Big Ears Fest announces line-up

Regarded as one of the most unique, boundary-defying and eagerly anticipated cultural gatherings in the world – “a music festival with a rare vision” (The New York Times) – the Big Ears Festival returns in 2018 with perhaps its most multi-faceted and diverse line up to date. Spanning four days – Thursday, March 22, 2018 through Sunday, March 25 – the festival will again feature over 100 performances in venues throughout downtown Knoxville, Tennessee, from the city’s historic theaters and churches to clubs, galleries, warehouses and listening rooms, along with some surprise locations.

As always, the Big Ears Festival experience is curated to lure audiences into an unfolding, kaleidoscopic musical adventure. Swinging traditional jazz, mesmerizing fiddle tunes, plaintive ballads and rousing spirituals will be heard alongside atmospheric orchestral textures, hypnotic electronics, North African trance music and bold flights of sonic imagination.

“I think this year’s festival may have more depth and breadth than ever before,” says Big Ears Founder and Artistic Director Ashley Capps. “Some powerful themes emerged during the planning process – there’s a deep spiritual thread running through much of the music, along with some brilliant work that is especially potent in our current political climate. There continues to be a strong female presence in the festival. Perhaps most importantly is a very dynamic interaction between the global – the internationally acclaimed artists – and the local – our own indigenous culture and sense of place and community. That’s especially exciting to me.”

Big Ears 2018 lineup:
Abigail Washburn & Wu Fei
Aine O’Dwyer performs William Eggleston’s “Musik”
Anna & Elizabeth
Anna Thorvaldsdottir: “In The Light Of Air” performed by International Contemporary Ensemble
Anoushka Shankar: “Land of Gold”
Arto Lindsay
Bang on a Can All Stars celebrate their 30th anniversary with works by David Lang, Michael Gordon and Julia Wolfe
Bang on a Can All Stars perform Julia Wolfe’s “Anthracite Fields”
Bang on a Can All Stars “Field Recordings”
Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn
Béla Fleck & Brooklyn Rider
Bonnie “Prince” Billy
“Brimstone & Glory” live score performed by Nief-Norf and Wordless Music
Brooklyn Rider
Cleek Schrey & David Behrman
Craig Taborn Quartet
Cyro Baptista & The “Banquet of the Spirits”
Cyro Baptista presents “Vira Loucos”
Diamanda Galás
Duet for Theremin & Lap Steel
Evan Parker’s Electro-Acoustic Ensemble
Four Tet
GAS (Wolfgang Voigt)
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Innov Gnawa
International Contemporary Ensemble
Jaga Jazzist
Jaga Jazzist featuring Ståle Storløkken & Jon Balke
Jason Moran Duo with Milford Graves
Jason Moran presents Fats Waller Dance Party
BANGS (Jason Moran, Mary Halvorson and Ron Miles)
Jenny Hval
Jenny Scheinman presents “Kannapolis: A Moving Portrait”
Jenny Scheinman’s “Mischief & Mayhem” with Nels Cline & Scott Amendola
Juana Molina
Julie Byrne
Kelly Lee Owens
Kid Koala’s “Satellite” Turntable Orchestra
Knoxville Symphony Strings performs “Were You There” with baritone Davone Tines
Laurel Halo (Live with Eli Keszler)
Lightning Bolt
Medeski Martin & Wood
Milford Graves
Nels Cline: “Lovers” with the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra and guests
Peter Evans Ensemble
Rocket Science (Peter Evans, Sam Pluta, Craig Taborn, Evan Parker)
Roscoe Mitchell Trios
Rova: “The Sound in Space Project”
Rova Channeling Coltrane: “Electric Ascension”
Sam Amidon
Steve Gunn
Stian Westerhus
“Go Dig My Grave” featuring Giovanna Pessi, Frode Haltli, Cheyenne Mize and Susanna
Tal National
The Black Twig Pickers
The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitanda performed by The Sai Anantam Ashram Singers
The Jerry Douglas Band
The Thing
Tyshawn Sorey Trio


Enjoy holiday Knoxville jazz concerts

KNOXVILLE, TN – Vocalist Kayley Farmer returns to Jazz Lunch just in time for the holidays to sing spirited versions of classic favorites. The song list includes Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, The Christmas Song, Winter Wonderland, White Christmas and others. This concert in the Jazz Lunch series will take place on Wednesday, December 6, 2017, from noon to 1pm at the Square Room.

In addition, the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra’s popular holiday event, Swingin’ Christmas will be held on Thursday, December 21st at 8 p.m. at the Tennessee Theatre. The featured performer for this event will be multi-talented instrumentalist/vocalist Wycliffe Gordon.

Instrumentalist/vocalist Wycliffe Gordon joins the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra this year to help make your season bright. A veteran of the bands of Wynton Marsalis, Wycliffe has earned a reputation as one of the most dynamic brass players and entertaining performers in jazz. Guaranteed to put you in the holiday spirit. Photo courtesy Knoxville Jazz Orchestra.

The Knoxville Jazz Orchestra is a 17 piece big band comprised of professional musicians from across the region. Since its inception in 1999, the orchestra has performed dozens of concerts in East Tennessee, appeared on major jazz festivals in Europe, performed and recorded with internationally acclaimed guest artists, and released four critically acclaimed CD recordings.

Tickets are available online at


Local Puppet Theatre adds Hip Hop

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee – This December 7-10, 2017, Cattywampus Puppet Council and the Good Guy Collective will present their first collaborative theatre piece at Modern Studio titled, What the Water Tells Me. Through hip-hop, puppetry, and dance, What the Water Tells Me follows two children’s journeys to adulthood as they navigate the changes that occur in their home town and within themselves, when a large utility company threatens the waters that raised them. This collaborative and innovative show has involved many hands throughout its creation and has truly become a community art project. Four performances will be offered during the four day run and each will feature an audience “talkback” session afterward.

Thursday, Dec.7th-Doors 7:30pm, Show 8pm “Pay What You Can Night”- This donation-based show is open for everyone to attend regardless of funds. Tickets will only be sold at door. Cost: Suggested Donation ($10-$20)

Friday, Dec.8th- Doors 7:30pm, Show 8pm “Hip-Hop & Puppets Night”-This evening will also include several local hip-hop acts after the show. Cost: $15

Saturday, Dec.9th- Doors 7:30pm, Show 8pm “Puppet Dance Party”- This evening will include a DJ’d Puppet Dance Party after the show. Cost: $15

Sunday, Dec. 10th- Doors 2pm, Show 2:30pm- “Family Show”- This matinee will be geared towards kids and will include a free puppetmaking station open from 2-2:30pm. Cost: Kids 2 & under (FREE), Kids 3 & up ($10), Adults ($15). Ticket price includes puppetmaking.

For more info about the show, visit our facebook page What the Water Tells Me. To buy advance tickets, please visit:

Cattywampus Puppet Council is a registered non-profit in the state of Tennessee and fiscally sponsored by Community Shares. CPC gathers and imagines stories inspired by nature and the human experience in the South East to bring people together. Through workshops, public art, performances, and parades, CPC seeks to promote play and community-based storytelling as integral to our individual growth and the health of our communities. CPC believes art accessibility invigorates an individual’s sense of ownership and power within community.

Good Guy Collective’s mission is to empower young creatives to find the best version of themselves and build community through the culture of Hip-Hop.

Knoxville hosts talent search

Knoxville, Tennessee – Have you got talent? The YMCA of East Tennessee and Knoxville’s Got Talent are teaming up for a community-wide talent search that will highlight the gifts of local artists and performers starting on 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 2 at the Knoxville Marriott, 501 East Hill Ave. Auditions are open to groups and individuals of all ages and talents. Selected performers from the audition round will compete for a Knoxville’s Got Talent grand prize of $1,000 at a 2018 event at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum. Proceeds will benefit the Y’s youth programs.

“The Y’s cause is to strengthen the community,” said Rebekah Grace, senior program director at the West Side Family Y. “That’s what we do and why we’re here. This is a real chance for us to give youth more opportunity and to help them explore what they’re passionate about.”

The YMCA of East Tennessee’s many programs for youth include swimming and other sports, child care, after-school care, summer day camps, mentoring, gardening and many additional activities.

Pre-register for Knoxville’s Got Talent by Nov. 15. Secure your audition spot by calling 865-237-6968.

Knoxville Opera goes to Church

Knoxville, TN – Knoxville Opera Goes to Church, the 9th annual concert, will feature the Knoxville Opera Gospel Choir and local soloists together with Knoxville Opera artists in a unique presentation of gospel, spirituals, and opera highlights. The free-admission concert, one of Knoxville Opera’s yearly 100 education/outreach activities, will take place on Sunday, October 22, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. at Overcoming Believers Church, 120 S. Bell Street, in Knoxville.

“We are the only opera company in the world that has its own Gospel Choir and we are proud to present our eclectic repertoire featuring outstanding local and visiting guest artists. Our performances are an inspiration to both the performers and our very enthusiastic audience. We always make sure to give them something to cheer about!” said Jeanie Turner Melton, who will conduct the 30-voice Choir.

The event’s program will present a unique mixture of gospel, spirituals, and opera, including High Praise, I’m Going Away, What is This?, It is Well with my Soul, City Called Heaven, If I Tell God, I’m Chasing After You, and excerpts from Porgy and Bess and Turandot which Knoxville Opera is presenting in schools in early January and at the Tennessee Theatre on February 23 and 25, 2018.

The outstanding lineup of soloists includes local artists Evelyn Jack, Earl Smith, Lloyd Gable, Shirley Herbert, Francis Harshaw, and Rekeenya Cunningham. Catherine Daniel, Rochelle Bard, and Scott Bearden are among the Knoxville Opera guest artists who will be accompanied by Maestro Brian Salesky at the concert.

This year’s concert is sponsored by Home Federal Bank and The Fifth Commandment Fund.


Knoxville Choral Society hosts event

The Knoxville Choral Society presents “Fall Choral Masterworks Concert” with the Ball Institute for Church Music on Sunday, November 5, 2017 at 6:00 P.M. at the Tennessee Theatre. Join the Knoxville Choral Society, The Carson-Newman University A Cappella Choir, and a professional orchestra on a musical journey as they explore the movement through dark times into more hopeful.

From the brilliant and captivating From Darkness to Light by Jonathan Willcocks, to the stunning global celebration of Dan Forrest’s Jubilate Deo; this choral masterworks concert will leave audiences ultimately rejoicing in a new dawn.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for students, and $10 each for groups of 10 or more. Tickets may be purchased online at, by calling the Tennessee Theatre box office at (865) 684-1200 ext. 2, or from a Choral Society member.

The 2017-2018 concert season is sponsored by Rush’s Music, the Tennessee Arts Commission, the Clayton Family Foundation, the city of Knoxville, WJXB 97.5 FM and WUOT 91.9 FM.

For more information, please visit

Rhythm & Blooms early tix

KNOXVILLE, TN – The administrators of Rhythm and Blooms have released a limited number of early bird tickets for next year’s celebration and festival in downtown Knoxville. The festival is scheduled for April 6-8, 2018.

Rhythm N’ Blooms festival honors the identity and spirit of our rich East Tennessee history while providing a premium listening environment for top-notch musical performances. Knoxville’s story has always been set to music. Rhythm N’ Blooms highlights that soundtrack and celebrates the crossroads of the city’s varied music history by showcasing popular national acts alongside the finest musicians East Tennessee has to offer.

Ticket prices vary according to amenities.

Want to get involved as a volunteer? The Rhythm N’ Blooms volunteer program is a perfect opportunity to get involved within the community, meet new people, and listen to great music while enjoying a great volunteer experience. Volunteer tasks include welcoming fans and answering questions to supporting the venues and guest services.


Oak Ridge Symphony features soprano

The Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Music Director Dan Allcott, celebrates its 73rd season with “Motor City, Mother Goose, Glitter, and Gloria!” on Saturday, October 7, 2017 at 7:30 PM at the Oak Ridge High School Performing Arts Center. The Oak Ridge Chorus, led by Jaclyn Johnson, will join the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra for Francis Poulenc’s sacred choral work, Gloria.

The opener for the 73rd season of the Oak Ridge Symphony will also feature American soprano, Alison Trainer, as soloist for Poulenc’s Gloria, in addition to music by Verdi, Bernstein, and more. Photo submitted.

Coloratura soprano Alison Trainer is a gifted singing actress, who has garnered top prizes in several major vocal competitions and is increasingly gaining recognition for her vocal beauty, sensitive and intelligent musicianship, and compelling stage presence. Alison recently received glowing reviews for her European debut as Fiakermilli in Arabella in St. Gallen, Switzerland. The St. Galler Nachrichten raved, “Completely amazing were the vocal acrobatics of Fiakermilli, sung by Alison Trainer with virtuosic and sparkling coloratura.”

“I am so pleased to reconnect with soprano, Alison Trainer, who has just started a new teaching position at Furman University after several years singing roles at the Opera House in St. Gallen, Switzerland,” said Music Director, Dan Allcott. “In addition to her featured role as soloist in the Gloria, Trainer will sing two solo arias – one from a Verdi opera, and the other, a laugh-out-loud romp from Bernstein’s Candide entitled ‘Glitter and Be Gay’”.

The concert will also feature Maurice Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite and music by celebrated American composer, Jonathan Bailey Holland. “Mr. Holland and I met when I conducted a world premiere of his music with the Dallas Symphony in 2004,” said Dan Allcott. “Since then, I have championed his works. Motor City Remix combines the rhythms and sounds of Motown in a classical remix. It’s always an audience favorite!”

The Oak Ridge Civic Music Association is a proud participant in the Penny4Arts program. All students, 18 & under, may attend any Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra, Chorus, and Chamber Music concert for free during the 2017-18 season. General admission is $25; a discounted young adult ticket (ages 19-29) is available for $10.

Alison Trainer’s appearance with the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra is made possible with generous support from Ms. Norma Woy. Music rentals for the Symphony are made possible with generous support from Mr. James Rome. Additional support for the Oak Ridge Civic Music Association is provided by the Tennessee Arts Commission and WUOT 91.9 FM.

The Oak Ridge Civic Music Association presents professional performances in the Oak Ridge community with its symphony, chorus, and chamber music series. Subscription and individual tickets may be purchased online at or by calling (865) 483-5569.

**Attached images: Alison Trainer; Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra; WUOT 91.9 FM; Tennessee Arts Commission

Domino ensemble at Modern Studio

KNOXVILLE, TN – The Knoxville-based Domino ensemble will be presenting its show “Purple ego” at the Modern Studio in Knoxville on September 26, 2017 at 7 PM. Exclusively dedicated to new music, the group will offer a selection of original works that involve some electronics and a great deal of improvisation.

In its original quartet format, the ensemble will feature: Mark Boling (guitar), Keith Brown (drums), Jon Hamar (double bass) and Jorge Variego (clarinets and compositions).

Domino Ensemble

The Modern Studio is located on 109 W Anderson Ave, Knoxville, Tennessee 37917. Tickets are $10, (students $5 w/ID) available only at the door.

Guitarists featured at fundraiser

KNOXVILLE, TN – Join Keep Knoxville Beautiful on Friday, September 29, 2017 from 6 pm until 10 pm at the Mabry-Hazen House for a music-filled fall evening. The Rocky Top Pickin’ Party will feature Kelsey Woods with special musical guest Andy Wood, the Tennessee Stifflegs, and you. All musicians are invited to play.

This family-friendly and waste-free fundraiser for Keep Knoxville Beautiful is unlike any other in Knoxville; in between sets, pickers of all levels will form breakout sessions around the grounds. Bring your own instrument to join in one of these pickin’ sessions and you will receive one free beer/beverage. General advance tickets are $10 or $5 at the door and all kids under age 12 get in free. The Captain Muchachos and Oinks and Cluckers food trucks will be on-site, and beer and beverages will be available.

Come join KKB in celebrating our clean, green, and beautiful city with music, pickin’, good food, and friends.

For tickets visit

New works at Marble City Opera

KNOXVILLE, TN – Marble City Opera will present a double-bill of Menotti’s The Telephone and Poulenc’s The Human Voice. Performances will be presented at The Square Room, Knoxville, Tennessee at 8:00pm on October 6-7, 2017.

Marble City Opera is pleased to return to The Square Room in downtown Knoxville with the presentation of these two short operas in English about women on the telephone. The Telephone is a 30-minute comic opera about Lucy, who is always on the phone, and Ben, who is trying to propose to her, but every time he tries to ask, the phone rings.

Poulenc’s The Human Voice is a 40-minute dramatic opera about Elle who is having her last conversation with her lover, who now loves someone else, and is based on Jean Cocteau’s play La Voix Humaine. Audiences will immediately relate to these two operas that take a look at women and their relationships through their ability to connect over the telephone.

“Marble City Opera continues to bring accessible opera performances to new venues and new audiences in Knoxville,” says reviewer Alan Sherrod of Arts Knoxville.

Tickets can be purchased online at General admission is $25 online and $35 at the door.

KJO celebrates Sarah Vaughn

KNOXVILLE, TN – The Knoxville Jazz Orchestra’s 2017-18 concert season begins on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 at 8pm with “Tribute to Sarah Vaughan Featuring Deborah Brown”. The program will be held at The Mill and Mine at 227 West Depot Avenue, in Knoxville.

Join the KJO and vocalist-extraordinaire Deborah Brown as we pay tribute to one of the most beloved artists of the 20th century, Ms. Sarah Vaughan. Dubbed “The Divine One” and “Sassy,” Vaughan’s interpretations of popular songs helped canonize what is now known as the Great American Songbook. Vocalist Deborah Brown might well be the heir-apparent to Vaughan, possessing a flawless technique, incredible range of expression, masterful sense of swing and effortless command of subtle harmony. A native of Kansas City, Deborah brings with her a wealth of experience, expertise and exciting arrangements of classic songs. A must see event for all music lovers!

The Knoxville Jazz Orchestra is a 17 piece big band comprised of professional musicians from across the region. Since its inception in 1999, the orchestra has performed dozens of concerts in East Tennessee, appeared on major jazz festivals in Europe, performed and recorded with internationally acclaimed guest artists, and released four critically acclaimed CD recordings.

Tickets for the event are $36.50 adult, $15.00 student. Tickets are available in advance at

WDVX celebrates 20 years of music

Knoxville, TN. – From its humble origins situated in a camper located in an East Tennessee campground, through to its present stature as one of America’s — make that the world’s — foremost authoritative voices for authentic Americana, WDVX has established an enviable niche in the realms of roots music and other indigenous forms of folk, rock, blues and country. Lauded by listeners and artists alike, many of whom received their initial exposure on the station’s airwaves, WDVX has become a true bastion of Americana music in all its many forms.

To commemorate that remarkable legacy, the station will present the WDVX 20 Year Celebration on November 17, 2017 beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the historic Bijou Theatre in downtown Knoxville. In addition, the concert will also be broadcast live on WDVX.

Co-produced by Senior Creative Consultant and On-Air Personality Tony Lawson and WDVX Program Director Katie Cauthen, the festivities will feature an impressive array of artists spanning all realms of the Americana spectrum, including a number of special guests to be announced later. Each portion of the live variety show will be introduced by a WDVX personality, along with a special set focusing specifically on East Tennessee artists, hosted and curated by Cruz Contreras and Sam Quinn, from Knoxville’s own nationally-known band The Black Lillies. In addition, two-time IBMA award winner Phil Leadbetter has gathered many of the leading lights of the Bluegrass world for a special performance that promises to be one of many remarkable offerings showcased throughout the evening.

Tickets go on sale to the general public on September 8 through all TicketMaster locations, by phone at 800-745-3000 and online at In addition, a limited number of tickets will be offered in advance at the free WDVX “Cheers to 20 Years” concert taking place in Knoxville’s Market Square on Friday, September 1.

East Tennessee’s Own WDVX is a listener supported public broadcaster heard locally on 89.9, 102.9, and 93.9 and streaming on WDVX is a service of Cumberland Communities Communications Corporation, a 501c3 organization.

Oak Ridge Symphony begins season

The Oak Ridge Civic Music Association will celebrate the beginning of its 73rd season with the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra’s Free Family Concert on Sunday, September 17, 2017 at 3:00 PM at the Oak Ridge High School Performing Arts Center. This year’s concert, titled “String Fling”, will celebrate the string instruments of the orchestra, including a special opportunity for local string players to join the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra on stage for a play-along. The Free Family Concert is perfect for families and music lovers of all ages and includes informative pieces and instrument demonstrations so that first-timers can learn about the symphony orchestra.

“I am always excited to conducting the annual Free Family Concert with the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra,” said Music Director, Dan Allcott. “We look forward to performing alongside string players of all ages and giving young people a chance to get their hands on a variety of string instruments at our instrument petting zoo!”

The concert will feature classic melodies and familiar tunes, including “Singin’ in the Rain”, “Pizzicato Polka”, “Boil Them Cabbage Down”, and more. Ralph Einstein Youth Aliyah Concert competition winner, violinist Kate Hausladen, will perform Wieniawski’s Scherzo-Tarantella with the orchestra.

Members of the Oak Ridge High School orchestra program will perform in the lobby before and after the concert. After the concert, audience members of all ages are invited to participate in an instrument petting zoo: there will be instruments of various sizes for guests to try, with instruction from the musicians of the orchestra. All are invited to attend a reception following the concert, enjoy fun craft activities, and meet members of the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra.

“Our organization is proud to present this free event each season for all East Tennesseans,” said Rachel Perkins Haverkamp, Executive Director of the Oak Ridge Civic Music Association. “In addition to the free family concert, we also invite students to attend all symphony, chorus, and chamber series concerts for free throughout the season.”

The concert and all activities are free for the entire family. Support for the Free Family Concert is generously provided by Spectra Tech. Additional support for the Oak Ridge Civic Music Association is provided by the Tennessee Arts Commission and WUOT 91.9 FM.

The Oak Ridge Civic Music Association presents professional performances in the Oak Ridge community with its symphony, chorus, and chamber music series. Subscription and individual tickets may be purchased online at or by calling (865) 483-5569. Photo courtesy Oak Ridge Civic Music Association.


Red Haired Mary at Laurel Theater

Jubilee Community Arts presents Red-Haired Mary on Friday, September 15, 2017, at 8 pm at at the Laurel Theater in downtown Knoxville.

Red-Haired Mary delivers Irish and other Celtic songs and tunes, sometimes in the Irish language and often in three-part harmony. Members of the band include Nancy Acuff, flute, tin whistle and vocals; Alycia Petrone, fiddle; Terry Schomer, bouzouki, guitar, mandolin, bodhran and bones; Margaret Scanlan, keyboards and vocals; and Tom Scanlan, bass, bodhran and vocals. Photo: submitted.

Tickets: $15 (discounts apply to advance purchase, JCA members, students & seniors)

Advance tickets available from or 800-838-3006 ext 1.

The Laurel Theater is located on the corner of 16th and Laurel Avenue in the historic Fort Sanders neighborhood of Knoxville near the UT campus.

