By EUGENIA L. JOHNSON
Fiddler Alan Jabbour and banjoist Ken Perlman will present a concert of Appalachian tunes on Saturday, Nov. 19, at 7pm at Swain County Center for the Arts in Bryson City, NC. Immediately following the one-hour concert there will be a meet and greet reception for Native American artists,Jeff Marleyand T. J. Holland, and Haywood County artist, Chris Burnette. Their artwork will be on exhibit at the Center for the Arts through January 24.
Sponsored by the NC Arts Council, Swain County Center for the Arts and Swain County Schools, the public is invited to attend both the concert and the reception free of charge. This program received support from the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the department of Cultural Resources.
The repertory of Jabbour and Perlman consists mostly of fiddle tunes Jabbour learned from elderly fiddlers in North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia in the 1960’s. The concert will feature music Jabbour learned from his mentor, West Virginia fiddler Henry Reed, who taught him over a hundred Appalachian tunes. Tunes such as “Over the Waterfall” and “Kitchen Girl” have become staples of the contemporary old-time repertory in North America and beyond. They will also incorporate some tunes that Perlman learned in Atlantic Canada, England and Scotland, which he performs magnificently in the clawhammer banjo style. The fascinating stories that intersperse the tunes will bring to life the historical and cultural significance of these musical artifacts from past generations.
Alan Jabbour and Ken Perlman have redefined the classic Appalachian tradition of fiddle and banjo music and have brought it to new heights of complexity. Jabbour’s powerful fiddling style with its syncopated bowing patterns and lyrical texture is offset perfectly by Perlman’s inspired approach to clawhammer banjo that includes chord inversions, harmony lines, voice leading, note-for-note playing and counter-melody. Their performances testify to the grace, beauty and power of Appalachian music. For more information on the musicians and to hear their music go to www.alanjabbour.com and www.kenperlman.com.
Following the concert, everyone is invited to the reception in the lobby of Swain County Center for the Arts for Native American artists, T. J. Holland andJeff Marley, both of Cherokee, and Chris Burnette of Waynesville. The exhibit includes paintings of Cherokee myths and legends in the style of the Old Masters by Holland, paintings of birds in an abstract, expressive style by Marley and paintings based on legends and stories from the mountains of North Carolina by Burnette.
Holland says, “I want to tell the stories I have heard throughout my life through the lens of art.”
The paintings by Marley have been described as post-expressionistic and a reflection of interpersonal conflict. He says, “My culture and heritage are important, but it is my experiences in the world that inspire me as an artist.” Both artists are members of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians.
Burnette is a painter and printmaker from Haywood County whose work focuses on Appalachian and Cherokee tales. All three artists received their BA degrees in fine arts from Western Carolina University and are active in the arts community.
Info: Eugenia (Jenny) Johnson 488-7843
Eugenia is the director for the Swain County Center for the Arts.