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After a long day of hiking and sight-seeing in and around Asheville…
Travel Guide
July 09, 2015

Funky 5k Kicks Off Free FestivalThis is not your normal 5k. No, the LEAF ... more

July 09, 2015

Bookmark These 6 Stories For Your Next TripAsheville was just named the #10 ... more

June 04, 2015

Go for the goats!Photo by KD Ecological Services.Chimney Rock State Park ... more

June 04, 2015

Bus Tour Pairs Craft Beer & Local BeatsIn Asheville, aka Beer City USA, ... more

Asheville Music Scene

From Bluegrass to Newgrass to Nograss

A progressive and collaborative arts community, Asheville's modern music scene melds old and new with surprising ease. Music permeates the city from the street musicians who serenade you downtown, to multi-generation bluegrass jam sessions, to a rock club (Orange Peel Social Aid and Pleasure Club) named one of the best in the country by Rolling Stone.

Today, Asheville's music scene is all encompassing. Traditional mountain music still rings out from national artists such as David Holt and Laura Boosinger who live in the area. Classical music from the Asheville Symphony Orchestra fills the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium throughout the year.

These Hills are Alive with the Sound of Appalachian Music

The instruments needed for distinct mountain sound have old world origins. The banjo hails from Africa and the fiddle has European roots. However, the only native instrument to the mountain region, is the Appalachian dulcimer. This instrument is considered to be one of the easiest to learn due to its small string count and simplified fret system. Want to find one for yourself? Visit the Grove Arcade in downtown Asheville where the Woodrow stringed instruments are sold. If you travel to Black Mountain visit Song of the Wood to see a wide collection of mountain dulcimers for sale.

Roots & Trails: New Guidebook!

Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina

Mountain music traditions are alive and well in the Blue Ridge and a new travel guidebook, Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina, offers an epic tour to the public settings where folk music and dance still thrive. Mountain musicians are as laid-back and welcoming as they come, so when heading out to find some Asheville music, bring your dancing shoes and banjo and play on in…

Musical Road Tripping

A CD Guidebook for the Ears

Listen while you explore. Many of the region's historic musicians are featured on a 20-track companion CD for the newly released Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina. Imagine driving along the famed Blue Ridge Parkway with sweeping mountain views—nothing could be more fitting than a soundtrack of authentic Asheville music with that distinct Appalachian flavor.

Songs from this “guidebook for the ears” include “Swannanoa Tunnel,” “Frankie Silver's Confession,” and “Tom Dooley” and are based on actual events that took place in the region. The rich storybook of folk songs features raw, field recordings made in musicians' homes as well as professionally recorded tracks.

