Concert

Dom Flemons, with Kaia Kater and Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton

Dom FlemonsKaia Kater, and Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton share the stage for one night only, spotlighting the African roots of the banjo and the impact that the instrument continues to have in old-time, blues, bluegrass, and other music traditions. Each artist will perform a short solo set before they all come together, with Flemons acting as emcee and interviewer, providing the audience with insights beyond the music through conversations with Kater and Paxton. 

Promotional photos: Dom Flemons holds his banjo in his lap, seated in a room with wood floor, Kaia Kater stands with her back to the camera and the head of her banjo facing the camera while strapped to her back, the neck of her banjo points right, and she looks over her right shoulder; Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton sits outside holding his banjo in playing position: right hand on the banjo face, left hand on the neck.

Dwight Hawkins & The Piedmont Highballers - RESCHEDULED

Dwight Hawkins & The Piedmont Highballers are a Raleigh-based band specializing in playing pre-war stringband music. In addition to vocals, Hawkins plays guitar, mandolin, saw, and bones. Kevin Burnet plays guitar and mandolin. Turner Brandon holds down the harmonica and keys, and Andrew Berger-Gross rounds out the band on lead mandolin. Hawkins has traveled the country playing this music, performing in streets with pickup bands, and even playing shows with the likes of the Carolina Chocolate Drops and the Hackensaw Boys at events like MerleFest and FloydFest.

Sitting in folding chairs on an outdoor stage, from left to right: Kevin Burnet plays mandolin, Dwight Hawkins plays guitar, and Andrew Berger-Gross

Crann Úll

Whether interpreting a traditional song or tune or a cover of a contemporary song, solid musicianship and a love of tradition shine through in Crann Úll's music. Crann Úll features Rob Sharer on guitar, fiddle, flute, bodhran and vocals with Margaret Rush on guitar and vocals. Comprised of a Dublin native now residing in Raleigh and a Raleigh native who once resided in Ireland, Crann Úll plays a spectrum of traditional Irish material.

Crann Ull members Rob Sharer and Margaret Rush - Rob wears a solid color, long sleeve button down shirt; his left hand is in his pants pocket, and his long hair is pulled back. Margaret is in a flower printed, short sleeve dress with her hands clasped in front of her. In this promotional photo, they stand outside a wooden building. Photo Credit: Liz Condo Photography

Sierra Hull - RESCHEDULED

In 2016, Sierra Hull became the first woman to earn the International Bluegrass Music Association's Mandolin Player of the Year award. Her breakout album Weighted Mind, produced by Bela Fleck, is nominated for a GRAMMY in the Best Folk Album category for 2017. This album features the young mandolin virtuoso coming into her own as a singer-songwriter. Hull first joined Alison Krauss on stage at the Grand Ole Opry when she was just 11 years old, and she has been astonishing audiences and fellow musicians alike ever since.

Sierra Hull promo photo - Sierra Hull stands outside a house, wearing a hat and dress and holding a mandolin.

Billy Strings

Whether sharing stages with acoustic music royalty, crisscrossing the nation playing as a solo artist or performing high-energy, jaw-dropping sets at festivals, the reaction to Billy Strings tends to come in two varieties: “Who is this guy?” and “That kid can play!” In 2016, he earned the International Bluegrass Music Association's Instrumentalist of the Year Momentum Award for his guitar playing, and that's just one of many accolades

Billy Strings holds his guitar by its body near his head in his right hand, and the guitar neck points down across the right side of his body; his left arm is raised, elbow bent pointing toward the viewer, and he looks to his left.

Mountain Faith

North Carolina’s own Mountain Faith earned IBMA's 2016 Emerging Artist of the Year title in September! They have played their unique brand of music since 2000. Their fresh Appalachian take on gospel, bluegrass, folk, R&B, and pop music has earned them televised appearances on Daystar and the 2015 season of America’s Got Talent, where their cover of the song “Counting Stars” by OneRepublic helped propel them all the way to the show’s semifinal found.

Promotional photo of Mountain Faith - 6 men and 1 woman standing outside on a town sidwalk, 3 men on each side of Summer McMahan, under a sign for Eric's Fresh Fish Market.

NCCU Jazz Ensemble

The NCCU Jazz Ensemble is the top big band of the University's two large ensembles. The Jazz Studies Program at North Carolina Central University is under the leadership of saxophonist/flutist Ira Wiggins. NCCU was the first university in North Carolina - public or private - to offer the Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies, initiated by jazz trumpet legend Donald Byrd in the late 1970s. (NCCU Jazz Ensemble Photo Credit: Steven Bromberg)

African American and Caucasian students, male and female, all in matching red coats and blue slacks (and the men all in white shirts with collars and neckties). Front row musicians play saxaphones; back row musicians play trombones.

Sarah Jarosz

Sarah Jarosz is a gifted multi-instrumentalist, an insightful songwriter, and a singular vocalist who has been described by The New York Times as “one of acoustic music’s most promising young talents: a singer-songwriter and mandolin and banjo prodigy with the taste and poise to strike that rare balance of commercial and critical success.” Undercurrent, her fourth Sugar Hill album, is her first release since graduating with honors from the New England Conservatory of Music and relocating to New York City, and it has earned her two GRAMMYS earlier this year

Promotional photo of Sarah Jarosz; she is shown from the waist up, standing beside a door.

Loose Strings Band

The Loose Strings Band (LSB), an all female band from Galax, Virginia, has been together for 11 years, and they are known in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and beyond for their tight vocal harmonies and sweet rhythms. They have traveled throughout Southwest Virginia and beyond playing for many different types of events, from bluegrass conventions and weddings to benefits, churches, reunions, festivals, and more.

Promotional photo of Loose Strings Band - 5 young women stand outside in the grass with mountains and trees in the background. The women are all wearing different dresses and standing with their instruments: Lindsey Nale with mandolin; Channing Russell Combs with guitar; Grace Davis with bass; Ashley Nale with banjo; and Mary-Claire Hooper with fiddle.

Kamara Thomas & the Night Drivers

Kamara Thomas writes musical tales culled from American songlines and dreamtimes. Her songwriting draws from a wide swath of classic country and rock -- echoes of Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, Emmylou Harris, and Tom Petty co-mingle with the folk sounds of spirituals, hymns, mountainsong and Lucinda Williams-esque originals. Thomas performs with her band The Nightdrivers -- Steve Anderson (drums), Sarah Dawson (backup vocals), Nathan Golub (bass), Gordon Hartin (pedal steel), and Tim Shearer (guitar) -- out of Durham, North Carolina.

Kamara Thomas headshot/promotional photo; she is seen from the shoulders up in a black top with the sun reflecting off her skin as she looks off to the right; bare tree limbs decorated with round purple ornaments are above her head, and out of focus trees are visible in the background.

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