Last Minute Folk Concert Series welcomes Ellen Bukstel for her first visit to the LMF Concert Stage on Saturday October 8th, 2016.

From Menopause to Marijuana! …Peace to Politics! …Poignant to Provocative! …Ellen Bukstel writes and sings about it all! This type of happy-sad, life embracing, fear-overcoming emotional schizophrenia truly captures the spirit of modern independent music making—whatever the artist feels in that moment, she shares…and whatever else Ellen is, she’s not shy about it. For Bukstel, music is a way of expressing her joys, her sorrows and her passions —bringing her listeners to tears and laughter and sometime both at the same time.

Ellen is a multifaceted, award winning songwriter/entertainer with a flare for the audacious! She’ll crack you up with her wit and unabashed honesty in her songs about kids, partnerships and the inevitable aging process. Then turn your head and heart with poignant songs about freedom, tolerance and taking a stand!
-Mindy Simmons Singer Songwriter / President, Sarasota Folk Club

Renowned as an activist who puts her passions to song, Ellen has been commissioned to write songs and produced numerous multiple award winning fundraising music videos which have collectively helped to raise almost one hundred million dollars since 2006 and are being used as tools to raise awareness of important social issues.

Her songwriting journey began after losing her husband Doug Segal to AIDS in 1988. Doug was a hemophiliac who contacted HIV from his blood products and died at age 36 leaving Ellen with their three children Brett, Todd and Margo. Doug and Ellen spoke out publicly hundred of times sharing their personal story in schools, churches, synagogues, educating the community about AIDS.

Ellen expresses her imagination with her beautiful voice, guitar and keyboard. Her award winning songs chronicle the joys and sorrows of a colorful tapestry still being woven…She conveys love and a depth of concern for the ever-increasing threats to our world and to our own individual rights. All this is related to the audience through a brave, though humorous and earthy connection between the world of musical performance and that of the social “bard” or “troubadour” from which the most powerful and relevant strand of folk music derives it’s roots. It’s not an act. It’s real.





susan picking 1


Looking forward to our next show with Susan Leigh Picking returning to the LMF stage on Saturday, September 10th, 206 at 7:30pm.

As part of a grant project with Last Minute Folk and ArtsConnect Topeka, Susan will be performing for the Topeka Children’s Discovery Center during her visit. Check with the Discovery Center for date and time of program.(http://www.kansastravel.org/topeka/kansasdiscoverycenter.htm).

Here’s a video of her work with kids in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Susan Leigh Picking is a Midwestern gal with Pacific Western cool. She worked her west from her native Michigan on a circuitous path. She Earned a BA in Broadcast Journalism from The University of Wisconsin, and spent several years on the slopes of Colorado. Susan instructed skiing in the Rocky Mountains at Copper Mountain Ski Resort. Her love of the slopes and passion for travel sent her to the Southern Hemisphere chasing winter on the South Island of New Zealand. She landed in Long Beach California using it as her home base in between trips as a flight attendant.

On arrival in Southern California she found the inspiration to explore her musical self. As a youth Susan began studying piano and cello. It wasn’t until her move out west that she discovered her voice. Her music studies brought her to the Commercial Music program at Long Beach City College earning certificates in Songwriting and Vocal Performance. This musical immersion confirmed Picking’s life passion of music.

In recent years Picking has made her name proud by learning to play, pick, and strum the ukulele. She has added this instrument to her musical repertoire with her own unique musical stylings. Most recently her musical studies have drawn her to Sound Healing and Sound Therapy. She frequently pairs with inspirational speakers providing background and inspirational music for meditation, hypnosis, holistic healing, yoga, and self empowerment recordings as well as workshops.

Susan has received praise for her moving melodies and stirring lyrics which reflect a deep soul. Susan’s songs are about life, but not as we usually think of life. She cajoles the listener to see the quirky underbelly. Her wistful wit comes through a voice rich with lovely cadences, one might even hear a hint of an Irish lilt. Susan Picking is influenced by 70’s folk rock…..with the likes of Carole King, James Taylor, Van Morrison, Billy Joel, and Joni Mitchell. Susan Picking on the piano, has been likened to Carole King, Natalie Merchant. Sarah McLaughlin, and Norah Jones. On the Uke you might draw likeness in style to Patti Griffin, Alison Krause, or Celtic singer Niamh Parsons. Her arrangements are Americana influenced …….based in folk, pop, jazz, blues, bluegrass, and maybe even a little Celtic.