can be expanded or shortened as needed. They can also be adapted to suit various themes. In July 2015 and 2016 Diane performed at a Yale University seminar, giving an overview of the many types of music heard in the Colonial era. She explored the life of Rev. Adonijah Bidwell for the Bidwell House Museum in the Berkshires, and she presented the history of Old Glory for a Flag Day celebration. She has also visited schools to explain how to write a ballad and to consider life in the 1700s through the five senses.
Fees are flexible, depending on travel and program length.
References are available on request. For more information or to book any of these performances, please contact us.
"A Diane Taraz concert provides an extraordinary, and revealing, entry into the life of the American past. Don't miss the chance!"
-- John Demos, Professor of History, Yale University (2015)
"Everyone at the Garden Party enjoyed 'Waving the Flag of Freedom.' People were amazed at the knowledge of history you had and shared with us in song and storytelling. Thank you for making this the best Garden Party that the Dover Historical Society has ever had, as expressed by many folks."
-- Janet Comiskey-Giannini, Curator, Dover Historical Society (2014)
"Diane Taraz performed for a group of over 350 at our convention. Every person in the room was riveted! The combination of historical storytelling and song was intriguing and entertaining, and her amazing voice captured our hearts."
-- Jessie Cope, Convention Planner, National Grange (2013)