*FEATURE: REGIONAL PERFORMING ARTISTS and friends of SheVille – So, why is performance art important, you ask?
In the closing decades of the 20th century, performing arts critics became increasingly despondent about the longevity of these art forms. Many believed that the performing arts would gradually become obsolete, thanks to the rise of the TV and also of the early Internet. The critics stated that the arts would become as relevant to 21st-century society as string quartets were to their own time, and believed that gradually, the performing arts world would become unfashionable and little used by society.
Despite these prophecies of doom, performing arts have not diminished as expected, and instead are continuing to attract new talent and expertise. There are several reasons why the performing arts are still essential to modern society. CLICK FOR MORE
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CUDDLE IN THE COSMOS with Roberta Greenspan and Deb Criss
A “Cuddle in the Cosmos” with these gals is a journey of musical style, thought, and mood. It’s a reaching for more heart, a feeling of lightness and a deep search within ourselves. Inspiring tears, laughter and thought, one can find a personal touch of healing in their music. These messages are calling, calming, and sometimes humorous.
Multi-instrumentalist Deb Criss plays guitar, mandola, and banjo while writing the majority of the music. Her voice and words are the lilting language of the past and future that weaves towards a peaceful presence. She offers a uniqueness with her singing high above the clouds and deep in the earth. Roberta Greenspan’s fiddling is raw, in a natural state before being tamed. From frenzied improvisation to a deep lull of lushness, she offers Appalachian fiddle tunes to mesmerizing lullabies and everything in between. Her percussions may surprise you at times! CLICK HERE FOR DEMO SONGS
GLENIS REDMOND – Poet * Teaching Artist * Imagination Activist
Glenis Redmond travels all over the world, and is a Warrior Road Poet with two posts as the Poet-in-Residence at The Peace Center for the Performing Arts in Greenville, South Carolina, and also Poet-in-Residence at State Theatre in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Glenis served as the Mentor Poet for the National Student Poets Program, and in 2014 and 2015 she prepared student poets to read at the Library of Congress, the Department of Education, and for the First Lady Michelle Obama at The White House. Glenis is a Cave Canem Fellow, a North Carolina Literary Fellowship Recipient, and a Kennedy Center Teaching Artist. She helped create the first Writer-in-Residence at the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site in Flat Rock, North Carolina. Glenis believes that poetry is a healer, and she can be found across America in the trenches applying pressure to those in need, one poem at a time. CLICK FOR MORE
SUE FORD – Singer, Songwriter, Multi-instrumentalist
North Carolina native, Sue Ford is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Choir, percussion band and classical piano infused Sue’s early life. While at Appalachian State and Warren Wilson College and immersed in regional music, Sue became a “folkie”. She married puppeteer Hobey Ford and raised and homeschooled three daughters. Sue continued to study and perform an eclectic blend of musical enterprises including African drumming, dance, marimba and balafon, music history and theory, songwriting, composing, guitar, banjo and cello playing.
Sue Ford’s professional activities include serving as assistant director of Womansong for seven years, performing and releasing a CD of original music entitled The Water is Fine in 2003, serving as artistic consultant on multiple recording projects forWomansong, EMBE Marimba Band and Chikomo Marimba, presenting workshops and performances for teachers at the National Expeditionary Learning Conference, the National Orff Association Conference, the National Children’s Music Network Conference and the NC Charter School Conference and receiving Orff Schulwerk Level I and II Certification from the University of Kentucky. CLICK FOR MORE
RIVER GUERGUERIAN AND FREE PLANET RADIO World Music Trio with Chris Rosser, Eliot Wadopian
River Guerguerian has been inspiring audiences with his ecstatic and versatile percussion for over 30 years. Whether playing with world-class symphonies or studio musicians, partnering with Grammy-award winning composers, or creating dynamic plays of rhythm for his own projects, River’s passion and attention to the vibrant life of the drum reverberates throughout the crowd.
Born in Canada of Armenian-Egyptian extraction, River’s successful and prolific career started at an early age. In 1989, he received his Bachelor of Music from the Manhattan School of Music Conservatory and graduated with the school’s award for Most Outstanding Percussionist.