For additional information or photos call Brent Cantrell or Toby Koosman at (865) 522-5851 or email

The mission of Jubilee Community Arts is to promote, preserve and present the traditional performing arts of the southern Appalachian region and to nurture the cultural milieu responsible for the birth and evolution of these and related art forms. Jubilee Community Arts is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation.

Blues music contest seeks bands

Knoxville, TN – The Smoky Mountain Blues Society is seeking East Tennessee bands and performers that are interested in competing in this year’s International Blues Challenge (IBC) scheduled to take place on Beale Street in Memphis in January, 2018. Those interested are encouraged to contact SMBS Vice President Tom Hurwitz (646) 785-0686 or email for an application package. The Application deadline for local entries is August 5.

The local performers that are chosen as finalists will compete to become the official entry representatives of the Smoky Mountain Blues Society. The competition will take place beginning from 4 – 8 pm, Saturday, August 13 at the Open Chord, 8502 Kingston Pike, Knoxville. The winner will be chosen by a panel of local judges and then go on to represent East Tennessee at the 34th International Blues Challenge this January. Winners are chosen in the categories of Band, Solo/Duo or Youth.

The International Blues Challenge represents a worldwide search for the Blues Band and Solo/Duo Blues Acts ready to perform on the international stage, yet just needing that extra big break. Each Affiliate of The Blues Foundation has the right to send a band and a solo/duo act to preserve, promote and perpetuate Blues music and represent its organization at the IBC.

The IBC is judged by blues professionals from across the world who have years of experience in listening to, producing, and creating blues music. The Blues Foundation has established a set of criteria by which all acts are evaluated throughout the five days of the IBC. Further information can be found at

About the Smoky Mountain Blues Society

The Smoky Mountain Blues Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in the Greater Knoxville area and providing service throughout East Tennessee. Its mission is to preserve, promote and perpetuate Blues music and its heritage, and by so doing, help foster unity among people of all ages, races, creeds and economic levels.


Open Chord hosts Andy Wood clinic

KNOXVILLE. TN – The Open Chord is hosting an Andy Wood Guitar Clinic and Suhr Showcase on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017, from noon to 2pm. This is a free event and all ages are welcome. This clinic is an opportunity to meet Knoxville’s multi-instrumentalist Andy Wood plus enjoy a demo of his signature series Suhr guitar.

– First 15 people receive a FREE Andy Wood shirt
– Register to win a free Suhr pedal
– Register for a FREE Skype lesson with Andy Wood
– Register to win 2 tickets to SIMO at The Open Chord that evening


Andy Wood is recognized as part of the forefront of this generation’s top influential guitarists. He has toured professionally with a wide range of acts, including most recently Gary Allan, LOCASH, Rascal Flatts, Scott Stapp, and Sebastian Bach. Wood also performs with his own band promoting “Caught Between the Truth and A Life,” the double album which showcases his vast musical influences and abilities.

Recently, Suhr Customs released the Andy Wood Signature Series guitars which were crafted and designed by Wood along with guitar specialists at Suhr. The Open Chord proudly carries the Signature Series as the only Suhr dealer in Knoxville. Photo of Andy Wood courtesy The Open Chord.

The first fifteen attendees to arrive at the Andy Wood Guitar Clinic and Suhr Showcase will receive an Andy Wood t-shirt. Giveaways include a Suhr pedal, a thirty minute Skype lesson with Andy, two tickets to the SIMO concert (8/5/17), and autographed Andy Wood CDs.

The Open Chord café, bar, and shop will be open.

For more information call The Open Chord at 865-281-5874.

Blues Cruise is July 23

Ready to cool off with some great food and drink plus entertainment on the water? Smoky Mountain Blues Society will host a Blues Cruise with the Tennessee Riverboat Company in downtown Knoxville on July 23, 2017 from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

This Smoky Mountain Blues Society Blues Cruise will feature entertainment by The Stella Vees of Lexington, Kentucky. Photo submitted.

The Stella Vees are a traditional electric blues band that plays in a similar style to Albert Collins, T Bone Walker, Little Walter and Buddy Guy. With over 18 years of playing and touring together, the band performs a smoking style of blues with an authenticity, intimacy and steadfast dynamic that’s not often found in modern music. They bring to mind the vintage blues once so predominant in Chicago juke joints back in the day, while making it sound fresh and vital for a contemporary crowd.

Tickets are just $16 in advance and $20 at the door. Smoky Mountain Blues Society Members enjoy a special discount. Each voyage will also have a limited food menu and full bar available.

Boarding begins at 3pm. for this event and tickets are available through the Tennessee Riverboat Company’s website, ( and by calling (865) 525-7827.

Blues society raffles custom guitar

Knoxville, TN – Smoky Mountain Blues Society, a 501 (c) (3) non profit organization, is giving everyone an equal opportunity to win a custom built signature guitar from Rigney Custom Guitars, an instrument that is not only one of a kind, but one which also bears the signatures of an amazing array of iconic Blues artists — Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Guy, Delbert McClinton, Derek Trucks, and Susan Tedeschi, among them.

The guitar will be raffled off from July 1-September 30, 2017 with the drawing scheduled to take place on October 15 aboard the Star of Knoxville during the Smoky Mountain Blues Society’s monthly Blues Cruise. Raffle tickets cost $20 each with a maximum of 500 tickets offered for sale.

Proceeds from the raffle will benefit Blues in the Schools, one of the fundamental outreach programs provided by the Smoky Mountain Blues Society. The program, which was initiated in 1995, is offered free to schools and other youth-oriented organizations for the sole purpose of exposing young people to Blues music and to educate them about the importance Blues music plays in the overall umbrella of traditional American music. In 2016, the program reached over 1,400 children in East Tennessee, students ranging in age from Elementary School to High School.

Artists who have signed the Smoky Mountain Signature Guitar to date: Ronnie Baker Brooks, Buddy Guy, Nick Moss, Carlos Johnson, Mike Ledbetter, Susan Tedeschi, Coco Montoya, Corey Dennison, Derek Trucks, Delbert McClinton, Bonnie Raitt, Ori Naftaly, Jellybean Johnson, Pat Travers, Jerry Hunt, Maurice John Vaughn, Mac Arnold, and Tinsley Ellis.

Tickets, complete list of the Raffle rules, and a calendar of events are available at the Smoky Mountain Blues Society website:

Oak Ridge Symphony celebrates season

The Oak Ridge Civic Music Association will celebrate its 73rd season with exhilarating performances by the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra, celebrated artists on the Chamber Music Series, and exciting new additions to the Oak Ridge Chorus Series.

“I’m thrilled to begin my 8th season as Music Director of the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra,” said Dan Allcott. “We live in an area that is rich with musical talent and which fosters the tradition of great performances for the community; we are happy to continue to honor those traditions.”

Chorus Director Jaclyn Johnson will lead the Oak Ridge Chorus to new heights, with two featured chorus concerts this season. The first, ‘Messiah and More!’, will include music from Handel’s Messiah: Part I, Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols, and other delightful music to get you in the holiday spirit! The chorus will also present a spring concert, ‘Oak Ridge Goes Broadway’, featuring popular music from the Broadway stage alongside some of the great standards of choral literature.

This season, the Chamber Music Series will feature a diverse offering of rising stars and musical legends, including the Attacca Quartet, Frisson, the Oak Ridge String Quartet, and clarinet virtuoso Richard Stoltzman and his pianist son, Peter John Stoltzman. Each artist on the Chamber Music Series will offer a pre-concert talk, beginning 30 minutes before each performance.

For more information or to purchase tickets, please call (865) 483-5569. Individual tickets will be on sale August 1, 2017.

Frisson performs Sunday, January 21, 2018 at 4:00 PM with a pre-concert talk that begins at 3:30 PM at Pollard Auditorium. Frisson is a nine-piece chamber ensemble featuring New York City’s finest young classical musicians. Frisson showcases a myriad of rarely-performed masterworks and will perform music by Haydn, Spohr, Strauss, and Martinu. Photo courtesy Oak Ridge Civic Music Association.

Punch Brothers to perform

KNOXVILLE, TN – This year’s Bijou Jubilee, presented by Pilot Flying J and supported by Four Roses Bourbon takes place Sunday, June 25, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. with a VIP pre-show party at 5:30 p.m.

Organizers says the Bijou is excited to welcome bluegrass band Punch Brothers back to the U.S. Cellular Stage as the featured artist for the 9th annual Bijou Jubilee. The public is invited to join in the festivities for a celebration of the historic Bijou Theatre, which serves as the primary fundraiser to support ongoing preservation and operations of this legendary venue.

There are two ticket options:
Reserved General Seating • $49.50
VIP Premier Seating & Pre-Show Party • $200

VIP tickets are limited and include access to the pre-show party at Club LeConte featuring heavy hors d’oeuvres, wine, beer and spirits, a silent auction, and live entertainment.

All ticket holders will have a chance to participate in our live auction featuring signed instruments and tour posters from artists who have played on the U.S. Cellular Stage at the Bijou Theatre. The live auction will take place immediately prior to Punch Brothers’ performance.

Tickets go on sale Friday, April 21 at 10am Eastern.

Bluegrass band Punch Brothers is Chris Thile (mandolin), Gabe Witcher (fiddle/violin), Noam Pikelny (banjo), Chris Eldridge (guitar), and Paul Kowert (bass). The band is scheduled to perform at the 9th annual Bijou Jubilee in Knoxville, Tennessee on June 25, 2017.

Marble City presents The Stronger

Marble City Opera presents: “The Stronger” by Hugo Weisgall on May 18-19, 2017 at 8pm at Holly’s Gourmet Market, 5107 Kingston Pike, Knoxville. Directed by Kathryn Frady Marvel; accompanied by Brandon Coffer, the opera stars Julia Metry as Estelle and Julia Metry and Denisha Miller as Lisa.

Following on the heels of an extremely successful run of the larger and more widely performed “La Traviata”, MCO returns to its chamber opera roots with a production of “The Stronger” by Hugo Weisgall. In this operatic adaptation of August Strindberg’s thought provoking one act, two actresses (Estelle and Lisa) meet by chance in a quiet uptown bar. It is revealed that the two women, once close friends, are now apparent romantic rivals thanks to the alleged philandering of Estelle’s husband Harold. Estelle jumps at the opportunity to vent the full fury of her frustrations at the woman whom she suspects to be her husband’s mistress and launches into an emotional tirade. Lisa however, stalwart and somewhat coy, weathers the onslaught and remains completely silent. Exerting her own (very) quiet power by refusing to either confirm or deny the many accusations being hurled her way. This subtle struggle for dominance between the two is the point of the entire work, and in Weisgall’s score the tension and raw emotion are masterfully woven together to form something intimate and beautiful. Though Estelle declares herself the victor by the piece’s end, the declaration rings hollow and the audience is left to decide for themselves which of the women is actually “the stronger.”

Tickets are $20 General Admission, and may be purchased either at the door or online.

There will be a special dinner menu available for the occasion and doors will open at 6:30pm for ticket holders to allow them a chance to partake before the show. Cost for the dinner is extra; dinner is not included in the ticket price.

Venue link:
FB Event link:

Violinist performs in Oak Ridge

The Oak Ridge Civic Music Association is pleased to announce a series of performances and outreach activities featuring internationally renowned violinist, Rachel Barton Pine, March 30–April 2, 2017. Ms. Pine is an American violinist who made her solo debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at age 10, and was the first American and youngest ever gold medal winner of the International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition.

Saturday, April 1:
Ms. Pine will perform Dvorak’s Violin Concerto with the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, April 1, 2017 at 7:30 PM at the Oak Ridge High School Performing Arts Center. Led by Maestro Dan Allcott, the orchestra will also perform music by Vaughan Williams, Sibelius, and Smetana. Audience members are invited to bid on delightful items at a spring-themed silent auction in the lobby. A reception will be held after the concert.

Tickets for adults are $25 and young adults, ages 19-29, are just $10. Students 18 & under are free. Seating is general admission. Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling (865) 483-5569. Ms. Pine’s four-day Oak Ridge residency is made possible with the generous support of Mr. James Rome.

Sunday, April 2:
Violinist Rachel Barton Pine will perform a solo recital on Sunday, April 2, 2017 at 3:00 PM at the Pollard Auditorium in Oak Ridge. Ms. Pine will perform “American Partitas,” a recital program of newly commissioned works by David Wallace Bruce Molsky, April Verch, Darol Anger, Billy Childs and Daniel Bernard Roumain partnered with the Bach Partitas for solo violin.

Tickets for adults are $25 and young adults, ages 19-29, are just $10. Students 18 & under are free. Seating is limited for this performance; advance reservations are recommended. Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling (865) 483-5569.

An elegant dinner with Rachel Barton Pine will follow the concert in the lobby of the Pollard Auditorium. Catered by Bidwell Catering, the menu will feature Maple Syrup & Brown Sugar Glazed Pork Loin, Pasta Primavera, Herb Roasted Potatoes, Sautéed Zucchini and Squash, and Mixed Berry Cobbler.

Dinner tickets are $50 per person and all proceeds benefit the Oak Ridge Civic Music Association. Please call (865) 483-5569 or e-mail by Thursday, March 30 for reservations.

Thursday, March 30:
Classical violinist Rachel Barton Pine shows off her versatility with a metal-rock concert at the Oak Ridge High School Performing Arts Center on Thursday, March 30, 2017 at 7:00 PM. The nationally recognized Oak Ridge High School Orchestra will perform selections at the beginning of the concert before Ms. Pine takes the stage with string players from the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Pine and members of the orchestra will perform popular selections by Led Zeppelin, Rush, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, and more.

Admission is free for this performance and no tickets are required. For more information, please call (865) 483-5569 or e-mail

Friday, March 31:
Four local violin students have been selected to participate in a special master class led by violinist Rachel Barton Pine on Friday, March 31, 2017 from 3:00-5:00 PM at the Oak Ridge High School Performing Arts Center.

The master class is free and open to the public; no tickets are required. For more information, please call (865) 483-5569 or e-mail

About Rachel Barton Pine:
Heralded as a leading interpreter of the great classical masterworks, international concert violinist Rachel Barton Pine thrills audiences with her dazzling technique, lustrous tone and emotional honesty. With an infectious joy in music-making and a passion for connecting historical research to performance, Pine transforms audiences’ experiences of classical music.

Pine has appeared as soloist with many of the world’s most prestigious ensembles, including the Chicago Symphony; the Philadelphia Orchestra; the Royal Philharmonic; and the Netherlands Radio Kamer Filharmonie. She has worked with such renowned conductors as Charles Dutoit, Zubin Mehta, Erich Leinsdorf, Neeme Järvi and Marin Alsop.

About ORCMA:
The Oak Ridge Civic Music Association presents professional performances in the Oak Ridge community with its symphony, chorus, and chamber music series. Subscription and individual tickets may be purchased online at or by calling (865) 483-5569.

Zelda symphony comes to Knoxville

KNOXVILLE, TN – MGP Live today announced 2017 tour dates for “The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses” in North America and Europe, including Friday, Nov. 17, 2017 at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium. Upcoming shows will feature a new piece from the newly released Breath of the Wild, an all-new movement from Skyward Sword.

The two-hour concert comes to life with a 57-piece orchestra, 20-person choir, and a reimagined score that draws from recent and requested Zelda games, including A Link Between Worlds, Twilight Princess, and the remake of Majora’s Mask, while still paying homage to such classics as Ocarina of Time and A Link to the Past. The concert’s five-movement symphony regales ears with Nintendo composer Koji Kondo’s original music, recalling moments of Link conquering dungeons, running through forests, and struggling to decide what color tunic to wear. Throughout the evening, a video collage syncs up with the adventurous tunes to spotlight exciting moments from the venerable franchise.

Presale tickets will be available Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at 10 a.m. through Monday, March 13, at 11:59 p.m. at General tickets go on sale Tuesday, March 14, at 10 a.m.



Norris festival announces music line-up

NORRIS, Tenn. –Headliners for the 38th Annual Tennessee Fall Homecoming, Oct. 6-8, 2017 include multi-award winning country singer, Lee Ann Womack, whose career boasts more than 6 million album sales; The SteelDrivers—fresh off of their 2016 Grammy win for Best Bluegrass Album; and The Earls of Leicester, assembled and led by dobro-master, Jerry Douglas.

Lee Ann Womack is among the headliners for the 38th Annual Tennessee Fall Homecoming, Oct. 6-8, 2017. The event takes place at the Museum of Appalachia, 2819 Andersonville Hwy, in Norris, Tennessee.

“We consider it an honor to share Appalachian music and culture with today’s generations,” says Elaine Meyer, President of the Museum of Appalachia. “We are especially pleased to present such incredible artists as Lee Ann Womack, the SteelDrivers, and the Earls of Leicester for the 38th anniversary of our beloved event.”

Many festival favorites will be returning to the Homecoming stage, such as Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Chris Jones and the Night Drivers, Flashback, Steve Gulley & New Pinnacle, and Leroy Troy.

Homecoming will also feature such talented performers as Jimbo Whaley & Greenbrier, Jeff Brown & Still Lonesome, Dale Jett & Hello Stranger, Bill & the Belles, The Ransom Notes,The Wayfarers, Carolina Express, Grassically Trained, and the Stewart Family.

This year, Homecoming expands and enhances its festival with evening concerts by award- winning artists, while continuing to offer 3 days full of music, traditional Appalachian demonstrations, and heritage arts. Student Heritage Day kicks off the festival on the morning of October 6th. An all-new Family Day will be held on Sunday, October 8th, and will feature local artists, games, storytelling, and activities for kids.

RB Morris at KWG meeting

Prominent  poet, songwriter and musician RB Morris, Knoxville’s first Poet Laureate, will speak at the March 2, 2017 meeting of the Knoxville Writers’ Guild.

“I’ll be talking about poetry and songwriting, and some of the current projects I’m involved in as Poet Laureate, perhaps sing a song or two and read a few poems,” Morris said. He’ll also field questions about his creative process as writer in multiple art forms.

The public is invited to the program, which will be at 7 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of Central United Methodist Church, 201 East Third Avenue, where you will find a large, free parking lot. Admission is a suggested $2.

Morris has been a driving artistic force in Knoxville, reflecting the city in his poetry and music. He wrote and acted in “The Man Who Lives Here is Looney,” a one-man play taken from the life and work of James Agee. He was instrumental in the founding of a park in Fort Sanders dedicated to Agee.

Morris’s published books of poetry include “Early Fires” (Iris Press), “Keeping the Bees Employed” and “The Mockingbird Poems” (Rich Mountain Bound). His music albums include “Spies Lies and Burning Eyes” and his most recent solo project, “Rich Mountain Bound.”

R B Morris served as the Jack E. Reese Writer-in-Residence at the University of Tennessee 2004-2008. He was inducted into the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame in 2009.

Poet Joy Harjo reads at UT

Internationally recognized poet, author, musician, and playwright Joy Harjo will read from her work on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, campus as part of the Writers in the Library reading series. Harjo’s reading on Monday, January 23, 2017 will take place in the John C. Hodges Library auditorium at 7 p.m. The reading is free and open to the public.

Joy Harjo is the author of fourteen books, including eight books of poetry and two chapbooks. Her most recent book of poems, Conflict Resolution with Holy Beings (W.W. Norton, 2015) won the Wallace Stevens Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Academy of American Poets. Other well-known volumes of poetry include How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems, The Woman Who Fell from the Sky, In Mad Love and War, and She Had Some Horses. A few of her many honors include a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas, and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. For A Girl Becoming, a young adult/coming-of-age book, was released in 2009.

Harjo is currently working on a play, Wings of Night Sky, Wings of Morning Light, forthcoming from Wesleyan University, and Song Lines of Justice, a historical memoir, for W. W. Norton. Her musical play, “We Were There When Jazz Was Born,” has been commissioned by the New York Public Theater. Harjo has released five award-winning CDs of original music and in 2009 won a Native American Music Award (NAMMY) for Best Female Artist of the Year for Winding Through the Milky Way. Her most recent CD release is a traditional flute album, Red Dreams, A Trail Beyond Tears. She performs nationally and internationally with her band, the Arrow Dynamics. She has received a Rasmuson US Artists Fellowship and is a founding board member of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation. Harjo writes a column, “Comings and Goings,” for her tribal newspaper, the Muscogee Nation News.

Harjo was appointed to a Chair of Excellence in Creative Writing at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in 2016. She brings to the Creative Writing Program and to the university expertise in Native American studies, as well as distinction in poetry, creative non-fiction, drama, children’s books, and music. Her public service is as extensive as her publications. Currently she is co-judging the 2015 National Book Award in poetry.

Writers in the Library is sponsored by the UT Libraries and the Creative Writing Program in association with the John C. Hodges Better English Fund. For more information, contact Erin Elizabeth Smith, Jack E. Reese Writer-in-Residence at the UT Libraries, at

Jazz Lunch features top brass

The next concert in the Knoxville Jazz Lunch series will feature “Top Brass with Thomas Heflin & Mitch Butler.” The event will take place on Wednesday, February 1, 2017 from noon to 1 p.m. at The Square Room, located in Market Square in downtown Knoxville.

Though sometimes overlooked, the quintet with a front line of trumpet and trombone has a rich history in straight ahead jazz. Giants like Clark Terry & Bob Brookmeyer, Woody Shaw & Steve Turre, JJ Johnson and Nat Adderley, et al, left behind an enormous body of work.

For this special concert, trumpeter Thomas Heflin (a former KJO member) and trombonist Mitch Butler team up to pay tribute to the great masters of brass who pioneered this exciting sound. Keith Brown (piano), Tommy Sauter (bass), and Kenneth Brown (drums) will join Heflin and Butler for this special jazz lunch concert.

Admission to the concert is $15 and includes a lunch buffet served up by Café 4. Tickets are available online at or by visiting Café 4 in person prior to the show.

The Square Room is a new, state-of-the-art performance venue in downtown Knoxville, TN in the Historic Market Square district. It is housed in the rear of the 4 Market Square Building along with its counterpart Café 4, a full-service restaurant and coffee bar.

For more info visit:

Sara Evans at Knox Civic Feb 2

Country music recording artist Sara Evans will be performing hit song after hit song at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium Thursday, February 2, 2017, at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are on sale now and the performance is presented by Big Spring Entertainment. Patrons will enjoy the live performances of songs like: Born To Fly, A Little Bit Stronger, I Could Not Ask for More, My Heart Can’t Tell You No, Suds in the Bucket, and more.

Since emerging in the late 1990s, Evans has had a prolific recording career that has seen the sale of more than 6 million albums. She’s had five #1 songs, four others appearing in the Top 10, two #1 Billboard Country Albums, five appearing on Billboard’s Top 200 all-genre chart and four consecutive RIAA certified Gold, Platinum or Multi-Platinum albums. She’s received awards from the Country Music Association, Academy of Country Music, Billboard Music Award and has garnered nominations for Grammy Awards (2), American Country Awards (10) and CMT Music Awards (5).

Sara Evans won the hearts of America as the first country artist to compete in ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. And she was chosen as one of People Magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People.”

The Knoxville Civic Auditorium is located at 500 Howard Baker Jr Blvd, Knoxville, TN 37915.

