The Railsplitters with special guests Fireside Collective

Just in time to get you warmed up for this year's PNC presents Wide Open Bluegrass, two of this year's official IBMA Bluegrass Ramble showcase bands will close out this year's Midtown Bluegrass Series. Get a sneak preview of what's in store this year with Colorado-based band The Railsplitters (4:30-6 pm) and North Carolina's own Fireside Collective (3-4 pm).

The Railsplitters: 4 men and 1 woman stand in a V formation with the woman at the point, two men to either side diagonally back from her. There is a small dog standing in front of the woman's feet. In the background is blue sky with white clouds; to either side is a grey wall, which the two men furthest back on each side are leaning on.

Eight NC Artists Among 30 Selected for IBMA's 2017 Bluegrass Ramble

Out of more than 160 bands that applied to be part of the 2017 IBMA Bluegrass Ramble showcases, eight are from or based in North Carolina, and three are international acts.

Shape Note Sing

Don't miss this free oppotunity to learn about this unique singing style right here in Raleigh. No prior experience is necessary to participate in the Shape Note Sing - beginners and experienced singers are all welcome. The chapel doesn't have an address, but if you Google 1091 Wake Forest Road, you will find it. There is free parking on both sides of Cedar St., as well as on Mordecai Dr. and Mimosa St. (And please note the new start time - the sing will start at 1:50 p.m., not 2 p.m., to help accommodate the chapel's schedule.)

Men and women of various ages sit with books, some facing the camera, some in profile with their left shoulders toward the camera; singing together at the 2016 Sacred Harp Annual Convention in NC.

Charros de Mexico

Mariachi music combines elements of indigenous Mexican music with musical styles from a variety of other cultures, such as the waltz and the fandango from Europe as well as many dance rhythms and melodic ideas from Africa. Modern mariachi bands typically feature trumpets, guitars, and violins, among other instruments. Today, mariachi bands are known to perform for many different occasions, such as dances, weddings, funerals, birthdays, and more.

Five people (four men and one woman) stand outside a building in full, matching mariachi outfits: black pants, coats, and shoes, white shirts, red neckerchiefs, and black and silver sombreros (the woman, standing in the middle, holds her sombrero in front of her). On the ground in front of the musicians are instruments: a violin, a trumpet, a guitar, and another string instrument that looks like a small guitar.

PineCone Beginners Bluegrass Jam

The PineCone Bluegrass learning jam at Harry’s Guitar Shop on the third Wednesday of the month continues to be very popular, welcoming beginner musicians and people who want to learn basic jam etiquette before jumping into a traditional jam. This month's featured songs will be "Blackberry Blossom" (key of G), and "Billy in the Lowground" (key of C), selected specifically to help participants continue to learn about chord numbers by featuring two instrumentals that use the "minor six" or "relative minor" chord.

Men and women of varying ages sit in a large circle on chairs or stools; Jef Walter stands with his bass. Two walls of guitars are visible behind the musicians, and there's a worn rug in the middle of the circle that the participants are seated around. Photo credit: Spencer Mobley

PineCone Bluegrass Jam

The PineCone Bluegrass Jam is moving! On the fourth Monday of this month, check out IMURJ, the new venue hosting the monthly PineCone Bluegrass Jam. IMURJ is a new music venue/cafe/gallery space in downtown Raleigh.

IMURJ logo: IMURJ (all caps, with a curve over the I connected to the top left of the M, and the bottom right leg of the R curving below the J); Create * Perform * Engage

PineCone Bluegrass/Americana/Old Time Jam

The Piedmont region of North Carolina has a vibrant and varied music scene, which the combined bluegrass/old time/Americana jam taps into. This jam meets monthly, and Speakeasy has space in case musicians want to break out into different groups over the course of the evening. We hope that this combined jam will also provide opportunities for musicians to learn about the similarities between these overlapping styles.

Tyler's Taproom logo - a curved line above and below the two-line text Tyler's Taproom

Shape Note Sing

In the shape note singing tradtion, singers sing a cappella (without accompaniment) and sit arranged by vocal part in a “hollow square,” facing one another across the square and taking turns at leading. No prior experience is necessary to participate in the Shape Note Sing - beginners and experienced singers are all welcome. The Shape Note Singers meet the second Sunday of each month in Durham and the fourth Sunday of each month in Raleigh.

Singers gathered together at the 2016 Sacred Harp Convention; men and women of various ages sit together around a square holding songbooks, and a man stands in the middle of the square leading the song.

The Boxcars with special guests ShadowGrass

Kick off the Midtown Bluegrass season with veteran bluegrass band The Boxcars and rising stars ShadowGrass! You won't want to miss this exciting pairing of musicians, where you can see for yourself how bluegrass continues to inspire future generations to play music. The afternoon will begin with a facilitated youth jam with local musicians Lynda and Jamie Dawson.

Promotional photo of The Boxcars - five men standing outside an old brick building. The men all wear black shoes, blue jeans, and long-sleeved button down shirts. Three of the men have facial hair, two do not. All five have short hair; Adam Steffey, in the middle, is wearing glasses.

PineCone Youth Jam with Jef Walter & Pattie Hopkins Kinlaw

At the April 2017 youth jam, Jef Walter will be joined by fiddle player and PineCone Bluegrass Camp instructor Pattie Hopkins Kinlaw; this month's featured song is "Saint Anne's Reel," a popular fiddle tune in the key of D.

A diverse group of female and male students sit in a circle in a room at Marbles Kids Museum playing fiddles and guitars; facilitator Jef Walter stands to play his guitar in the circle with the students; a few parents and others look on from outside the circle of young musicians.

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