Friday, November 1, 2019
Jay Ungar and Molly Mason
Millions were entranced by the music Ungar and Mason provided for Ken Burns’ PBS documentary The Civil War. Their performance of the series’ signature tune, Jay’s haunting composition, Ashokan Farewell, earned the couple international acclaim. The soundtrack won a Grammy and Ashokan Farewell was nominated for an Emmy. The duo started with a chance meeting in the late 1970s. Jay, a Bronx kid, and Molly, who grew up in Washington State, came at music from two different directions. But they hit it off musically and since joining forces—both artistically and romantically (the two would marry in 1991), Ungar and Mason have become one of the most celebrated duos on the American acoustic music scene. You’ve probably heard them many times on A Prairie Home Companion.