Posts Tagged With: music

The dulcimer gets its due

The Homer Ledford Dulcimer Festival kicks off this weekend, Aug. 29-30. Then, get ready for the Hindman Dulcimer Homecoming, Nov. 6-9. What is all this festivity about, you say?

As stringed instruments go, the Appalachian mountain dulcimer is a recent development. The curvy, wooden instruments designed to rest on the player’s lap emerged in 19th-century Appalachia, borrowing characteristics from older European instruments. The dulcimer’s visual and tonal beauty, ease of tuning, portability and durability made it a popular vehicle for musical expression throughout the region. Kentucky has been a dulcimer hub thanks largely to the late-1800s dulcimer patriarch Uncle Ed Thomas of Knott County, and the 20th century’s innovative and influential Homer Ledford of Winchester. Today, enthusiastic communities of dulcimer players and listeners exist all around the world.

Master luthier Doug Naselroad just completed a Kentucky Arts Council Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship, teaching apprentice Mike Slone the techniques and culture behind dulcimer building.

Master and apprentice outside the Appalachian Artisan Center Wood Studios.

Master and apprentice outside the Appalachian Artisan Center Wood Studios.

Sit back a few minutes with this video and hear their story about discovering their personal connections to dulcimer history, and how their work together over the last year is having a big impact on Kentucky communities.

Mark Brown, folk and traditional arts program director

 

Categories: Folk and Traditional Arts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kentucky Stage at Kentucky Crafted: The Market

Two-day music festival at Lexington Convention Center: one-day pass, $10; two-day pass, $15

There is absolutely nothing like sitting, standing, jumping or dancing in a venue with music being performed live on stage. Your blood is pumping, your toes are tapping, you can’t sit still and maybe you’re even singing along. Sound like fun? Well, then you need to be at the Kentucky Stage during Kentucky Crafted: The Market, March 8-9, at the Lexington Convention Center.

Featuring some of the best Kentucky musicians around, the Kentucky Stage is a destination all to itself, but for that low ticket price you also get the entire Market to explore—SCORE! Heavens, you are running on all cylinders today and I am in awe of your prowess.

In the mood for a little southern folk/rock a la the Allman Brothers, but original and with a Kentucky twang? Then you’re looking for The Mark Whitley Band.

Or maybe you want some precision percussion with an authentic African influence. Check out River City Drum Corps.

Why not settle into some rousing country tunes? Well that’ll be Dale Pyatt with his Chickengrease Band.

How about a combo deal including a hefty portion of bopping popular music and a side of contemporary African-American gospel? John Edmonds is your man.

Let’s relax with a little cool jazz by the Jay Flippin/Gordon Towell Jazz Duo.

Yearning for some of the best Americana around? Look for TDH4.

Or wrap up your weekend with one of the state’s best string bands, Kentucky Wild Horse.

These are just a handful of the 17 individual musicians and bands that you’ll see on the Kentucky Stage. And since you’ll want to keep listening to the music once the weekend’s over, stop by the Marketplace directly across the lobby from the Kentucky Stage, to pick up CDs by these and other performers who’ve been selected for inclusion in the arts council’s Performing Arts Directory. That’s where I’ll be enjoying the best seat in the house. Stop in and say hello.

The Kentucky Stage
Schedule of Performances
(all times Eastern)

Saturday, March 8
9 a.m.              Bob & Susie Hutchison, Celtic
10 a.m.            The Wulfe Bros., Popular/Patriotic
11 a.m.            River City Drum Corps, Drumline
12 p.m.            Sue Massek with Erin Fitzgerald, Folk
1 p.m.              Roger Cooper with Michael Garvin and Scott Miller, Appalachian
2 p.m.              Carla Gover with Jeri Katherine Howell, Appalachian
3 p.m.              John Edmonds with Devon Satterfield, Gospel/Pop
4 p.m.              A Girl Named Earl, Folkabilly
5 p.m.              Art Mize, Americana/Jazz
6 p.m.              The Mark Whitley Band, Americana

