Piano man of the Blue Ridge, Jeff Little, will present two special indoor performances at the Jones House on Saturday, December 15, along with his father, Jerrell Little, and son, Luke. The special “Little Family” concerts will conclude the fall series of indoor concerts at the Jones House with shows at both 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Jeff Little grew up in Boone, and he has played across the country and on numerous recordings. His distinctive style was heavily influenced by the mountain flat-picked guitar tradition, and he is known for his renditions of famous fiddle tunes set to the piano keys with speed, precision, and clarity.
Jeff’s father, Jerrell Little, a native of Ashe County, is a talented musician and performer with a range of versatility, playing the tenor banjo, guitar, piano, organ, bass, and drums. Jerrell began his music career in the 1950s, forming a dance band at the age of 15. His group, Jerrell Little and the Quarter Notes, performed throughout the Carolinas and Virginia, and they released two successful singles. Little had his first radio show by the time he was 20, and in the 1960s, he opened the music store in downtown Boone. Jerrell’s longtime friend, Doc Watson would frequently stop by, and the store became a hub for local pickers.
Jeff was exposed to fiddle tunes, old time country, and traditional blues growing up in Boone and hanging out at his father’s music store. There were frequent jam sessions in the shop, and at an early age, Jeff would sit in on sessions with pickers like Doc Watson and Wayne Henderson, influencing and shaping Jeff’s approach to the piano and his repertoire. Jeff started sitting in with Doc on stages, and eventually formed The Jeff Little Trio. He has since performed at the Smithsonian Institution, The National Folk Festival, American Piano Masters, Merlefest, on National Public Radio and PBS, and even around the world through the US Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. In 2014, Jeff was inducted into the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame.
Jeff’s son, Luke, is quickly becoming an outstanding mandolin player. He started playing mandolin at age 15, and in less than four years, he has won numerous contest ribbons, including first place in the 2018 Ashe County Fiddlers Convention. He frequently sits in with the Jeff Little Trio, including guest spots at the annual Doc Watson Day Celebration.
The special Little Family concerts will include all three generations of Little musicians, playing tunes and sharing stories. The special concerts will have limited seating, and advanced reservations is highly recommended. The concerts will take place in the Mazie Jones Gallery of the Jones House in downtown Boone, right across the street from where the Little music store was located. Seats for the concerts will be $20 each. To make reservations for either the 4 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. seatings, please call 828.268.6280 or email Mark Freed at [email protected] More information can be found at the Jones House website at www.joneshouse.org.