Carolina Bluegrass Summit next month at UNC

uncThe Department of Music at the University of North Carolina and their Southern Folklife Collection will be hosting an academic seminar at the Chapel Hill campus as part of their new Bluegrass Initiative. The initiative is an effort to incorporate the music and folkways of rural North Carolina into the curriculum at many levels, including the college’s newly-established Carolina Bluegrass Band, led by Russell Johnson.

Billed as the Carolina Bluegrass Summit, the event will be held November 11-12 in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room in the Wilson Library on campus. Activities will run from 3:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Friday, and 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. on Saturday. Functions will include the presentation of papers, workshops, lectures, and discussions on a variety of topics relating to the history and business of bluegrass music, and performances by Steep Canyon Rangers and The Grass Cats.

There is no charge to attend the Summit, other than the Steep Canyon Rangers show, which is separately ticketed. The conference is designed for students of Appalachian Studies or anyone with an interest in the history of bluegrass music. Participants will include Fred Bartenstein, Penny Parsons, Barry Poss, Dave Freeman, Robert S. Cantrell and many others.

A complete schedule for the two days follows:

Friday, November 11, 2016

3:00 pm: WORKSHOP w/ Steep Canyon Rangers, Person Hall, UNC-CH.

5:00 pm: EXHIBIT OPENING Folk Music on Overdrive: Bluegrass Music in the Southern Folklife Collection.
with music by Alice Gerrard. 4th Floor, Southern Folklife Collection, Wilson Special Collections Library, UNC-CH.

7:00 pm: LECTURE Concerts in Context: A Pre-Concert Lecture Series with Dr. Jocelyn Neal, Associate Chair of the Department of Music, and Dr. W. Fitzhugh Brundage, Chair of the Department of History. Gerrard Hall, UNC-CH.

8:00 pm CONCERT Steep Canyon Rangers w/ special guest the Carolina Bluegrass Band. Memorial Hall, UNC-CH. (Ticketed)

Saturday, November 12, 2016.

Pleasants Family Assembly Room, 2nd floor, Wilson Special Collections Library. UNC-CH.

8:45 am: COFFEE

Jordan Laney (Virginia Tech): “What’s Cooking in Kathleen’s Kitchen? Exploring Feminized Performances and Spaces in Bluegrass Festivals,” and
Erica Fedor (UNC Chapel Hill): “Sounding Out Against HB2: Music and Protest in Local North Carolina Perspectives”
Respondent: C. Joti Rockwell, Associate Professor of Music (Pomona College)

10:00-10:30 am: Joseph Decosimo (UNC Chapel Hill) “‘This Train Has Got Two Tracks, and We’re Just on One’: Navigating Bluegrass/Old-Time Boundaries in Southeast Tennessee”

10:45 am-12:00 pm: BLUEGRASS ON RECORD: Dave Freeman (County and Rebel Records), Marian Leighton Levy and Ken Irwin (Rounder Records), and Barry Poss (Sugar Hill Records), with Allison Hussey (Associate Music Editor, INDY Week), moderator

12:00-1:15 pm: LUNCH on your own

1:30-2:15 pm: C. Joti Rockwell, Associate Professor of Music, (Pomona College) “Acousticism’s Electric Roots”

2:15-3:45 pm: WRITING BLUEGRASS/BLUEGRASS WRITERS: Fred Bartenstein, Jack Bernhardt, Tommy Goldsmith, and Penny Parsons, with Art Menius, moderator.

4:00-5:00 pm: KEYNOTE: Robert S. Cantwell. Professor Emeritus, Department of American Studies (UNC Chapel Hill): “‘Folks, Don’t Try this at Home:’ Bluegrass and the Liberal Arts”

6:00-8:00 pm: CLOSING SOCIAL Grass Cats Bluegrass Band. Linda’s Downbar, 203 E Franklin Street, Chapel Hill.

Pre-registration is not required. All are invited to attend.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.