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The 36th Annual MerleFest is Just One Week Away! Kicks Off Next Thursday, April 25 

April 16, 2024 The countdown is on! MerleFest, presented by Window World, is almost here. With just one week to go until music fans from all walks of life gather for the annual springtime pilgrimage to Wilkesboro, NC, the anticipation is as palpable as ever. As an enthusiastic crew of staff and volunteers make the final preparations for this year’s event, first timers and longtime attendees alike are busy reviewing the recently-announced stage schedules, downloading the official MerleFest mobile app, and planning their ideal, music-filled weekend. 

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Friends of the Watauga County Public Library to Sponsor the Swingbillies of Boonetown: Musical Symbolism and Sufi Poetry at Grace Lutheran Church on Tuesday, April 23 at 4 pm

April 15, 2024 In honor of National Poetry Month, the Friends of the Watauga County Public Library will sponsor The Swingbillies of Boonetown: Musical Symbolism and Sufi Poetry. This FREE educational concert will be focused on the Sufi tradition of composing music for ancient poetry (represented by guitar player, Savash Altuntash, who is a practicing Sufi and Turkish immigrant) and how musicians go about composing and arranging music to fit the symbolism, tone, and mood of these poems. Different cultural elements will be brought to light in the music, melding traditions of Appalachia and The Middle East.  The audience will also learn about how to achieve and interpret symbolism in music and the history of music in Sufi poetry

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Grammy-Winning Jazz-Fusion Collective Snarky Puppy Bringing the Joy and the Jam to Boone

April 5, 2024 The Schaefer Center Presents series, presented by Appalachian State University’s Office of Arts and Cultural Programs, welcomes five-time Grammy-winning American jazz-fusion collective Snarky Puppy on Saturday, April 20 at 7:30pm at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts. The band — who heraldsas many as 20 members in regular rotation— combines a variety of jazz idioms, rock, world music, R&B, soul and funk. American trombonist-vocalist Natalie Cressman and Brazilian composer-guitarist Ian Faquini will open the concert. Cressman and Faquini, who have recorded three albums together, were finalists for Duo of the Year in 2023’s Jazz Journalists Critics Poll. 

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Headliners Announced for 2024 High Country Jazz Festival June 7-9, 2024

April 4, 2024 Joining together for the third time in a precedent-setting partnership, the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country (ATHC), Boone Sunrise Rotary, and the Jazz Studies Program at Appalachian State University proudly announce the headline performers for the Third Annual High Country Jazz Festival taking place in Boone, North Carolina, from June 7 through 9, 2024. Headliner performances by the Brubeck Brothers Quartet, Jazzmeia Horn, and Ziad take place in the historic Appalachian Theatre in Boone. Additional festival affiliated events will be announced shortly, along with additional sponsors and host locations, including outdoor concerts, late night jams, jazz lunches, and a popular jazz-themed film.

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An Appalachian Summer Festival Announces Lineup for 40th Anniversary Season

March 20, 2024 Appalachian State University’s annual summer arts celebration, An Appalachian Summer Festival (AASF), celebrates 40 years June 29-July 27 with an exceptional lineup of music, dance, theatre, visual arts, and film programming. Artists from all genres — alternative rock, blues, soul, country and Broadway, to bluegrass, chamber, classical crossover, dance and more — will perform on and around the campus of App State. Tickets go on sale to the public Wednesday, April 17 at 10am; tickets for country star Brad Paisley are on sale now.

