Live Music Cruises

Book Your Trip
Dates Price
May 22 - 25, 2021 w/ Bennett Konesni & The Vox Hunters $895
July 26 - 31, 2021 w/ Geoff Kaufman $1345
August 26 - 28, 2021 w/ Bennett Konesni & the Gawler Family Band $871

All prices are listed per person and include lodging, meals, and shore excursions. 

Music, Dance, and Storytelling Cruises

These live music cruise adventures will be full with talent from all over New England. This year, we welcome Geoff Kaufman, Bennett Konesni, and the Gawler Family Band back for another summer of singing the work songs that make raising the sails a breeze! For the first time this spring, we will be joined by The Vox Hunters, for open air concerts in the evenings brought to you from the deck of the J. & E. Riggin.

Trip cost includes your lodging, meals, shore excursions, and contra dance fees. 

The Vox Hunters Photo by Ann Coultier

Bennett Konesni & The Vox Hunters

Shantyman/Farmer Bennett Konesni was raised in Maine and was naturally drawn into the strong communities of traditional music, art, and farming in the area. At thirteen he shipped as a deckhand aboard local schooners, spending five summers sailing Penobscot Bay and learning the work songs of the tall ships as he raised sails and hauled anchors. After college he was awarded a Thomas J Watson fellowship to spend a year studying worksongs of sea, field and steppe in 9 countries. 

Today he is the founder/director of The Worksong Project ( whose mission is to encourage a world where people sing boldly while getting work done. His unique “Mighty Worksong Community Chorus” meets online and is centered around his farm in Belfast, Maine. When not in a pandemic the chorus meets on farms, in forests, on trails, and on his 38’ Bantry Bay Gig, a 10-oar rowboat where members revive old shanties and other worksongs, fitting them to modern working circumstances.    

Bennett has given a Ted-Talk about his work, and speaks, teaches, and performs throughout North America and Europe as an individual and as parts of several bands, including as a cultural ambassador for the US State Department. This year he is honored to perform for the Library of Congress’ American Folklife Center in Washington, DC. He was also a deckhand on the J. & E. Riggin during the 2000 sailing season, and has been sharing his fun approach to music and work with Riggin guests since 2016.

The Vox Hunters

Hailing from the ocean state of Rhode Island, The Vox Hunters (Armand Aromin and Benedict Gagliardi) are seekers and singers of old songs, cultivators of local music, and chronic multi-instrumentalists. They are a pair of the strongest tradition-bearers of their generation and are regularly invited to some of the country’s best festivals and gatherings of folk musicians, including the Mystic Sea Music Festival, the Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival, and Pinewoods Folk Madness. Their genuine affinity for the music is evident in the emotion they draw from it. With a pair of oft-harmonizing voices tastefully garnished with fiddle, free-reeds, tenor guitar, and the gentle step-dancing feet of Armand, The Vox Hunters offer an all-natural connection to the living tradition of folk music.

Bennett says:

“I would add that these two are incredibly fun, cut from the same cloth as the Gawler Family, and I’ve been impressed with the way they infuse their deep knowledge of tradition with their own humorous innovations and additions to old songs. It is this spark that makes music great, and it is my pleasure to introduce Benedict and Armand to the J. & E. Riggin community. I know they’ll fit right in.”


Sea Shanties and Stories with Geoff Kaufman 

For the past thirty years, Geoff Kaufman has been leading audiences to find truth, humor, and beauty in folk music. Geoff has entertained and touched audiences near and far singing songs of the sea, songs of the earth, songs of the heart and the spirit.

Ancient ballads, work songs, and songs of love; poignant songs of people in struggle, humorous glimpses of human foibles, and insights into history—all of these are likely to be woven into Geoff’s performance on the Maine Windjammer, Schooner J. & E. Riggin.

To learn more about Geoff Kaufman please visit Geoff’s albums are available in the Ship’s Store.



Bennett Konesni & the Gawler Family Band

Joining your trip will be Edith & Bennett who will sing and share stories as you sail along the Maine Coast. Each night we will anchor in a harbor and join the Gawler Family Band for concerts, contra dancing, and an all around good time. Don’t forget to pack your dancing shoes! 

This dynamic duo is at the forefront of the American northern roots music revival. They play ancient fiddle tunes from the immigrants to their cold and snowy home state of Maine, most notably those from Scandinavia. And they heat things up with spicy field hollers and rip-snorting bluegrass and banjo tunes from the American South. As recognized music scholars, they have researched, collected, and sung the songs of farmers and woodsmen of Maine and from over a dozen countries. They can often be found out hollering worksongs in their fields with their crew on their own farm. In addition to worksongs, they have a passion for barn dances and bring together communities for dances on farms and in community buildings throughout the USA and into Canada. Noted for their lively stage presence and wry humor, they carry the torch of American traditional music forward with great technical ability and engaging performances that audiences love.

Native Mainer Edith Gawler grew up a member of the legendary Gawler Family Band.  She plays fiddle, banjo and upright bass, and belts out songs in a rich sonorous alto. Also, raised in Maine, Bennett Konesni runs the family farm, Duckback Farm, where they grow gourmet garlic, teas, and culinary herbs.  He runs, where he shares his 20 years of worksong research and development.

John and Ellen Gawler and their daughters Molly, Edith, and Elsie bring you an assortment of old and new sounds from many folk traditions. They accompany interweaving family harmonies with fiddles, banjo, wooden banjo, cello, guitar, ukulele and piano as well as a few surprises. 

Whether they are crooning a poignant ballad or delivering a rollicking fiddle tune, their unique arrangements are especially engaging and often go along with anecdotes of historical or humorous content.

Although the Gawlers may be best known for their extensive collection of dance tunes in the Scots-Irish and French Canadian traditions, their repertoire may include a gutsy ‘ Sweet Honey in the Rock’ a capella worksong or an amusing ode to everyday life.