River Guerguerian has been inspiring audiences with his ecstatic and versatile percussion for over 30 years. Whether playing with world-class symphonies or studio musicians, partnering with Grammy-award winning composers, or creating dynamic plays of rhythm for his own projects, River’s passion and attention to the vibrant life of the drum reverberates throughout the crowd. CLICK FOR MORE
PEGGY RATUSZ Blues, Soul, Jazz
A well established presence in the Asheville music scene since 2002, Jazz and Blues Chanteuse Peggy Ratusz performs an infectious, sultry, multi-layered brand of original, traditional and modern Blues, Soul and Jazz. While influences such as Ray Charles, Connie Evingson, Anita O’Day and Bonnie Raitt are evident, it can’t be denied that her unique style and voice are one of a kind. She and her backing bands are particularly impressive during live performances where audiences witness her very core as it shines and is inspired by the rhythm, the melodies and content of the stories she tells. Every drop of emotion is authentic and shows all who are present, that she’s a willing servant to Jazz, Blues and Old School Soul. CLICK FOR MORE
LYTINGALE A prolific Asheville songwriter and versatile musician on vocals, keyboards, guitar, flute, dulcimer, hand drums, kazoo.
“Lyte” uses her clear soprano voice for all styles of music: rock, folk, opera, blues, jazz, musical comedy.
A prolific songwriter (about 400+ songs – I stopped counting!) and versatile musician (vocals, keyboards, guitar, flute, alto flute, dulcimer, hand drums, and awesome kazoo), “Lyte” has produced 3 albums (Home To My Heart on CD & Cassette, and Altar of Love and Inspirations on Cassette) plus various single songs and instrumental pieces, with downloads of some songs available at Lytingale.com. Sheet music is available from Lytingale Music. She is also the author of a workshop and book on reshaping and updating church music called Growing Your Church Music Program.
She has used her clear soprano voice for all styles of music, from rock to opera, blues & jazz to musical theatre. CLICK FOR MORE
HOBEY FORD, MASTER PUPPETEER
By SUSANNA SHETLEY in Smokey Mountain Living Magazine
Down a dusty dirt road just off the Blue Ridge Parkway in the mountains of North Carolina sits an unassuming workshop made of plain wood and nails. Birds chirp and leaves blow in the wind, offering an inviting melody for what awaits inside those symmetrical walls.
Up a few stairs behind a simple swinging door lives a magical world of puppets where expectant eyes, restless arms, and enchanting spirits await to come alive within the hands of master puppeteer, Hobey Ford.
As an inventor, artist, musician, storytelling engineer, and performer, Ford lives and breathes creativity and ingenuity. CLICK FOR MORE
WOMANSONG OF ASHEVILLE Singing together for joy, social justice and community!
In 1988, under the leadership of founding director Linda Metzner, created the New Start Fund to provide a hand up for a brighter and safe future to women in Western North Carolina. Through grants and scholarships we support women who are starting on a new path to greater self-sufficiency.
Womansong is Asheville’s oldest and largest women’s community chorus. Womansong performances are known for their high energy, pure entertainment, and unusual variety. The chorus’s eclectic repertoire includes songs from around the world as well as our own backyard, with several pieces composed by Womansong members. Lively accompaniment is provided by a variety of instrumentalists along with dancing and drumming. Womansong’s music and community efforts are grounded in the common spirit of women working and singing together. The chorus proclaims unity and honors cultural diversity with songs that celebrate many themes in women’s lives – empowerment, spirituality, healing, and humor. Proceeds from Womansong concerts support its New Start Program. CLICK FOR MORE
KATHRYN O’SHEA Folk-Soul Singer/Songwriter
“There’s a unique dynamic going on in the music of Asheville, North Carolina singer/songwriter Kathryn O’Shea. As a writer, her songs tend toward the confessional or autobiographical, the type we most often hear accompanied by an acoustic guitar. But O’Shea’s husky, low-toned moan is buoyed instead by her skeletal banjo playing.”
It feels a little like how I would imagine pushing ten baby birds out of a nest for the first time might feel.
I never expected it to go this way.
A virus pandemic, a livestream show economy…
But these songs were forged from the fires of panic, confusion, and mortality.
So I’ll be damned if I let a crisis keep them from being shared.
The album is titled January 9th.