Ticket prices are $66.95, $46.95, and $36.95. Additional entertainment fees may apply.


WDVX show takes winter break

The WDVX Blue Plate Special, a popular downtown Knoxville attraction for nearly 12 years, is going on hiatus while the Knoxville Visitor Center undergoes a facelift. Kicking off its “20 Years on the Air” celebration, WDVX will be taking the live radio broadcast out to various locations in the area with show host Red Hickey and performances by local and touring artists.

The first show is scheduled for Friday, January 13, 2017 at the Open Chord, ​8502 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN, featuring The Lonetones and the South Carolina Broadcasters. Other venues slated to be visited by the Blue Plate Special production are the Clayton Center on the Maryville College campus, Pellissippi State Community College, and the Grove Theatre in Oak Ridge. Details about upcoming shows and performers will be available on As with the daily Blue Plate Special, whose last show of the year is Saturday, December 31, every road show will be free to attend. The WDVX Blue Plate Special Road Shows will continue through February. The Visitor Center is expected to celebrate with a grand reopening on Friday, March 2, 2017.

WDVX, a non-commercial listener supported radio station, plays a mix of American roots music including Bluegrass, blues, Alt-County, classic Country, old-time, Swing, Rockabilly, and more. Yet the Blue Plate Special regularly steps beyond that framework by presenting classical, jazz, theatrical, and international artists; sometimes on the same show as singer/songwriters, bluegrass, and country performers. More than 20,000 people attend the Blue Plate Special each year to see more than 1600 artists perform.

WDVX is a service of non-profit organization Cumberland Communities Communications Corporation. Its broadcast on 89.9 FM reaches eleven counties in East Tennessee and Southeast Kentucky, on 102.9 in downtown Knoxville, and 93.9 in the Seymour and Kodak areas, and streams lives on

Knox Civic hosts 90s Tour

Following early sold out shows and mounting demand from fans, “I LOVE THE ‘90s TOUR” has added more tour dates, including a performance in Knoxville. The once-in- a-lifetime lineup comes together for a nostalgia-driven blast from the past and now comes to the Knoxville Civic Coliseum on Thursday, April 6, 2017, at 7:30 p.m.


The inaugural edition of “I Love The ‘90s Tour” invites Knoxville fans to reminisce about the trend-setting decade with some of the most iconic, indelible names in rap, hip hop and R&B, featuring Salt N Pepa, All 4 One, Coolio, Tone LOC, Color Me Badd, Rob Base and Young MC.

The Kansas City Star describes this 90s tour: “It was a satellite radio station come to life. It was the ultimate Throwback Thursday. It was a dance party filled with joyous Gen-Xers doing the ‘Funky Cold Medina’; in a ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’; and showing they could still ‘Push It, Push it real good.’ The crowd included many groups of girlfriends, some dressed up in era-appropriate overalls, neon shoes, gold chains and caps turned backward. They danced and screamed when they heard songs they recognized, and they heard many songs they recognized. -Kansas City Star

The Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum is conveniently located near the junction of Interstates 75 and 40 and sits downtown near the University of Tennessee campus. The facility attracts more than 250,000 people per year through a wide array of events, including Knoxville Ice Bears hockey games and the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra Pops Series. The facility includes a 6,500-capacity coliseum with 22,000-square- feet of exhibit space; 2,500-capacity auditorium; 10,000-square- foot exhibit hall; 4,800-square- foot ballroom; and a natural lawn amphitheater with a capacity of 10,000.

Tickets are now on sale at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum box office, charge by phone by calling 865-656- 4444 or 877-995- 9961 or online at Reserved seating is $40, $55, $70 and $100. Applicable fees may apply.

Knoxville Symphony hosts benefit show

The musicians of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra are pleased to present a special concert on Tuesday, December 20, 2016 at 7:00 PM entitled “Music for the Mountains” at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, 2931 Kingston Pike, in Knoxville. This benefit concert, entirely musician-organized and led, will support the Gatlinburg disaster relief.

More than 22 musicians are volunteering their time and services to play solos and in trios, quartets and larger ensembles including traditional classical repertoire as well as familiar holiday selections.

“I grew up in Sevierville, and I have been looking for a way to help with the Gatlinburg wildfire disaster effort,” says organizer Jeffery Whaley, Principal Horn with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. “In planning this benefit concert with my colleagues in the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, I am overwhelmed by the support and willingness to participate I’ve encountered, even during this very busy time of year.”

The event is free to the public, and all donations go to Dollywood Foundation’s “My People Fund” which assures 100% of donations will directly benefit the families who have lost homes in the wildfires.

The Arts & Culture Alliance serves and supports a diverse community of artists, arts organizations, and cultural institutions. The Alliance receives financial support from the City of Knoxville and the Tennessee Arts Commission.

Concert features Mike Baggetta

The next concert in the Jazz Lunch series will feature a tribute to Ornette Coleman with Mike Baggetta and will take place on Wednesday, December 7, 2016, from noon to 1pm at the Square Room in downtown Knoxville. Admission to the concert is $15 and includes a lunch buffet served up by Café 4. Tickets are available online at or by visiting Café 4 in person prior to the show.


Drawing from the works of the Free-Jazz pioneer, saxophonist and composer Ornette Coleman, Mike Baggetta has assembled a group of fearless improvisors with whom to reinterpret Coleman’s music with a newfound experimentalism paying tribute to the spirit of its creator. Photo: Knoxville Jazz Orchestra.

Patrons to this Jazz Lunch may expect classic Ornette tunes like Lonely Woman and Ramblin’ next to lesser known masterpieces like What Reason Could I Give and War Orphans, among others. Matt Nelson (bass) and Nolan Nevels (drums) will join Mike Baggetta for this special jazz lunch concert.

Special thanks to East Tennessee PBS, WUOT 91.9 FM, The Square Room, and Weird Monkey Studios for support of the Jazz Lunch Series.

The Square Room is a new, state-of- the-art performance venue in downtown Knoxville, TN in the Historic Market Square district. It is housed in the rear of the 4 Market Square Building along with its counterpart Café 4, a full-service restaurant and coffee bar.

Appalachian Ballet presents The Nutcracker

The Appalachian Ballet Company will present the annual holiday tradition – The Nutcracker in their 45th anniversary season. The production features live music by the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. The Appalachian Ballet Company will present four public shows December 3rd at 7:30 pm & December 4th, 2016 at 3 pm at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium AND December 9th at 7:30 pm and December 10th at 3 pm at the Clayton Center for the Arts in Maryville. Two school matinees (includes K-8 curriculum guide covering common core standards) will be presented at 10 am at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium on December 1st and 2nd.

Prix de Lausanne 2010

Dancing the role of the Nutcracker Prince for the 45th anniversary season of The Nutcracker with the Appalachian Ballet will be Australian dancer, Aaron Smyth.

This international guest artist will be partnering ballerina Kylie Morton Berry, the Sugarplum Fairy, formerly with North Carolina Dance Theatre. Both audience favorites, Smyth and Berry performed together in the spring of 2015 at the Tennessee Theatre in ABC’s production of Cinderella and in last year’s Nutcracker performance.

This year’s production will include several new pieces of choreography featuring guest artists David Ward from BalletMet as the Snow King and Jeff Wolfe as Herr Drosselmeyer. William Cannon returns from New York to dance the role of the Arabian Prince with Koura Wright as the Princess. New sets, props and costumes will bring the charming and spellbinding production to life.

For over 100 years, this classic story has proven to be a favorite, enchanting audiences of all ages. Come see the magic with lavish scenery, glorious tutus, soldiers, snowflakes and sugar plums at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium or The Clayton Center for the Arts – the first and second weekend of December. For tickets call Knox Tickets 865.656.4444 or Clayton Center 981-8590.

Book celebrates local music

(Knoxville, TN) Knoxville’s Mid-Day Merry-Go-Round and its cast of musicians are the subject of a lecture and book signing by Ruth B. White at the East Tennessee History Center, November 6, 2016. The occasion celebrates the launch of White’s new book, Knoxville’s ‘Merry-Go-Round,’ Ciderville, and the East Tennessee Music Scene.

The noonday show was broadcast live from WNOX for more than twenty years and attracted a loyal and enthusiastic audience. The host of on-air talent include many who went on to Nashville to become country greats, such as Roy Acuff, Chet Atkins, Archie Campbell, Don Gibson, the Carters, Homer and Jethro, and Carl Smith, to only name a few.


Knoxville’s ‘Merry-Go-Round,’ Ciderville, and the East Tennessee Country Music Scene is a warm, sometimes hilarious, insider’s look back at this early period of country music, the stories behind the lyrics, and the shared laughter, tragedies, and tears of the Merry-Go-Round cast.

Ruth married Harold White in 1965. He had been a steel guitarist on the Merry-Go-Round and was playing with Grand Ole Opry superstar Hank Williams when they met. Together they became an important part of the Nashville music scene, Harold as a musician and “song plugger,” and Ruth in music publishing.
David West and the Cider Mountain Boys will provide a nostalgic look at music popular in the Merry-Go-Round heyday. A banjoist, David played with the Bonnie Lou and Buster Show, then as a regular on the Cas Walker Show until it went off the air. An astute businessman, he is involved in many local enterprises, but his real love is the operation of Ciderville, selling musical instruments and one of the largest Martin Guitar dealers in the country. It also serves as a popular venue for country music performances. Ruth devotes a chapter in her book to David and Ciderville, describing it as a place where “sounds Nashville has forgotten, original sounds of the mountains and rural areas” are still being played.

A foreword by WNTT-AM radio host James Perry introduces the book.

The program at the East Tennessee History Center is from 2:30-4:30 p.m., Sunday, November 6. The event is free and open to the public. The East Tennessee History Center is located at 601 S. Gay Street, Knoxville. For more information on the lecture, exhibitions, or museum hours, call 865-215-8824 or visit the website at

Culture Club at Knox Civic

Boy George and Culture Club are scheduled to perform at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium on November 26, 2016. Tickets will go on sale Friday, October 14 at 10 am.


Culture Club is one of the biggest pop bands of the 80s, racking up seven straight Top 10 hits in the UK and nine Top 10 singles in the US. They were also the first band since The Beatles to achieve three top 10 hits from their debut album on the Billboard charts. Their hit single, “Time (Clock of the Heart)” has also been included on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s list of 500 songs that shaped rock and roll.

The Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum is conveniently located near the junction of Interstates 75 and 40 and sits downtown near the University of Tennessee campus.

Tickets are available online at, by phone at 865-656- 4444 or at the Coliseum Box Office and any Knoxville Tickets Outlets.

Robinella at Jazz Lunch

Legendary artist Aretha Franklin is on the agenda as Robinella performs her tunes at the Knoxville Jazz Lunch. The series performance will take place on Wednesday, November 2, 2016, from noon to 1pm at the Square Room. Admission to the concert is $15 and includes a lunch buffet served up by Café 4. Tickets are available online at or by visiting Café 4 in person prior to the show.

Robinella Bailey is one of East Tennessee’s most celebrated vocalists. She has toured the country, opening for the likes of Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Nickel Creek, Earl Scruggs and many others and released half a dozen recordings under her own steam. An iTunes music review proclaimed “Robinella’s voice is so versatile – so utterly loose, carefree and expressive no matter what the material is – that she glides into every tune.”


Robinella Bailey pays tribute to the Queen of Soul, Ms. Aretha Franklin, at the next Jazz Lunch at the Square Room in downtown Knoxville, Novemer 2, 2016, at noon. Photo submitted.

Special thanks to East Tennessee PBS, WUOT 91.9 FM, The Square Room, and Weird Monkey Studios for support of the Jazz Lunch Series.

The Square Room is a new, state-of-the-art performance venue in downtown Knoxville, TN in the Historic Market Square district. It is housed in the rear of the 4 Market Square Building along with its counterpart Café 4, a full-service restaurant and coffee bar.

For more info visit:

KKB hosts Pickin’ Party

Keep Knoxville Beautiful (KKB) is revitalizing a unique KKB tradition on Friday, October 14, 2016. KKB’s Rocky Top Pickin’ Party will be held under a full moon close to downtown at the historic Mabry-Hazen House from 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM. It will feature the musical talents of The Bearded and the Hardin Valley Thunder. All are welcome and attendees are encouraged to bring an instrument and join the breakout sessions between sets.

Barbeque and tacos will be available from the Rollin’ Smoke and Captain Muchacho’s food trucks.

Tickets for this family-friendly event include 4 FREE beers or beverages, and can be purchased through the Keep Knoxville Beautiful website. Attendees who bring an instrument pay only $5!

General advance tickets are $15, or $20 on the day of the event. All of the proceeds go toward Keep Knoxville Beautiful’s programs.

“Here in East Tennessee, many people dabble in bluegrass and Americana. We’re encouraging everyone from these closet musicians to local virtuosos to enjoying making music by joining the breakout pickin’ parties held around the grounds,” says Patience Melnik, executive director of Keep Knoxville Beautiful. “The event is also unique because it will be low-waste. Our organization strives to promote a cleaner, greener, and more beautiful Knoxville, so we are making the event as environmentally friendly as possible in order to align it with our mission.”

“We have worked hard with everyone involved to minimize waste,” adds Sarah Carman, Programs Coordinator at Keep Knoxville Beautiful. “Most of the food sold by Rollin’ Smoke and Captain Muchacho’s will be served with reusable packaging, with the remainder served with recyclable or compostable packaging. We will collect compost and our recycling trailer with bins will be on-site.”

“We hope the event will inspire others to consider minimizing their waste, and will encourage event organizers to take advantage of our recycling trailer, which is a free resource for anyone to borrow for local events,” Melnik said. “Most importantly, though, we hope folks will come enjoy a relaxing fall evening of music,food, and friends, all while supporting Keep Knoxville Beautiful.”

To learn more about Keep Knoxville Beautiful and to purchase tickets to the Rocky Top Pickin’ Party, please visit

Brewers Jam benefits Community Shares

KNOXVILLE, TN – The 20th annual Knoxville Brewers’ Jam will be held Saturday, October 8, at the World’s Fair Park. Proceeds benefit the non-profit organization Community Shares of Tennessee, which has produced the festival since 2004.

More than 50 brewers and brewer reps will be serving up 5-ounce samples and answering questions about their craft beers. Additional unique and exotic beers will be available for tastings, including the award-winning Goose Island Bourbon County Stout and Founders Brewing Co. Kentucky Breakfast Stout. A handful of local breweries will be featured under their own tent, and several high-gravity beers will be poured for a limited time at the “bomber” tent.

Live music begins at 1 p.m. with Sarah Pirkle, Jeff Barbra and Griffin Vann; Handsome and the Humbles; Kelsey’s Woods; and Davis Mitchell’s New Power Soul tribute to Prince.

Several food vendors will be on site, including Savory and Sweet, Sweet P’s BBQ & Soul House, and Jimmy’s Concessions. Additional food vendors will be listed on the website as they confirm.

Tickets are $45 at local outlets (see below) while supplies last; $50 plus applicable ticket fees online; and $60 online the day of the event. Guests receive a souvenir sample cup and unlimited five-ounce samples of craft beer, starting when gates open at 1 p.m.

VIP tickets (online only) are $100, plus applicable ticket fees. VIPs may enter the site starting at 12 p.m. and have access to a special tent where Sugarlands Distilling Company will serve samples of their moonshine, Sweet P’s BBQ serves up lunch, and guests have exclusive restroom facilities.

Designated driver tickets (online only) are $20, plus applicable services fees. DD ticketholders receive free water and soft drinks.

No one under 21 will be admitted to Knoxville Brewers’ Jam.

* Outlets for tickets include:
Downtown Grill and Brewery
Bearden Beer Market
Three Rivers Market
Barley’s Tap Room
Trailhead Beer Market
Sugar Mama’s
Last Days of Autumn Brewery
Visit the website:

Mayor to proclaim Louie Bluie Day

Sixteen years after legendary stringband musician and artist Howard “Louie Bluie” Armstrong performed at the Laurel Theater as part of a celebrated homecoming visit to East Tennessee, his son Ralphe will pay tribute to his father’s legacy with a concert at the same venue. In honor of the occasion, Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero will personally present a proclamation designating September 22, 2016 as “Louie Bluie Day.”

Ralphe Armstrong, a Grammy-nominated jazz and rock bassist based in Detroit, will perform as part of the Armstrong Legacy Trio, which also includes guitarist Ray Kamalay and violinist/mandolin player John Reynolds. The concert is Thursday, September 22, 8 p.m. at the Laurel Theater.

Through her proclamation, Mayor Rogero’s will acknowledge Tennessee native Howard Armstrong’s musical virtuosity and his part in music history as a member of the Tennessee Chocolate Drops, who recorded for Vocalion during the St. James recording sessions of 1929. Howard, who was born in Dayton and grew up in LaFollette, received a WC Handy Award (now Blues Music Award), and the National Endowment for the Arts called him a “national treasure” when they made him a National Heritage Fellow award in 1990.

Tickets to the concert are $20 for Jubilee Community Arts members, $21 for non-members. Advance tickets are available online at; remaining tickets will be sold at the door starting at 7:30 p.m.

Ralphe was performing with his father by age 5. By 13, he played with Smokey Robinson and the Miracles; by 16 he affiliated with Jean-Luc Ponty and Frank Zappa (which continued for many years). The original bassist in the Mahavishnu Orchestra with John MacLaughlin, Ralphe has performed and recorded with Aretha Franklin, James Carter, Sting, Roger Daltrey, Eminem, and many more artists in a wide variety of genres. Earlier this year, Ralphe was honored by his hometown and voted “Best Jazz Instrumentalist” at the Detroit Music Awards.

Kamalay has shared stages with Mark O’Connor, Doc Watson, Jethro Burns, Steve Goodman, and others. He began performing with Howard and Ralphe in 1988 when the three of them formed the Howard Armstrong Trio.

Reynolds was influenced by a number of traditional music masters including Howard Armstrong, with whom he performed for decades.

The Armstrong Legacy Trio’s performance at the Laurel Theater previews their 4:15 p.m. set at the 10th Louie Bluie Music & Arts Festival on Saturday, September 24, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Cove Lake State Park in Caryville, Tenn. For more information about the festival, visit

TN Pirate Fest is Oct 8-9

The first ever Tennessee Pirate Fest will be held in Harriman, just 30 miles west of Turkey Creek, on October 8-9, 2016 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, rain or shine.

“We are throwing a pirate party and everyone is invited,” said Barrie Paulson, VP-Manager & Entertainment Director. “International Talk-Like-A-Pirate Day is a great warm up to ‘Get Your Pirate On!’”


Patrons are encouraged to dress in costume. Professional entertainment includes the Tortuga Twins, an interactive comedy show; Pirates, Inc., sea shanties; Outlaw Ritual, blues/swamp rock duo; PanEZ, Caribbean steel drum; Three RRR’s, comedy stunt show; Trouble the Waters, Irish musical duo; Captain Anton Neal and the Sirens, sea shanties; and Kombat Kroquet. An entertainment schedule will be available online and at the entrance gate.

The village of Port Royale will consist of interactive street characters–including British red coats, the Governor’s household, and pirates. Merchants will also help create the village, selling custom crafts, festival food, and hot and cold beverages, including beer.

Ticket prices are $13 for ages 13+, $8 for ages 5-12, and there will be free admission for children 4 and under. Parking is free, and tickets may be purchased with cash or credit at the ticket house on show days.

The festival is located at 550 Fiske Road, Harriman, TN. Festival rules include the following: No sharp weapons or loaded guns (stage weapons must be sheathed and zip-tied); no pets (service animals only); no outside food or drinks; no visibly intoxicated persons will be admitted; no onsite patron camping.

For more information, call 865-248-8414.

GSM National Park plays mountain music

GSMNP – Great Smoky Mountains National Park will host the twelfth annual “Music of the Mountains” celebration September 9-10, 2016. The event tells the story of music in the Southern Appalachians through its diverse history by letting visitors experience a variety of music that was played in the region or represents old-time music’s roots. Performances throughout the event tell the story of how mountain music grew out of traditional Celtic and religious roots to become something that would be played on front porches all over the Smokies.

“The music in these mountains tells such a wonderful story,” said Park Ranger Brad Free. “This event provides the opportunity to find the type of traditional music that you love and learn how the stories that the music tells connect it to this place and its people.”

The two-day event begins with a concert of Celtic music by Four Leaf Peat on Friday, September 9, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. at the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center in Townsend, TN. General admission is $5.00. The event continues on Saturday, September 10 with a series of free performances supported by Public Radio Station WDVX (89.9 FM) in celebration of the National Park Service Centennial. Musicians will play on Park Headquarters lawn from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with music from Pappy Fisher, the John Myer’s Band, Red Shoes and Rosin, and more. WDVX will broadcast portions of the program live from Park Headquarters starting at 11:00 a.m.


The late afternoon performances by John Lilly, The Brother Boys, Dale Jett and Hello Stranger (pictured above), and Amythyst Kiah from 3:00 p.m to 5:00 p.m. will feature music from the recently released album, “On Top of Old Smoky: New Old-Time Smoky Mountain Music,” which was one of several National Park Service Centennial recognition projects produced by Great Smoky Mountains Association in honor of the 100 year anniversary. The traditional American music on the CD features artists of today recreating songs performed by Smoky Mountain residents at the time of the development of the national park.

The event will be held rain or shine, but performances may be moved to the adjacent Sugarlands Visitor Center theatre in case of inclement weather. Participants are encouraged to bring blankets or chairs for sitting on the lawn. Event parking and restrooms are provided at Sugarlands Visitor Center. Handicap parking is available at both Park Headquarters and Sugarlands Visitor Center.

Schedule of Events:

September 9 – Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center in Townsend, TN
Admission: $ 5.00
7:00 p.m. – Celtic Music by Four Leaf Peat

September 10 – Park Headquarters Lawn adjacent to Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg, TN
Admission is Free

10:00 a.m. Pappy Fisher
11:00 a.m. Red Shoes and Rosin
12:00 p.m. The Bearded
1:00 p.m. John Myer
3:00 p.m. John Lilly
3:30 p.m. The Brother Boys (Ed Snodderly and Eugene Wolf)
4:00 p.m. Dale Jett and Hello Stranger
4:30 p.m. Amythyst Kiah


Jazz Orchestra season begins Sept 27

The Knoxville Jazz Orchestra’s 2016-17 concert season begins on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 8pm with “Cuban Fire with Paquito D’Rivera”. The program will be held at the Bijou Theatre at 803 South Gay Street in downtown Knoxville, Tennessee.


Saxophonist and clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera’s extraordinary career defies categorization. A native of Havana, Cuba, Paquito is the winner of fourteen Grammy awards, a lifetime achievement award from Carnegie Hall, a NEA Jazz Masters award and a Guggenheim fellowship. Photo courtesy KJO.

D’Rivera’s performance credits range from Dizzy Gillespie’s United Nations Orchestra to the Warsaw Philharmonic, with many stops in between. For this special performance, Paquito and his rhythm section join the KJO for an exciting journey to the crossroads of big band jazz and Latin music.

