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FREE PRINTED TRAVEL GUIDE Travel Guide
April 17, 2014

Three-Day Magic Festival Comes to AshevilleAward-winning Wizard Jeff ... more

April 17, 2014

Be inspired by our pics, or share your ownIf just can't get enough of our ... more

April 15, 2014

Gather Your Peeps for a Memorable Easter Eggs-perienceWith Easter Sunday ... more

April 14, 2014

Get Your Tickets for Hot Asheville FestivalPhoto courtesy of MoogfestNext ... 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

Moogfest 2014

  • April 23, 2014
  • Location: Various music venues around downtown Asheville
  • Address: Downtown Asheville, Asheville, NC 28801
  • Venue:  Downtown Asheville
  • Recurrence: Recurring daily

Moogfest is a five day festival dedicated to the synthesis of technology, art and music. With an experimental lineup of daytime conference programming and landmark nightly performances, the festival honors the creativity and inventiveness of Bob Moog and pays tribute to the legacy of the analog synthesizer. This is no ordinary festival. Moogfest welcomes futurist thinkers, inventors, entrepreneurs, designers, engineers, artists, scientists, musicians and Moog devotees to participate in a c...

Upcoming Events

A Tribute To The Life And Music Of Frankie Knuckles

  • April 24, 2014
  • Location: Scandals Nighclub
  • Address: 11 Grove Street, Asheville, NC 28805

A tribute event celebrating the life and music of the legendary "Godfather of House," Frankie Knuckles during the Dining Out For Life After Party at Scandals Nightclub to benefit the Western North Carolina AIDS Project (WNCAP). DJ Tony Z spins Frankie Knuckles remixes and original productions, as well as 80s and 90s house music classics on vinyl.

TLQ + 2 (Terry Lynn)

  • April 24, 2014
  • Address: 31 Woodfin Street, Asheville, NC 28801

Terry Lynn's soulful, honest, sometimes gut-wrenching vocals are reminiscent of Linda Ronstadt meets Bonnie Raitt, with a little bit of country mixed in.

Sufi Brothers (Featuring Woody Wood & Jason Krekel)

Highland's Tasting Room is a unique blend of fresh beer in a family-friendly, top-quality music venue. Voted WNC's "Best Overall Brewery" in 2013 by Mountain Xpress voters! Enjoy all of our beers, a tour and specialty offerings rarely found outside the brewery. Next in our line-up of musical talent: This week features The Sufi Brothers.

Slightly Stoopid Plus Mariachi El Bronx

With more than a decade of making music together, the members of Slightly Stoopid have perfected one of the rarest and most valuable skills a band can develop: the art of the stealth groove, that knack for quietly, almost innocently, sliding into a composition, and utterly lassoing anyone within earshot by mid-song. That’s where the band has come to reside, musically: deep in the pocket, that ever-elusive, funky trench where a band can entrance an audience, hypnotize it and hold on to it u...

Recurring Events

The Carvers - Surf & Stomp Combo

Highland's Tasting Room is a unique blend of fresh beer in a family-friendly, top-quality music venue. Voted WNC's "Best Overall Brewery" in 2013 by Mountain Xpress voters! Enjoy all of our beers, a tour and specialty offerings rarely found outside the brewery. Next in our line-up of musical talent: This week features The Carvers - Surf & Stomp Combo.

Sing With Song O' Sky Chorus!

  • April 29, 2014
  • Location: Calvary Baptist Church
  • Address: 531 Haywood Road, Asheville, NC 28806
  • Recurrence: Recurring weekly on Tuesday

Does singing make you happy? Are you looking for a musical home? Are you a woman 18 or older? Please visit Song O' Sky Chorus and discover the fun of creating four-part a cappella harmony (www.songosky.org or 1-866-824-9547).