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Travel Guide
March 31, 2015

Museum, Festival Bring History to LifeThe Studies Building at Black ... more

March 30, 2015

Asheville restaurants turn to urban gardensChef Peter Pollay checks on the ... more

March 19, 2015

Mountaintop Retreats Top National ListThe view from one of the Asheville ... more

March 05, 2015

Where to find mountain sounds in the Blue RidgeAsheville, N.C. has a long ... 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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Single-Day Events

Brunch with The Wilhelm Brothers - Folk Rock with Cello Infusion

  • April 19, 2015
  • Location: The Phoenix
  • Address: 14 S. Gaston St., Brevard, NC 28712

"The Wilhelm Brothers have that intangible thing..that sound..that makes the difference between a band being good, or being great.. It's hard to describe..a spark..but, we know it when we hear it.." -Kimberly E. "Not only was I entertained, I was moved. The stories attached to each of the songs made me feel the intention behind the music. To see musicians, eyes closed, working to give the gift of emotion to us as an audience, made me realize that I was in the right place at the ...

Pisgah Brewing 10-Year Anniversary Celebration!

  • April 19, 2015
  • Location: Pisgah Brewing Company
  • Address: 150 Eastside Drive, Black Mountain, NC 28711
  • Venue:  Pisgah Brewing Company

Western North Carolina and its economic and cultural hub, the City of Asheville, have long been in the newsfeed regarding the burgeoning craft beer scene that has exploded upon the region. To be recognized as a brand amongst the ever-growing sea of established breweries is nearly a right of passage, as public poll after public poll continues to highlight Asheville and WNC as a must-see destination for entertainment and fine brews. But it was long before this established status that David Quinn, ...

The Isis Theater Sunday Jazz Showcase Featuring UNCA Jazz Night

Every Sunday there's Jazz at Isis. The night is hosted by Dr Bill Bares and will feature Asheville's best jazz musicians. 6-8PM :: Lounge ~ UNCA Jazz Night 8-11PM :: UNCA Jazz Night $8 / $4 Student :: This covers either or both performances The cover will be added to your tab - tickets are not available in advance

Matt and Kim

Brooklyn indie dance duo Matt and Kim release New Glow, the band’s latest full length on April 07th, 2015. Matt and Kim, ala Matt Johnson (vocals/keyboards) and Kim Schifino (drums), get things rolling in their exuberant style with a performance lyric video for the song “Get It”: Three minutes and seven seconds of heaven for anyone who has, or hasn’t yet, seen Matt and Kim’s legendary live shows. With New Glow, the duo who love hip-hop and pop have made an album of ...

Lex 18 Music Performer Bob Strain Playing Romantic Jazz Ballads and Standards

Lex 18 features Bob Strain performing Romantic Jazz Ballads and Standards from 7:00pm – 9:00pm. Bob Strain is a classically trained pianist who specializes in jazz and the American songbook of standards. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in music from Shepherd University, and Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts in piano performance from Shenandoah Conservatory. He has performed extensively in the Washington, DC region, with long-term engagements at venues such as the Willard Intercontin...

Walk The Moon plus The Griswolds

Formed in Cincinnati by singer/keyboardist Nicholas Petricca, WALK THE MOON built up a devoted following on the strength of their ecstatic live show and their undeniably infectious single “Anna Sun.” A relentless touring machine with an ever-snowballing family of fans, the band quickly graduated from Ohio club scene favorites to international stars. They hit the late-night TV circuit with performances on Letterman, Fallon, Conan, and Carson, played for massive crowds at Bonnaroo and ...

INTANGIBLE - Earth Day Party w/ Numatik, Living Light, Arouna Diarra & Damascus

WHERE: The Altamont Theatre, 18 Church St., 28801 WHEN: Wednesday April 22, 2015 DOORS: 6pm | SHOW: 6pm GENRE: electronic / multi-media AGES: All Ages! TICKETS: $15 SEATING: seats/standing WEB LISTING: http://thealtamont.com/Earth2 Purchase a COMBO TICKET for both DAY & NIGHT here: https://boxoffice.etix.com/ticket/servlet/s/38150825

Mountain Spirit and Isis present :: An Evening with Tim Grimm

Tim Grimm lives on 80 acres in southern Indiana and has been called "The Poet Laureate of the rural Midwest". With 9 albums under his belt, he consistently reaches the top of the Euro-Americana charts and has become known as one of the best storytelling songwriters in America. Music : Genre: Acoustic,Americana,Folk,Singer/Songwriter Tim Grimm has toured and recorded with his friend, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, appeared with Harrison Ford in the film Clear and Present Danger, and has ...

Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band

Grammy award winner and six time Grammy nominee, Peter Rowan is a singer songwriter with a career spanning over five decades. From his early years playing under the tutelage of Bluegrass veteran Bill Monroe, to his time in Old & In the Way and breakout as a solo musician and bandleader, Rowan has built a devoted, international fan base through a solid stream of records, collaborative projects, and constant touring. Born in Wayland, Massachusetts to a musical family, Rowan learned to play gui...

Razi'El & Summit Present: INTANGIBLE - Earth Day Party w/ Nex Millen & Anthony of Papadosio

WHERE: The Altamont Theatre, 18 Church St., 28801 WHEN: Wednesday April 22, 2015 DOORS: 1pm | SHOW: 1pm GENRE: electronic / multi-media AGES: All Ages! TICKETS: $10 SEATING: seats/standing WEB LISTING: http://thealtamont.com/Earth FB LISTING: https://www.facebook.com/events/535126749960081/ Purchase a COMBO TICKET for both DAY & NIGHT here: https://boxoffice.etix.com/ticket/servlet/s/38150825

The Local Strangers

Compelling lyrics and rich harmonies have delighted fans of The Local Strangers at sold out venues in the Pacific Northwest and intimate living rooms around the country since 2010. Seasoned by over 20,000 miles of independent touring, Aubrey Zoli and Matt Hart showcase both their powerful duets and raucous 5-piece band with their most ambitious and evocative work so far: the two-disc set Take What You Can Carry. Their second full-length album highlights the band’s musical breadth, with ele...

Lex 18 Music Performer Bob Strain Playing Romantic Jazz Ballads and Standards

Lex 18 features Bob Strain performing Romantic Jazz Ballads and Standards from 7:00pm – 9:00pm. Bob Strain is a classically trained pianist who specializes in jazz and the American songbook of standards. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in music from Shepherd University, and Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts in piano performance from Shenandoah Conservatory. He has performed extensively in the Washington, DC region, with long-term engagements at venues such as the Willard Intercontin...

Live Music Thursday with Chris Rhodes

When you consider Chris Rhodes as a musician, think versatile. Through the years, this accomplished vocalist and guitarist has developed a blend of jazz, R&B, blues, and funky pop-rock that fits comfortably into today's diverse audience.

The Grey Eagle Presents: BOMBADIL + DARLINGSIDE at The Altamont Theatre

*****While still a Grey Eagle presentation, THIS SHOW HAS BEEN MOVED TO THE ALTAMONT THEATRE located at 18 Church St in downtown Asheville. If you purchased tickets in advance through this page, your existing ticket will be honored.***** Quirky, multi-textured, wildly inventive, eclectic, and hugely enjoyable,” “…a combination of open-minded chamber folk and the bright and sunny pop music of the 1960s,” “Syd Barrett meets The Beatles,” are just some of the me...

Blind Lemon Phillips

Blind Lemon Phillips delivers one cool lemonade mix of sound! Vocalist and guitarist Charley Phillips is backed by the "Lemondrops" featuring blues belter Mz Dee and the “Lemon Squeezers”, a full horn section. This is one band ready to turn any club into one big swirlin’ and twirlin’ lemon twist!

Earl Sweatshirt plus Vince Staples & Remy Banks

Earl Sweatshirt, formerly Sly Tendencies, is an American rapper and member of the Los Angeles hip hop collective OFWGKTA. He is the son of professional poet Keorapetse Kgositsile. Thebe attended New Roads High School in Santa Monica, California. His music has been well reviewed online by various music websites and his group has recently been featured in mainstream magazines such as Spin, Billboard and The Fader as well as on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. His debut studio album, Earl, was self-re...

Les Femmes Mystique presents: "Secrets Travel Fast in Paris"

Les Femmes Mystique presents: "Secrets Travel Fast in Paris" It's time to escape those winter blues and welcome the first moments of Spring. But instead of saying hello to Asheville Spring in 2015, you'll be whisked to 1920s Parisian Spring, the hotbed of culture, art, music, and of course - dance. Twinkling lights, champagne-filled glasses, and Parisian backdrops accompany a flapper-inspired jazzy performance by Les Filles Charme, a French-farce by Les Femmes Mystique, a fusion perfo...

Mike Rhodes' Fellowship

Mike Rhodes has been a staple of the AVL and WNC music scene for some time now, whether is was behind the kit playing with the pre-fame edition of the Avett Brothers or behind the scenes as the head of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employess (IATSE) Asheville Chapter. After years of recording and touring with the Blue Rags he has gone on to record over 30+ CDs with local artists including Drug Money,Underhill Rose, Kellin Watson,Aaron “Woody” Wood and many more, as w...

