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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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
At the heart of Grits & Soul is the collaboration of Southern song crafters, Anna Kline & John Looney. Their sound is steeped in lonesome mountain bluegrass & drenched in Mississippi soul & blues. Whether they perform as an acoustic duo or a full band, the Grits & Soul sound haunts you. Anna & John have a dynamic musical chemistry felt through their heartfelt original songs & intricate harmonies. The release of their first full-length album, Flood Waters, follows on t...
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...
7pm - 9pm Bob Strain performing Romantic Jazz Ballads and Standards at Lex 18 About Bob Strain 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 Intercontinental Hot...
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
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...