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FREE PRINTED TRAVEL GUIDE Travel Guide
August 28, 2014

Coming Soon: One Stop for Asheville ArtsAsheville is a destination that ... more

August 28, 2014

Demonstrations, talks connect visitors to the artLocal artist Helen Purdum ... more

August 28, 2014

Stages welcome classics, favorites & new talentPaul Taylor Dance ... more

August 22, 2014

Culinary Conference Finds a Foodtopian ExperienceThis week Asheville ... 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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Upcoming Events

Delta Spirit

Acclaimed San Diego-bred five-piece Delta Spirit add fall dates to their extensive nationwide tour celebrating the release of their anticipated album Into the Wide, due September 9 via Dualtone Records. Keeping an eye toward the live experience is always essential to the band. “We just want the songs to be as epic and meaningful as possible when we play them in front of people, which is the be-all and end-all for us as a band,” says Matt Vasquez (vocals, guitar).

Live Music Thursday with David Allen Buckner

Recognized by Nashville Song Writer’s Association as a “new artist to watch”, Asheville native David Allen Buckner is returning from his second tour of duty in Afghanistan. Before he moves to Nashville to further his music career, Buckner will be performing at The Renaissance Asheville!

Art and Music Converge - Pan Harmonia at the Haen Gallery

  • September 5, 2014
  • Location: The Haen Gallery
  • Address: 200 King Street, Brevard, NC 28712

Art and Music Converge These sublime concerts in the Haen galleries include wine and cheese at 6:30, followed by music at 7:15. Tickets are $24 in advance / $26 at the door / $8 Students Friday, September 5, 6:30 PM - Haen Gallery Concert 200 King Street, Brevard Monday, September 8, 6:30 PM - Haen Gallery Concert 52 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville Kate Steinbeck, flute • Fred Lemmons, clarinet • Amy Brucksch, guitar

BRAZIL FEST

  • September 6, 2014
  • Location: New Mountain Asheville
  • Address: 38 N. French Broad Ave., Asheville, NC 28801

Brazil Fest promotes contemporary Brazilian culture in the southeastern United States through music and dance performances. The event unites various types of performance art in order to familiarize the public with Brazilian styles. Brazil Fest focuses on Afro-Brazilian, and more specifically, Afro-Bahian cultural productions and its various segments in contemporary media. Like everything in Bahia, the Brazil Fest showcases diverse talents and cultures, always inviting local guest artists from ot...

Native American Flute Meditation with Christopher Rowland at The Salt Spa of Asheville

A special Native American Flute full moon evening meditation of wellbeing and inner peace in our Himalayan Salt Cave Sanctuary is awaiting you. We are delighted to have a very special guest, Christopher Rowland, Native American Flute artist, at The Salt Spa playing meditative flute sounds. Christopher Rowland (Ma’heonehoo’estse) is a Northern Cheyenne (Tsitsistas) from Montana. He has been playing and composing with the Native American flute for 15 years. His meditative sounds are so...

Wee Bit Louder Fest 2014

Come on out for the 3rd Annual "Wee Bit Louder Fest" in Highland Brewing Company's "Meadow" Saturday, September 6th. Music by Invisible III and Doc Aquatic!

BRUSHFIRE STANKGRASS / TAYLOR MARTIN’S ACOUSTIC BAND / JOSH PHILLIPS & SUZANNA BAUM

  • September 7, 2014
  • Location: New Mountain Asheville
  • Address: 38 N. French Broad Ave., Asheville, NC 28801

Brushfire Stank Grass Taylor Martin’s Acoustic Band Josh Phillips & Suzanna Baum 5:00PM – Outdoor Stage $5 / $10 new-mountain-asheville-tickets BRUSHFIRE STANKGRASS Mixing analog electronics with bluegrass backbeats, the music of Brushfire Stankgrass is instantly unique. The band has significant crossover appeal with bluegrass/newgrass buffs and electronic music fans alike, showcasing their “modern mountain fusion” with a dynamic live show and a two award-winning albu...

Art and Music Converge - Pan Harmonia at the Haen Gallery Asheville

  • September 8, 2014
  • Location: The Haen Gallery
  • Address: 52 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801

Art and Music Converge These sublime concerts in the Haen galleries include wine and cheese at 6:30, followed by music at 7:15. Tickets are $24 in advance / $26 at the door / $8 Students Friday, September 5, 6:30 PM - Haen Gallery Concert 200 King Street, Brevard Monday, September 8, 6:30 PM - Haen Gallery Concert 52 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville Kate Steinbeck, flute • Fred Lemmons, clarinet • Amy Brucksch, guitar

Trombone Shorty

New Orleans native Trombone Shorty began his career as a bandleader at the young age of six, toured internationally at age 12, and spent his teens playing with various brass bands throughout New Orleans and touring worldwide with Lenny Kravitz. He is currently the front man for his own ensemble Orleans Avenue, a funk/rock/jazz/hip-hop band. Together, Trombone Shorty and the band have toured across the U.S., Europe, Australia, Russia, Japan and Brazil. In 2010, Trombone Shorty released his debut ...

Jamie Laval, Celtic Fiddler Live at The Strand @ 38 Main

  • September 11, 2014
  • Location: The Strand @ 38 Main
  • Address: 38 N. Main St., Waynesville, NC 28786

One of the premier Celtic performers on the international music scene today, Jamie Laval creates rapt audiences with his intensely passionate performances of traditional music of Scotland, Ireland, Brittany and Québec, rendered with hints of classical refinement and ethnic music from around the world.

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