Jens Kruger, celebrated North Carolina banjoist, by way of Switzerland, will be premiering a new composition of his with The Kruger Brothers and The Kontras Quartet, on October 15. The concert is scheduled at The Paramount Center in Bristol, TN.
Titled Roan Mountain Suite, the piece is written for the five string banjo, celebrating the peak in northeastern Tennessee and the 50th anniversary of efforts to conserve its natural beauty which commenced in 1966. It was commissioned by Judy Murray, of Kingsport, TN, whose late husband, Stanley A. Murray was responsible for launching the Roan conservation project. He went on to serve for 14 years as the Chairman of the Appalachian Trail Conference and dedicated his life to preserving the natural beauty of the mountain terrain.
Judy formed The Stanley A. Murray Roan Mountain Suite Memorial Fund to raise the necessary funds, and the completed work will be unveiled to the public in October.
Roan Mountain Suite will be Kruger’s fifth such commissioned work, arranged for his own group (banjo, guitar, and bass) with a traditional string quartet, a grouping he has utilized in the past. He is also a great lover of the Appalachian region where he settled in North Carolina many years ago, and believes he has captured part of its beauty in this composition.
“Music is an enhancer. For instance, you can look a landscape and the right music enhances the emotion you have for that imagery. Music also shapes, to a certain degree, your perception of the landscape.”
In the video below, both Kruger and Murray speak about the commissioning of this piece while we hear Jens playing bits of it in the background.
Tickets for this gala premiere can be purchased online.