Sunday, March 9
10 a.m.            Marcus Wilkerson, Singer/Songwriter
11 a.m.            Dale Pyatt, Americana
12 p.m.            TDH4, Americana/Jazz
1 p.m.              Hong Shao with Yuyao Ding, Chinese Pipa
2 p.m.              Joe Hudson and Steve Rector, Thumbpicking Guitar
3 p.m.              Jay Flippin/Gordon Towell Jazz Duo with Elise Melrood, Jazz
4 p.m.              Kentucky Wild Horse, Stringband

Tamara Coffey. individual artist program director

Categories: Performing Arts | Tags: , , , , ,

Give the gift of performance

The calendar couldn’t do it, but the snow last week has finally moved me into a state of elation over the possibility that Christmas will be here soon — Hooray! I’ll be watching my TV listings for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, How the Grinch Stole Christmas (animated version, of course), and my must-see, A Charlie Brown Christmas — it wasn’t such a bad little tree. And with the notes of those familiar theme songs, I have to admit that it’s time to do some shopping.

I love my family and friends, but we often don’t share the same taste and I anguish for weeks and months about what to get “Aunt So-And-So” or “Cousin What’sHisName.” No way I’m buying anyone a tie or a fruit cake. And Sue, my BFF in fourth grade, put the fear of god in me as far as paper dolls as an appropriate Christmas gift. (Does anyone still make paper dolls?) Even toy shopping is stressful.

Some experts say to give gifts that you like. That certainly makes it easier. And how about gifts that you like and your family and friends will love? Of course — gifts that keep giving, music and dance! One of my very favorite things in the world is live performance and the next best thing is a recorded performance. Tickets to shows or CDs and DVDs make excellent gifts for anyone, anywhere, anytime! If I’m on your Christmas list, I’ll take two of each.

The Kentucky Arts Council has put together a listing of live performances by some of the performers in its Performing Arts Directory. All Performing Arts Directory artists go through a rigorous panel process in order to be included in the directory and you can rest assured these artists are among the very best. I began doing my Snoopy dance as soon as I saw the range of live performances available this season. From classics like Lexington Children’s Theatre’s The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and Lexington Ballet Company’s The Nutcracker to the enchanting Yule Y’all, a Celtic celebration with Keltricity and the Chattering Magpies and the Louisville Orchestra’s Christmas Spectacular. And that just scratches the surface. With all the exciting performances on the list, your Christmas shopping can be done in a heartbeat and you can sit back and enjoy the show along with the applause from all your delighted friends. Ticket prices are excellent–some are even free. Have a look at the listing and take your favorite people out to enjoy a live performance, or two, or three!

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Heath and Molly’s three CD holiday gift pack, a perennial favorite.

If you can’t get everyone together to go to the show, have a look at our listing of Performing Arts Directory artists CDs and DVDs. Each has been recently released and will provide hours of entertainment value to the lucky so-and-so who gets them. From Latin-mountain fusion artists’ Appalatin to rock-and-rooters Heath and Molly, the Lexington Ballet Company to the Louisville Chorus, gypsy jazz by Stirfry Musette to Lexington Vintage Dance–oh my, so much to enjoy! And there’s still more — cowgirl fun by Raison D’Etre, folk music by LaMay & Reese, good ol’ country music by Dale Pyatt and the Chickengrease Band and wait, we aren’t done yet…There’s too much to capture in one short blog post. With so much music and dance to choose from, every Who in Who-ville will be thrilled and even the Grinch will rejoice!

Tamara Coffey, individual artists director

Categories: Performing Arts | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Kentucky On Stage 2013 with Dale Pyatt

The Kentucky Arts Council will present Kentucky On Stage, a mini booking conference for presenters and afternoon of live performance free and open to the public, from 1 – 5 p.m. Aug. 22, in the William Stamps Farish Theater at the Lexington Public Library

Kentucky On Stage features a slate of artists from the arts council’s Performing Arts Directory, including new acts recently added to the online roster of adjudicated artists. Twelve acts will perform for 15 minutes each during the showcase.

One of those performers, singer-songwriter Dale Pyatt, was just adjudicated into the Performing Arts Directory and will perform at Kentucky On Stage for the first time. An award winning songwriter, Pyatt has penned songs that cross many music genres including Americana, bluegrass, new and classic country, roots, and even island-style music. Pyatt recently answered a few questions for us about the directory and what people can expect from his performance at Kentucky On Stage.