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N.S.G.: Celebrating Black music by Black artists in Boone

March 8, 2024 “A Night of Black Music: Iconic Black Artists Covered by Local Black Musicians” are the words I saw on a digital flyer my girlfriend sent me, and instantly, I knew I desired to be there. In the year and a half that I have lived in Boone, I’ve never seen a Black band or live music being played. So, as a Black woman, to have the opportunity of hearing live Black music being played, and more moving, to capture it, was something I could not allow my soul to pass up!  By Shantaja Brown

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Jazz at Lincoln Center Presents SING AND SWING: Our American Songbook at App State’s Schaefer Center on Tuesday, March 5

February 19, 2024 The Schaefer Center Presents series, presented by Appalachian State University’s Office of Arts and Cultural Programs, welcomes Jazz at Lincoln Center’s SING AND SWING: Our American Songbook, Tuesday, March 5 at 7:30pm at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts. This celebration of the Great American Songbook and iconic partnerships in jazzfeatures trumpeters, vocalists, and composers Bria Skonberg and Benny Benack III. The North American tour of SING AND SWING: Our American Songbook will reach 45 cities across the United States and Canada, including major markets such as Los Angeles, CA, and Toronto, ON, and smaller but significant destinations such as Irving, TX, Ogden, UT, and Boone, NC.

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AtWP Celebrates Valentine’s Day with its ‘Local Love’ Lineup Announcement for FloydFest 24~Horizon (July 24-28, 2024)

February 14, 2024 At the heart of our purposeful programming, we showcase our love and admiration for the brilliant local music scene by offering patrons a taste of regional talent via the annual ‘Local Love’ lineup, a fitting announcement for Valentine’s Day. Across-the-Way Productions, Inc. welcomes 14 bands as this year’s Local Loves — Addie Levy, Annalyse Marie, Appalachian Space Train, Blue Mule, Chad Nickell & The Loose Change, Cinémathèque, GOTE, The Hillside Chaotics, Isaac Hadden Project, Leonard Blush & the Camelcals, Phat Anchovies, Pumphouse Blues, Sugarbush and War Chile — each of which will pepper performances over the five days of FloydFest 24~Horizon

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MerleFest Announces Initial Lineup for April 25-28, 2024 Festival – Tickets Available

February 13, 2024 MerleFest, presented by Window World, has announced the initial lineup for its 36th annual event, taking place April 25-28, 2024, on the campus of Wilkes Community College. Leading the breadth of can’t-miss performances this year are Grammy-winning rogue-folk ensemble Old Crow Medicine Show (celebrating both their 25th anniversary and nearly 25 years since their MerleFest debut in 2000), Red Dirt stalwarts Turnpike Troubadours, decorated blues-rock duo The Teskey Brothers, and recently reunited bluegrass sensation Nickel Creek. MerleFest favorites Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, The Earls of Leicester, and more are also set to appear. View the initial lineup below. Additional artists are to be announced.

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Local Entertainer Kody Norris and Band Claim Coveted  SPBGMA Awards In Nashville

February 6, 2024  The Kody Norris Show has done it again. The energetic, entertaining four-member country/ bluegrass band with local roots swept away some of the music industry’s most coveted awards during the 2024 Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass for America held last week at the Sheraton Music City Hotel in Nashville. “I feel like I have woken up in a dream, but thankfully it wasn’t,” Norris shared on Monday morning. “Last night has blown us away. We love bluegrass music and everything it stands for. We send a big thank you out to SPBGMA for keeping this event moving forward, the good Lord above, our team, our families and most definitely, our fans.”

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Tables Still Available for “Jazz at WinterFest” at the Green Park Inn this Friday and Saturday Featuring Local Jazz Great Todd Wright

January 25, 2024  Reservations are still available for an enchanting evening with local jazz great Todd Wright and his quartet for the “Jazz at Winterfest” series this Friday and Saturday nights at the Green Park Inn in Blowing Rock. Admission to Wright’s performances is by dinner reservation in the Hotel’s Chestnut Grill restaurant only. A three course dinner will be served with reservations available beginning at 6:00 pm. There is no additional charge for the live music. The setting will be in the Green Park Inn’s ballroom where there is not a bad seat in the house to enjoy an evening of jazz, food, drink and even dancing.