Top 8 Toe-Tappin' Adventures in Asheville

  1. Shindig Under the Stars - Bring your lawn chair (and an instrument, if you play one) for a free evening of traditional Southern Appalachian music, jam sessions and folk dancing at Shindig on the Green, Saturday nights under the stars from June through August in Pack Square Park. This is one of the most popular Asheville festivals of the year.
  2. Pick 'n Pie – Learn the secrets of mountain kitchens and mountain music in the same evening! Native Ground Music and Log Cabin Cooking partner to share their deep knowledge of Appalachian arts in beginners' classes in a charming farmhouse setting.
  3. Old Time Jam Session – Appalachian and Celtic music legacies are honored at the informal weekly jam sessions at Jack of the Wood. Rub elbows, and instruments, with Asheville bands and the locals while you enjoy a fresh, hand-crafted pint from Green Man and some time-traveling acoustic tunes.
  4. The Nation's Longest Running Folk Festival – Since 1928, mountain fiddlers, banjo pickers, dulcimer sweepers, dancers, balladeers and others have come to enjoy themselves "along about sundown" the first weekend in August at the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival.
  5. Bluegrass Buskers – Nowhere is the music culture and bluegrass influence more accessible than on the streets of Asheville. When the weather is nice, nearly every downtown corner offers a spontaneous stage. Head to Pack Square or the iconic Flat Iron statue along the Urban Trail for bands like 13 Strings and a Two Dollar Bill, Flat Creek Trio and The Leather Britches.
  6. Asheville Music Hall Haunts – From intimate listening rooms to large music halls ideal for dancing, Asheville area music venues run the gamut: Grey Eagle, White Horse Black Mountain, Isis Music Hall and The Orange Peel offer variety in their line-ups, but bluegrass and roots can always be found if you watch the schedules. Tip: Asheville's breweries are also musically inclined. Pisgah, Highland, Wedge and French Broad Brewing all offer live music with craft beer cool.
  7. Asheville Drum Circle
  8. Contra and Square Dance – Pack a skirt that twirls! European and American folk dance is seeing a revival, and nowhere is that more clear than in the mountains of Western NC. At Grey Eagle, Warren Wilson or White Horse Black Mountain, the locals will take you in their arms, quite literally, and show you the steps.
  9. Asheville Drum Circle – You might hear a fiddle or banjo thrown in the mix, but the instrument of choice for this 10+ year Asheville music tradition is the drum. Follow the pounding rhythm downtown to a dance party under the stars. You can't help but move your feet.

A Thriving Music Scene

Miike Snow and Petter Winnberg on stage at Moogfest 2012

The sounds of the modern era also thrive in Asheville. Bob Moog, the inventor of the Moog synthesizer and pioneer of electronic music, spent his final years in Asheville and set up a company here that continues his musical vision.

Alternative rockers The Smashing Pumpkins made Asheville their temporary home with a nine-show residency in 2007 at the Orange Peel. And well-known artists such as Gladys Knight, Warren Haynes and David Wilcox have made Asheville their newfound home and drawn inspiration from the area.


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Special Events

Biltmore Concert Series: Natalie Cole & Peabo Bryson

  • Aug 7
  • Biltmore
  • Location: Biltmore
  • Address: One Lodge Street, Asheville, NC 28803

Natalie Cole is one of our time's best R&B/Pop vocalists, with twenty -one albums winning nine Grammy® awards and selling over 30 million copies during her acclaimed career. Some of her hits include "This Will Be," "Miss You Like Crazy," and "Unforgettable."  Peabo Bryson is among the world's most dynamic and gifted R&B/soul vocal talents. Over the course of a career spanning from the mid-1960s, the 2x Grammy® winner has amassed critical acclaim...

Single-Day Events

Coal Chamber plus Fear Factory, Jasta, Saint Ridley, & Madlife

Coal Chamber broke out of the Los Angeles alternative metal scene in 1997 with a sound often compared to Korn, although both bands formed around the same time and are quality representations of the scene’s overall sound — the heavy, detuned guitars of the murkiest Black Sabbath; grungy, noisy = Coal Chamber were formed in 1994 by vocalist/lyricist B. Dez Fafara and guitarist Miguel “Meegs” Rascon, who met through a classified ad; the two added drummer Mike “Mikee&rd...

Tuesday Bluegrass Sessions Featuring Unspoken Tradition

5PM Door 7:30 Host Band :: Unspoken Tradition 9:30PM Sessions Every Tuesday evening Isis presents our Tuesday Bluegrass Sessions. The sessions are hosted each week by a local bluegrass musician with friends or a band. Following the host band, Bluegrass musicians from the Asheville area gather on stage to jam in an open session. Occasionally, we feature a touring band that will perform prior to the open session and help co-host the jam. It's always a great evening of music and community. Music : ...

Ancient Warfare at The Mothlight

  • Aug 5
  • The Mothlight
  • Address: 701 Haywood Road, Asheville, TX 28806

Lexington, KY band Ancient Warfare are coming to Asheville in support of their debut album The Pale Horse which is being released by Alias Records August 11.