The Knoxville Jazz Orchestra is a 17 piece big band comprised of professional musicians from across the region. Since its inception in 1999, the orchestra has performed dozens of concerts in East Tennessee, appeared on major jazz festivals in Europe, performed and recorded with internationally acclaimed guest artists, and released four critically acclaimed CD recordings.

Tickets for the event are $35.50 adult, $15.00 student. Tickets are available in advance at, by calling 684-1200 or by visiting the Tennessee Theatre Box office.


Oak Ridge Symphony perform Sept 24

The Oak Ridge Civic Music Association is pleased to present the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra, led by Maestro Dan Allcott, in a performance of new music by East Tennessee composer Mark Harrell on Saturday, September 24, 2016 at 7:30 PM at the Oak Ridge High School Performing Arts Center.

The concert, entitled Pride of Place, is a celebration of Oak Ridge, especially recognizing the scientists and immigrants who founded this community. Commissioned by the JAZ Fund, Mark Harrell’s π to the Sky: Tribute to Discovery is a celebration of the post-WWII generation of Oak Ridge scientists and their numerous accomplishments. The concert will also celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service with Peter Boyer’s moving narrated work, Ellis Island: The Dream of America.

“The concert Pride of Place gives us a chance to celebrate the uniqueness of Oak Ridge and the United States,” said Music Director, Dan Allcott. “That pride is alive and well as we celebrate a world premiere written for us by Mark Harrell – Pi to the Sky. The concert concludes with Ellis Island: The Dream of America, which was programmed to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the U.S. National Park Service. It is a celebration of the immigrant story which sits in the background of many of our families.”

“We are proud to partner with the National Park Service for this performance,” said Executive Director, Rachel Perkins. “To celebrate this special occasion, student groups and their adult chaperones will receive free admission to this performance.”

The Oak Ridge High School String Quartet will perform in the lobby before the concert, and patrons are invited to meet members of the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra at a celebratory reception in the lobby after the performance.


The Oak Ridge Civic Music Association presents professional performances in the Oak Ridge community with its symphony, chorus, and chamber music series. Subscription and individual tickets may be purchased online at or by calling (865) 483-5569. Photo courtesy ORCMA.

Knoxville Coliseum launches new website

The Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum recently launched a new website so that patrons may keep up with who is performing at the facility and buy tickets to concerts and shows through the events calendar.

The new site also offers information on concessions and parking for visitors.

Coming this fall:

Disney On Ice returns to Knoxville with 10 performances Nov. 2-6, 2016. Enter a world where adventure awaits and courage leads the way at Disney On Ice presents Dream Big. High-flying jumps, daring acrobatics, breathtaking maneuvers and lovable Disney friends make this an experience your family will never forget.


Grammy-nominated American rock band NEEDTOBREATHE is joined by special guests Mat Kearney, John Mark McMillan and Welshly Arms on September 25 for the “TOUR DE COMPADRES,” featuring music from the band’s sixth studio album, “Hard Love.”

Classic country band Alabama is joined by the Charlie Daniels Band on October 21 for the “Southern Drawl Tour.” Both members of the Country Music Hall of Fame, the groups will play multiple hits from their decades-long careers.


Iconic sign gets an upgrade

KNOXVILLE, TN – The Tennessee Theatre will celebrate the return of its iconic vertical sign to Gay Street and the newly refurbished marquee with a free open house and relighting ceremony on Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016.

“The vertical sign is an important part of downtown Knoxville’s visual identity and our theater’s history,” Tennessee Theatre Executive Director Becky Hancock said. “After more than two months of work, we will welcome back our vertical sign and refurbished marquee, both of which will shine on Gay Street even brighter and better. We look forward to the public joining us for the celebration.”


During the open house sponsored by McCarty Holsaple McCarty Architects and Interior Designers, the Tennessee Theatre will be open to the public for self-guided tours of the stage and backstage areas from 6-8 p.m. House organist Dr. Bill Snyder will play the Mighty Wurlitzer organ, and a caricature artist will be at the event to draw guests with the iconic Tennessee Theatre marquee.

At 8 p.m., guests will move outside onto Gay Street, which will be closed in front of the theater for the event, for a ceremony featuring Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, Tennessee Theatre board members and officials from Pattison Sign Group, which handled the project. Elected officials and donors will join Hancock in leading a countdown to the official relighting of the vertical sign and marquee with brighter, more energy-efficient LED light bulbs.

When the marquee project was announced in April, the Tennessee Theatre launched a fundraising campaign to raise $150,000 to cover the cost of the refurbishment. Through cash and in-kind donations, the theater has raised more than $136,000 and is asking for the community’s continued support to completely fund the project.

At the event, guests also will have the opportunity to sponsor a bulb for $25 or purchase several commemorative items, including a hand-crafted vertical sign glass ornament or fine art print of the marquee, to help fund the project. More information on the campaign can be found at

The marquee project also was supported by a $65,000 grant from the City of Knoxville, corporate gifts from Pattison Sign Group and Scripps Networks Interactive, and individual donations from the community.

Locally headquartered Pattison Sign Group, one of the largest sign and visual communication companies in the world, donated its services at cost to remove the vertical sign, replace all light bulbs, repair wiring and damage and reaffix the sign to the Burwell Building.

At its facility in South Carolina, Pattison Sign Group divided the four-ton vertical sign into three pieces for accessibility to replace 3,300 light bulbs with energy-efficient LED lighting; install electrical upgrades; repaint the sign; and repair cosmetic damage from daily wear-and-tear and recent hailstorms.

Additionally, the company oversaw repairs on the Tennessee Theatre marquee, which remained in place. Approximately 2,400 light bulbs were replaced, cosmetic damage was repaired, the marquee was repainted and message boards on the marquee were replaced and upgraded.

“The Tennessee Theatre sign is one of the most beloved icons of our region,” said Jeff Allison, sales manager at Pattison Sign Group. “At Pattison, we do work around the world, but this project has been especially meaningful for our employees who live and work in this community. We are pleased to be able to give Knoxville a brighter and more beautiful sign and marquee.”

Pattison Sign Group anticipates that the vertical sign will return to Gay Street about a week before the official relighting and will remain dark until the ceremony. Gay Street will be closed overnight for the sign to be placed back on the Burwell Building, a process expected to take approximately eight hours.

About the Tennessee Theatre

Located in the heart of downtown Knoxville, the Tennessee Theatre opened in 1928 as a movie palace. The Tennessee Theatre is the Official State Theatre of Tennessee and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Tennessee Theatre is the region’s leading performing arts center with advanced technology, staging and lighting that draws top entertainment to the Knoxville area.

For more information, visit

McMillan vibe shifts to folktronic

CELEBRATE KNOXVILLE – Primo Trinkets, Vol. 1, the latest album from Knoxville musician and songwriter Rory McMillan, sees official release on iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay, and Spotify, on Friday, August 12, 2016. Celebrate Knoxville caught up with McMillan this week for a chat about this latest project and to ask (since he mentioned it on Facebook) how attending his 20th high school reunion was for him this year.

Primo Trinkets, Vol. 1 Official Album Cover

CK: You’ve produced a lot of music the last few years. How has your work evolved?

RM: Sutherland Ave. Hymns (2014) marked a shift for me where I started to deviate some from using acoustic guitar and doing the whole “folktronic” genre into doing some songs that were all made on keyboards and synthesizers. Remember This (2015) turned into a two volume project in which I embraced the keys and did away with strings entirely. It also marked the start of my collaborations with Nick Miller on drums- we eventually took all of those collaborations from those albums, tagged on a couple new ones, and officially released them together as a project called Synth and Sensibility (you can get the self-titled album for free on bandcamp or hear it on Spotify or Pandora). By that point, I felt as if I had been pushing the boundaries of what I was capable of achieving with the digital piano I had been using since 2004. That particular instrument was honestly pretty outdated in it’s technology, and I felt I owed it to the music to get a more modern keyboard with more realistic tones and a larger pool of sounds to choose from. With the new keyboard I got this year (Yamaha MX-49), I am able to get much better tones that were impossible for me before.

CK: So you recorded Primo Trinkets in your home studio?

RM: This album was recorded at my home in South Knoxville between March and June of 2016. I spent roughly 100 hours writing, recording, and mixing it myself. It was then mastered by a guy from Burlington, Vermont named Greg Davis, who runs a company called Autumn Mastering. Greg is a world-renowned experimental musician, and he seemed like the perfect person to put to work on this task.

CK: Love the album artwork also. Joyful.

RM: The album’s beautiful artwork was done by my friend Kate Stepp. She is a high school librarian in North Carolina, but is also an amazing artist. We had art class together in the mid-90’s at Bearden High School.

CK: The first cut on this album, and my favorite, “Flight of the Ladybird,” has a dark and surprising underpinning. Like you’re walking in the park on a sunny day, but someone is watching you from behind a tree.

RM: Ha ha ha! It does have a dark side. I was using a new keyboard, Yamaha MX-49. I was also using my trusty microKORG synthesizer a little on every track, too. I also employed some VST sounds from a computer program called Steinberg HALion Symphonic Orchestra (but using the Yamaha to play the notes)- this is where a lot of the really realistic violin, cello, and upright bass sounds came from, as well as a couple other random symphony instruments. And the background noise on track 7 was from using a computer program called Padshop by Steinberg, which is a way of manipulating what is known as “granular synthesis”. I recorded basically every track of music in stereo, though over half of them are panned to the left or right in varying degrees. In the past, I used a lot more mono tracks, but using stereo on everything seems to give a more spacious, living, breathing vibe on this kind of music. The recording software I used was called Steinberg Cubase Elements 6.

CK: I saw on Facebook that you recently went to your high school reunion. Did you tell them about your music or just mingle and keep a low profile?

RM: I did recently go to my 20-year high school reunion, Bearden’s Class of ’96. Music was definitely discussed with some friends. Most of my classmates who I have stayed in touch with over the years already know how important it is to me, and many of them have been supportive.

CK: What’s next?

RM: I have found a good rhythm to incorporating the songwriting process into my weekly life and balancing it with the other aspects of my life- recovery, serving at (a local) restaurant, playing bass guitar in a rock band, and teaching music lessons to a couple of students. I just recently acquired two analog synths- a Dave Smith Mopho x4 (which is in a tie with my Martin guitar as the nicest instrument I’ve ever had) and an Arturia Microbrute. Future music will definitely see them play heavily into the mix.

Celebrate Knoxville readers can get Primo Trinkets, Vol. 1 for free here:

–Celebrate Knoxville, August 3, 2016.

Ramsey House plans Celtic celebration

KNOXVILLE, TN – On September 3, 2016, Historic Ramsey House, 2614 Thorn Grove Pike, will bring to the community A Gathering of Ancient Sounds; Celtic and Appalachian Rhythms. There will be eight exceptional musical groups offering related but diverse music that represents the best of Celtic and Appalachian music from their beginnings.

“These rhythms will keep your toes tapping and your feet ready for dancing,” said Judy LaRose, Executive Director at Historic Ramsey House.

Food vendors, re-enactors and period demonstrators will be there to provide additional enjoyment for our guests. The Historic Home will be open for tours for $5 per person. Gates open at 9am; the event runs from 10am-6pm; tickets at the gate are $10 for Ramsey House Members, $15 for non-members and children 12 and under free along with free parking.

For more information, call Judy LaRose at 865-546- 0745.

Food Truck event pairs well with wines

CELEBRATE KNOXVILLE – In spite of the hot summer temperatures, Knoxville residents turned out in droves for the Food Truck Park held on Thursday evening at Blue Slip Winery’s downtown location at the historic Southern Railway Station. Venor trucks parked in the back parking lot from 5 pm to 7 pm and offered foods from Asian spring rolls to tacos to barbecue, as well as desserts like ice cream and donuts.

Blue Slip Winery owners Linn Slocum and Jeff Galyon say the Food Truck event is just another step in their business plans to “promote local” with events, a brand new Bistro with full bar and menu, and of course, handcrafted wines made from Tennessee grapes.

Beginning in 2009, the business was formerly located on Jackson Avenue in the Old City and is Knoxville’s first urban winery.


When Blue Slip Winery moved to the Southern Railway Station in 2014, Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero praised the location for the new business, saying that the area was “walkable and bikeable,” and featured ample parking. Those words rang true at the Food Truck event Thursday as attendees easily navigated with bikes, kids, and dogs. Many brought their own lawn chairs. Photo by Celebrate Knoxville.

“The Food Truck event has been really successful for us, a natural pairing of great food and drink and local music as well,” Slocum said, as she poured tastings at a table outdoors. “We have two brand new wines to share with the community, and we hope folks will continue to visit us and try them out. The Bistro located inside is open Monday through Sunday from 11 am to 9 pm.”


Inside the Southern Railway Station building in the wine and gift shop, Blue Slip’s Brice Rayburn served behind the tasting bar and gave a description of the two new wines being featured. Photo by Celebrate Knoxville.

“The Railway Reserve is a mellow, smooth red with a subtle punch at the end, but in a good way,” Rayburn said. “The second new wine is Volunteer Vinifera, which is a white with a blend of complex flavors, hints of musk and peach, and the dry part just creeps up on you at the finish.”

The Food Truck event has been so popular that Slocum says it is a regular event for them and will be held every third Thursday throughout the summer and fall.

—CelebrateKnoxville, 2016.

Emory Place plans Block Party

KNOXVILLE – The second annual Emory Place Block Party in North Knoxville will be held on Saturday, August 20, 2016 from 2 pm to 9 pm. The event has been organized to help bring attention to the historic Emory Place area. The goal of the block party is to create an opportunity for locals to get out and meet one another while experiencing what the area has to offer. The event is free to the public and everyone is welcome to join in the fun.

The 2016 Emory Place Block Party will have a more music centered focus with multiple acts preforming at various venues around Emory Place. All of the acts are Knoxville locals and the music is sure to please with a range including reggae, folk, indie-rock, jazz and more. A full line up, including performances by local dance groups, will be released in the coming weeks.

“Last year we had so many people say they didn’t know Emory Place existed before the block party. The area has seen a great amount of growth in the last year so this year it’s less about discovering Emory Place and more about celebrating it as a special little place in the city,” said block party organizer Whitney Manahan.

Bar Church is July 13 at Open Chord

Celebrate Knoxville spoke with Matt Peeples this afternoon, who will be speaking at Bar Church on July 13, 2016, at 7:30pm at The Open Chord. This event (including the option to enjoy refreshing beer during the service) is sponsored by The Point, a church that meets regularly at Regal Cinema in West Town Mall.

“Bar Church is a way for us to connect with people in a relaxed atmosphere and communicate with them about faith,” Peeples said. “This is our third summer for doing Bar Church. It’s an event that moves around town and has previously been held at Relix Variety Theater, and Scruffy City Music Hall.”


Bar Church will be held July 13, 2016 at The Open Chord, a Knoxville business that features live music, a music school, and a music store, all in one location. People of all walks of life, believers and unbelievers and all points between, meet together, have a beer if they want to, listen to a message by Pastor Matt Peeples, and ask questions via texting during the message. Photo courtesy Bar Church/The Point.

“We have new cultural realities when it comes to communication,” Peeples said. “Feedback is not an option anymore, it is a demand. People have so many avenues for creating their own media channels and texting (during the message at Bar Church) gives people an opportunity to consider what is being said to them without feeling like they are being lectured. It is more of a conversation.”

Peeples said The Point is a church plant for Grace Lutheran in Knoxville and is orthodox Christian in beliefs. The doctines of the Trinity, Resurrection, and divine inspiration of Scripture are part of the creed.

Some people might think that having a church in a bar is a conflict of interest, but Peeples says that Jesus was/is interested in being culturally relevant. A relaxed, fun neighborhood bar is a place where conversations among different groups happen and relationships can be built.

When asked if Martin Luther was really a beer drinker, Peeples responded with “yes, his wife was a brewer. We joke that Bar Church is more beer, less wine than regular church.”

Bar Church is “music heavy” and can last from an hour and a half to two hours, with a cultural mix of music that can range anywhere from Christian contemporary music to Bob Marley and Foo Fighters. The “House Band,” as Peeples calls it, is led by Trey Sanson, formerly with Left Foot Down.

Peeples is originally from Kansas City and went to grad school in St. Louis. He lives in Knoxville with his wife and two sons, ages 3 years and 16 months.

The regular worship Sunday services for The Point are held at West Town Mall’s Regal Cinema at 9:30 am and 10:45 am.

For more information about Bar Church or The Point, visit

Knox Civic hires new staff members

KNOXVILLE, TN – (June 28, 2016) The Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum (KCAC) has hired Mitch List as assistant general manager and Scott McKnight as operations manager. As assistant general manager, List supports the general manager in overseeing all aspects of KCAC.


Mitch List has a strong background in event services and formerly served at Kansas Expocentre in Topeka, Kansas. His experience at the Expocentre will serve List well as he helps supervise the administration, operation and maintenance of the venues.  Photo submitted.

KCAC also has hired Scott McKnight, a facilities management professional, as operations manager. In that role, he is devoted to making sure the building is clean, comfortable, well-maintained and safe for clients and patrons.


Scott McKnight joined the KCAC following a 25-year career in facilities management for several public school districts in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. His most recent work as director of facilities and operations for Irving Independent School District included management of a $20 million budget and more than 300 employees. Photo submitted.

In 1998, he earned his bachelor’s degree in business management from LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas. Originally from Rome, Georgia, McKnight now resides in Sevierville.

The Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum is conveniently located near the junction of Interstates 75 and 40 and sits downtown near the University of Tennessee campus. The facility attracts more than 250,000 people per year through a wide array of events, including Knoxville Ice Bears hockey games and the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra Pops Series. The facility includes a 6,500-capacity coliseum with 22,000-square- feet of exhibit space; 2,500-capacity auditorium; 10,000-square- foot exhibit hall; 4,800-square- foot ballroom; and a natural lawn amphitheater with a capacity of 10,000.

Cauthen named PD for WDVX radio

KNOXVILLE, TN – The Board of WDVX public community radio, known worldwide for its daily live radio show “The Blue Plate Special,” has hired Katie Cauthen as the station’s new Program Director/Content Manager.

Katie Cauthen

Katie Cauthen, a Knoxville native and 2011 graduate of the University of Tennessee’s School of Journalism and Electronic Media, has been with WDVX since 2008. Among her positions at the station Cauthen has served as AAA Music Director, leading the review of the flood of new tracks that the station receives. A national search was conducted for the program director position.

Cauthen’s knowledge of roots music and artists played on WDVX, and her readiness to meet today’s rapid technological changes in the music industry, led to the decision to hire her.

“WDVX has grown from a station in a camping trailer to a more complex and bigger operation. So our challenges have changed,” said Linda Billman, WDVX general manager. “Katie is a great fit because she not only has the passion for the station that our listeners and donors have, she has the skill set needed to keep moving us forward. Her expertise in content creation, social media, and technology will solidly serve WDVX in engaging people in the way they want to discover and listen to music today.”

Cauthen will take the programming helm immediately.

“I am as excited as I am honored to accept the Program Director/Content Manager position. The brilliant disc jockeys and staff of the WDVX team have helped me grow immeasurably over the years. I look forward to leading WDVX into the future while continuing to honor the station’s rich and storied past, and mission to share the vibrant East Tennessee community with the world by way of its music,” said Cauthen.

Mabry-Hazen hosts July 4th event

KNOXVILLE, TN – Mabry-Hazen House will host its Fourth of July Celebration on Monday, July 4th, 2016. On historic Mabry’s Hill attendees will enjoy a great view of the July 4th fireworks show, good food, and live music by Lost Fiddle String Band. Tours of the historic home will begin at 6pm, and dinner will be served at 7:30. Alcohol is BYOB.

Previously voted one of the best places to watch the Boomsday fireworks show, Mabry-Hazen House also offers food and entertainment without the traffic. Tickets are $60 per adult and children under 12 are free when accompanied by a ticket holder. Tickets are limited to 200 adults to ensure a quality event. Purchase your tickets in advance to guarantee your attendance. There is plenty of parking and the site offers easy access to I-40 without traffic concerns.

Tickets may be purchased in advance by visiting or call 865-522-8661 for more information. The event will take place rain or shine. Tickets are non-refundable. Sponsored by WDVX, All Occasions Party Rentals, and Crowne Plaza Knoxville.

Built in 1858, Mabry-Hazen House is strategically located on the highest hill east of downtown Knoxville with spacious views in all directions. The home was occupied and defended by both armies during the Civil War. It housed three generations of the same family for 130 years, and the museum showcases one of the largest original family collections in America. Your attendance will help support the museum’s mission to preserve and educate the public about an important part of East Tennessee history.

Please call 865-522-8661 or visit for more information.

TN Theatre announces Broadway season

KNOXVILLE, TN – The Tennessee Theatre has announced the 2016-2017 Broadway at the Tennessee Theatre season. Last year, Tennessee Theatre broke all house and box office records for sales and total attendance and welcomed approximately 34,000 people to the theatre.

“Part of the mission at The Tennessee Theatre is to offer diverse, high-quality entertainment, which includes bringing the best of Broadway to Knoxville,” says Becky Hancock, Executive Director of the Tennessee Theatre. “Broadway brings together long-time theatre attendees and first-timers to this beautiful venue, to experience a popular art form and create lasting memories in the Official State Theatre of Tennessee.”


The 2016-2017 season at the historic Tennessee Theatre in downtown Knoxville kicks off with the Tony Award®-winning Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, December 2-4, 2016.

For tickets, visit

Enjoy Jewish traditional foods

KNOXVILLE, TN – You might be familiar with bagels and lox, or challah bread. But what about shakshuka or mandlebrot? On May 22, 2016 the greater Knoxville community will have a chance to try both of these Jewish foods, and many more, at the first-ever “Knoshville” Jewish Food Festival. (The event’s name is a play on the Yiddish word “nosh,” which means to snack or nibble.)


“Knoshville will bring together every Jewish organization in the Knoxville and Oak Ridge area, in celebration and appreciation of Jewish foods and cuisine. The entire community is invited to attend, nosh with us, and learn about the foods that bring us together,” says Deborah Oleshansky, Executive Director of the Knoxville Jewish Alliance. “It’s going to be very fun, and also very delicious.”

Knoshville Jewish Food Festival
Sunday, May 22 • 11:00AM – 3:00PM
Arnstein Jewish Community Center (AJCC), 6800 Deane Hill Drive
Admission is free; minimum food purchase of $10.00
The entire community is invited to attend and nosh! (RAIN OR SHINE.)

Menu items to include:
Bagels and lox (smoked salmon); Shakshuka (Middle Eastern spicy baked egg dish); Bundt cakes; “black and white” cookies; mandlebrot (it’s like biscotti, but better) potato latkes (pancakes); potato knishes (delicious filling covered with dough and baked or fried); matzah ball soup (dumplings in broth); challah (Jewish egg bread)

Please note: In respect of kashrut, the kosher Jewish dietary laws and traditions, no meat or poultry items will be available at this event. Dairy, fish and vegetarian items and some gluten-free items will be available. The Knoxville Jewish Alliance looks forward to announcing a kosher deli event in Fall 2016. Stay tuned!