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Western Piedmont Symphony Performs Epic Choral Masterpiece Carmina Burana to Open the Schaefer Center Presents Spring Season

January 25, 2024  The Schaefer Center Presents series, presented by Appalachian State University’s Office of Arts and Cultural Programs, opens its spring season with the epic cantata Carmina Burana, Carl Orff’s infamous ode to love, drink, and living life to the fullest, Saturday, Feb. 10 at 7:30pm at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts. The choral masterpiece will be performed by Hickory’s Western Piedmont Symphony, under the direction of music director Matthew Troy, and will feature the Hayes School of Music’s Appalachian State University Singers and The Appalachian Chorale. Brahms’ Academic Festival Overture opens the concert.

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Local Night Music Series Highlights High Country Favorites on Stage at Appalachian Theatre

January 24, 2024  The Appalachian Theatre and Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music are excited to announce the lineup for their upcoming Local Nights, a series of seven performances that highlight the diverse talent found throughout the High Country. From February through May, the series provides a steady stream of local acts gracing the Doc Watson Stage at the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country.

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Local Jazz Great Todd Wright Reprises “Jazz at WinterFest” at the Green Park Inn Next Friday and Saturday, January 26th and 27th

January 18, 2024 While local jazz great Todd Wright can’t remember the first time that he played the Green Park Inn he has no doubt that the location is one of the finest music venues in the High Country, and on Friday and Saturday, January 26th and 27th, Wright will again headline the “Jazz at WinterFest” Series held at the Green Park Inn during Blowing Rock’s annual WinterFest Weekend. “We’re really looking forward to playing the Green Park again for Jazz at WinterFest 2024”, says Wright.

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Grace Bowers, On-the-Rise Competition Class of 2024 Announced for “FloydFest 24~Horizon” Coming July 24-28 to Floyd, Virginia

January 18, 2024 FLOYD, VA — Rooted in the ethos of FloydFest and Across-the-Way Productions is giving the next generation of up-and-coming performers a stage, a leg-up and an audience. Today’s FIFTH round of artist announcements for FloydFest 24~Horizon fulfills that continuing mission in numerous ways, not least of which is the addition of Grace Bowers, a 17-year-old guitar phenom and band leader. FloydFest 24~Horizon is the latest annual offering of the Southeast’s premier summer outdoor music festival, taking place Wednesday to Sunday, July 24 to 28, 2024, at its new home, FestivalPark, located at 5826 Floyd Highway North in Check, Va

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Maura Shawn Scanlin, Page Brothers Kick Off Mountain Home Music’s 30th Anniversary Season Jan. 19 and 20 at Appalachian Theatre

January 17, 2024 Founded in 1994, Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music this year marks 30 years of celebrating the diverse styles of Appalachian performing arts. Kicking off the 30th anniversary season will be back-to-back shows featuring acclaimed artists and Mountain Home Music alums Maura Shawn Scanlin and the Page Brothers. Purchase tickets for either show or take advantage of a package deal for both performances at apptheatre.org.

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Country Music Superstar Brad Paisley Headlines An Appalachian Summer Festival’s 40th Anniversary Season on Saturday, July 27th

January 10, 2024 Appalachian State University’s An Appalachian Summer Festival, in partnership with App State Athletics, announces country music superstar Brad Paisley as the headliner for the festival’s 40th anniversary season. Paisley will perform an outdoor concert at Kidd Brewer Stadium on Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 7:30pm. Tickets go on sale to the public on Wednesday, March 6 at 10am, and can be purchased at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts box office, online at appsummer.org, or by phone at 828-262-4046

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Charley Crockett, The Record Company, plus eight bands join the lineup for FloydFest 24~Horizon (July 24-28, 2024)

December 14, 2023 FLOYD, VA — Charley Crockett, hailed by Garden & Gun as “one of country music’s most prolific torchbearers;” Grammy-nominated rockers, The Record Company; and up-and-coming Alabama singer-songwriter, Drayton Farley, top Blue Cow Arts Foundation, Inc. and Across-the-Way Productions, Inc.’s FOURTH round of artist announcements for FloydFest 24~Horizon.Ticket prices increase in 18 days, on Jan. 1, 2024, for next year’s five-day outdoor experience dubbed “Horizon,” the latest annual offering of the Southeast’s premier summer outdoor music festival, taking place Wednesday to Sunday, July 24 to 28, 2024, at its new home, FestivalPark, located at 5826 Floyd Highway North in Check, Va.

