The Charlotte Folk Society kicks off 2011 with bluegrass, gospel, and more by The Snyder Family Band on Friday, January 14, at 7:30 PM in the Great Aunt Stella Center, 926 Elizabeth Avenue in Uptown Charlotte.
Monthly Folk Society Gatherings are family-friendly, open to the public, and free. Donations, which support the series, are greatly appreciated. A short refreshment break follows the hour-long concert. Afterwards, join a song circle or a jam session -- slow or fast -- listeners welcomed. The Charlotte Appalachian Dulcimer Club meets after the concert, as well, and invites visitors to join them and play loaner instruments.
Front doors open at 7 PM. Elevator access is available to those with limited mobility after 7 PM through the ground floor door on the side of the building next to the parking lot. Free surface parking is available adjacent to the Stella Center. The arm of the nearby parking deck goes up for the weekend at 7 PM. Visitors who pick up tickets on their way in won't be charged if they leave after 8 PM.
The Snyder Family Band showcases the prodigious talents of fifteen-year-old Zeb Snyder, on guitar, and his sister, eleven-year-old Samantha, on fiddle. Their father, Bud, backs them up on upright bass. The buzz about Zeb and Samantha is not exaggerated! Their extraordinary musicianship and their depth of feeling for the music they play have taken them to stages everywhere from the Tosco Music Party to MerleFest, from the Wayne C. Henderson Festival to the Cook Shack (Union Grove, North Carolina). As well, they've been invited to showcase their talents at the IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association).
People often ask me about the future of traditional music. There is no better example of a bright future than The Snyder Family. They are outstanding musicians and great people. I say "Relax, the music is in good hands." The future of traditional music looks bright to me.
Zeb began classical guitar lessons at age seven and built a great musical foundation in the Suzuki method. When he broadened his interest to include bluegrass at age eleven, he entered a new phase that brought him to his favorite style of playing the guitar -- flatpicking. He progressed by leaps and bounds, eagerly joining any jam session. Zeb has won many guitar competitions since he began flatpicking. In 2007, he won the top prize, a Wayne C. Henderson guitar, at the Jimmy Edmonds Homecoming Competition at the Blue Ridge Music Center in Galax, VA. Zeb took first place in the adult guitar competition at the 2009 Mount Airy Bluegrass and Fiddlers Convention. Last August, at the Galax Old Fiddler's Convention, he took first place in the Junior Mandolin contest and placed fourth among 300 adult guitar competitors. As well as being an awesome guitarist, Zeb writes exciting original compositions -- think Tony Rice!
Samantha began playing classical violin at age three in the Suzuki method. By age four, she was playing duets with Zeb. At age seven she made the transition to bluegrass by taking fiddle lessons, playing in jam sessions, and competing at fiddlers' conventions. In 2007, Samantha won first place at the Jimmy Edmonds Homecoming Competition. The prize was a fiddle made by luthier and fiddler Jimmy Edmonds. In 2008, at the age of nine, she became the youngest ever to win the prestigious "Fiddler of the Festival" title at Fiddler's Grove in Union Grove, NC, home of the oldest fiddler's competition in North America. At the 2010 Galax Old Fiddler's Convention, Samantha entered the Adult Fiddle competition came in second, ahead of 98 others and right behind her teacher, Glen Alexander. Along with playing fiddle, Samantha enjoys singing lead and harmony vocals and writes original songs.
Bud Snyder contributes a smooth steady beat on the upright bass that adds depth to the growing talents of Zeb and Samantha. He especially enjoys the bond that making music with them provides. Laine Snyder occasionally joins her husband and children on stage to create three-part harmonies. The youngest Snyder, Owen, aged four, has begun classical guitar lessons in the Suzuki method and sometimes joins the family on stage to perform.
The Snyder Family Band released Coming On Strong, their first CD on the Mountain Roads Recordings label, in March 2010. This is their second recording and features two of Samantha's songs, The Great Civil War and a gospel number, What Will You Say, as well as Zeb' guitar and banjo work. Visit their website here.
Join us on January 14th, and we're certain that you'll agree with Larry Stephenson, five-time SPBGMA (Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America) Vocalist of the Year: "Bud and Laine Snyder are raising their family right! You can see it on stage and you really know it while talking with them. Bluegrass music has always had wonderful family bands and the Snyder Family Band will rank up there with the best of them. When you hear their new recording and see their stage show you'll know what I mean . . . the sky's the limit if that's where they want to go!"
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.