Charlotte Folk Society logo celebrating 30 years

Dedicated to promoting the ongoing enjoyment and preservation of traditional and contemporary folk music, dance, crafts and lore in the Carolinas Piedmont,
since 1982.

November 8th Gathering
The Stray Birds
The Stray Birds

The Stray Birds

Once again, the Charlotte Folk Society introduces an exceptional band on the rise to Queen City music lovers. Join us when The Stray Birds make their Charlotte debut at our November 8th Gathering in the Great Aunt Stella Center, 926 Elizabeth Avenue, in Uptown Charlotte. The music gets underway at 7:30 PM. Doors open at 7 PM; arrive early to be sure of admission.

Free parking is available in a deck adjacent to the Stella Center. Accessible entry and an elevator are available through the ground floor door on the parking lot side of the building.

Special Parking Instructions for this event!

We want to give you a heads up! We've been told by the Great Aunt Stella Center (GASC) site manager that Elizabeth Avenue between McDowell Street and Kings Drive will be closed due to road construction.

You can enter the Great Aunt Stella Center parking lot by coming through the County Parking Deck on 4th Street and exiting into the parking lot beside GASC. You could simply park in the deck and walk over. If you have passengers who need to be dropped off, you can do so and then return to the deck to park.

You can also exit from 277 to 4th Street and enter the parking deck.

The Stray Birds, a young Americana trio, rooted in traditional music, but breaking new ground, made an impact in the musical world with their first, self-titled release. In naming The Stray Birds as one of the Top 10 Folk & Americana Albums of 2012, National Public Radio said: "New bands seeking to make a lasting impression on a nationwide audience are often inclined to lay it all on the line from the get-go. Unleash the full throttle of your instrumental gifts through intense solos and voice-stretching vocal performances, and perhaps folks will have no option but to listen. There's more grace and artfulness, though, in exercising restraint, as The Stray Birds do beautifully on their self-titled debut. Clearly these are players with chops, songwriters with a fierce command of their craft. But they also seem to have a grip on when to lend a hand, and when to let the songs fly on their own. This record was certainly one of the finest debuts of the year from a band to watch."

Oliver Craven, Maya de Vitry, and Charles Muench, three friends who grew up within a few miles of each other in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania came together as The Stray Birds in 2010. All three were blessed to grow up in musically rich families passionate about acoustic music.

My Horses Ain't Hungry

Shortly after beginning classical violin lessons, Oliver Craven began playing the fiddle alongside his parents in the Craven Family Band. Their repertoire of folk, bluegrass, and country tunes included many of his father's original songs. Upon graduating high school, Oliver packed up his mandolin and guitar and headed to Philadelphia to attend Temple University. While studying African American Literature and History, he wrote songs, played a few open mics, and began to record his original music. After three years, he realized that what he wanted to learn wasn't within the hallways of a university, but rather along the roadways of North America. Oliver has logged thousands of miles, played in 40 states and four countries, and performed at honky-tonks, folk festivals, and in listening rooms. Along the way, he toured for two years with the Grammy-nominated Americana artist Adrienne Young, as well as a year with The Steel Wheels. Charlotte fans of The Steel Wheels will recognize Oliver as the fiddler and harmony vocalist who performed with the Virginia-based quartet when they made their Charlotte debut at a 2011 CFS Gathering.

Maya de Vitry first performed during "show and tell" in kindergarten. She strummed three chords on a tiny guitar and sang Iris DeMent's Our Town - a song in frequent rotation in the family car. Along with public school violin lessons, she learned fiddle tunes from her father, who performed in several local bands. The highlight of the de Vitry Family's summers was their annual trip to West Virginia's Appalachian String Band Music Festival. Drawn to a region saturated by traditional music, Maya spent one restless semester at the University of North Carolina-Asheville. Traveling through Europe as a fiddling street performer, she began listening to songs with fresh intent. For someone who had loved songs for as long as she could remember, "Suddenly, writing songs seemed inevitable," she says. Maya spent a year and a half at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she studied under Mark Simos, Darol Anger, and John McGann. She has since received national recognition for her songwriting, including fourth place in the 2011 Telluride Troubadour Competition and third place in the BMI/John Lennon Scholarship Awards.

Time in Squares (WAMU Bluegrass Country)

When The Stray Birds take the stage, their audience hears three voices raised in harmony above the raw resonance of wood and strings. It is a sound drawn from the richness of American folk music traditions, marked by a stirring subtlety and grace. From bustling street corners to silent halls, their performances speak to an uncompromising reverence for songs. An ambitious touring schedule reflects their embrace of the experience of live music. "Music exists in a time and place, not just in a digital format," says Charles. Reveling in the energy of each room, a connection to the audience is the essence of their show. Visit The Stray Birds' website at

Reserve November 8th for this "no miss" concert and, please, introduce your friends to The Stray Birds and invite them to join you!

Monthly second-Friday Charlotte Folk Society Gatherings are family-friendly and free; donations are appreciated and essential to holding Gatherings in the Great Aunt Stella Center. Refreshments, a song circle, jam sessions, and an Appalachian dulcimer group follow the hour-long concert; visitors are welcome to join in or simply listen.

Arts & Science Council / NC Arts Logo

CFS 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.