Celebrate the winter solstice with the Stanley Greenthal Ensemble Dec. 21 at the Firehouse Performing Arts Center

Celebrate the winter solstice with traditional and original tunes, songs and poetry, performed by the Stanley Greenthal Ensemble at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 21, at Firehouse Performing Arts Center, 1314 Harris Ave.

A tradition for many years in Seattle and the San Juan Islands, Stanley Greenthal will bring his ensemble – Kip Greenthal, Christos Govetas and Kim Goldov – to Bellingham for the first time. Each year the ensemble creates new instrumental compositions and unusual arrangements of seasonal songs not heard at other holiday concerts. Greenthal’s original compositions, Breton dances, and Cretan syrtos –sparked by Govetas’ hypnotic clarinet, Kim Greenthal’s soulful violin and Goldov’s rock-steady percussion –create a blazing solstice hearth for the unique winter evening.

Greenthal is an internationally acclaimed songwriter and instrumentalist, who stretches musical borders from Scotland, Ireland and Brittany to Greece and the Balkans. He sings and plays guitar, bouzouki, laouto and lavta (Greek and Turkish lutes).

His wife, Kip Greenthal, adds harmony vocals and percussion, and compelling spoken word pieces set to music. Govetas sings and plays clarinet, oud and bouzouki, and performs with his group Dromeno. In 1999, Govetas won the Northwest Folklife Fellowship Award, honoring his cultural contribution to the Greek-American and Folk dance communities. Goldov plays violin in several groups specializing in folk music from around the world, including the popular Balkan dance band extravaganza, the Bucharest Drinking Team. He also plays klezmer music from Eastern Europe, and was a member of Yeni Ses (traditional and modern folk music of Turkey and beyond).

Tickets, $15 general, $6 ages 6-17, are at Village Books, Community Food Co-op and Brown Paper Tickets.