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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

LEAF Downtown AVL

  • Aug 1
  • Pack Square Park
  • Location: Pack Square Park
  • Address: Pack Square Park, Asheville, NC 28801
  • Recurrence: Recurring daily

LEAF Community Arts is thrilled to announce the first annual LEAF Downtown AVL event taking place on August 1st & 2nd, 2015. Get ready to celebrate communities, creativity, diversity, and families in the heart of downtown Asheville! Long has it been our dream to bring the performance magic, cultural majesty, and beautiful family atmosphere cultivated over 20 years of LEAF Festivals to the city we call home. We welcome ONE AND ALL to two days filled to the brim with music, art, workshops, fa...

Single-Day Events

Brevard Music Center Presents Student Chamber Music Platform

  • Jul 28
  • Location: Searcy Hall at Brevard Music Center
  • Address: 349 Andante Lane, Brevard, NC 28712

Brevard’s talented students perform chamber music prepared throughout the summer and coached by BMC’s artist faculty.

RLife Music with Jason Moore & Trust Trio

Trust Trio is a classic piano-less trio. Inspired by the strolling work of so many legendary saxophonists. The result is a surprising and enlivening blend of music brought to your ears by a trio of musicians who work to develop an expressive environment imbued with the quality featured in their name.

Slayer

In the beginning, when there were no blueprints, no set paths, no boundaries or steps to follow, SLAYER assaulted the world with its hybrid of metal and punk. 

Tuesday Bluegrass 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. FREE 5PM Door :: Dinner Reservations are Available by Calling Isis at ...

Adron with Flatland

Adventurous, internationally all-inclusive folk/soul with tropical flavors, South American rhythms, and agile vocals. Adron's unique songwriting is both light with touches of humor, and hypnotic with moments of darkness. Adron is rapidly being recognized as one of the most uniquely gifted songwriters and vocalists of this generation. She was voted Best Songwriter of 2012 by the Atlanta-based arts and culture magazine Creative Loafing. Flat Land layers dreamy melodies over flashes of Stevie Wonde...

An Evening with Sean McGowan, Steve Baughman and Jonathan Brown :: Guitar Trio

Three outstanding acoustic guitarists and Swannanoa Gathering Instructors will play a concert in the round of acoustic music. Steve Baughman, Celtic influenced guitar and Clawhammer banjo, Sean Mc Gowan ­ Fingerstyle Jazz master and Jonathan Brown­ Chet Atkins fingertsyle , jazz and classical. Description of music: Celtic with Clawhammer style banjo and guitar, Jazz influences in popular tunes and Jazz standards, Chet Atkins style finger­picking blues, country and jazz. Music : Genre...

Brevard Music Center Presents Chamber Music: Soloists of The American Spiritual Ensemble

  • Jul 29
  • Location: Ingram Auditorium at Brevard College Campus
  • Address: 1 Brevard College Drive, Brevard, NC 28712

Brevard Music Center presents The American Spiritual Ensemble – a critically-acclaimed professional group composed of some of the finest singers in the classical music world. The vocalists have thrilled audiences around the world with their dynamic renditions of classical spirituals and Broadway numbers.

Brevard Music Center Presents Student Piano Recital

  • Jul 29
  • Location: Searcy Hall at Brevard Music Center
  • Address: 349 Andante Lane, Brevard, NC 28712

Searcy Hall at the Brevard Music Center 12:30 PM | FREE!

Brevard Music Center Presents The Ballad of Baby Doe

  • Jul 30
  • Location: Scott Concert Hall, Porter Center at Brevard College
  • Address: 349 Andante Lane, Brevard, NC 28712

The Ballad of Baby Doe is one of the most popular and beautifully melodic American operas in the standard repertory! Baby Doe is based on the story of Horace Tabor, Elizabeth “Baby” Doe Tabor, and Augusta Tabor - all real historical figures. The action takes place in Colorado and Washington, DC…even President Chester Arthur and William Jennings Bryan make an appearance. (Ticket holders may attend a free Pre-Opera Talk in Scott Commons which begins one hour before the performa...

Classical Dinner and a Concert featuring Amicimusic's "FRENCH FROLIC"

AmiciMusic returns to Isis for another fabulous dinner/concert with a program titled "FRENCH FROLIC" featuring music by French composers including Poulenc, Debussy, Saint-Saens, Faure, and more. Rachel Patrick, violin, returns to the region from California along with clarinetist Matthew Boyles and pianist/Artistic Director Daniel Weiser for this very appetizing program. Music : Genre: Classical $15 Advance / $15 Door 7:00pm Advance Tickets and Reservations can be secured by callin...

RLife Live Music with TLQ+2

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

Viva Ashevegas! A 40th anniversary celebration of Elvis in Asheville

The event will feature a mini-documentary on Elvis’ time in Asheville, a performance by local Elvis tribute artist Carlo Martini—who will also debut his new memoir—an Elvis-themed dance party, and more.