KAC: Why did you want to be part of the Kentucky Arts Council’s Performing Arts Directory?

PYATT: I wanted to be a part of the directory because I’m trying to take my music to a professional level. Being in the directory will allow me to work more professional shows. I would like to be a full-time artist, and I need all the help and support I can get.

KAC: For those who aren’t familiar with your music, how would you describe it?

PYATT: My music is original, fun to listen to, and has been nicknamed “BuffettGrass” by some of my friends.

KAC: What can the presenters and audience look forward to during your performance at Kentucky On Stage?

Presenters can look forward to the “Dale Pyatt experience,” and to hearing some of the stories behind my songs. I will also be discussing my singer/songwriter workshop for beginners.

Learn more about Pyatt on his website at http://dalepyatt.com/.

Other showcase performers are:

  • Bob & Susie Hutchison, music, traditional Appalachian and Celtic
  • Hong Shao, music, traditional Chinese
  • Joe Hudson, music, thumbpicking guitar
  • Lexington Children’s Theatre, theater
  • TDH4, music, jazz-blues-originals
  • Squallis Puppeteers, theater
  • Octavia Sexton, storytelling
  • A Girl Named Earl, music, singer-songwriter
  • Diana Dinicola, dance, flamenco
  • Art Mize, music, string band-jazz-bluegrass
  • The Mark Whitley Band, music, Americana

As you can see, we’ve got a great lineup for this year’s showcase, and we hope you’ll consider joining us for the main event next Thursday afternoon. To see a schedule of the day’s events or for more information, visit http://artscouncil.ky.gov/KentuckyArt/KOS13.htm.

Emily B. Moses, communications director

Categories: Performing Arts | Tags: , , ,

This summer, be an adventurous listener

When you travel this summer, music can be part of the journey and the destination. If you really want to have an adventure on the road, put aside your MP3 players and  favorite CDs, and forget the radio stations saved in your channel memory. Summer is a time to burst out of your usual, comfortable musical realm and be an adventurous listener!

 Journey with radio

Tune in, and turn on to something new. Radio is a conduit for creative and eclectic communities. Here are a few stations that will challenge and excite you while you travel across Kentucky:

WMMT-FM 88.7, Whitesburg

WRFL-FM 88.1, Lexington

WFPK-FM 91.9, Louisville

WKYU-FM, 88.9, Bowling Green

Music destinations

International Bluegrass Music Museum

Whether you love bluegrass music, or tend to avoid it, a trip to the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro and the Bill Monroe Homeplace in nearby Rosine will expand your mind. Experience the living legacy of bluegrass at the ROMP festival June 27-29.

Kentucky Music Hall of Fame

Here, you will experience exhibits, tours and programs about artists from many genres of American music who have made a big impact and who are all from Kentucky. Country and bluegrass? Check. Blues and pop? Check. Opera and jazz? Check.

National Thumbpickers Hall of Fame

Experience the birthplace of thumb style guitar made famous by Merle Travis and Chet Atkins. Visit the Merle Travis Music Center in Muhlenberg County at the end of summer—late September—when the Home of the Legends Weekend and the Hall of Fame ceremony occur.

Butcher Holler

Take in the sights and sounds of the home place of the proud coalminer’s daughter, Loretta Lynn. If you are lucky, you might arrange a tour with Loretta’s brother, Herman Webb, like this blogger did.  Butcher Holler is just one site along the Country Music Highway. Learn more and order a copy of More than Music: A Heritage Driving Tour of Kentucky’s Route 23 here.

National Jug Band Jubilee

Did you know that Louisville was the birthplace of this enduring DIY music style? Plan now to go to the Jubilee on Sept. 21, so you can close out your summer with a jubilant thhhhhbbbtt!

Go beyond these suggestions. It is easy to find out about festivals, performing arts centers, and jam sessions all over Kentucky. You can start by surfing the Performing Arts Directory to find video and audio of artists you like. Visit their websites, collect their music, go to their shows.

Have fun, be adventurous and then post your experiences and recommendations below.

Mark Brown, folk and traditional arts program director

Categories: Folk and Traditional Arts, Performing Arts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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