Campfire Reverands

Bringing a variety of styles to the table, Campfire Reverends’ blend of Blues, Americana and Soul offers an infectious vibe to all in attendance. Comprised of founding members Benton Wharton and Brandon Archer, the troubadours style duo sees frequent sit-ins and jam-additions from a variety of players, so the one thing you can expect is the unexpected. Plan to sing-along, be lost in instrumental wonderment, and just plain have fun!

Zoso – The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience

Zoso – The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience formed in 1995 to perform the most accurate and captivating Led Zeppelin live show since the real thing. For Zoso, it’s much more than just being a tribute. It’s about touching a golden era in music. Zoso embodies Page, Plant, Bonham and Jones in their spirit, tightly-wound talent and authenticity. Each band member has been carefully selected to portray both the appearance and playing styles of their Led Zeppelin counterparts. In eigh...

An Evening with Cindy Alexander

Cindy Alexander is an L.A. based Singer/Songwriter, winner of a multitude of awards including David Foster's/NBC Star Tomorrow, L.A. Music Awards Songwriter of the Year/ Independent Pop Album of the Year, All Access Magazine's Best Female Pop Vocalist, and Just Plain Folks Song of the Year and Female Artist of the Year. Even with all the accolades and a "record deal" as the prize for winning a music reality show, she's chosen to stay a steadfast independent on her own label JamCat Rec...

Greg Ruby and Evan Price - "West Coast Gypsy Jazz"

Isis is excited to present West Coast Gypsy Jazz musicians Greg Ruby (Seattle) and Evan Price (San Francisco) in a rare Asheville appearance. In 2010, Price—a two-time GRAMMY -winning violinist best known for his work with the Hot Club of San Francisco and the Turtle Island Quartet—collaborated with Ruby on a recording of Django/Grappelli-inspired compositions. The result was a CD titled, Look Both Ways, which subsequently reached # 1 on the Roots Music Reports Jazz chart. Drawing on...

The Freeway Revival

The Freeway Revival is a band that was forged on the road. A passion for creating and performing original music, and an extensive tour schedule, has built a seasoned songwriting and traveling group. The band also has an alchemic chemistry and powerful stage presence, that lends to a great live show. The Freeway Revival’s blend of classic rock, blues, country, and soul incorporates lyrics that are an expression of life on the road. Tasteful guitar harmonies, vocal harmonies, and an assortme...

An Evening With Jonathan Edwards [Singer/Songwriter]

WHERE: The Altamont Theatre, 18 Church St., 28801 WHEN: Friday August 7th, 2015 DOORS: 7pm | SHOW: 8pm GENRE: singer/songwriter AGES: All Ages SEATS: seated general admission TICKETS: $25 Event Listing: http://thealtamont.com/Edwards Jonathan Edwards: WEBSITE: www.jonathanedwards.net HEAR SOME MUSIC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nliYFcEtvIk&list=PLF911474588289686 SEE A VIDEO: https://youtu.be/Ym9JHfdLLWU Warm as summer sunshine, real as the truth, intimate as a long overdue visit betwee...

Dark Star Orchestra Night 1

DETAILS **TICKETS ON-SALE FRIDAY, MARCH 27th @ 10am** **2-DAY PASSES AVAILABLE @ $48- GA; $90-VIP** Performing to critical acclaim worldwide for nearly 15 years and over 2000 shows, Dark Star Orchestra continues the Grateful Dead concert experience. Their shows are built off the Dead’s extensive catalog and the talent of these 7 fine musicians. On any given night the band will perform a show based on a set list from the Grateful Dead’s 30 years of extensive touring or use their cata...

