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The Jones House Cultural and Community Center Hosts Indoor Concert Series, Starting Feb. 3

The Jones House Cultural and Community Center will host a series of un-amplified indoor concerts, starting Feb. 3, and continuing into May, featuring a variety of folk and American roots music styles.

The series begins with a Black Roots Concert, in conjunction with Dr. Cece Conway and the Black & Global Roots Concerts and Front Porch initiative, which explores the West African influences upon American banjo music and Piedmont Blues. The Black Roots Concert takes place on Feb. 3, and it will feature a variety of artists, including Piedmont blues musician Jeffrey Scott, banjo roots scholars and musicians Seth Swingle and Fiona Balestrieri, and fiddle and banjo duet Jake Blount and Tatiana Hargreaves.

Seth Swingle
Scott is the nephew of legendary National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellow, John Jackson. Like Jackson, Scott is a Virginia native who has focused his artistry on the Piedmont Blues traditions that his uncle helped disseminate. Swingle is an award-winning banjo, ngoni, kora, and akonting player, who has studied banjo styles and African banjo roots by a host of master musicians. Swingle spent a significant amount of time learning and playing in West Africa by tradition bearers, as well as being a student of the late Mike Seeger. Fiddlers and banjo players, Jake Blount and Tatiana Hargreaves, have focused their music on the African American and Native American string band traditions, and their instrumental prowess has garnered them lots of blue ribbons and fiddle competition prizes.

The series continues on Feb. 16, with the King Bees, featuring guitarist Rob Baskerville and bass player Penny Zamagni. The King Bees have been fixtures of the High Country for decades, and they are the premier blues band of the area. In addition to their extensive touring, the King Bees also host the annual New River Blues Festival, and they released a new recording in late 2017.

King Bees

The King Bees have performed with many of the blues greats, including artists like Bo Diddley, Jerry Boogie McCain, and harmonica great Neal Pattman. The King Bees do not often have opportunities to play in such close and intimate venues, and they will be presenting a show that includes stories and conversations about their touring and time performing and befriending some of the blues legends of the south.


March 4 will feature a workshop and concert with American roots musician, Riley Baugus. Baugus grew up in North Carolina and started playing fiddle and banjo in the old-time traditions of Surry County as a young boy. Baugus was a professional musician by the time he was a teenager, performing throughout the country and internationally. Some of his bands have included The Farmer’s Daughters, Konnarock Critters, The Red Hots, Backstep, the Dirk Powell Band, and Polecat Creek. Baugus performs and records with Tim O’Brien, Robert Plant, Alison Krauss, Willie Nelson, and Martha Scanlan. Baugus is a sought-after performer, teacher,

Riley Baugus

and recording artist. This will be his first performance in Boone in several years.

The series continues on April 20, with a workshop and performance by Scottish fiddling master, Alasdair Fraser, and cello virtuoso, Natalie Haas. Fraser is one of the great bearers of the Scottish fiddle music tradition, who plays with warmth, expressiveness, and a deep understanding of his native music. Born in Clackmannan, Scotland, Fraser began playing as a young boy, growing up in a musical family. A Juilliard graduate, Haas, is one of the most sought-after cellists performing traditional fiddle tunes. Fraser and Haas have been performing and recording together for more than 18 years, and they have developed a unique musical relationship that highlights the strong Scottish fiddle tradition. Fraser and Haas have gotten the attention of many in the roots music world, and they perform and record with other masters, like Mark O’Connor, Bruce Molsky, and Solas.

The concert series will finish on May 19, with a taping for Paul Brown’s Across the Blue Ridge radio program. The popular WFDD show features traditional old-time, bluegrass, and American roots music, as host Brown introduces audiences to musicians, venues, and

Alasdair Fraser, and cello virtuoso, Natalie Haas

musical traditions of the Blue Ridge. This special performance will feature a host of local and regional musicians. The concert will be recorded, edited, and featured as an episode of the radio program. Brown is a former NPR journalist, who also happens to be a prize-winning banjo picker, fiddle player, singer, and storyteller. The show currently broadcasts from more than half-a-dozen stations, including airing on WFDD Saturday nights at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday evenings at 6:00 p.m.

The Indoor Concerts at the Jones House are produced by the Town of Boone’s Cultural Resources Department. All concerts begin at 7:30 p.m., with doors opening at 7:00 p.m. Tickets for the concerts are $20, and due to limited seating – only 40 seats per show – advanced reservation is recommended. To find out more about the concerts, including making reservations, please contact the Jones House at 828.268.6282www.joneshouse.org or email concert organizer, Mark Freed at mark.freed@townofboone.net