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Eleven bands join lineup for FloydFest 24~Horizon (July 24-28, 2024), limited tickets remain

December 6, 2023 FLOYD, VA — Limited tickets remain for FloydFest 24~Horizon, the latest annual offering of the Southeast’s premier summer outdoor music festival, taking place Wednesday to Sunday, July 24 to 28, 2024, at its new home, FestivalPark, located at 5826 Floyd Highway North in Check, Va. To bolster the call to action to secure tickets before they’re gone, Blue Cow Arts Foundation, Inc. and Across-the-Way Productions, Inc. announce the THIRD round of artist additions for the 2024 festival, topped by Austin, Texas’ psychedelic-soul outfit and seven-time Grammy Award nominees Black Pumas. Also added to the emerging lineup for the award-winning festival are Allen Stone, Leftover Salmon, KellerGrass ft. The Hillbenders, Little Stranger, S.G. Goodman, The Wilder Blue,Próxima Parada, J & The Causeways, Isaac Hadden Organ Trio and Music Road Co.

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Twelve bands join lineup for FloydFest 24 – Horizon (July 24-28, 2024), with much more to come

November 10, 2023 FLOYD, VA — At the tail-end of a year where FloydFest won six high-profile awards, Blue Cow Arts Foundation, Inc. and Across-the-Way Productions, Inc. followup their Nov. 1 initial artist announcement with a strong second grouping of artists that will perform at FloydFest 24~Horizon, the latest annual offering of the Southeast’s premier summer outdoor music festival, taking place Wednesday to Sunday, July 24 to 28, 2024, at its new home, FestivalPark, located at 5826 Floyd Highway North in Check, Va. 

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Blue Cow Arts & Across-the-Way Productions announce FloydFest 24~Horizon for July 24-28, 2024; tickets on sale NOW

November 1, 2023 FLOYD, VA — One of four headliners, plus 16 other bands, paired with a brand-new festival location, top Blue Cow Arts & Across-the-Way Production’s November 1 announcement of FloydFest 24~Horizon, the latest annual offering of the Southeast’s premier, award-winning, summer outdoor music festival, taking place Wednesday to Sunday, July 24 to 28, 2024, at its new home, FestivalPark, located at 5826 Floyd Highway North in Check, Va.

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The King Bees: Bringing the Blues to the Blue Ridge

August 31, 2023 From Deep South juke joints to international venues to outdoor stages here in the High Country, the King Bees have been belting the blues for 36 — or maybe 37 — years. “I’m no good with dates,” said Penny “Queen Bee” Zamagni, lead singer of the renowned band she began with her husband, Rob “Hound Dog” Baskerville in the mid-1980s. The two have traveled the world sharing their American roots music, recording and touring in European capitals and across the United States, playing with blues icons, and appearing at New York’s famed Lincoln Center — but they always come back to Ashe County and the mountains they call home. By Jan Todd

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Hill Holler LLC receives final permit approval to develop FestivalPark

August 17, 2023 CHECK, VA — Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) approved Hill Holler LLC’s Stormwater Management Plan for the development of FestivalPark, the new home for FloydFest, on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2023. This final approval means FestivalPark will be ready to welcome patrons for FloydFest 24, set for July 24 to 28, 2024.

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2023 High Country Jazz Festival Takes the Stage from June 9 – 11 Additional Performers, Free Events, & Sponsors… Full Schedule Set!

May 1, 2023 BOONE, NC – The great George Gershwin famously remarked, “Life is a lot like Jazz… it’s best when you improvise.” That statement will be proven true yet again when the 2023 High Country Jazz Festival takes the stage with 14 separate events in ten different locations throughout Boone and Blowing Rock, North Carolina, from June 9 through 11, 2023. Tickets are now on sale via the festival website: www.highcountryjazzfestival.orgWith the final performance line-up and event schedule now confirmed, festival organizers have released the complete line-up of activities for the three day celebration of the art form of Jazz.

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