Friday Night Dance Party with Jim Arrendell

Jim Arrendell hosts another Friday Night Dance Party at Isis. Join us for some dinner and dancing. Celebrate Life with an evening of Motown and Soul from the 50’s through the 70s. Music that will make you want to dance. Dinner reservations are available in the dining room, seating in the music hall and balcony will be first come first serve. Bring your dancing shoes - 21+ Show - Music : Genre: Oldies,R&B / Urban

An Evening with the Maharaja Flamenco Trio

We are excited to have this talented group at Isis for an intimate Lounge Concert Maharajah Flamenco Trio delivers a moving and dynamic expression of Flamenco Nuevo, New Flamenco. Building upon traditional Spanish rhythms and blending them with classical, jazz and strands of world music, the unique approach and technical virtuosity of these three musicians combines to create a new and high-energy music. Music : Genre: Acoustic,Classical,Flamenco,World 5PM Door :: 7:00PM Show General Admission Se...

Dark Star Orchestra TWO NIGHTS!

DETAILS **TICKETS ON-SALE FRIDAY, MARCH 27th @ 10am** **2-DAY PASSES AVAILABLE @ $48- GA; $90-VIP** ***2-DAY PASSES AVAILABLE AT NIGHT 1 TICKET LINK – CLICK HERE*** Performing to critical acclaim worldwide for nearly 15 years and over 2000 shows, Dark Star Orchestra continues the Grateful Dead concert experience. Their shows are built off the Dead’s extensive catalog and the talent of these 7 fine musicians. On any given night the band will perform a show based on a set list from th...

The Hermit Kings with P3riph3ral

The Hermit Kings genre-transcending music draws from both modern rock and roots influences to create a sound that is truly infectious. The Asheville, NC based group is continuing to create and evolve a live show that will make you a fan from the very first note. They are currently in the studio working on a new record with producer/engineer John Plymale (Superchunk, Portastatic, Squirrel Nut Zippers) and have added a new member to the lineup. The band consists of members Zaq Suarez (lead vocals,...

Recurring Events

Live Piano at The Social Lounge

  • Aug 3
  • The Social Lounge
  • Address: 29 Broadway St., Asheville, NC 28801
  • Recurrence: Recurring weekly on Sunday, Monday

Live Piano, Music By ReadyPlay Entertainment at The Social Lounge. Servers enjoy Industry Night specials every Sunday and Monday nights, and EVERYONE enjoys live music on the baby grand piano. Timeless elegance... nightly.

The Swannanoa Gathering

  • Aug 3
  • Location: Warren Wilson College
  • Address: 701 Warren Wilson Road, Swannanoa, NC 28778
  • Recurrence: Recurring daily

Founded in 1991, we are Warren Wilson College's educational program of summer folk-arts workshops held on our campus in the Swannanoa Valley near Asheville in the heart of North Carolina's beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. In addition to our summer programs, each spring we sponsor the Celtic Series of Mainstage Concerts at the Diana Wortham Theatre in Asheville's arts & education center, Pack Place, featuring some of the world's finest Celtic musicians.

Live Piano with Patrick Lopez

PATRICK LOPEZ Tremendous musicality, versatility and the ability to entertain everyone from the casual listener to the most discriminating improvised music aficionados. These qualities have become the trademark of multi-instrumentalist and entertainer Patrick Lopez. With performances that captivate and inspire his audiences, it’s obvious that he knows where music has been, where music is going, and perhaps most importantly, he’s not going to leave anyone behind on the journey. His rh...

First Fridays with Zansa w/ Drew Heller(of Toubab Krewe) - [afropop/world]

  • Aug 7
  • The Altamont Theatre
  • Address: 18 Church Street, Asheville, NC 28801
  • Recurrence: Recurring monthly on the 1st Friday

The music of Zansa, a Nouchi slang word from Ivory Coast meaning "combination" or "blend," is a synthesis of traditional and modern styles of West Africa. The Asheville, NC-based ensemble melds African folk music with modern afropop, African drumming, and the dance-oriented Ivorian street music called Zouglou. Zansa is led by 33rd generation West African musician Adama Dembele, a native of Ivory Coast, who began his music career in the late '90s by founding the drum & dan...