Participating organizations: Knoxville Jewish Alliance, Heska Amuna Synagogue, Temple Beth El, Knoxville Jewish Day School, Chabad of Knoxville, Jewish Congregation of Oak Ridge, the local chapters of Hadassah and BBYO, and the Young Jewish Adults of Knoxville.

Knoshville will also feature Israeli dancing, music, and an art gallery. An AJCC pool open house will occur from 1:00PM – 5:00PM; pool use is free to the community.

Festival features Mountain Faith Band

Just a short half hour drive from Knoxville via I-40 or Chapman Highway, this year’s Sevierville Bloomin’ BBQ & Bluegrass festival (May 20 & 21, 2016) will include a headline performance Friday night from Mountain Faith Band, a 2015 finalist from NBC’s America’s Got Talent.

“From savory barbeque to the sweet sounds of the banjo and mandolin, festival-goers will once again be treated to a fun-filled, memorable experience in the Smokies,” says Sevierville Chamber of Commerce Marketing Director Amanda Maples Marr.


Mountain Faith Band, the SPBGMA Bluegrass Music Awards nominated band from Sylva, North Carolina, brings their modern style of Appalachian, Americana, and Roots music to Sevierville for Bloomin’ BBQ and Bluegrass 2016. 

The band features Sam McMahan on bass, Summer McMahan playing the fiddle, Brayden McMahan on banjo, Jimmy Meyer on rhythm guitar, Cory Piatt on mandolin and David Meyer triples on guitar, fiddle and piano, Chris Wright on drums. Last Thanksgiving, the band traveled to the Persian Gulf and performed six concerts for men and women serving in the military.

Beginning Friday night, May 20, 2016 bluegrass band Nightflyer will take the Bloomin’ BBQ and Bluegrass main stage at 5p.m., before live performances from The Bankesters and Jimbo Whaley and Greenbrier. The festival’s headliners, Mountain Faith Band, will close the evening on the main stage, with their set scheduled to begin at 8 p.m.

Following these performances, all musicians in attendance will be invited to stick around and join fellow pickers for The Late Night Jam, presented by Dixie Stampede. This will be held on the festival grounds and takes place from 10 p.m. on Friday until 2 a.m. on Saturday, May 21st.

Saturday’s music line-up kicks off with Mountain Ruckus at 1 p.m. – Dixie Stampede’s band featuring four-time National Banjo Champion Gary “Biscuit” Davis. At 2 p.m., the sister duo of The Church Sisters will take the stage, followed by Bobby Osborne and the Rocky Top X-Press. Osborne is the original singer of Rocky Top. Bluegrass super group Flashback will also perform two sets. Flashback has only recently begun making appearances again and consists of members of the mid-1990s bluegrass group, The New South.

The evening’s headliner, The Gibson Brothers, will take the stage at 8 p.m. on Saturday May 21, to cap off an incredible weekend of bluegrass.

Editor’s Note: Celebrate Knoxville’s Music Reviewer Adam Whipple will chat with the Gibson Brothers on the road before their scheduled appearance. We’ll give you a reminder to check that out in our Twitter account, @CelebrateKnox.


Dogwood Arts fest is April 29-May 1

More than 60 juried artists will feature and sell their work at this weekend’s Dogwood Arts festival in Market Square, downtown Knoxville, April 29 through May 1, 2016. Admission is free.

Times are Friday: 11:00am – 9:00pm; Saturday: 10:00am – 9:00pm; Sunday: 11:00am – 5:00pm.


Artisans working in mixed media, clay, drawing/pastels, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, painting, photography, sculpture and wood will be selling their wares at Dogwood Arts. Throughout the festival, attendees can take part in interactive demonstrations including glass blowing, stone sculpting, quilting, photography, and fine art painting at Art in Action, located in Krutch Park Extension. File photo by Celebrate Knoxville.

Throughout the festival, live entertainment will be happening on the Market Square stage and the pop-up stage on Union Avenue. The Children’s Stage, located at the Clinch Ave Krutch Park entrance, will showcase live entertainment geared toward children. The Creation Station will also have entertaining family-style craft activities throughout the festival for children of all ages and their families.

For adults, the Dogwood Arts Festival is offering wine tastings and food demonstrations in the Culinary Arts Tent. Friday night in the Culinary Arts Tent, the inaugural Dogwood Diva Dinner featuring Knoxville’s finest female chefs, Holly Hambright, Karen Crumley, Amber Lloyd, and Lisa Smith. Delight in passed hors d’oeuvres, first course, entrée and side followed by dessert, paired with wine. Space is limited.


Free symphony concert is May 5

Symphony on the Square, a free concert by the Knoxville Symphony Chamber Orchestra takes place on the Bill Lyons Pavilion stage in Market Square Thursday, May 5, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. In the event of inclement weather, the concert will be held at the Bijou Theatre, 803 S. Gay Street.

KSO Resident Conductor Maestro James Fellenbaum leads the Knoxville Symphony Chamber Orchestra in an outdoor concert of light pops for Symphony on the Square, including classics from Mozart and Strauss on the first half of the program, and music of Broadway from Gershwin, Berlin and Mel Brooks on the second half.

“This free concert provides the opportunity to showcase the Knoxville Symphony Chamber Orchestra in a relaxed atmosphere and give the gift of music to our community,” Knoxville Symphony Orchestra Executive Director Rachel Ford said. “We appreciate Home Federal Bank’s continued support that makes this free concert possible.”

Patrons are encouraged to arrive early and bring blankets and/or chairs to enjoy the popular concert. Concert goers can also bring picnic dinners or pick up food at one of the many downtown restaurants. Convenient parking is free for those arriving after 6 p.m. in the city-owned Market Square, Locust Street and State Street garages.

The event kicks off the City of Knoxville’s Concerts on the Square series, which includes free concerts on Market Square. Jazz Tuesdays run from May 3 through Aug. 30 and Variety Thursdays run from May 5 through June 30, 2016.

Decyfer Down makes music of love

CELEBRATE KNOXVILLE – Music Review by Laura Long Martin. Decyfer Down’s 40-day tour stopped at The Underground/Cincinnati last night, with a bill that includes Disciple, Seventh Day Slumber, Spoken and Children 18:3. Decyfer Down is touring in support of The Other Side Of Darkness, their latest album released yesterday.

This high-energy rock band has already seen success – with Grammy and Dove Award nominations for their second album, Crash, a trio of best-selling major label albums, and seven chart-topping singles.  And they view all their work as an expression of love, of faith in Jesus Christ. Celebrate Knoxville spoke with T. J. Harris, vocalist for the band, on the road to Arkansas this afternoon.

LLM: How was the show in Cincinnati last night?

TJH: Amazing! Haven’t been here since 2010, so it was good to be back.

LLM: Still listening to the new album, letting it sink in. My favorite cuts right now are the title track and Anchor Me, which is the best song for a circle pit, agreed?

TJH: Ha ha, maybe. Or Nothing More. Either of those.

LLM: How do you balance giving the fans that uber-rock anthem that they love you for already and giving yourselves some creative space to experiment?

TJH: When we’re writing, I think we just let ideas sit for a while and then come back to them later. We like the heavy, low, sludgy, swampy style, so we usually end up there.

LLM: Much of this album sounds retro, like you guys had a late night classic rock vinyl party and then went right into the studio. In particular, the title track, Other Side of Darkness has a blend of musical flavors – I hear Kansas, I hear Pearl Jam, and there’s that cool synth like Edgar Winter about two minutes into the song.

TJH: Yeah, yeah! We all grew up on 90s rock and we love that influence. With this album we wanted to return to what we were doing with our first album, return to our roots music but with more energy. That’s Brandon’s guitar, not a synthesizer. He has lots of pedal effects and adds those colorful, melodic pieces.

LLM: You’ve had tunes used major sporting events (UFC, WWE). how did that come about? Are you guys fight fans?

TJH: Not really fans, but if there’s a big event, we might all get together and watch it. The songs got shopped and “Fight Like This” really fit, so it found a spot.

LLM: You’ve played a double bill with Korn’s Brian “Head” Welch, who after he became a Christian, went back and mended relationships with members of Korn and even played some shows with them. Would you love to play more often with bands that are not faith oriented but have a similar sound or energy, like Foo Fighters, maybe?

TJH: We’d LOVE to play with Foo Fighters. Who wouldn’t? From a business point of view, that would be great for us, since they play much bigger audiences – our shows might be five or six hundred, and they play for tens of thousands. From a (spiritual) point of view, it would be great to tell an audience that big how good God has been to us.

LLM: On your web site, you guys said it is important to be real, even if that might make people uncomfortable, and rock and roll has always been dangerous.

TJH: Yep.

LLM: Care to elaborate?

TJH: I think that quote was about our Scarecrow album, where we wrote a song criticising Westboro Baptist Church. We felt strongly that we needed to address their hate. They say they are a Christian church, but really they are just a cult. We don’t want anyone to be misled.

LLM: Do you guys actually counsel people at shows?

TJH: Yep, that’s part of our ministry. We pray with people, we encourage them to get connected to a local faith family.

LLM: There’s the serious side. And the showmanship and entertainment biz plays a part too, right? There was a great story on Facebook recently, with the headline “Holy Spirit Unable To Move When Fog Machine Breaks Down.”

TJH: Ha ha ha ha!

LLM: I know you guys have a sense of humor; I’ve seen your videos. And when you’re playing a show, you get a variety of responses, right, because some people are just there for the music and nothing else.

TJH: Yeah, and sometimes I look out and see people with hands in the air, worshipping, just lovin’ on God. Or there could be a guy standing there with his arms crossed who never moves but later says he liked the show.

LLM: A variety of responses, like that parable about the sower, where the same seed falls on different hearts. One is hard-hearted, so nothing grows. Another jumps in but when persecution comes, they crash. But then there’s that sincere heart that receives the (seed) message and bears fruit. So what’s next for Decyfer Down?

TJH: Finish the tour, which ends April 30. We’re businessmen too, and we want to sell records, but we are an independent band. We make what we love.

–Celebrate Knoxville, April 2, 2016.

Decyfer Down:  TJ Harris – Lead Vocals, Christopher Clonts – Guitar, Brandon Mills – Guitar, Synth, Benjamin Millhouse – Drums, Percussion, and Chris Furr – Bass. Connect with the band at

Scott Miller at Laurel Theater

Jubilee Community Arts presents Scott Miller & the Commonwealth Ladies Auxiliary (Rayna Gellert & Bryn Davies) on Friday, April 15, 2016, at 8 p.m. at the Laurel Theater in downtown Knoxville.

Naturalized Knoxvillian Scott Miller returns to the Laurel Theater as part of a powerful acoustic trio featuring Rayna Gellert and Bryn Davies, following the release of his latest album Big, Big World.

Raised in Virginia’ Shanendoah Valley, where he currently resides, Scott’s genuine interest and identity with the lore of the South and the Civil War, along with his intelligent and take-no-prisoners lyrics, set him apart from other roots rock artists and have propelled him to national and international prominence.

Tickets: $18-20, available at The Laurel Theater is located on the corner of 16th and Laurel Avenue in the historic Fort Sanders neighborhood of Knoxville near the UT campus. This show is expected to sell out quickly; get tickets now.


Alive After Five begins March 18

The Knoxville Museum of Art announces the spring series of Alive After Five, premiering with Kelle Jolly & The Women in Jazz Jam Festival Band on Friday, March 18, 2016 from 6:00 to 8:30 pm. This year’s spring series features eight shows, concluding on May 20.

Alive After Five- Women in Jazz Jam Festival Band - March 18 (photo 2)

The spring series of 2016 begins with the opening performance of the Women in Jazz Jam Festival. Vocalist Kelle Jolly is the visionary of and prime mover of the weekend-long festival, and for this opening performance she has gathered many of Knoxville’s finest female musicians and vocalists to perform on one stage at the Knoxville Museum of Art. Some of the performers include Sara Clapp-Gilpin (vocals, piano), Kukuly Uriarte (vocals, guitar), Dana Gipson (vocals, drums), Bethany Hankins (vocals, violin), Maria Williams (vocals, bass), and vocalists Evelyn Jack, Katy Free, Jeanine Fuller, Deidre Ford, Yasameen Hoffman-Shahin, and more. Plus, Judy Rosenburg, Ann Ramsaur, and Maria Thompson of Ukesphere of Knoxville will perform.

Other performers in the series are blues bands Mac Arnold & Plateful O’ Blues, Delta Moon, and The Stacy Mitchhart Band; swinging jazz bands Kukuly & The Gypsy Fuego and The Streamliners Swing Orchestra; and R&B/Soul/Funk bands Soulful Sounds Revue and Soulfinger.

Alive After Five is a unique live music series presented on approximately thirty Fridays per year in four seasonal series. The programs take place in the smoke-free, casually elegant setting of the Ann and Steve Bailey Hall in the Knoxville Museum of Art. There is a live band on stage, seating at tables, two cash bars, food from area restaurants, free freshly popped popcorn, free parking, and a licensed therapeutic masseuse available. Audience members can enjoy listening to music, dancing, and browsing the museum’s art galleries.

Admission to the Spring series premier of Alive After Five is $10 for general admission and $5 for museum members and college students with ID. Ages 17 and under are admitted free.

For more information about the Alive After Five series, please contact Michael Gill at (865) 934-2039.

Beware ἀποκάλυψις March 13

Summoning the sountrack for your doomscape, Knoxville band Summoner’s Circle counts bands like Opeth, UFO, and Black Sabbath as influences, along with iconic rockers Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Soundgarden, and Pearl Jam. Crush them all together in a circle pit, set it on fire, and you’ve got the performance to be expected this weekend. Details below.

King Giant
Summoner’s Circle
Wampus Cat
The Concourse at the International
March 13, 2016
Doors: 7:00 PM | Show: 8:00 PM
18+, Tickets $18
940 Blackstock Ave, Knoxville, TN 37921
For tickets: 1-866-468-7630
Office number: 1-865-200-5143

Formerly of another Knoxville metal group, (Scent of Remains, 2009-2014), Summoner’s Circle guitarist, “Gog” spends his days working on mysterious alchemy and his passion: music. Currently with Summoner’s Circle, fans of this band (known as “None”) are part of a larger story, one that involves a cosmic war that originated from the planet Mercury but now has a squirming epicenter in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Artwork by Chris Kapp.)


Bandmates affectionately known as “The Six” are Gog (lead guitar); Magog (rhythm guitar); the Fallen One (bass); Blind (throat and screams); Sol (keyboards and vocals); and B.G. Scios (drums).

Last year, Gog (Herb Hines) told The Knoxville Mercury, “One cannot work blood magick and conjure and bind interdimensional beings and not have a flair for the theatric,” which pretty much sums up this almost-always-in-character band.

Working with Dalton Skinner at Anchor Sound Studios in 2015 for the “First Summoning” EP, the band plans to record again this Spring. Online reviews for the EP have been positive, with most high marks going for “The Purifying Light of Apophis,” a song both haunting and melodic, then heavy and horrifying; a tribute to the asteroid Apophis, which is expected to approach Earth at a distance of 37,000-38,000 kilometers on April 13, 2029.

In the meantime, metal fans in the mood for face-meltiness are invited to the Concourse at The International to experience this fearful ἀποκάλυψις on March 13, 2016.

Become none. Enjoy the show.

—, March 10, 2016.

String quartet to perform

The Oak Ridge Civic Music Association is pleased to present the Oak Ridge String Quartet in a romantic program on Saturday, February 20, 2016 at 7:30 PM at the Pollard Auditorium.

ORSO String Quartet

The Oak Ridge String Quartet includes Karen Kartal, Susan Eddlemon, Sara Matayoshi, and Stacy Nickell Miller. Photo submitted.

Violinist Karen Kartal has performed as a soloist with many orchestras, and has won first prize in many competitions, including the MTNA National Chamber Music Competition.  Karen was the Assistant Principal Second Violin of the Knoxville Symphony until 2005 and she is currently Concertmaster of the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra.

Susan Lang Eddlemon, violin, is a graduate of the Juilliard School in New York City where she studied under Joseph Fuchs. She is the first woman violinist to receive a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Juilliard.

Violist Sara Matayoshi has earned recognition for her artistry as a solo, chamber, and orchestral musician, making her solo debut with the Midwest Young Artist’s Orchestra in 2002.   Sara is a former member of the Chicago Civic, Madison Symphony, and Atlantic Symphony Orchestras. In addition to her musical activities, Sara is also a Forrest yoga teacher.

Stacy Nickell Miller, cellist, has performed with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra since 1998. She has been involved with award-winning outreach programs at schools, libraries, hospitals, and nursing homes. Stacy’s book entitled “Better than Cookies, as Good as Cake” was written to introduce young children to the string quartet, and to the joy of making music.

The Quartet will perform romantic classics by Schubert, Mendelssohn, and Grieg.  Tickets are $25 for adults; $10 for young adults and youth (29 and under).

The Oak Ridge Civic Music Association presents professional performances in the Oak Ridge community with its symphony, chorus, and chamber music series.  Call 865-483-5569.

Scholarships offered for art residencies

KNOXVILLE, TN- Fellowships and scholarships are available for those with financial need as well as artists of color at the 2016 Sundress Academy for the Arts residency programs.

Applications for short-term artists’ residencies in creative writing, visual art, film/theater, music, and more. Each residency includes a room of one’s own, access to a communal kitchen, bathroom, office, and living space, plus wireless internet and cable.

The length of a residency can run from one week to two months. SAFTA is currently accepting applications for the summer residency period, which runs from May 30 to August 28, 2016. The deadline for summer residency applications is March 1, 2016.

To apply for the SAFTA residency, you will need to provide the following:

Application form including an artist’s statement and contact information for two references – CV or artist’s resume (optional)

Artist sample (see website for more details on genre specifications)

Application fee of $25 or $15 for current students with a student email, payable online.

Applications and additional information are available at:


The Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA) is an artists’ residency that hosts workshops, retreats, and residencies for writers, actors, filmmakers, and visual artists. All are guided by experienced, professional instructors from a variety of creative disciplines who are dedicated to cultivating the arts in Eastern Tennessee.

Email: for more information.

Rhythm & Blooms names final lineup

KNOXVILLE, TN – Dogwood Arts and Attack Monkey Productions are pleased to announce the final round of artists who will be performing at the 2016 Rhythm N’ Blooms Music Festival. The highly anticipated music festival will be held April 8-10, 2016 in venues along Jackson Avenue in Knoxville’s historic Old City.

The latest additions to the lineup includes Mutemath, Old 97’s, Green River Ordinance, Down the Wind, Midnight Merry-Go-Round, Guy Marshall, River Whyless, Mic Harrison & The High Score, Elliott BROOD, Christian Lopez Band, Paleface, J-Bush, The Crane Wives, The Meadows Brothers, Jubal, Canada, Matt Honkonen, Electric Darling, Daniel Miller & The High Life, and Knoxville Stomp.


Rhythm N’ Blooms is presented by Yee-Haw Brewing Company and produced in partnership by Dogwood Arts and Attack Monkey Productions. Dogwood Arts, is a 501(c)3 organization with a mission to promote and celebrate the Knoxville region’s arts, culture, and natural beauty. File photo by Celebrate Knoxville.

Tribute scheduled for Dolly Parton

KNOXVILLE, TN – Dolly Parton is turning 70 years young, and Knox County’s Chapter of the Imagination Library is throwing a birthday party in her honor on January 19, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. at the Bijou Theatre in downtown Knoxville.

The public is invited to celebrate East Tennessee’s favorite daughter with a Tribute Show featuring the award-winning story “A Boy and His Dolly” by Mark Lamb and local musicians singing her most popular songs on the U.S. Cellular Stage at the Bijou Theatre, where she got her start more than 50 years ago.

Featured musicians are Robin Ella Bailey, Nathan Barrett, Michael Crawley, Mischa Goldman, Christina Horn, Kelle Jolly, Laith Keilany, Ben Maney, Jodie Manross, Sean McCollough, and Sarah Firkle.

Tickets are $25.00 (plus applicable service fees) and proceeds benefit the Knox County chapter of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.




Bluegrass show features Emily Roberts

KNOXVILLE – Season 9 finalist on NBC’s talent competition show The Voice, Emily Ann Roberts of Knoxville, will perform an opening set at the next World Class Bluegrass concert January 30, 2016 at Clayton Center for the Arts. The event also features legendary bluegrass stars The Del McCoury Band and acclaimed prodigy Sierra Hull.

Karns High School student Emily Ann Roberts, 17, became a media sensation when she outlasted all but one competitor on The Voice to become the runner-up finalist. As a member of country singer Blake Shelton’s team, Roberts’ final performance was a solo rendition of “Burning House” by Cam. She received a standing ovation from all four judges. Jordan Smith, of Harlan, Kentucky, was named winner of The Voice.

For more than 50 years, Del McCoury’s music has defined authenticity for hardcore bluegrass fans as well as a growing number of fans among those only vaguely familiar with the genre. McCoury is something special, a living link to the days when bluegrass was made only in hillbilly honkytonks, schoolhouse shows and on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, yet also a commandingly vital presence today, from prime time and late night talk show TV to music festivals where audiences number in the hundreds of thousands. Del might be 76, but he’s singing better than ever and showing no signs of slowing down.

Sierra Hull has been recognized from age 11 as a virtuoso mandolin-player, astonishing audiences and fellow-musicians alike. Now a seasoned touring musician nearing her mid-20s, Hull has delivered her most inspired, accomplished, and mature recorded work to date; no small feat. Weighted Mind (to be released January 29, 2016) is a landmark achievement, not just in Sierra Hull’s career, but in the world of folk-pop, bluegrass, and acoustic music overall. The official video of the disc’s first single, “Black River,” recently made its debut.

The World Class Bluegrass series is a production of award-winning Americana radio station WDVX and the Knoxville Americana Music Foundation. For more information, visit


Farmer returns to Square Room

KNOXVILLE – Vocalist Kayley Farmer returns to Jazz Lunch Series at the Square Room on January 6, 2015, to present selections from the beloved songbook of composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Lorenz Hart.

The pair collaborated on more than 500 songs for 28 different musicals over the course of their careers. Songs to be included in the program include “Everything I’ve Got,” “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered,” “This Can’t Be Love,” “My Romance,” “Thou Swell” and others.

Kayley Farmer

Vocalist Kayley Farmer
The Square Room is located in downtown Knoxville, TN in the Historic Market Square district. It is housed in the rear of the 4 Market Square Building along with its counterpart Café 4, a full-service restaurant and coffee bar.

Admission to the concert is $15 and includes a lunch buffet at noon.

