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This is where we try to list all CFS events during the year. The calendar changes regularly as we add more concerts and events. So you will want to check back here often! Many listings link to web pages that usually have more information.
The Charlotte Folk Society came into existence in March 1982. We are proud of being a volunteer-powered organization that has shared Piedmont Carolina musical traditions through free concerts for 30 years. We've decided to celebrate this anniversary each and every month this season - looking back at our music's roots and forward to its future, and bringing back some audience favorites. We believe this season is worthy of 30 years and not to be missed!
Our monthly second-Friday Gatherings begin at 7:30 PM and are family-friendly, free, and open to the public; donations are appreciated and are essential to this series. Gatherings feature an hour-long concert, followed by a Dulcimer Jam and a Song Circle. On occasion, a Fast Jam may break out if musicians are interested!
Except where noted, concerts are at the Great Aunt Stella Center, 926 Elizabeth Avenue, between McDowell St. & Kings Dr. Map here. Free parking is available after 7 PM in a nearby parking deck. Call 704-563-7080 with questions. Front doors open 7 PM. Accessible entry through ground-floor door.
August 9, 2013: The daughter of a Baptist preacher from Sledge, Mississippi, Kate Campbell spent her formative years in the very core of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. The indelible experience of those years have shaped her heart, character, and convictions ever since. As a child of the South, her musical tastes were forged in the dampered, smoky fires of soul, R&B, Southern rock, country, and folk music. Her endearing, clear-water vocal delivery, eloquent gift for storytelling (which has drawn repeated comparisons to such bastions of the Southern writing tradition as Flannery O’Connor, Eudora Welty, and William Faulkner), and easy command of a full-range of American music styles, have combined to earn Campbell recognition as a formidable talent by critics, musicians, and a discerning public. Learn more at her Website!
September 13, 2013: The Whitetop Mountaineers are a young duo, Martha Spencer and Jackson Cunningham. Both live in Whitetop, Virginia, among the highest mountains in the state. Their families include some of Southwest Virginia’s most accomplished and respected old-time musicians - legendary fiddler and luthier Albert Hash and Thornton & Emily Spencer of The Whitetop Mountain Band. Martha and Jackson are carrying forward the family tradition. Their shows feature old-time country duet singing, up-tempo old-time fiddle, clawhammer banjo, bluegrass mandolin, and guitar instrumentals as well as high energy Appalachian dancing. The duo have performed throughout the United States, the UK, Ireland, and Australia, including such venues as: MerleFest, Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and the National Folk Festival in Richmond. Learn more at their Webiste!
October 11, 2013: Legendary organizer and musician Si Kahn and The Looping Brothers, a popular German trio who perform in the tradition of The Louvin Brothers, team up for a bluegrass concert. Si Kahn is known all over the world by fans of American folk music. He has performed in concerts and festivals in the United Kingdom and European countries, as well as the United States. His body of work includes 18 albums of original songs for adults and children. A songwriter as well as performing and recording artist, Si's songs of family, community, love, work, and freedom have been recorded by more than 100 artists and translated into half a dozen languages. Such songs as Aragon Mill, Gone Gonna Rise Again, and Go To Work On Monday have become part of the oral tradition the world round. Si Kahn and The Looping Brothers have recorded a CD, Aragon Mill: The Bluegrass Sessions, which will be released in 2013 and their Folk Society appearance will be part of a limited U.S. tour. Check out Si Kahn at his Website!
November 8, 2013: The Stray Birds make their Charlotte debut at our Gathering. The 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. Learn more about The Stray Birds at their Website!
December 14, 2013 (Saturday): Holiday Jam & Potluck features a short performance of seasonal selections by Little Windows, the duo of Mark and Julee Glaub Weems. They draw on both Appalachian and Irish traditions, with a special focus on unaccompanied ballads and the exploration of the spiritual nature of song and harmonic sound. Dilworth United Methodist Church, 605 East Boulevard, Charlotte. 4:00-9:45 PM. Bring a dish to share or donate $5/ person towards expenses. Song circle & jams before and after dinner. Learn more about Little Windows at their Website!
Janary 10, 2014: The annual CFS Young Talent Showcase highlights the impressive talents of our young musicians. Featured performer will be 2013 Marilyn Meacham Price Scholarship recipient Lando Pieroni!
February 14, 2014: Scott Ainslie has followed his passion for the blues ever since, as a teenager, he heard bluesman John Jackson perform in 1967. He straight away took up playing the guitar and never looked back. A traditional acoustic blues singer, guitarist, historian, and songwriter with personal roots in the Civil Rights era and a great affection for cross-cultural exchange, Scott is a powerful musician, a fine singer, and a masterful storyteller. He has studied with elder musicians on both sides of the color line – in the old-time Southern Appalachian fiddle and banjo traditions, as well as with black gospel and blues musicians. Check out Scott Ainslie at his Website!
March 14, 2014: Michael York & the Big Cigar Band is aCharlotte-based bluegrass band that created a sensation on the CFS Folk Stage at Festival in the Park in 2012. They love playing music together and have fun playing for live audiences. Band members include Michael York (banjo), Glen Alexander (fiddle), David Woodie (bass & backup vocals), Michael Burgess (guitar & lead vocals), and Jamie Harper (mandolin). They're a group of experienced musicians who have each played a variety of genres with lots of bands through the years. They say to expect bluegrass with bounce – fast movin’ flat-out pickin' and grinnin'!Learn more about this great band at their Facebook Page!
April 11, 2014: Singer/songwriter Danny Ellis was born in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. When he was eight, his mother placed him in Artane Industrial School, an orphanage run by the Christian Brothers. He left Artane at 16 and became a professional trombonist, playing with Irish show bands, eventually becoming a session player for the famed Abbey Road Studios in England. In 2009 he released the album 800 Voices, an autobiographical account of his time in the orphanage. Storyteller Connie Regan Blake says of 800 Voices, "It may just be the most powerful storytelling through music and stories I have ever experienced.” JPF, the largest independent music awards, honored him with the Lyricist of the Year award in 2009. Danny has three other CDs to his credit. The most recent, released this year, is Rest Yourself. Danny Ellis now lives in Asheville. Learn more about Danny Ellis at his Website!
May 9, 2014: The New Southern Ramblers from Asheville formed in 1982 as the stringband that backed up the inimitable Tennessee oldtime fiddler Ralph Blizard until his death in 2004. Band members include John Herrmann (fiddle), Gordy Hinners (banjo), Phil Jamison (guitar), and Meredith McIntosh (bass); all perform vocals. Hinners and Jamison also toured extensively as Green Grass Cloggers and will show some of their dance moves during this exciting concert. Check out the New Southern Ramblers at their MySpace page!
June 13, 2014: The popular Charlotte Folk Society Members’ Showcase returns to shine a spotlight on our many talented member musicians!
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.
Post Gathering Song Circle - Following each monthly gathering, singers among us unite in voice for about an hour or so at the Great Aunt Stella Center.
CFS Old Time Music Slow Jam - Once a month at the Carl J. McEwen Historic Village in Mint Hill NC, new players join fiddler Ed Gebauer to play Old Time instrumental tunes for about an hour or so prior to the reoccurring Mint Hill Old Time Jam.
Charlotte Folk Society Celtic Sessions - Each month on a Sunday afternoon, players interested in Celtic music get together for a session.
Charlotte Folk Society Slow Celtic Sessions - For those interested, but not quite ready for the Celtic Session mentioned above, a beginners Slow Session occurs once a month.