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May 14: Notorious

Please join us on May 14th when our second-Friday Gathering will feature the extraordinary fiddling and masterful fretwork of the Massachusetts-based duo Notorious (website here).

Lauded as "sparkling" and "exhilarating," Eden MacAdam-Somer and Larry Unger make their debut with the Charlotte Folk Society at the 7:30 PM concert in the Great Aunt Stella Center at 926 Elizabeth Avenue in downtown Charlotte. If you haven't heard them yet, it won't take you four beats to realize that this isn't just any ordinary folk band. Sweet vocals and virtuosic fiddling coupled with driving rhythm and snappy guitar solos make for a thrilling musical experience that spans many continents. Proclaimed a "guitar genius" by Sing Out Magazine, Unger combines talent with exciting and versatile young violinist Eden MacAdam-Somer, whose classical and jazz background merges with Larry's driving style to push the envelope towards swing, blues, and Gypsy genres.

The front doors of the Stella Center will open at 7 PM. Handicapped access is available through the ground-floor door on the right side of the building. Charlotte Folk Society Gatherings are family-friendly, open to the public, and free. Donations, which support the series in part, are greatly appreciated. The hour-long concert will be followed by refreshments, a song circle, slow and fast jams, and a Charlotte Appalachian Dulcimer Club meeting. Free surface parking is available adjacent to the Stella Center, as well as in a parking deck nearby. Exit the deck freely after 8 PM.

Notorious
With Eden on fiddle and vocals and Larry on guitar and banjo, their music lights up the hall with rhythm and sonority. Their performances are always new and exciting, featuring traditional American, Celtic, and Eastern-European tunes and songs, swing, blues, classical music and the group's original compositions. Notorious has been a featured ensemble at such festivals as Falcon Ridge, Wheatland, Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, Eastbourne International Festival, the Savannah Folk Festival, Pinewoods, and the Augusta Music Festival. Notorious has also performed at prestigious venues, including the Kennedy Center of Washington D.C. and the Multi-Educational Cultural Center for the Arts of Houston, Texas, and frequently dedicates time to performances and educational programs in schools. The band has also toured extensively, across the entire East and West coasts of the United States, to Alaska, and England. In addition to solo concerts, Notorious frequently works with orchestral ensembles, performs for folk and swing dances, teaches workshops, and participates in musical film collaborations.

At home in the worlds of both classical and popular music, Eden MacAdam-Somer is one of the most exciting and versatile young violinists and singers performing today. She has been a featured soloist with symphony and chamber orchestras, jazz and swing bands, bluegrass, and American folk groups. Eden is also well-versed in the music of other cultures, including Irish music, Eastern-European music, and European music from the Medieval and Renaissance periods. She has been an artist at the Aspen and Beijing International Music festivals, soloist at Texas and Wimberly jazz festivals, performer at Texas and St. Louis Renaissance Fairs, and has appeared on numerous recordings in folk, rock, jazz, and classical genres. She holds a BM and MM in music performance from the Moores School of Music (University of Houston) and the Shepherd School of Music (Rice University), respectively.

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Larry Unger has been a full-time musician since 1984 and has presented a diverse range of musical performances across the United States, Europe, and Scandinavia. Proclaimed "master guitarist" by Dirty Linen, Unger has played with many top contra dance bands and has accompanied such fiddlers as Judy Hyman, Matt Glaser, and Lissa Schneckenburger. Larry's original waltzes and fiddle tunes have been played and recorded by musicians around the world and can also be heard in the Ken Burns documentary, Our National Parks. Initially studying blues guitar with Etta Baker and John Jackson and later taking up the banjo and bass, Unger has become one of the most sought-after rhythm players in the country. He has a great breadth of understanding of traditional music to complement his considerable technical proficiency and enjoys telling stories about the origins of his music and the people who taught him.

Charlotte Folk Society Gatherings are made possible, in part, with funding from the Arts & Science Council and the North Carolina Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Cultural Resources, and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.