On January 9th 2014, my dad died peacefully after a short but fierce bout with cancer. And on January 9th 2020, I recorded 10 of my songs in a vocal booth built out of the closet I shared with him in my childhood home. My brother, Michael recorded everything. That day, he sat right around where he used to sit to do homework when this now recording studio was his bedroom. My, how things have changed. CLICK FOR MORE
NANCY ASCH Drummer and Percussion Player
Nancy has performed, toured, taught, and recorded on drums and percussion for over 25 years. She studied jazz drumming and African percussion at Wesleyan University and Berklee College of Music. Her teachers have included Ed Blackwell, Nydia Liberty Mata, Layne Redmond, and Raguy Danziger. A veteran of the Boston alt music scene, Nancy has drummed with indie phenomenon Thalia Zedek of Come, the alternative rock group Magic 12, and famed punk poet/musician Patti Smith. She has focused on world music with an emphasis on Afro-Cuban rhythms and Middle Eastern music. Venues include Joes Pub and CBGBs in NYC, Middle East, TT the Bears and Ryles in MA; The Roxy in LA; NC Stage, ACT Theater, BoBo, Tressas, Aloft Hotel, 5 Walnut St. Wine Bar, ISIS Music Hall, and The Orange Peel in Asheville NC. In addition, she has performed at the LAAFF and LEAF festivals. She teaches drums and guitar in her private studio. Recordings on the Dahlia and Matador records. Nancy has traveled to Cuba with Carolyn Brandy to study and participate in traditional music and dance performances. Nancy performed Local Women’s Voices: A Literary and Musical Extravaganza to Benefit the Women’s March on Asheville CLICK FOR MORE
PAN HARMONIA Intimate, engaging music for everyone
Asheville, NC’s award-winning chamber music repertory company has been nationally acclaimed for its artistic excellence and creative vision for more than 20 seasons. Directed by flutist Kate Steinbeck, luminous ensembles of winds, strings, voice, guitar, piano and percussion offer a wide range of repertoire from iconic masterpieces to beautiful new works. Its world-class music is for everyone and shared with diverse audiences of all ages throughout our community in art galleries, historic churches, prisons, homeless shelters and front porches. We believe social justice and arts access go hand in hand.
Our music is sublime and transcendent; our performances inclusive, informal and fun. Pan Harmonia will change your perception of what classical music can be! CLICK FOR MOR
THEA & THE GREEN MAN
Acoustic Singer-Songwriter Duo, Cynthia Stacey and Chuck “The GreenMan” Willhide, have been performing together for twenty years. Stellar vocal harmonies blend with acoustic guitars and world percussion to create a contemporary and timeless sound. Both began playing at the age of eight. Their music is inspirational and speaks across generations.
Thea is an award-winning songwriter who spent her early childhood barefoot among the Seminole Indians on the banks of the Miami River. Her summers were spent in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina where she and Chuck currently reside. She also lived and worked in the Desert Southwest with Indigenous healers and as a result of these influences, Native American images and the subject of rivers, mountains and canyons weave their way through her songwriting. Thea’s lyrics are socially conscious and empowering, her love songs poignant and deep. CLICK FOR MORE
DANIEL WEISER & AMICI MUSIC
AmiciMusic is a chamber music organization based in Asheville, NC and Baltimore, MD, dedicated to performing the highest quality chamber music in intimate venues and non-traditional spaces. We are committed to breaking down barriers between performers and audiences by setting up a more relaxed and informal atmosphere at concerts and through informative talks about each composer’s life before each piece is played.
Upcoming Asheville Area Concerts! Buy House Concert Seats below before they sell out! View the list of our past Asheville Area concerts.
2nd ANNUAL WOMEN IN MUSIC :: A Tribute to Iconic Female Artists
Asheville singer-songwriters honor iconic female artists
Six Asheville female singer-songwriters will pay tribute to the works of iconic female artists during a Jan. 6 show at Isis Music Hall in West Asheville. This year’s artists are: Jane Kramer, Amanda Anne Platt, Aubrey Eisenman, Hannah Kaminer, Anna Kline and Anya Hinkle, and they will honor the works of Dolly Parton, Stevie Nicks and Kate Wolf. Get tickets to the second annual Asheville Women in Music concert here.
The local artists front Asheville-based, touring bands and have been recognized as accomplished song writers. Their performances will include works of the iconic artists, as well as stories about their history and rise. CLICK FOR MORE