TN Shines plans 2016 music

The Tennessee Shines Radio Show is pleased to announce the following shows coming up for January 2016. The show, hosted by Paige Travis, is performed for a live audience every Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Boyd’s Jig & Reel musical pub in Knoxville’s historic Old City and features local, regional and national touring acts, plus poets and authors from the region. Tennessee Shines is broadcast live on WDVX FM and Admission is $10 at the door, available beginning at 6 p.m

January 6: The Bearded with the Knoxville Banjo Orchestra Flash Mob

The old-time Appalachian music tradition trickles through The Bearded’s original songs like a clear mountain stream.  Fierce pickin’ and three-part harmonies from Kyle Campbell, Chris Zuhr and Greg Horne result in a uniquely East Tennessee sound and spirit. And on this day of Epiphany, the KBO Flash Mob will take the stage for a full-on banjo revelation.

January 13: Andrew Leahey & the Homestead

Andrew Leahey & the Homestead are a Nashville-based American rock & roll band, evoking the energy and undaunted spirit of their musical godfathers: Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Tom Petty. Leahey wrote the band’s latest set of songs in the wake of an emergency brain surgery operation that nearly wiped out his hearing. Skyline in Central Time, produced by Wilco’s Ken Coomer, will be released in April.

January 20: The DuPont Brothers

Nimble finger-style guitar work and snug harmonies make Burlington, Vermont’s The DuPont Brothers a remarkable discovery for listeners. Brothers Sam and Zack didn’t start writing songs together until Sam went away to school in Arizona. And once they started playing shows together over holiday breaks, the duo’s path was clear. They released their debut CD, Heavy as Lead, in 2014.

January 27: Dylan LeBlanc

After releasing two critically acclaimed albums and being called “the new Neil Young,” Dylan LeBlanc walked away from an unlikely major label deal and slipped into a blur of booze and self-doubt. Exhausted and damaged at just 23 years old, Dylan went home to Muscle Shoals, Alabama, to write a new life for himself. The result is Cautionary Tale, a collection of shimmering, arresting songs with the same haunting vocals that caught the attention of Lucinda Williams and Bruce Springsteen, now with a sharpened edge honed by hastened maturity. The record, made with Ben Tanner and John Paul White, will be released January 15.



Rhythm & Blooms is April 8-10

Entering its seventh year, the Rhythm N’ Blooms Music Festival returns to Knoxville’s historic Old City and Jackson Avenue neighborhood, April 8th – 10th in 2016. Festival producers, Dogwood Arts and Attack Monkey Productions, are pleased to release a taste of the 2016 festival lineup with more announcements coming soon:

Robert Randolph & The Family Band, The Black Cadillacs, The Lone Bellow, American Aquarium, sam quinn and taiwan twin, Knox Hamilton, Cory Branan, Darlingside, Dave Eggar, Quiet Life, and Banditos.

Three-day festival passes are $75 each and VIP passes are $150.


Twitter: @rhythmnblooms / #RnBKnox

Instagram: @rhythmnbloomsfest

Facebook: Rhythm N’ Blooms Festival


Exam Jam at The International Dec 4

(Knoxville, Tenn.) –The Music Department of Volunteer Radio WUTK 90.3 The Rock is proud to announce the station’s seasonal fundraiser, Exam Jam XI, happening Friday, December 4 at The Concourse at the International beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets are $5 and all proceeds benefit WUTK-FM.

Organizing this event has been a semester long undertaking for the members of WUTK’s Music Department. In addition to organizing the event, the students have solicited donations from local businesses for raffle prizes for this event. Student members of WUTK’s Music Department reached out to a variety of local bands in order to ensure a diversity of entertainment for the evening.


Entertainment for Exam Jam XI will be provided by local Americana rockers Handsome & The Humbles, the very hot 3-piece pop-punk band Hellaphant, genre flipping giants Senryu, and the electro-indie rock sounds of The Enigmatic Foe. The show takes place at the International in downtown Knoxville starting at 8 p.m.

Jazz orchestra presents Alex Norris

The Knoxville Jazz Orchestra will present a tribute to trumpeter Woody Shaw by Alex Norris in the upcoming Jazz Lunch on Wednesday, December 2nd, from noon to 1pm at the Square Room.

Alex Norris_photo

Alex Norris is a native of Columbia, Maryland. After graduating from the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, Norris relocated to New York City in 1992 to pursue a career as a professional jazz trumpet artist. He has since earned an international reputation working in the bands of Betty Carter, Slide Hampton, Joshua Redman, Brad Mehldau, Chris Potter, Brian Blade, Carl Allen, John Patitucci, Mulgrew Miller, Greg Tardy and many others. Photo courtesy Knoxville Jazz Orchestra.

Trumpeter Woody Shaw is widely considered to be one of the great innovators in jazz in the late 20th century. He forged a style that is as exciting to hear as it is difficult to master. The band will feature Alex Norris (trumpet), Greg Tardy (tenor saxophone), Keith Brown (piano), Jon Hamar (bass), and Keith Brown (drums).

The Square Room is a new, state-of-the-art performance venue in downtown Knoxville, TN in the Historic Market Square district. It is housed in the rear of the 4 Market Square Building along with its counterpart Café 4, a full-service restaurant and coffee bar. Tickets for the Jazz Lunch are $15 and includes lunch.

Marble City Opera presents Menotti

Marble City Opera will produce Amahl and the Night Visitors by Gian-Carlo Menotti, which will be presented by St. John’s Cathedral in Knoxville, Tennessee at 7:30pm on December 4th, 2015, and 3:00pm on December 6th, 2015.

This is a family friendly production with FREE admission. MCO will feature some of Knoxville’s favorite talent including bass-baritone, Daniel Webb and Artistic Director, Kathryn Frady Marvel, as well as young rising stars Josiah Mustaleski, and Joseph Coram as the title character Amahl.

Marble City Opera was founded in May of 2013 and continues to make waves in the Knoxville music scene by making opera accessible.

Amahl and the Night Visitors is Gian-Carlo Menotti’s beloved masterpiece. A unique Christmas story about a young crippled boy and his mother who are visited by three kings, and the miracle that follows. Tickets are free and can be acquired by contacting St. John’s Cathedral at 865-525-7347.

2016 Big Ears music fest scheduled

Knoxville presents the internationally acclaimed Big Ears Festival – declared “the most ambitious avant-garde festival to emerge in America in more than decade” by Rolling Stone – bringing together musical leaders and innovators from the worlds of classical, jazz, electronic, folk, hip-hop and beyond for the weekend of March 31 – April 2, 2016.

Heralded American composer John Luther Adams – winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Music as well as the 2014 Grammy Award for “Best Classical Composition” – will serve as Composer-in-Residence at this year’s festival. Hailed as “one of the most original music thinkers of the new century” by The New Yorker, Adams’ work combines rich musical experience with his love for the natural world, especially the wild Arctic landscapes of Alaska, where he lived for nearly 40 years. Several of his key works will be performed during the Big Ears weekend, including his powerful, sweeping orchestral masterpiece, Become Ocean, in a concert by the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of conductor Steven Schick.

Editor’s Note: Musician and Music Writer Adam Whipple will celebrate five years of covering Big Ears for Celebrate Knoxville and will bring his unique perspective online for our readers in 2016.

Big Ears will also present at least two very special rare performances during the weekend. New music icons and Big Ears alumni Laurie Anderson and Philip Glass will present the American debut of their unique collaboration, thus far heard only once this past summer in Italy. In addition, the legendary 1972 minimalist/industrial rock creation by violinist/filmmaker Tony Conrad with German “Krautrock” legends Faust, Outside the Dream Syndicate, will be heard live in its only concert performance in 2016.

The remainder of the weekend will see dozens of concerts by a virtual who’s who of the world’s most iconoclastic and visionary music artists.

A Cappella choir to perform

The Carson-Newman University A Cappella Choir will perform at First Baptist Church of Knoxville on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015 in the 11 a.m. worship service and a 7 p.m. concert. The church is located at 510 West Main Street.

The choir is a group of 28 singers selected by competitive auditions from the student body and represent a variety of academic disciplines.

“The Carson-Newman A Cappella Choir is in constant demand for appearances at conventions, civic clubs, schools and churches,” said Tom Ogburn, senior pastor of First Baptist of Knoxville. “We are honored to have them join us for worship on the last Saturday in October.”

The conductor of the A Cappella Choir, Eric Thorson, is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies at Carson-Newman University. He is also the conductor of the Men’s Chorus, Oratorio Chorus, and teaches classes in conducting and music education.

In the services, the choir’s performance will feature classical Christian hymns, such as “Be Thou My Rock” by Mary McDonald and “Prayer of Thankful Praise” by Hal Hopson.

For more information, call (865) 546-9661.

Brewer’s Jam celebrates craft beer

KNOXVILLE The 19th annual Knoxville Brewers’ Jam to support Community Shares of Tennessee will be held Saturday, October 17, at the World’s Fair Park.

The non-profit organization’s biggest annual fundraiser regularly draws up to 4,000 people to downtown Knoxville for a day of craft beer, live music, food and fun. Guests ages 21 and up receive a souvenir Brewers’ Jam glass and can enjoy unlimited samples of craft beer from approximately 60 different brewers.

Knoxville-based brewers participating this year include the new Balter Beerworks and Cold Fusion Brewing. Yee-Haw Brewing out of Johnson City will also be pouring their selection of beers, which are new to the Knoxville market.

A variety of food vendors, including Savory & Sweet Food Truck and Curious Dog Hot Dogs & Sandwiches, will offer festival attendees meals and snacks that pair perfectly with craft brew.

Rockabilly band The Royal Hounds headlines the music stage, which also features performances by Baseball The Band, Samantha Gray & the Soul Providers, and Deadbeat Scoundrels.

Gates open at 12 p.m. for VIP ticketholders; general admission ticketholders enter at 1 p.m. General admission tickets are $45, plus applicable fees, available online at or fee-free at Barley’s Knoxville, Three Rivers Market, Disc Exchange, Downtown Grill & Brewery, and Bearden Beer Market. VIP ($100) and designated driver ($15) tickets are available exclusively online. No tickets will be sold at the gate.

For more information, visit, email or contact Community Shares at 865-522-1604.

Marble City presents Ghosts

Marble City Opera will present Ghosts of Crosstown by librettist Jerre Dye at Scruffy City Hall in Knoxville, Tennessee at 7:30pm on October 29, 2015, during National Opera Week.

This production will feature some of Knoxville’s favorite talent including bass-baritone, Brandon J. Gibson who will be singing a powerful opera from the cycle entitled Movin’ Up.

Ghosts of Crosstown is a cycle of four monodramas inspired by the 1927 Art Deco architecture of the Sears Crosstown Building in Memphis, Tennessee, and the ordinary lives of the people who worked and shopped there.

The librettist, Jerre Dye is the same for all pieces with different up and coming composers for each story.

Tickets are $20 for General admission, and $10 for students. Tickets can be purchased at the door on the night of the performance. Bar service will be offered before, during, and after the performance for all attendees.

Scruffy City Hall is located at 32 Market Square in downtown Knoxville.


Rambler train rides feature banjo music

KNOXVILLE – The Three Rivers Rambler is in full fall 2015 mode for train rides featuring live music by banjo player Matt A. Foster.

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Matt Foster brings audiences Appalachian-tinged renditions of various songs and ballads in between country blues-fused originals. He is an entertainer for both the young and old. Foster plays a fretless mountain banjo, harmonica, and the sole of his boot. Photo submitted.

Tickets for fall excursion, the Hoot N’ Holler Autumn Express are now available online.

Enjoy the crisp, fall air and apple cider at our new depot on the outskirts of downtown Knoxville and ride along the Tennessee River. Keep an eye out for wildlife along the river and fields as we pass historic sites such as McNutt Farm and Lebanon-in-the-Forks Presbyterian Church.

2015 Hoot N’ Holler Schedule

Saturday October 24 at 10am, 1pm and 4pm
Sunday October 25 at 1pm and 4pm
Saturday October 31 at 10am, 1pm and 4pm
Sunday November 1 at at 1pm and 4pm


Knoxville Jazz orchestra begins season

The Knoxville Jazz Orchestra’s 2015-16 concert season begins on Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at 8 pm with “Crescent City Celebration with Delfeayo Marsalis and Herlin Riley”. The program will be held at the Bijou Theatre at 803 South Gay Street.

Style: "Porcelain vivid"

Delfeayo Marsalis (pictured) is one of the most sought after trombonists and producers in jazz today. He has worked as a trombonist with artists such as Art Blakey, Max Roach and Elvin Jones, and has produced more than 100 recordings by artists such as Harry Connick, Jr., Marcus Roberts, Nicholas Payton, Preservation Hall Jazz Band and projects by Ellis, Branford and Wynton Marsalis. In January 2011, Delfeayo and the Marsalis family earned the nation’s highest jazz honor – a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award. Delfeayo is also leader of the Uptown Jazz Orchestra, a big band that specializes in playing traditional New Orleans music.

Herlin Riley, also a New Orleans native, is one of the most acclaimed drum masters of his generation. He has toured and recorded with Ahmad Jamal, Wynton Marsalis, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Dr. John, Harry Connick, Jr, George Benson and many others.

The Knoxville Jazz Orchestra is a 17 piece big band comprised of professional musicians from across the region. Since its inception in 1999, the orchestra has performed dozens of concerts in East Tennessee, appeared on major jazz festivals in Europe, performed and recorded with internationally acclaimed guest artists, and released four critically acclaimed CD recordings.

Tickets for the event are $32.00 adult, $15.00 student. Tickets are available in advance by calling 684-1200 or by visiting the Tennessee Theatre Box office.

Alive After Five celebrates milestone

Alive After Five, the live music series at the Knoxville Museum of Art, will celebrate its 22nd anniversary with a performance by Jenna & Her Cool Friends on Friday, September 18, from 6:00-8:30 pm.

Since 1993, and years before the resurgence of downtown, Alive After Five has been attracting people to Knoxville from the Knox County periphery and surrounding counties to enjoy live music, food, spirits, and art in the casually elegant atmosphere of the Knoxville Museum of Art. The early Friday evening program has been a great way to wind down from the work week or to start the weekend or both. Mostly showcasing the rich treasure trove of local and regional musical talent, Alive After Five has also presented acts from New Orleans, Boston, Dallas, Canada, Peru, France, Japan, Australia, and more. Food is available from a variety of area restaurants or caterers, and there are two cash bars.

02b Jenna & Her Cool Friends May 23

Alive After Five presents Jenna & Her Cool Friends, a seven-member blues and boogie band from Knoxville, featuring vocalist Jenna Jefferson, vocalist and harmonica player Michael “Crawdaddy” Crawley, rhythm guitarist Keith Ford, pianist Ben Maney, bassist Glyn Loyd, drummer Kevin Redding, and lead guitarist Michael Jordan. Photo submitted.

Admission to the 22nd Anniversary of Alive After Five is $10 for general admission, $5 for college students with valid ID, and free for museum members and children ages 17 and under.

Open Streets Knoxville kicks off

Open Streets Knoxville, a new festival in Knoxville, Tennessee, will take place on Sunday, October 25, 2015, from 1 pm to 4pm on Central Street between Willow St and Oklahoma Avenue.

This one mile of Central Street, between the Old City and Happy Holler, will be filled with people of all ages and abilities. Guests can walk, scoot, skip, ride bicycles, hula hoop, play croquet, and try out activities like yoga and zumba and pickle ball – all in a setting that is traffic-free.

Every booth will be interactive and the only thing that will cost money is food (provided by local food trucks and restaurants along the route).

The goals are to have fun, get some exercise, bring people together, and showcase the local businesses and neighborhoods.

Dale Jett at Laurel Theater

Jubilee Community Arts presents Dale Jett & Hello Stranger on Saturday, September 26, 2015 at 8 pm at the Laurel Theater.


Hello Stranger includes Dale Jett, his wife Teresa, and long time friend Oscar Harris. Singer and musician Dale Jett is a native of Southwest Virginia and a third generation member of the legendary Carter Family. The son of Janette Carter and the grandson of A.P. and Sara Carter, his roots have been heavily steeped within the heart of his family’s musical heritage. This ensemble provides the closest link possible to the music of the original Carter Family. Photo by Brandi Davidson.

The Carter Family’s music has had a profound impact on bluegrass, country, Southern Gospel, pop and rock musicians and included connections with performers Chet Atkins, Lesley “Esley” Riddle, the Speer family, Johnny Cash and Jimmie Rodgers. In 2005, the Carter Family received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Tickets are $14 and are available through Brown Paper Tickets 1-800-838-3006 ext 1, by mail, and at the door.

The Laurel Theater is located on the corner of 16th and Laurel Avenue in the historic Fort Sanders neighborhood of Knoxville near the UT campus.

The mission of Jubilee Community Arts is to promote, preserve and present the traditional performing arts of the southern Appalachian region and to nurture the cultural milieu responsible for the birth and evolution of these and related art forms. Jubilee Community Arts is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation.

Jubilee Arts offers sound mixing workshop

As part of its community service and education programs, Jubilee Community Arts is offering a two-session workshop which will provide an introduction to audio setup, equipment, and mixing for concerts.

Designed for musicians and volunteers interested in a basic introduction to live sound mixing, this workshop will present the basics of microphone usage, gain settings, monitor and house mixing, house and channel EQ, and use of mixing boards.

There is no charge for the workshop, but participants are encouraged to volunteer 6 hours of time over the next year to aid production of Jubilee Community Arts activities.

The workshop will be presented by Dr. Lou Gross, Volunteer Sound Engineer for the Laurel Theater. The workshop dates are Tuesday and Wednesday September 1 and 2 from 6:30-8:30 pm at the Laurel Theater, 16th and Laurel Ave.

To register call Jubilee Community Arts at 865-522-5851 or email

Clarence Brown tickets on sale Aug 9

Individual Tickets for 2015/2016 Clarence Brown Theatre Season go on sale Sunday, August 9, 2015.

“Created right here in Knoxville for our community, the CBT’s 2015/2016 Season promises the absolute best in live theatre,” said David B. Byrd, CBT Managing Director. “From a hilarious send-up of one of motion picture’s greats, to dueling holiday offerings, to a stalwart of the musical theatre canon, there’s something for everyone this season. Don’t wait to purchase tickets and be in control by purchasing online, anytime.”


The 2015/2016 Clarence Brown Theatre Season includes: “The 39 Steps” by Patrick Barlow; “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck; “Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play” by Anne Washburn; “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens; “The Santaland Diaries” by David Sedaris; “Titus Andronicus” by William Shakespeare; “A Lesson Before Dying” by Earnest J. Gaines (The CBT is pleased to be partnering with the Knox County Public Library on “The Big Read,” a series of ancillary events associated with this production and the novel by Ernest J. Gaines); “The Open Hand” – A CBT-Commissioned World Premiere by Rob Caisley; “South Pacific” with music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II.

For more information, tickets or accessibility accommodation requests including Open Captioning, ASL, and assistive technologies, please call the CBT Box Office at 865-974-5161 or visit online at

Knoxville hosts history fair

The 8th Annual East Tennessee History Fair takes place at the East Tennessee History Center and several downtown Knoxville locations from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., August 15, 2015.


Historical re-enactors are a familiar site at the East Tennessee History Fair in downtown Knoxville. Here, a Civil War doctor explains surgical procedures at a booth display of authentic historical instruments.  File photo by Celebrate Knoxville.

Activities include a living history timeline, live music, historic crafts demonstrations, historical and genealogical groups from across the region, children’s crafts and activities, Davy Crockett’s birthday party, walking tours of downtown, Civil War bus tours and tours of Knoxville’s historic homes, tours of underground Gay Street, “History Hound” dog costume contest, free museum admission, Smoky Mountain film festival at the Tennessee Theatre, vintage baseball games at World’s Fair Park, art exhibits, miniature battles, traditional foods, book sales, and farmers market.

This event is free and open to the public.

The East Tennessee History Center is located at 601 S. Gay Street.

Boomsday at Mabry-Hazen House

KNOXVILLE – Mabry-Hazen House will host its 8th annual Boomsday, Bluegrass, and Barbeque celebration on Sunday, September 6, 2015. On a cool hilltop setting attendees will enjoy a great view of Knoxville’s premiere fireworks show, good food, and live music.


Tours of the Mabry-Hazen House on Boomsday will begin on September 6, 2015 at 6pm, and dinner will be served at 7:30. Alcohol is BYOB. A new addition this year will be a silent auction offering a variety of fun and exciting items. Photo by John Becker.

Voted one of the best places to watch the Boomsday fireworks show, Mabry-Hazen House also offers food and entertainment without the traffic. Tickets are $60 per adult and children under 12 are free when accompanied by a ticket holder.

Tickets are limited to 200 adults to ensure a quality event. This event has sold out for the past five years. Purchase your tickets in advance to guarantee your attendance. There is plenty of parking and the site offers easy access to I-40 without traffic concerns. Tickets may be purchased in advance by visiting or call 865-522-8661 for more information.

The event will take place rain or shine. Tickets are non-refundable. Sponsored by WDVX, All Occasions Party Rentals, and Crowne Plaza Knoxville.

Built in 1858, Mabry-Hazen House is strategically located on the highest hill east of downtown Knoxville with spacious views in all directions. The home was occupied and defended by both armies during the Civil War. It housed three generations of the same family for 130 years; the museum showcases one of the largest original family collections in America.

Rory McMillan’s Remember This Vol 1

Celebrate Knoxville Music Review by Laura Long Martin. –Rory McMillan’s music is accessible, and not just because his music is available to download in many places. McMillan’s music resonates in a place the artist wants his listeners to remember, whether that place is in the distant past or has not yet arrived.

The music will transport you. Take a deep breath.

Album Artwork for Remember This, Vol. 1 by Rory McMillan

For 2015’s album, Remember This, Knoxville-based musician Rory McMillan abandoned all strings and went for all digital piano and synthesizer. He also teamed up with Knoxville musician/producer Nick Miller (KnightsOfTheRound), who added drums to four tracks. McMillan’s music makes use of remembered pain and joy, and is mixed, mastered, and produced using Cubase LE6 recording software and an online mastering service called LANDR.

Celebrate Knoxville had the opportunity to ask McMillan a few questions this week.

CK: This album has a lot of youthful exhuberance, especially with Grey Mouse Escapes Space Mountain, a song that belongs playing in the background of an art class. Is that what you are remembering with this album and if so, are the songs in chronological order?

RM: I took art every year in high school at Bearden (High School in Knoxville), and Ms. Galetovic let us listen to lots of neat stuff. This project is not a direct nod to that, but I do in fact keep in touch and mail her all of my music. I have an artist friend in Pennsylvania who sometimes listens to the music while writing letters or working on art. The songs are not in chronological order. They were all written in a four month time frame that ended February 2015.

CK: My favorite song on this album is Dream Cruisin’, which seems a little more complex and layered with the synth sax at the end. How did you come up with this arrangement and what was the inspiration for this song?

RM: I started with the main piano part first, then layered in other sounds from the digital piano, then added synthesizer parts last, and finally toyed around with when exactly to have each part playing and/or stopping. This song originally had some xylophone parts that ended up getting chopped. I don’t know that there was any specific (memory) inspiration for this song.

CK: What was it like having Nick Miller provide the drums for this album?

