This Saturday: Black Roots of American Folk Concert at the Jones House
A musical showcase highlighting Black Roots of American folk music will take place this Saturday evening at the Jones House Cultural and Community Center in downtown Boone. The concert is part of the on-going series of Black & Global Roots Concerts in collaboration with Dr. Cece Conway, exploring the West African influences upon American banjo music and later Piecmont blues.
Saturday’s concert features a host of musicians versed in Piedmont finger style blues guitar, African roots of the banjo, and African-American string band music from the pre-WWII era. Performers will include Jeffrey Scott, Seth Swingle and Fiona Balestrieri, and Jake Blount and Tatiana Hargreaves.
Jeffrey Scott plays masterful Piedmont-style guitar, and he is known for his fantastic storytelling. His guitar playing is rooted in the finger-style playing of the eastern seaboard, with a steady thumb and syncopated melodies played with the index finger. This is the style that Jeffrey’s uncle – National Folk Heritage fellow and blues guitar master, John Jackson – played. Scott lives on a Virginia farm, where he raises cattle and performs regionally. He was a steady member of the famed Archie Edwards Blues Foundation jam sessions, and he is a seasoned blues veteran with a lifetime of songs and stories to share on guitar, banjo, and autoharp.
Seth Swingle is an award-winning musician and scholar who has dedicated his musical endeavors into exploring the banjo and West African roots of the instrument. Swingle studied with the great Mike Seeger as a young boy, becoming a two-time Virginia State Banjo Champion. He later traveled to West African to study with griots and musicians playing African banjo predecessors, including the akonting, ngoni, and kora. Swingle plays a variety of styles on these instruments, and along with singer and guitar player Balestrieri, he will demonstrate roots and evolution of banjo and pre-banjo styles.
Jake Blount and Tatiana Hargreaves are both versed in fiddle and banjo styles, tunes, and songs, and they combine the two instruments in unique and interesting ways as they explore American roots music. Their recent recordings Reparations presents tunes from Black and Native American communities in striped-down duets. Blount is the first African-American musician to win a blue ribbon in the traditional band category at the prestigious Clifftop Fiddlers Convention contest, and Hargreaves is the second woman to win the fiddle competition at this event. At the Jones House, their set will include celebrations of African-American and Native-American string band music from early last century.
The Black Roots Showcase is sponsored by Black & Global Banjo Roots and Director Dr. Cece Conway, Folklorist and Professor at Appalachian State University, in conjunction with The Town of Boone’s Cultural Resources Department, Appalachian State University, Virginia Foundation for the Arts, Our Town, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The concert takes place Saturday, February 3, starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Jones House Cultural and Community Center in downtown Boone. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $20, and they can be purchased at the Jones House. Advanced reservation is recommended because the venue has a maximum capacity of 40 seats.
To make reservations for the concert, more information, or a complete schedule of indoor concerts, please visit www.joneshouse.org or call 828.268.6280.