An Evening of the Blues with Riyen Roots and Kenny Dore

Original Blues, Rock, Roots, and Soul Music From The Mountains Of North Carolina Riyen Roots and Kenny Dore are one of the busiest performing acoustic blues duos in the US. Having played 120+ shows in 2014. Currently recording our new cd with special guest appearances by good friends "Steady Rolling" Bob Margolin, and Grammy Winner David Holt, both have done shows with Roots and Dore shows here in the Carolinas. Always a bluesy good time had by everyone when Riyen Roots and Kenny Dore ...

Brevard Music Center Presents A London Symphony

  • Jul 31
  • Location: Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium at Brevard Music Center
  • Address: 349 Andante Lane, Brevard, NC 28712

The Brevard Concert Orchestra—led by conductor Keith Lockhart with violinist Noah Bendix-Balgley—performs Higdon’s blue cathedral, Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy, and Vaughan William’s A London Symphony. (Ticket holders may attend The PreConcert, a free recital in Thomas Hall, which begins one hour before the performance.)

Brevard Music Center Presents New Music

  • Jul 31
  • Location: Searcy Hall at Brevard Music Center
  • Address: 349 Andante Lane, Brevard, NC 28712

Brevard Music Center presents premiere performances of new works written by BMC composition students.

Brevard Music Center Presents Piccolo Opera

  • Jul 31
  • Location: Morrison Playhouse, Porter Center at Brevard College
  • Address: 1 Brevard College Drive, Brevard, NC 28712

Brevard Music Center’s high school students present opera scenes.

Clawhammer Oktoberfest Release Party

Come celebrate the love of beer and mountains with Highland Brewing Company, Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy and U.S. Fish and Wildlife for the release of the seasonal Clawhammer Oktoberfest, named for Clawhammer Mountain. Help us protect the world's oldest mountains by raising awareness and raising a pint in honor of all the hard work that these organizations do throughout the year protecting land, clean water and conserving unique plant life and animal habitat. $1.00 per pint from t...

Friday Night Dance Party with Free Flow

Our Friday Night Dance Party for July 31st will feature "Free Flow". According to the Mountain Xpress, the Free Flow Band members are “The Guardians of Funk”, and an “Irresistible Dance Party that draws fans from across generations and social groups”. If you ask their fans, they will tell you Free Flow is a dance band that doesn’t try to sound like anyone but Free Flow. Join us for some dinner and dancing. Celebrate Life with an evening of Motown and Soul ...

Brevard Music Center Presents Brevard Symphonic Winds

  • Aug 1
  • Location: Straus Auditorium at the Brevard Music Center
  • Address: 349 Andante Lane, Brevard, NC 28712

The BSW presents their final concert of the season—led by conductor Kraig Alan Williams— featuring Joe Lulloff in a performance of Maslanka’s Saxophone Concerto.

Brevard Music Center Presents Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto

  • Aug 1
  • Location: Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium at Brevard Music Center
  • Address: 349 Andante Lane, Brevard, NC 28712

The Brevard Sinfonia presents their final concert of the season—led by conductor Ken Lam with mezzo-soprano Courtney Miller—performing Ravel’s Shéhérazade, Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4. (Ticket holders may attend The PreConcert, a free recital in Thomas Hall, which begins one hour before the performance.)

Ooh La La Curiosity Market

  • Aug 1
  • Location: Pritchard Park
  • Address: 67 Patton Ave., Asheville, NC 28801

Ooh La La Curiosity Market is an art market that takes place in Pritchard Park, located in the center of beautiful downtown Asheville and will showcase the work of more than a dozen local artists. Taking place over 11 Saturdays throughout Summer beginning May 23th. Ooh La La will feature works by local painters, leather smiths, jewelry makers, potters, up-cycled crafters, and other curious delights, all beneath the colored canopies of large market umbrellas. In addition to the artists, the marke...

The Breakfast Club America's Favorite 1980's Tribute Band

The Breakfast Club® is the longest running, most recognized ’80’s tribute band in the United States. Formed in 1993, the group was the first of its kind. The mission was simple: create an entertainment group that embodied the enigmatic, creative, and buoyant spirit of music and live performances of the original MTV generation of the 1980’s. That mission remains today. This is NOT some wig wearing, mall fashion version of an ‘80’s cover band, lip syncing to track...

Recurring Events

The Swannanoa Gathering

  • Jul 28
  • 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...

Beats, Burgers and Brews

Relax outdoors to the beat of bluegrass, Americana, folk, blues or other genres while enjoying a regional craft brew or glass of wine on our riverside deck. Talented local musicians and singer-songwriters liven up the scene on Friday & Saturday evenings in July at this popular burger joint in Chimney Rock Village. The Old Rock Café features one of the 2014 Zagat-rated “Must-Try Burgers Across the Country” with Hickory Nut Gap Meats' 100% grass-fed beef burger. The full men...

Secret Agent 23 Skidoo plus Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band

“Secret Agent 23 Skidoo has married the complex beats of Hip Hop with the magical world of kids.” -TODAY “Through his music, he empowers kids to be themselves.” -USA TODAY “With positive, relatable songs, he has fast become a favorite of radio hosts and venue bookers around the U.S.” -TIME “Nobody is making better ‘Kid-Hop’ than Secret Agent 23 Skidoo” -NPR EIGHT #1 HITS ON SIRIUS/XM! 2015 GRAMMY NOMINEE!