RM: An absolute treat. I am happy with the album as a whole, but I think that the (tracks) he worked on definitely shine the most. Nick has so much experience with making all kinds of music that it was just the easiest collaboration ever. I don’t even think I’ve seen the man in person for a couple of years (I think the last time I saw him was bumping into him at Plum Tree Chinese Restaurant). Basically, we corresponded and sent files back and forth online. I’d hook him up with the songs, tell him their tempos, and he’d simply work his magic on them and send me the finished tracks. I am hoping he can be persuaded to continue helping me add some drums to some new songs for Remember This, Vol. 2, which is already probably a quarter of the way finished as of today.

Rory Artist Pic

Visit the artist web site at:

Download the album for free at:

Alive After Five summer series begins

KNOXVILLE, TN—The Knoxville Museum of Art announces the summer series of Alive After Five, premiering with Kukuly & The Gypsy Fuego on Friday, June 19, 2015 from 6:00 to 8:30 pm.

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The summer series of 2015 premiers with the Alive After Five debut of Kukuly & The Gypsy Fuego (Spanish for “Fire”). Photo submitted.

A native of Peru, Kukuly Uriarte has been a member of the Knoxville music community for several years, and her band, The Gypsy Fuego, keeps growing in popularity as they perform in venues all around the Knoxville and Maryville area. Their music “knows no borders,” as it encompasses an international mix of Gypsy jazz, American swing “with a French accent,” and also Latin standards like Argentine tangos and Brazilian bossa novas. For this occasion, the “deluxe” 7-member Gypsy Fuego will perform.

Alive After Five is a unique live music series presented on twenty-eight Fridays per year in four seasonal series. The programs take place in the smoke-free, casually elegant setting of the Ann and Steve Bailey Hall in the Knoxville Museum of Art.

There is a live band on stage, seating at tables, two cash bars, food from area restaurants, free freshly popped popcorn, free parking, and a licensed therapeutic masseuse available. Audience members can enjoy listening to music, dancing, and browsing the museum’s art galleries.

Admission to the summer series premier of Alive After Five is $10 for general admission and $5 for museum members and college students with ID. Ages 17 and under are admitted free.

For more information about the Alive After Five series, please contact Michael Gill, Alive After Five Coordinator, at (865) 934-2039.

Knoxville Croquet tourney is May 17

KNOXVILLE – Knoxville Opera Guild will host the 11th annual Knoxville Croquet Tournament on Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. on the grounds of the UT RecSports Field Complex across from Dead End BBQ on Sutherland Ave.

Participation is open to the public, and no experience is necessary. Participants can register to play solo or with a partner, or may choose to simply attend and mingle in support of the arts organization.

“The Croquet Tournament allows us to gather and enjoy fellowship as a community while enjoying some friendly competition for a worthy cause,” said Knoxville Opera Marketing and Public Relations Director Michael Torano. “It’s a great opportunity to strengthen our support base and end the 2014-2015 Season with a bang.”

Along with playing croquet on the green, attendees will enjoy a gourmet brunch and high tea, raffle prizes, a bocce game, vintage automobiles, and vintage costume contest.

The Knoxville Arts Challenge competition will be presented by Mayor Tim Burchett. Registration will begin at 10:30 a.m. followed by the gourmet brunch and tournament. The event is proudly sponsored and catered by All Occasion Catering.

Ticket prices begin at $100. For more information, please call Audrey Duncan at 865.588.8371.

Chris Robinson Brotherhood at The Bijou

KNOXVILLE – Chris Robinson Brotherhood is scheduled to perform at The Bijou Theatre on Tuesday, July 28, 2015.

The Chris Robinson Brotherhood is touring in support of its latest release, Phosphorescent Harvest. Praised by Rolling Stone as “at once quirky, trippy, soulful and downright magnetic,” it’s the band’s third long-playing album for Silver Arrow Records.


Psychedelia, sonic density, and expanded arrangements are the order of the day. The Chris Robinson Brotherhood is all about musical freedom. Photo courtesy CRB.

The CRB (as they are affectionately known by fans) made an immediate impact upon their boldly unconventional debut in early 2011. They would play close to 50 shows over nine weeks in California before ever leaving the Golden State. In fact, they’d wait until 2012 to truly introduce themselves nationally with the release of two sprawling studio albums: Big Moon Ritual (June 2012) and The Magic Door (September 2012), which showcase a freewheeling improvisational chemistry, but with songwriting depth to back it up.

The band—Robinson (Lead vocals, guitar), Neal Casal (guitar, vocals), Adam Macdougall (keys, vocals), Mark Dutton (bass, vocals) and Tony Leone (drums)—would further develop their identity as a self-defined “farm to table psychedelic rock band” over a 118-show stretch.

Doors open at 7pm; show starts at 8pm. Tickets are $20.00 plus applicable fees and are available at the Tennessee Theatre box office, and by phone at 800-745-3000.

Pea Pickin Hearts at Bowery

The Pea Pickin’ Hearts are set to preview a handful of new songs at The Bowery in Knoxville on Friday, May 8, 2015 with local support by special guests Crab Apple Lane.


The Pea Pickin’ Hearts cast a spell with their quirky Americana mashup of country, rockabilly, folk & hillbilly tunes in a sound that pays homage to 1940s & 50s Appalachia.

Married for almost 17 years, Rachel Gibson and Jon Ives create unique harmonies that only develop after years of listening–one to the other. Their name is a tribute to both Tennessee Ernie Ford’s famous line “bless your pea pickin’ heart” and the love they share for their Tennessee home.

Watching “The Peas” is a little like peeking through a window into a marriage—a personal dialogue, an irreverant humor, and the whole truth. The Pea Pickin’ Hearts released a heavily folk-inspired CD, “Creekwood Crow” (August 2014), but their upcoming release “Last Words” (which is being recorded in Sevierville) has a rockabilly-tainted flair that more closely resembles their live show.

Special Guest country duo Crab Apple Lane is comprised of Kirk Wynn and Deena Robbins.

Ages 18+. Doors open at 8pm. Show starts at 9pm. Tickets are $5 in advance & $7 at the door.

A Prairie Home Companion at TN Theatre

The Tennessee Theatre presents Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion with Rick Dworsky, Fred Newman, and Sarah Jarosz on Thursday, August 13, 2015. Doors open at 7pm, show starts at 8pm.

At the Janet Wallace Auditorium at Macalester College in Saint Paul in 1974, if you plunked down your $1 admission (50 cents for kids) to attend the very first broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion, you were in select company. There were about 12 people in the audience. But those in attendance thought there were worse ways to spend a Saturday afternoon, so Garrison Keillor and the APHC team went on to produce close to 500 live shows in the first 10 years alone. There were broadcasts from this venue and that, until March 4, 1978, when the show moved to The World Theater, a lovely, crumbling building that was one plaster crack away from the wrecking ball. (Now fully renovated and renamed The Fitzgerald, it is the show’s home base.)

In June of 1987, APHC ended for a while. Garrison thought it was a good idea at the time, but only two years later, the show was back, based in New York and called American Radio Company of the Air. But there’s no place like home. So in 1992, it was back to Minnesota and, soon after, back to the old name: A Prairie Home Companion.
Today, A Prairie Home Companion is heard by 4 million listeners each week on more than 600 public radio stations, and abroad on America One and the American Forces Networks in Europe and the Far East. Garrison recalls, “When the show started, it was something funny to do with my friends, and then it became an achievement that I hoped would be successful, and now it’s a good way of life.”

Tickets are $86.50 and $64.50 plus applicable service fees.

Rhythm & Blooms Old City style

by Celebrate Knoxville Music Writer Adam Whipple.—It is evening underneath the tall green girders of James White Parkway, and Cozmo Holloway is playing slide guitar. A double-header train rolls by, blaring its horn down the Norfolk Southern lines, and James Trimble steps to the microphone. After a few songs, people begin to throw money on the stage. A schoolboy smirk crosses Trimble’s face as the band watches dollar bills fly out of the crowd, but such is the audience’s reaction. After all, it’s hard to get more Knoxvillian than the Guvs playing under a bridge in the Old City.

Apache Relay


Apache Relay perform for the 2015 Rhythm & Blooms Festival in the Old City section of downtown Knoxville. Photo by Adam Whipple.

You can trust festival organizer Chyna Brackeen to have the pulse of our town, though. To the crowds’ apparent delight, the lineup of this year’s Rhythm ‘N’ Blooms was chockfull of homegrown favorites. Beginning at the Cripple Creek Stage on Friday evening, local outfit Guy Marshall performed, along with Joey English. Guy Marshall won the performance slot in a contest put on in conjunction with The Casual Pint. Joey English’s band so wowed the judges and audiences, however, that they were offered a chance to open the festival alongside the winners.

Knoxville bands continued from there. Young trio Subtle Clutch, fronted by songwriter Briston Maroney, helped open the festival schedule at Boyd’s Jig & Reel on Friday. The weekend included more well-attended sets by locals Jill Andrews (yes, we still consider her local), Cereus Bright, Hudson K, William Wild, and an over-capacity crowd at The Pilot Light for LiL iFFY’s release of his last album, Final Spell. That particular show boasted a number of delightful anomalies, including an appearance by Marble City Opera’s Brandon Gibson and a group-sing of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On.”

Capacity crowds became something of a theme at the smaller venues. With a line of thirty or so on the sidewalk for LiL iFFY, the volunteers at the door restricted attendees to a one-in-one-out policy, a (good) problem which was repeated during Alanna Royale’s Pilot Light set. During Cereus Bright’s turn around the mic at Lox Salon, the audience simply overflowed into the adjoining room. The Jig & Reel was full on a consistent basis as well. Of course, it was not only the local sons and daughters who garnered attention. Though Cereus Bright’s sets at Lox and The Standard were some of the more well-attended events, both Apache Relay and 10-piece Houston-based soul band The Suffers garnered huge and appreciative audiences. Naturally, Cripple Creek Stage headliners the Drive-By Truckers, JD McPherson, and The Decembrists drew great throngs of listeners.

For this writer, the Suffers were one of the gems of the weekend. Powerhouse vocalist Kam Franklin filled The Standard with her voice and vitality. Flanked by a horn section, she had the entire venue on its feet multiple times and brought people dancing into the aisles. The other great delight was Lox Salon being used as a venue. Bands stuffed themselves into a cozy space in the middle of the room to play for people sitting on dryer chairs and at washing stations. It could have been a scene out of Steel Magnolias.

Some venues’ aesthetics provided various challenges to the production staff, however. The exposed-roof and concrete floor design of The Standard cried out for acoustic treatments. With all chairs occupied and the back walls and balcony lined with people, there were enough soft surfaces to soak up all the mid-level frequencies. Anything less than a packed house, though—such as the respectable yet sparer crowd for David Wax Museum—left sound engineers fighting to keep the lyrics heard above the mid-range swell. Cripple Creek Stage experienced similar small woes with number of sonic microenvironments under James White Parkway and the throw-and-go style of sound check common to festivals.

Once again, Rhythm ‘N’ Blooms included a studious element. This time, Chyna Brackeen sought out the perspectives of industry professionals to provide burgeoning musical artists an inside track on how to navigate the often dark waters of their profession. A panel of reps from Rolling Stone, Paste Magazine, and CMT sat with local music writer Steve Wildsmith for a panel called “Publicity 101,” and Brackeen included her own experience with that of other agents in a panel optimistically titled “Making a Middle Class Income with Music.” The panel discussions ran all Saturday afternoon at the Emporium, covering the how-to on everything from social media to booking shows.

Interestingly, the festival revealed something of the Old City’s established character, with bartenders measuring success against the metric of regular weekends and Taylor the Rose Guy finding frustration at being denied entry to the Pilot Light by festival volunteers who knew little of the daily routine in that part of town. Regardless, the hosting of the entire festival in the Old City drew large numbers of folks who had no idea about Remedy and Java, about Dale selling bratwursts on the corner, about Hot Horse’s exciting juxtaposition of music and vintage clothing, or about The Knoxville Pearl (the cereal bar). Perhaps they’ll come back soon. We’re grateful to Rhythm ‘N’ Blooms for the kind introduction.

–Adam Whipple, Celebrate Knoxville, April 13, 2015.

Festival Banner

Dogwood Arts fest is April 17-19

KNOXVILLE – The Dogwood Arts Festival on Market Square is April 17-19, 2015. Several blocks of downtown Knoxville will be transformed into a lively street fair with 60 local and regional juried artists exhibiting and selling their original work.


The Dogwood Arts Festival is a downtown Knoxville celebration that features cooking demonstrations, festive food creations, and wine and beer pairings at the Culinary Arts Stage. This event is free. File photo by Celebrate Knoxville.

Friday: 11:00am-9:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am-9:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am-5:00pm

Live performances all weekend long on the Market Square stage, the Union Avenue pop-up stage, and the Children’s stage. Blooming Boulevard returns to the Dogwood Arts Festival providing unique colorful flower markets filled with live blooming plants, herbs, flowers, and trees.

The Chalk Walk, back in its seventh year, is April 11. This event turns Market Square sidewalks into canvas for the region’s most talented professional and student artists. This free event in Market Square and Krutch Park (Downtown Knoxville) is from 8am-5pm. Raindate is Sunday, April 12.

Sevierville hosts vocal contest

Sevierville, Tenn. – To honor the incredible songwriting of Dolly Parton, her hometown will once again host the Mountain Soul Vocal Competition, now in its 11th year. This year’s competition will be sponsored by Sound Biscuit Productions and will feature contestants who are asked to sing a song written by Dolly in the style of his or her own choosing (country, rock, rap, bluegrass, etc.). Contestants may enter in the 13 and up age division or the 12 and under division for this competition.

Dolly - Mountain Soul

Born Dolly Rebecca Parton on January 19, 1946, in Sevierville, Tenn., Dolly drew much inspiration from her “Tennessee Mountain Home” and wrote about the beautiful scenery and Appalachian culture that surrounded her. After graduating from Sevier County High School, she moved to Nashville, where her prolific career as a songwriter and performer would blossom. Now, more than 3,000 songs later, Dolly continues to create wonderful music for people all over the world to enjoy. Photo courtesy SCOC.

“This competition is truly unique and draws competitors from all corners of the United States,” said Amanda Marr, Sevierville Chamber of Commerce marketing director and event organizer. “Since Dolly Parton is Sevierville’s hometown girl, holding a competition that honors her songwriting ability is a natural fit for us.”

As far as event organizers know, this is the only vocal competition in the world that specifically honors the songwriting of Dolly Parton. Winning competitors will take home cash and prizes including a recording session in Nashville, Tenn.

Audition tapes, sent by mail, will be judged by a panel of entertainment professionals who will then identify 30 finalists in two separate divisions – ages 13+ and ages 12 and under. The entry deadline for the preliminary round of the competition is April 8, 2015.

Those finalists will then perform on the Sound Biscuit Productions Stage during the Mountain Soul Vocal Competition finals at the Bloomin’ Barbeque & Bluegrass event on May 16, 2015.

For a complete list of Dolly’s songs, competitors should visit It is not necessary, nor is it encouraged, to impersonate Dolly Parton, either physically or vocally.

Interested vocalists may obtain an application online at or by calling the Sevierville Chamber of Commerce at 1-888-889-7415. Return the application and entry fee along with an audition tape, CD, DVD, or Digital File on Jump Drive / Thumb Drive of the contestant singing a song written by Dolly Parton in the style of his or her own choosing, to the Sevierville Chamber of Commerce. Entries must be postmarked by Wed., April 8, 2015.

The Mountain Soul Vocal Competition is part of Sevierville’s 11th Annual Bloomin’ Barbeque & Bluegrass event May 15-16, 2015. For more information about the Mountain Soul Vocal Competition or Bloomin’ Barbeque & Bluegrass, visit

Brewhibition scheduled for May 2

KNOXVILLE – The Inaugural Brewhibition Spring Craft Beer Festival is scheduled for May 2, 2015 in the Old City Courtyard. Brewhibition is not only a celebration of history (and the end of Prohibition) but also an homage to Tennessee and regional brewers.

Brewhibition will be focusing on the unique aspects of beer, with 20 (at the time of this writing) breweries represented. Attending participants will be given tokens to try each of the five East Tennessee Beer Cocktails paired with both an amazing local brewer and an equally amazing local distillery.

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Brewhibition 2015 will feature jazz performances by Robinella, Devan Jones and The Uptown Stomp, and the Smoky Mountain Jazz Orchestra. Photo submitted.

Guests are invited to attend dressed in 1920s attire for the costume contest. Want to volunteer to help out at this event? Visit

Alive After Five 2015 announces shows

KNOXVILLE, TN—The Knoxville Museum of Art announces the spring series of Alive After Five, premiering with Kelle Jolly & The Will Boyd Project on Friday, March 20, from 6-8:30 pm. This year’s spring series features six shows, concluding on May 8, 2015.

01 Kelle Jolly & The Will Boyd Project 3 20 15

The KMA Alive After Five 2015 spring series premiers with a performance of jazzy R & B by some of the most talented musicians in Knoxville. Kelle Jolly & The Will Boyd Project bring classic standards to life with their soulful stylings and bluesy grooves. Photo courtesy Michael Gill.

Combining a voice reminiscent of Sarah Vaughn and Oleta Adams with an effervescent stage presence, Kelle Jolly is the perfect counterpoint to her husband Will’s cool virtuosity on any of the saxophones he chooses to play. Kelle is the host of “Jazz Jam” on WUOT 91.9FM and the co-host with Robert Minter of “What’s Goin’ On” on Community TV. Besides his own Project, Will stays busy playing regularly with the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra, The Streamliners Swing Orchestra, and The BluePrint.

Alive After Five is a unique live music series presented on twenty-eight Fridays per year in four seasonal series. The programs take place in the smoke-free, casually elegant setting of the Ann and Steve Bailey Hall in the Knoxville Museum of Art. There is a live band on stage, seating at tables, two cash bars, food from area restaurants, free freshly popped popcorn, free parking, and a licensed therapeutic masseuse available. Audience members can enjoy listening to music, dancing, and browsing the museum’s art galleries.

Admission to the Spring series premier of Alive After Five is $10 for general admission and $5 for museum members and college students with ID. Ages 17 and under are admitted free. Alive After Five is sponsored by Cherokee Distributing Company, Knoxville Mercury, and WDVX-89.9FM. For more information about the Alive After Five series, please contact Michael Gill, Alive After Five Coordinator, at (865) 934-2039.

The 2015 Spring Series Schedule for “Alive After Five”:

(all shows 6:00-8:30 pm)

March 20 – Kelle Jolly & The Will Boyd Project ($10, $5)

April 10 – The Streamliners Swing Orchestra ($15, $10)

April 17 – Leftfoot Dave & The Magic Hats ($10, $5)

April 24 – SoulfulSounds Revue ($10, $5)

May 1 – Robinella ($10, $5)

May 8 – TABOO ($10, $5)

Kayley Farmer at Square Room

KNOXVILLE – The next Jazz Lunch at the Square Room features Kayley Farmer presents The Great American Songbook: Jazz in the Hollywood Era. The next concert will take place on Wednesday, April 1, from noon to 1pm at the Square Room. Admission to the concert is $15 and includes a lunch buffet served up by Café 4.

Kayley Farmer

Vocalist Kayley Farmer celebrates music from the Great American Songbook in the April 1, 2015 encore Jazz Lunch performance. Join her as she and her band recreate many of your favorite hits from films like Singing in the Rain, The Wizard of Oz, An American in Paris, Swing Time, and White Christmas. Photo courtesy Vance Thompson.

Featured composers include Harold Arlen/E.Y. Harburg, George and Ira
Gershwin, Jerome Kern/Dorothy Fields, and Irving Berlin.

Special thanks to WUOT 91.9 FM, The Square Room, and Weird Monkey Studios for support of the Jazz Lunch Series. The Square Room is a new, state-of-the-art performance venue in downtown Knoxville, TN in the Historic Market Square district. It is housed in the rear of the 4 Market Square Building along with its counterpart Café 4, a full-service restaurant and coffee bar.


Greg Tardy at Square Room Knoxville

The next concert featuring the music of Greg Tardy in the Jazz Lunch series will take place on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 from noon to 1 p.m. at the Square Room in Knoxville.


Saxophonist Greg Tardy is undoubtedly one of the great tenor saxophonists and composers of his generation. He has recorded dozens of albums, worked as a sideman with the likes of Elvin Jones, Tom Harrell, Bill Frisell, and Dave Douglas and appeared on major jazz festivals around the globe. He also happens to call Knoxville home. Although Tardy does perform regularly around Knoxville, he very rarely performs his own music with his own band, so this is a rare treat.

The Square Room is a new, state-of-the-art performance venue in downtown Knoxville, TN in the Historic Market Square district. It is housed in the rear of the 4 Market Square Building along with its counterpart Café 4, a full-service restaurant and coffee bar.

Admission to the concert is $15 at the door and includes a lunch buffet served up by Café 4.

A1LabArts promotes book sharing

KNOXVILLE – A1LabArts is hosting a Little Free Library Workshop on Saturday, February 21, 2015 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Center for Creative Minds, 23 Emory Place, in Knoxville.

For $50 per box, participants can create a Little Free Library to place in their neighborhood. What is a Little Free Library? It’s a “take a book, return a book” gathering place where neighbors share their favorite literature and stories.

Participants will be provided with all of the supplies necessary to assemble a box and instructions on how to install the box in their neighborhood. Groups are encouraged to participate. Email Donna at to register.

A1LabArts is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1995 by a group of local artists. It is dedicated to multi-disciplinary and experimental exploration of contemporary art issues in all media.

Scott Miller headlines Bijou event

Scott Miller and The Commonwealth will perform on the U.S. Cellular Stage at the Bijou Theatre for the 2015 Bijou Jubilee.

Presented by Pilot/Flying J and supported by Ole Smoky Moonshine, the annual fundraiser takes place Saturday, March 14, 2015, at 8:30 p.m. Tickets go on sale Friday, January 30 at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster.


The Bijou is hosting an exclusive VIP Pre-Show Party again this year. With the $100 VIP ticket, guests will enjoy an exclusive acoustic performance by Scott Miller and Mic Harrison plus food and drink from Holly’s Eventful Dining, Ole Smoky Moonshine, Ashe’s Wine & Spirits, and Bearden Beer Market.

An auction featuring artist-signed instruments and framed posters will also be held during the event.

Proceeds from the event will help preserve Knoxville’s historic Bijou Theatre, located at 803 South Gay Street in downtown Knoxville.

Rhythm N Blooms is April 10-12

Rhythm N’ Blooms 2015 is back and ready to rock Knoxville a three-day span from April 10-12.  With the stages set exclusively along downtown Knoxville’s historic Jackson Avenue, Rhythm N’ Blooms will showcase first-timers, chart-climbers, and highly lauded acts from varied musical backgrounds.

Festival producers, Dogwood Arts and Attack Monkey Productions, are pleased to release another small taste of the 2015 festival lineup, with many more artists to be announced. In addition to The Decemberists, The Dirty Guvnah’s, and Delta Spirit, the next group of artists who will be at Rhythm N’ Blooms includes:

The Apache Relay
Humming House
Alanna Royale
Guthrie Brown & The Family Tree
Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes
*repeat repeat

Dogwood Arts is a 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to promote and celebrate our region’s arts, culture, and natural beauty.


