Thursday, March 11, 2010

a real jubilee festival

With so many incredible venues to choose from in Knoxville, there's one that always stands out as uniquely Knoxville in my mind. Originally a church and now community art and music center, the Laurel Theater in Fort Sanders was the first place that I heard live music after I moved to Knoxville. Some boast it has the best acoustics of any venue in town. Much of their strength comes from the monthly calendar and programs that the non-profit that his housed there organizes, Jubilee Community Arts. (JCA's mission and reach is really too long to recreate here, so check out all their other projects like a record label, archives, and educational programs) On any given week throughout the year, one could dance in various folk styles (including the popular contradance), and sing shape-note with one of the most enduring groups in the country. I try to tune in to WDVX on the weekends when they host 5 solid hours of programming on Saturdays and Sundays, including lots of live shows from the Laurel Theater. While I really haven't visited as much as I'd like, I'm making a point to get there more often. Example- folk music festival!

This weekend they are hosting the 41st Annual Jubilee Arts Festival with a wide variety of live music acts, both formal and informal. It seems that 41 years could make it the longest running festival of its kind around. I'm going to try to make it to see Mike Bryant on Saturday, but I will definitely be there for the harp sing!

Here's the lineup:

7:00 Jim Turley & Friends (unfortunately, Jim passed away recently, so the schedule might change up some)
7:30 Matt Morelock, Ian Thomas & Ferd Moyse
8:00 Tom McCarroll & Tammie McCarroll-Burroughs
8:30 Danny Gammon
9:00 Lost Marbles
9:45 The Bearded

7:00 Joseph Decosimo & Allison Williams
7:30 John Alvis
8:15 Roy Harper
9:00 Mike & Marcia Bryant
9:30 Jake Leg Stompers
10:15 Mumbillies

11:00-3:00 Annual Epworth Harp Singing with dinner on the grounds (that means a potluck lunch for you non-southerners)

So, maybe you haven't heard of any of these folks, except maybe Matt Morelock and Ferd Moyse (the illustrious fiddler of the Hackensaw Boys) and Knoxville's The Bearded. For people who play music to keep it alive, these musicians are kind of big deals. For the rest of you, if you're into discovering new types of music, new or unfamiliar instruments, or even old traditional music recreated, then this weekend's wide variety of musical styles and depth of talent is not to be missed! Don't let the rain keep you inside.

Also- you might also be wondering why the sets are only 30-45 minutes. Well, if its any consolation, there will supposedly be jams all night long in the basement!


B said...

I want to go!

Lo, do you contradance? I'd love to see the wigshoppers contradance there on a Monday night, especially The Pol. It's really fun.

Lo said...

lo and mrs. lo had contradancing at our wedding, but we haven't gotten into it here in knoxville. i think the pol would love it. and its better with groups of people.

Jimbo Clark said...

Let me know if y'all decide to dance! I dance there just about every Monday and if I know you're coming I'll bring a 6er of good beer to share with y'all just for writing tributes to so many of my favorite places. BTW we've got out-of-town bands playing this Monday night and next, and out-of-town bands generally draw larger and more enthusiastic than normal crowds. Oh, and Monday's our St. Patrick's Day dance, so everyone'll wear green!

ck said...

Wow. I can't believe all this is happening a few blocks from where I live. Knoxville a seriously cool folk scene, even if most Knoxvillians don't know it. I'm gonna try and be there tonight!