BOONE, NC – The newest initiative at the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country continues at 7 p.m. on Thursday, January 26 when the Page Brothers take the stage for the second concert for “Local Night @AppTheatre.” This artists series is specifically designed to showcase the talents of High Country musicians for whom the venue was restored and renovated.
The Page Brothers’ performance of “Django Reinhardt’s Birthday Celebration” celebrates a jazz pioneer born 113 years ago this week. Reinhardt is widely recognized as one of the world’s greatest guitarists. Django combined his love of early American jazz with elements from his Romani heritage to create an intoxicating style known as jazz manouche. This program will feature his most celebrated compositions, collaborations with violinist Stephane Grappelli, as well as bebop and modern jazz tunes done in Django’s inimitable style.
The group performing on January 26th is modeled after Reinhardt’s classic “Hot Club” ensemble: two guitars, violin, and acoustic bass. The Page Brothers (twins Andy and Zack) will be joined by violinist Meade Richter and guitarist James Schaller for an exciting night of acoustic, string driven jazz. The Page Brothers are co-led by guitarist Andy Page and bassist Zack Page.
“We are thrilled to be part of the Local Night series at the historic Appalachian Theatre,” said Andy. “While I’ve played sets here with Todd Wright and Belleville Rendezvous, this will be the first time the Page Brothers have presented a full program on the Doc Watson Stage.
“Our family has roots in Watauga County going back to the late 1800s. Zack and I grew up visiting Boone and going to the App Theatre to watch movies like “The Blues Brothers” in that space! More recently, after the renovation, I’ve been blown away by world-class acts booked at the theatre, from Delfeayo Marsalis to Tommy Emmanuel. The sound and production are simply stellar.”
Utilizing a rotating line-up of the finest musicians in Western North Carolina, the Page Brothers keep a busy performance schedule in the Southeast playing a variety of jazz styles from manouche to straight-ahead to fusion. They have performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, Japan’s Muroran Jazz Cruise, and for jazz workshops in Germany. Work with various jazz ensembles, theater companies, and the cruise industry has taken them to all 50 U.S. States, the Caribbean islands, the Mediterranean, Australia, South America, Europe, and the Far East.
Andy has performed private engagements for former President Bill Clinton and poet Maya Angelou and has shared the stage with jazz artists such as Phil Woods, Jamey Aebersold, Tony Monaco, and others. Zack has had the good fortune to play and/or record with Billy Higgins, Delfeayo Marsalis, Cyrus Chestnut, and Babik Reinhardt, the son of Django Reinhardt. Along with guitarist Scot Wise, Zack and Andy released a recording of gypsy waltzes entitled “Souvenir de Django” with the trio Musette Guitars. Andy currently teaches at Appalachian State University, while Zack teaches at UNC-Asheville.
Originally from Western New York, guitarist Jim Schaller gained early music experience in choir throughout schooling as well as performing progressive rock and cultivating an interest in jazz fusion. A veteran of the U.S. Navy, Jim served mainly in the Far East before settling in California and eventually Boone, N.C. focusing his playing on the Gypsy Jazz idiom and performing with Swing Guitars and others. He recently served on the teaching staff of the Gypsy Jazz in Paradise camp in Crested Butte, Colorado.
Meade Richter is a Boone native who began performing in the High Country area as an Old-Old Time fiddler at the age of 13. Since then, music has taken Richter around the world as he’s studied a wide range of genres and fiddle styles and worked with award winning musicians with eclectic backgrounds. Richter was fortunate to study with a host of legendary players including local old-time fiddle master Cecil Gurganus, bluegrass fiddle extraordinaire Hunter Berry, and jazz maestro Tcha Limberger in Belgium. Meade spent three years performing with various projects in Norway after graduating from the Norwegian Academy of Music. He has since moved back to Watauga where he performs locally with his own project, The Swingbillies of Boonetown, and teaches private music students.
“We are thankful for the App Theatre and Mountain Home Music collaboration on the series,” said Andy, “to help spotlight local musicians… and friends. Although this is the first time this lineup of artists is performing together, Meade and Jim have established a strong presence on the local music scene. We’re all proud to be Boone locals!”
“Local Night @AppTheatre” is a collaborative effort between the Appalachian Theatre and Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music and is scheduled for select Thursday evenings in January, February, and March 2023. Each performance features local artists and area student groups as opening acts, when possible, with shows starting at 7 p.m. All tickets for this concert are reserved seating at a price of $10 for adults and $7 for students plus taxes and fees. Please note that events, days, dates, times, performers, and prices are subject to change without notice. Follow @AppTheatre on Facebook and Instagram for up-to-the minute event updates throughout the winter season. For tickets and more information on all events, or to join the theatre’s eblast list and purchase memberships, please visit the ATHC website at www.apptheatre.org.
Courtesy of The Appalachian Theatre of the High Country.