Songs of Water With Timbre

Songs of Water's distinct and evocative sound carries roots from the most ancient of cultures. This seven-piece ensemble delicately blends instrumentation from across the globe in a uniquely American context. The uncommon use of the hammered dulcimer melodically leads many of the group’s instrumental pieces, followed by the resonance of various acoustic instruments and a brooding foundation of heavy percussion. Layers of orchestral strings and sparse vocals create a cinematic appeal to th...

Catie Curtis and Hannah Aldridge

Catie Curtis is a veteran of the singer/songwriter folk scene, touring throughout the US for 20 years and releasing 13 CDs. She has been called a "folk-rock goddess" by the New Yorker, and has performed at the White House several times. Hannah Aldridge is an upcoming Americana artist and will open the show.

Cheryl Wheeler w/SPECIAL GUEST Kenny White

Cheryl Wheeler has to be seen to be appreciated. Nothing you read and nothing you hear from her albums prepares you for how entertaining a performer she is. If you’re not already familiar with Cheryl, you have probably heard her music. She is very respected as a songwriter by her peers, which can be seen by how many of them record her songs. Cheryl's songs have been covered by artists as diverse as Dan Seals, Peter Paul & Mary, Kenny Loggins, Garth Brooks, Suzy Bogguss, Melanie, Bette...

Phuncle Sam

Phuncle Sam is Asheville’s own Dead~Centric “jam band”. Since their formation in 2004, Phuncle Sam has been firmly rooted in musical exploration. The band serves up inventive interpretations of Jerry Garcia, Grateful Dead and many others. They have built up a faithful following by using an approach that respects the improvisational traditions of The Dead, while exploring what can happen when individual band members bring their unique influences and interpretations into the mix.

Yellowcard plus Finch & The Downtown Fiction

Continuing their worldwide tour in support of their seventh studio album LIFT A SAIL (Razor & Tie), YELLOWCARD is announcing the second leg of their US tour. The tour begins on April 6th in Lawrence, KS and wraps around the states until mid-May. “We are finally able to announce our amazing Spring US tour plans,” said that band from a joint statement. “From April 6-May 10 we will be out supporting Lift a Sail. We are heading out with a band we have had the honor of sharing t...


Recurring Events

Aer plus Jez Dior & Packy

Aer’s skillful debut album set the bar for the Boston duo’s innovative and engaging songs. The album, The Bright Side, revealed two musicians with something to say and a unique way of saying it, earning notable accolades and acclaim. Now, the group’s sophomore effort, Aer, reveals an exciting step forward in the evolution of the pair’s music. David von Mering and Carter Schultz formed Aer in Wayland, MA, combining rap, reggae, pop and indie rock aesthetics to create their...

Sunday Jazz Brunch At Burial Beer Co.

  • April 19, 2015
  • Address: 40 Collier Ave., Asheville, NC 28801
  • Venue:  Burial Beer Co.
  • Recurrence: Recurring weekly on Sunday

Starting NEXT Tuesday, December 9, 2014 Burial Beer Co. will be operating at full taproom hour capacity. What does this mean for the fine people of AVL and our visitors? Expanded hours starting Tuesday, December 9th. Tuesdays- Fridays 4-10PM Saturdays 2-10PM Sundays 12-8PM We are hosting a Jazz Brunch every Sunday (starting 12/14) from 12PM-the foods runs out. Gary Sernak (of Zambra, The Admiral and Blind Pig dinners) as well as Josh Dillard (of Zambra, Esmerelda and Asheville Pizza Co.) are t...

Tuesday Bluegrass Sessions

  • April 21, 2015
  • Location: Isis Restaurant and Music Hall
  • Address: 743 Haywood Road, Asheville, NC 28806
  • Venue:  Isis Restaurant and Music Hall
  • Recurrence: Recurring weekly on Tuesday

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. Doors open 5:00 PM - All Ages Show

Live Jazz With Patrick Lopez Modern and Latin Jazz Piano

Musical aficionado Patrick Lopez will be performing Modern and Latin Jazz Piano at Lex 18 from 7:00pm – 9:00pm. Patrick displays 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 be...

Wildflower Music Exchange Bluegrass Kickoff

  • April 25, 2015
  • Location: Wildflower Music Exchange
  • Address: 24 Empire Ln, East Flat Rock, NC 28731

Come enjoy live bluegrass, local food fenders, artists, potters, and activists at our first event to kick off the warm season Featuring... New Car Caviar (A Jamgrass Tribute to Pink Floyd), Buncombe Turnpike, and other local artists!