The Orange Peel



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July 16, 2014

Dine with Celebrities, Skip the Paparazzi Asheville is buzzing this ... more

July 07, 2014

Indie & heritage craft fairs mark July weekendsPhoto by The Big Crafty, ... more

July 03, 2014

Tips for keeping cool in Asheville this summerSummer is here for sure, with ... more

July 03, 2014

Galifianakis, Wiig lead cast in Asheville filmOwen Wilson, Kristen Wiig ... 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

Chamber Music at Searcy: Brahms Clarinet Quintet

Program to include Mozart’s Flute Quartet No. 3 in C major, K. 285b and Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op. 115. Call: 828-862-2105 or visit: for additional program or ticketing information.

Asheville Art Museum Series: Mozart Sonatas for Piano and Violin

In conjunction with the Brevard Music Center’s Summer Festival, the Asheville Art Museum is honored to partner again with the Brevard Music Center to bring three performances to the Museum audience. In the spirit of Brevard Music Center’s mission, the Asheville Art Museum series will include performances by young musicians of exceptional talent, as well as members of Brevard’s renowned artist faculty. The final concert in the Asheville Art Museum Series will feature BMC artist ...

Chamber Music at Searcy: Chamber Music of Franz Schubert

Program to include Schubert’s Sonata in A minor, D. 821, "Arpeggione", Der Hirt auf dem Felsen (The Shepherd on the Rock), D. 965, and Piano Trio No. 1 in B flat major, D. 898. Call: 828-862-2105 or visit: for additional program or ticketing information.

ZZ Top Performs in 2014 Biltmore Concert Series

  • July 30, 2014
  • Address: One Lodge Street, Asheville, NC 28803
  • Venue:  Biltmore

Wednesday, July 30 – ZZ Top lay claim to being the longest-running major rock band with original personnel intact (40 years), and in 2004 the Texas trio was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Their biggest hits include “Sharp Dressed Man,” “Gimme All Your Lovin’” and “Legs.”

87th Annual Mountain Dance & 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. In 2014, performers at the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival will take to the stage for the 87th time at Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place in downtown Asheville on Thursday through Saturday (July 31 through August 2) at 7 p.m.

Janiec Opera Company: Sweeney Todd

Sondheim's dark tale of violence, revenge, and pies has remained popular since its Broadway debut in 1979. Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical, Best Book, and Best Original Score, Sweeney Todd sets the compelling story of the title character's obsessive search for revenge against Sondheim's characteristically complex and angular score. Join us as we close our 2014 opera season with this truly memorable performance. Call: 828-862-2105 or visit: for additional program or tic...

Live Music by Chris Smith

Join us on the patio - Chris Smith's acoustic music is a must-hear for anyone who loves the sounds of alt-country!

Steely Dan Performs in 2014 Biltmore Concert Series

  • July 31, 2014
  • Address: One Lodge Street, Asheville, NC 28803
  • Venue:  Biltmore

Thursday, July 31 – Steely Dan Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Walter Becker and Donald Fagen will bring Steely Dan to Biltmore this summer during their “Jamalot Ever After” Tour across the U.S. and Canada. Steely Dan has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide and helped define the soundtrack of the '70s with hits such as “Reelin' in the Years,” “Rikki Don't Lose That Number,” “F.M.,” “Peg,” “Hey Nineteen” and “...

Jim Lauderdale & Carlene Carter

Jim Lauderdale is a multiple Grammy® and Americana Music Association Award-winning musician and one of the most respected artists working the Americana, Bluegrass and Country music communities today. His record Buddy and Jim, which he wrote and recorded with longtime friend and collaborator Buddy Miller, was nominated this year for a Grammy in the Best Americana Album category and several Americana Music Awards, a show which he has hosted since 2002 ( With Carter Girl, Car...

Saint Saëns Organ Symphony

Conductor Ken Lam kicks off our final weekend, leading the Brevard Concert Orchestra in a performance of two powerful works. Violinist Noah Bendix-Balgley joins the orchestra to perform Khatchuturian's Violin Concerto. After Intermission, the orchestra will present a rare performance of Saint-Saëns's "Organ" Symphony. Call: 828-862-2105 or visit: for additional program or ticketing information.

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