Become a Sponsor!


     Click on image to sponsor us!

Sailor's Prayer


2016 Chicago Maritime Festival Featured Performers

William Pint and Felicia Dale

“The North American pair provides decidedly different entertainment in the world of maritime music. They deliver dynamic vocals and instrumental fireworks, early music to modern, traditional to contemporary, heart-wrenching to downright silly, with powerful harmonies and dramatic instrumental work on guitar, mandolin, penny whistles and hurdy-gurdy. Their material is well researched, authentic and from the heart.” -- Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival, UK

Dan and Bonnie Milner

As a duo, Dan and Bonnie bring together their enjoyment and vast experience in performing a broad range of shanties and forecastle songs from many times and traditions.

Dan has been involved in Irish traditional song all his life as a singer, author, collector, organizer, and teacher and with shanty singing and maritime ballads on both sides of the Atlantic. He is also the author of a wonderful book of folk songs called The Bonnie Bunch of Roses, and his Folk-Legacy recording, Irish Ballads & Songs of the Sea with Louis Killen, Mick Moloney, Bob Conroy and others, is a classic. More recently, Dan released Irish Pirate Ballads on Smithsonian Folkways. He also ran a weekly traditional music club at Malachy McCourt's Bells of Hell and The Eagle Tavern in New York for 10 years.

Bonnie is a member of the highly acclaimed a cappella shanty group The Johnson Girls founded was founded in 1997 just after the Sea Music Festival at the Mystic Seaport Museum.  They have been featured at all the major maritime festivals in the United States as well as folk and maritime festivals across Europe and have several recordings to their credit.

 Larry Kaplan

Larry’s songs are loved by audiences around the world telling poignant stories in song, written in the truest folk tradition, honest, highly singable, and always memorable. “Old Zeb”, “Song for Gale", “Song for The Bowdoin",” John”, “Get Her Into Shore“,  and “Selling The Isabel” are just a few examples of his extensive song bag holding some of the best contemporary ballads from New England’s waterways and along its shores.  He has also played a significant role in helping to bring the music collected by the late E. Gale Huntington, of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts to scholars, performers, and collectors alike, who share a love for the songs sung and shared by sailors and whalers across many oceans. Born in Boston, Larry grew up in Maine and Massachusetts and now calls both London, England and Essex, Connecticut home. He worked for many years on traditional schooners from Maine, sailed on and helped restore the Schooner Bowdoin, and has released two CDs through Folk Legacy Records, Worth All The Telling and Songs For An August Moon.A third Folk Legacy release is planned later in the spring.  A multi-instrumentalist and fine singer, this is Larry’s first appearance at the Chicago Maritime Festival.

Tom and Chris Kastle


Their songs and stories reflect their lives as singers, sailors, and travelers. As a duo, they toured throughout the United States as well as in Canada, Europe, and New Zealand. Tom has served as captain aboard several Great Lakes tall ships, was the Narrator for the Candid Concert Opera Company, has recently embarked upon an acting career, and tours internationally as a musician. Chris has served as the Director of Education at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum in Florida, is currently a multidisciplinary teaching artist for VSAFL, an affiliate of the Kennedy Center, and tours nationally as singer, storyteller, and author. They are founders and directors of the Chicago Maritime Festival.,

Special Guests

This year special guests will also be performing during the concert and daytime activities.

Bounding Main

A vocal group that sings richly harmonic versions of traditional maritime songs. Their shows are filled with spirit, humor, and harmony; their arrangements of traditional nautical music bring the listener into the world of fellowship, adventure, and romance. The members of the group, Dean Calin, David Yondorf, Gina Dalby, Christie Dalby, Jon Krivitzky, are music and theater veterans with diverse entertainment backgrounds. They have performed at music and maritime festivals, tall ships events, museums, renaissance faires, and folk music venues in the Midwest and in Europe; their four CDs have been well received on both sides of the

David HB Drake

David serves as musician and historian for Wisconsin’s Flagship, the schooner Denis Sullivan, in his homeport of Milwaukee. He performs at many Maritime and Tall Ship Festivals, has served as shantyman, educator, and performer aboard the HMS Bounty, and sung with Pete Seeger aboard the environmental sloop Clearwater. David, known for his well-researched and excellent original songs about the waterways, continues the time-honored maritime tradition of sailors gone before in the spirit of remembrance and celebration. He has several recordings to his credit.

Chris Maden

Chris has been singing and playing a variety of instruments since early childhood. A native New Englander, he was lured to the Barbary Coast of San Francisco seeking dot-com plunder, but was instead shanghaied into the seedy world of sea music by a bunch of pirates from Providence, and became a regular at the chantey sings at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. He moved to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in 2008 and began pursuing maritime and traditional music more seriously. The winds have blown hard, and he now finds himself far from shore and living in Urbana, Illinois.

Spitzer Space Telescope & Mareva

This duo is a fiercely passionate and commanding vocal group with a deep repertoire of sea shanties and ballads of the British Isles, who draw inspiration from the Watersons, the Young Tradition, Smithsonian recordings and their peers. They will be featured performers at the Mystic Seaport Sea Music festival this year.

The HardTackers Shanty Crew

The HardTackers Shanty Crew is based in Columbus, Ohio. Performing as a quintet, they will sing songs about seas, lakes, rivers, canals--anything wet. People sometimes ask, "Columbus, Ohio...what sea is that on?" To which they reply, "The wind may be from the prairie, but the music is from the water." Ohio has a long and proud tradition of water transportation, bounded on the north by Lake Erie, on the south by the Ohio River, and having a network of navigable rivers and a couple of historic canals spanning the two. Ohio is the only state whose State Flag is a burgee. They are the official Shanty Crew of the Santa Maria, a full-size replica of Christopher Columbus' flagship docked on the Scioto River in downtown Columbus. They are a fully acapella group that has performed throughout the Midwest and in Canada.