Music News & Reviews

Country Picks: Steep Canyon Rangers at Carolina Bluegrass Summit

The first Carolina Bluegrass Summit, at UNC-Chapel Hill, combines concerts, courses and symposia. The Steep Canyon Rangers will perform and take part in lectures and workshops.
The first Carolina Bluegrass Summit, at UNC-Chapel Hill, combines concerts, courses and symposia. The Steep Canyon Rangers will perform and take part in lectures and workshops. David McClister

Bluegrass music, already a cultural force with the arrival of IBMA’s annual convention in Raleigh, has taken a long-overdue academic turn at UNC-Chapel Hill. UNC’s music department has established the Carolina Bluegrass Summit, a program combining courses, symposia and concerts celebrating this vital American art form.

The inaugural summit, sponsored by the Southern Folklife Collection, UNC Music Department and Carolina Performing Arts, takes place Friday and Saturday on the UNC campus. The Steep Canyon Rangers appear in concert Friday night at Memorial Hall, while lectures and a workshop by the Rangers are also part of the day’s fare. Saturday features academic papers, panel discussions and a keynote address by Robert Cantwell, author of the critically-acclaimed “Bluegrass Breakdown.” While Friday’s concert is a ticketed event, Saturday’s symposium is free and open to the public.

For more information, go to blogs.lib.unc.edu.

Other highlights

  • On Saturday, a trio of Nashville songwriters will share their music in McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center in Henderson. Writers include Henderson native Danny Flowers (“Tulsa Time”), Roger Cook and Wynn Varble. Info: mcgregorhall.org.
  • Soon after forming in 1971, The Bluegrass Experience was crowned World Champion Bluegrass Band at the influential Union Grove Fiddlers Convention. On Sunday, the Experience will celebrate its 45th year of entertaining fans throughout North Carolina with a 3 p.m. concert and retrospective at Fearrington Village Barn in Pittsboro. Info: chathamartscouncil.org.
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