Knoxville Jazz is for Lovers

The Knoxville Jazz Orchestra’s 15th anniversary 2014-15 concert season continues on Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at 8 p.m. with “Jazz is for Lovers” with vocalist Jane Monheit.


Jane Monheit has been a leading light in the jazz world since emerging as a finalist in the Thelonious Monk Institute’s Jazz Vocal competition in 1998. A brilliant song stylist and interpreter, Monheit has received two Grammy nominations and worked alongside notable artists such as Michael Buble, Ivan Lins, John Pizzarelli, Michael Feinstein, Tom Harrell and many others. Song selection to include Stardust, Over the Rainbow, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, Where or When, Taking a Chance on Love and others. Photo credit: Timothy Saccenti.

The Knoxville Jazz Orchestra is a 17 piece big band comprised of professional musicians from across the region. Since its inception in 1999, the orchestra has performed dozens of concerts in East Tennessee, appeared on major jazz festivals in Europe, performed and recorded with internationally acclaimed guest artists, and released four critically acclaimed CD recordings.

Tickets for the event are $33.50 adult, $15.00 student. The program will be held at the Bijou Theatre at 803 South Gay Street.

Knoxville Opera goes to church

The Knoxville Opera Gospel Choir (local soloists together with Knoxville Opera artists) will present gospel, spirituals, and highlights from the popular opera Carmen.

The free-admission concert, one of Knoxville Opera’s yearly 75 education/outreach activities, will take place on Saturday, January 24, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. at Greater Warner Tabernacle A.M.E. Zion Church, 3800 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, Knoxville.

“We are the only opera company in the world that has its own Gospel Choir and we are proud to present our eclectic repertoire featuring outstanding local and visiting guest artists. Our performances are an inspiration to both the performers and our very enthusiastic audience. We always make sure to give them something to cheer about!” said Jeanie Turner Melton who will conduct the 40-voice Choir. Knoxville Opera Maestro Brian Salesky will accompany the solo opera artists.

The outstanding lineup of soloists includes Knoxville Opera guest artists Audrey Babcock, Briana Hunter, Brian Cheney, and Ryan Kuster, along with local soloists Evelyn Jack, Sonia Roberts, and Michael Rodgers.

Lula Chesney, Edna Underwood, Ajaya Kennedy, Therra Jamison30

Knoxville Opera performs Carmen

The Knoxville Opera is thrilled to present its fourth school tour this month. Bizet’s Carmen is the featured opera and showcases the music of Spain, including famous melodies and a cast full of charisma.

The performances are sung in English and feature Spanish costumes, scenery, and props. The school tour runs between now and January 16. This project is a part of Knoxville Opera’s annual $150,000 Education/Outreach Program.

“The overwhelming response from the past three seasons of in-school performances of Romeo & Juliette, Cinderella, and The Elixir of Love has inspired us to continue to share the music and cultural elements of operas with our local students,” said Knoxville Opera Executive Director and Maestro Brian Salesky. “It’s a wonderful way to transport these young people to another place and time, to educate them in arts and culture, and to inspire their own creativity.”


Sarasota Opera mezzosoprano Briana Hunter portrays the captivating Spanish gypsy girl Carmen, UT School of Music alumnus Peter Johnson performs the role of the Toreador Escamillo, and Texas tenor Sergio Cepeda plays Don Jose, the Spanish soldier whose life is inspired and then destroyed by Carmen. The productions are free to Knox County public schools and will be accompanied and narrated by Salesky.

The school tour includes performances at Carter, Austin-East, Hardin Valley, and L&N STEM high schools; Holston, Farragut, Gresham, Jefferson, Carter, Northwest, and Robertsville middle schools; and Brickey-McCloud, New Hopewell, West Haven, West Hills, and Maynard elementary schools. An additional bonus show will be presented at the Mountain View Development Center.

Mac Arnold kicks off music series

The Knoxville Museum of Art announces the winter series of Alive After Five, premiering with Mac Arnold & Plateful O’ Blues on Friday, January 9, 2015 from 6-8:30 pm. This year’s winter series features seven shows, concluding on February 27.

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Mac Arnold kicks off the winter series of Alive After Five on January 9, 2015.  Photo submitted.

Mac Arnold’s first band in high school included James Brown on piano. When Mac moved to Chicago in the 1960s, Muddy Waters hired him on the spot. He toured and recorded with the Muddy Waters Band and also recorded albums with Otis Spann and John Lee Hooker. A few years later, he moved to Los Angeles and performed with the set band on Soul Train television show. He even played bass on the Sanford & Son television show when he wasn’t playing bass for Otis Redding and B.B. King.

Admission to the winter series premier of Alive After Five is $15 for general admission and $10 for museum members and college students with ID. Ages 17 and under are admitted free. For more information about the Alive After Five series, please contact Michael Gill at (865) 934-2039.


Jazz lunch features Wynton Marsalis works

Wynton Marsalis’ 1985 release, Black Codes from the Underground is the featured work for the next Jazz Lunch on December 3, 2014, at noon at the Square Room in Market Square, downtown Knoxville.

The album featured Marsalis’ then working band: saxophonist Branford Marsalis, pianist Kenny Kirkland, bassist Charnett Moffett and drummer Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts. Marsalis’ original compositions for this date have proven to be some of his most influential works. Pianist Andrew LaPrise has assembled a cast of excellent young musicians to recreate this entire album, beginning to end.

Admission to the concert is $15 and includes a lunch buffet served up by Café 4. Tickets are available online at or by visiting Café 4 in
person prior to the show.

Knoxville Opera presents H.M.S. Pinafore

The Knoxville Opera proudly presents two performances of Gilbert & Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore on Friday, November 21, 2014 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, November 23 at 2:30 p.m. at the city’s hallmark Tennessee Theatre. Maestro Brian Salesky will host a special opera preview session 45 minutes prior to each performance.

(30) Sean Anderson, Donata Cucinotta, Steven Condy

“This classic comedy is known for its familiar melodies as well as clever wordplay that dares to poke fun at politics and authoritative figures, in a delightfully provocative way,” said Knoxville Opera Executive Director Brian Salesky. “People of all ages will enjoy the music, characters, elaborate stage setting, and costumes.”

H.M.S. Pinafore, also known as The Lass That Loved a Sailor, was Gilbert and Sullivan’s fourth collaboration and their first blockbuster hit. The comic operetta opened in London in 1898 and ran for 571 performances.

Ticket prices begin at $18.

Chili cookoff benefits Second Harvest

This weekend, enjoy the East Tennessee Chili Cook-Off by Second Harvest at World’s Fair Park lawn from 12 – 6 p.m.  Second Harvest Food Bank, Bush Brothers & Company and Kroger will partner for the 9th Annual East Tennessee Chili Cook-Off on Sunday, November 2, 2014 at World’s Fair Park Festival Lawn.

Over 30 amateur cooking teams will whip up their tastiest recipes to compete for the best chili in town. Each team will produce 25 gallons of their homemade chili.

Kids can play on the inflatable playground at the Kids Fun Zone compliments of All Occasions Party Rentals. The Chili Corn Hole Tournament will be back again this year. Adults can visit the Chili Beer Garden, where beers from around the world will be offered. Live music by The Y’uns, RMS, and Emi Sunshine. General admission is $15.

For more info, call 865-521-0000.


Celebrate Knoxville salutes horror writers

This week Celebrate Knoxville salutes The Horror Writers Association, the premier organization of writers and publishers of horror and dark fantasy and home of the iconic Bram Stoker Awards for superior achievement in horror literature.

Locally, residents will enjoy visiting any branch of the Knox County Public Library for great books as well as fun activities for all ages. As the oldest continuously operating public library in the state of Tennessee, the KCPL offers more than one million books, periodicals, compact discs, films, audiobooks and downloadables through 19 locations across Knox County.



Since launching on October 1, the HWA Horror Selfies social media campaign has become a viral sensation garnering over nine million impressions on Facebook and Twitter during its first two weeks. The effort has attracted the attention of literary legends and The New York Times bestselling authors Stephen King, Peter Straub, and Ramsey Campbell, as well as some of cinema’s biggest names of past and present, including directors Mick Garris (THE STAND) and Josh Boone (THE FAULT IN OUR STARS).

The Horror Writers Association is a nonprofit organization of writers and publishing professionals around the world, dedicated to promoting dark literature and the interests of those who write it. The HWA formed in 1985 with the help of many of the field’s greats, including Dean Koontz, Robert McCammon, and Joe Lansdale. Today, with over 1250 members around the globe, it is the oldest and most respected professional organization for the much-loved writers who have brought you the most enjoyable sleepless nights of your life.




Historic TN Theatre offers tours

The Tennessee Theatre invites guests to a Fall Festival Open House during First Friday from 6-8 p.m. on Nov. 7, 2014 with fall-themed activities, snacks and free history tours of the iconic venue.


Located in the heart of downtown Knoxville, the Tennessee Theatre opened in 1928 as a movie palace. The Tennessee Theatre is the Official State Theatre of Tennessee and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Photo by

The fall festival will include a caricature artist who will draw free portraits of attendees and the iconic theater marquee; apple cider and fall treats; music on the Mighty Wurlitzer organ; and free backstage tours led by theater historians.

The tours will leave the lobby at 6:30, 7 and 7:30 p.m., with groups limited to 50 people per tour, so guests are encouraged to arrive early.


Day of the Dead at Emporium

The Arts & Culture Alliance is pleased to present a new exhibition hosted by HoLa Hora Latina in commemoration of Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), featuring a collection of traditional and modern ofrendas (memorial displays), paintings, masks, sculptures, and paper mache catrinas by artists Angel Luna, Hector Saldivar, Margarita Garza, and others.



A whimsical paper mache’ skeleton adorns a display for celebrating the Day of the Dead, a popular Hispanic tradition, similar to All Saints Day, to honor deceased relatives and friends. This year’s exhibition will include selections from “Frutos Latinos,” an exhibition displayed at the Emporium Center in downtown Knoxville beginning November 7, 2014 with special activities throughout the evening. File photo by

Casa HoLa (the office/gallery space of HoLa Hora Latina, Suite 109 in the Emporium) will offer coloring, face painting, and sugar skull decorating.

The First Friday reception features music and dance performances by Pasión Flamenca from 6:00-6:30 PM and a Jazz Jam Session hosted by Vance Thompson and Friends from 7:00-9:00 PM in the Black Box Theatre.

For more information, contact the Arts & Culture Alliance at (865) 523-7543.

Four Leaf Peat at Laurel Theater

Jubilee Community Arts presents Four Leaf Peat Friday, November 14, 2014 8 p.m. at at the Laurel Theater in Knoxville.


Born out of Irish traditional music in pub sessions, Four Leaf Peat brings together musicians from various backgrounds: Chad Beauchaine on Fiddle; Gil Draper on guitar, bouzouki and mandolin; Rick Hall on hammer dulcimer, bones and bodhran; and Jason Herrera on vocals, bodhran, flute and whistle.  The band is scheduled to perform at the Laurel Theater November 14, 2014, at 8 p.m. Photo submitted.

Tickets: $12 and are available through KnoxTix at, (865) 523-7521, and at the door.

The Laurel Theater is located on the corner of 16th and Laurel Avenue in the historic Fort Sanders neighborhood of Knoxville near the UT campus.

The mission of Jubilee Community Arts is 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation with a mission to promote, preserve and present the traditional performing arts of the southern Appalachian region and to nurture the cultural milieu responsible for the birth and evolution of these and related art forms.

Van Eaton at Tennessee Shines

On Monday, October 20, 2014, East Tennessee’s Own singer-songwriter Van Eaton performs at Tennessee Shines with a little help from his friends Aram Takvoryan, Stevie Jones, and Pat Baker. For a preview of Van Eaton music, go here:

Poet Dawn Coppock will also be at the show to read some East Tennessee poetry.

Hosted by Bob Deck and Paige Travis, the Tennessee Shines Radio Show is live at 7 p.m. every Monday night at the Knoxville Visitor Center. The in-studio audience gets another thirty minutes of live music.

WDVX is a listener-supported radio station that promotes the cultural heritage of East Tennessee and the Southern Appalachian region.


Tickets for Tennessee Shines are available at

Jazz lunch tribute to Dave Brubeck

The Knoxville Jazz Lunch series concert pays tribute to Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond with saxophonist Bob Knapp on Wednesday, November 5, 2014, from noon to 1 pm at the Square Room in Market Square.

Admission to the concert is $15 and includes a lunch buffet served up by Café 4.

Pianist Dave Brubeck and alto saxophonist Paul Desmond were trail blazers in the cool jazz style of the 1950s. Their popularity on college campuses helped introduce a whole new generation of Americans to jazz, and the music that they created together has stood the test of time. Multi-instrumentalist reed man Bob Knapp examines the legacy and music of these two great icons in this special performance.

The Square Room is a new, state-of-the-art performance venue in downtown Knoxville, TN in the Historic Market Square district. It is housed in the rear of the 4 Market Square Building along with its counterpart Café 4, a full-service restaurant and coffee bar.

Zombie movie marathon at IJAMS

Ijams Nature Center and Knoxville Horror Film Fest are pairing up once more to raise the dead at the 3rd annual Zombie Movie Marathon. This year the main feature will be the horror comedy Life After Beth, (2014, R) starring Aubrey Plaza, Dane DeHaan, John C. Reilly and Molly Shannon.


Also for the evening’s entertainment, the classic Béla Lugosi film White Zombie (1932) will be screened, with a RiffTrax style accompaniment by Einstein Simplified Comedy Improv Troupe.

This is more than just a movie night, this event features vendors, food trucks, beer and of course…BRAINS! Dressing up is encouraged…the more zombies the merrier.

The cost is $10 for a night of fun and fright. Doors open at 6 p.m. Movies start at sundown.

IJAMS Nature Center is a 300-acre urban greenspace and environmental learning center located at 2915 Island Home Avenue in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Alive after Five music series begins

KNOXVILLE, TN—The Knoxville Museum of Art announces the 2014 fall series of Alive After Five, premiering with a “Tribute to Sam Cooke” featuring Danny McGrew with Soul Connection and very special guest Clifford Curry on Friday, October 10, from 6:00 to 8:30 pm.

This year’s fall series features seven shows, concluding on December 12, 2014.

Originally formed of Oak Ridge High School students in 1966, under the name Soul Sanction, their name was changed to Soul Connection at a special “Rename the Band Party” Alive After Five in 2006. The group became one of the legendary bands of East Tennessee and opened shows for B.B. King, James Brown, Ray Charles, Bobby “Blue” Bland, and more. With their combination of keyboards, horns, and guitar, blended with a variety of male and female vocals, Soul Connection covers a wide musical spectrum of Rhythm & Blues and Soul, all done with infectious energy and unmistakable style. Joining them in the first set will be Knoxville native and member of the Carolina Beach Music Hall of Fame, Clifford Curry.

For more information about the Alive After Five series, please contact Michael Gill at (865) 934-2039.

Scott Miller at The Laurel Theatre

Naturalized Knoxvillian Scott Miller returns to the Laurel Theater on Friday, October 3, at 8 p.m., as part of a powerful acoustic trio featuring Rayna Gellert and Bryn Davies, following the release of his latest album, Big, Big World.


Scott Miller

Raised in Virginia’ Shanendoah Valley, where he currently resides, Scott’s genuine interest and identity with the lore of the South and the Civil War, along with his intelligent and take-no-prisoners lyrics, set him apart from other roots rock artists and have propelled him to national and international prominence.

Tickets are $16 to $18. Call 865-523-7521.

Jubilee Community Arts is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation. The Laurel Theater is located at 16th Street and Laurel Avenue in the historic Fort Sanders neighborhood of downtown Knoxville, Tennessee.

Celebrate Knoxville Local Listens

Sept. 28, 2014. Celebrate Knoxville Local Listens spins Rory McMillan’s new album, Sutherland Ave. Hymns, available in the local section at The Disc Exchange, Chapman Highway, Knoxville.

Rory McMillan, Sutherland Ave. Hymns, 2014

Produced by Bobby Maze, Jamie & Erik Swanson, Gwen & Erin Schablik


CK: What is the significance of Sutherland Avenue for you?

RM: I lived for a couple of years on Sutherland Ave. and was there during all of the writing and recording of this album. I moved to my current residence in South Knoxville this year before work was begun on post-production (mixing/mastering) by a studio which was located in Athens, Georgia. I had written and recorded many songs over the years at different homes, but it was at this tiny place on Sutherland that I began to really lock into a routine of creating music on a very regular and consistent basis. It didn’t hurt that there was hardly any room in the house for anything other than a bed and all of my instruments! It was also there at that house that I purchased my first synthesizer, (a microKORG) which has really been integral in defining the sound I’ve developed.

CK: Are you playing mandolin on “Sunday Afternoon” and is that a new instrument for you?

RM: I am playing ukulele on the songs “Sunday Afternoon” and “The Last Burning Embers”. I will forever be a guitarist at heart, but I do like to tinker sometimes with other string instruments besides guitar, including ukulele, banjo, and mandolin.

CK: What is your intended market for these songs? The reason I am asking is some of them sound like tracks for independent film, especially “Coffee’s Brewing,” which I like a lot.

RM: It would certainly be a dream come true if one day any of my music were to be used in film or television. I think the songs hopefully do a good job of each capturing their own moods and feelings. I don’t think it would be too much of a stretch to match the mood of a song with the mood of characters and storylines… This being said, I don’t think the “Soundtrack” genre is the only intended purpose for the music. I think anyone who appreciates New Age Music, Meditation Music, or Relaxation Music should hopefully find some joy in these songs. I guess I’d just be flattered to hear that someone put the album on while they cleaned their house, did their homework, went jogging, or as they prepared for bed. I see a therapist, and she actually plays the album on repeat in the waiting room of her office. I joke with her that maybe that’s the market I’m after- the whole “waiting room” scene!

CK: Why did you call the album “hymns,”?

RM: I guess the use of the word “Hymns” can be a little confusing. It is not a religious album by any means. I guess, for me, music comes from another place- I look at music as a miraculous gift that humankind has been blessed with, one that has many healing and soothing powers. I want my songs to be vehicles for an escape, little journeys that take the listener outside of himself or herself. Regardless of all of the differences between people on earth who could possibly hear the music, I want the music to be a universally accessible way that anyone could listen and feel uplifted and connected to another sort of realm. An atheist may take a more scientific approach to all of this, but hopefully they too would feel transported to some sort of enjoyable mental space as well.

CK: “Ghost Riding The Whip” has an old-school hip-hop feel to it. My favorite song on the album! What’s the story behind that?

RM: I am really glad to hear that you like “Ghost-Riding The Whip”. That is my roommate’s favorite one too. It has received mixed reactions, mostly because it is one of two songs on the album that sound so very different in style from the bulk of the songs- much more upbeat and contemporary sounding. It is definitely inspired by old-school hip-hop and funk. I grew up appreciating many kinds of music, including hip-hop. I even used to write and perform raps when I was a teenager. That song is the only one on the album that has any sort of vocals whatsoever- the beatboxing. I do not think I’ll ever be the next Bobby McFerrin, but it sure was fun recording those parts… Everything sort of fell together magically on that one!

For more information, visit

Cereus Bright to headline at The Bijou

On October 10, 2014, Knoxville’s Cereus Bright will headline The Bijou Theatre, a
homecoming for the band, having spent much of 2014 on the road. Celebrate Knoxville spoke with guitarist Tyler Anthony for a few minutes by telephone today.

CK: You guys have been touring non-stop. Energy level good?

TA: I’m healthy, holding up. (laughs) Hardest part for me on the road is needing
creative space. Putting on the headphones and taking a walk is about the best you can get sometimes, just needing to recharge.

CK: Having fun playing with those other hometown guys, The Dirty Guv’nahs?

TA: We really are! So thankful for guys like them who support us. When we played with them at the Tennessee Theatre last New Year’s Eve, they brought me out to sing a duet with James (Trimble). That was amazing.

CK: We want a road photo! A dirty unshaven van photo! Not a slick promo photo from your web site.

TA: I’ll send you one. (He texts the photo below).


Tyler Anthony, Matt Nelson, Luke Bowers, Evan Ford. 

CK: Got any “and then the van broke down” stories?

TA: Of course we do. On the way to Chicago. Barely made it to the gig.

CK: Ha! You do have some good promo on your web site. Free download, new T-shirt. Very nice.

TA: Thanks. At The Bijou show we’ll have a brand new, never seen before, T-shirt for our Knoxville fans.

CK: Tell me about Count This Penny, who is opening for you on the Bijou show. How did you meet them?

TA: We met them in Nashville last year, and played a show that also had them on the bill. We found out they were originally from Oak Ridge, which we thought was pretty cool. This past summer we toured with them in Wisconsin (where they live now) and played a festival with them. We had so much fun out there, so when we got booked at The Bijou for October, we invited them to come and play with us, since they have family and friends here. We are excited about this homecoming show and really want to connect with our local fans, share what we’ve learned and how we’ve grown.

—Celebrate Knoxville. 9.23.14

Cereus Bright has toured supporting Jackie Greene, Sturgil Simpson, The Infamous Stringdusters, Judah & The Lion, and The Dirty Guv’nahs. The band’s recent video, a cover of The Bee Gee’s classic “Stayin’ Alive” was premiered by Paste Magazine.



Knoxville Jazz features Monty Alexander

The Knoxville Jazz Orchestra’s 15th anniversary 2014-15 concert season begins on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 8pm with “Monty Alexander’s Harlem-Kingston Express Meets the KJO”. The program will be held at the Bijou Theatre at 803 South Gay Street.

Famed pianist Monty Alexander is a native of Kingston, Jamaica, and his band Harlem-Kingston Express revels in those Caribbean roots. The project combines two groups into one, seamlessly blending rocking reggae music with classic, acoustic jazz.

Monty Alexander1

The Knoxville Jazz Orchestra is a 17 piece big band comprised of professional musicians from across the region. Since its inception in 1999, the orchestra has performed dozens of concerts in East Tennessee, appeared on major jazz festivals in Europe, performed and recorded with internationally acclaimed guest artists, and released four critically acclaimed CD recordings.

Tickets for the event are $32.00 adult, $15.00 student. Tickets are
available in advance at 865-684-1200.

Knoxville celebrates Hola Festival

Hola Festival 2014 activities are scheduled to begin in Market Square, downtown Knoxville, at 7:00 PM on Saturday, September 27, lasting until 10:00 PM. The evening festivities include the featured band “Orquesta de Jaime Bonilla” and the Music City Salsa Dance Extravaganza.

This will be the 15th year of the Hola Festival celebrating the diversity through exciting and informative showcases, traditional and authentic Hispanic foods, and other cultural and artistic presentations.

The full festival continues on Sunday, September 28, with a special family celebration beginning at 11:30 AM featuring the traditional and colorful Parade of Nations at 3:00 PM.

Hispanic bands scheduled to perform include the Marcel Portilla Band and the Asheville Tango Orchestra. And there will be plenty of traditional foods and exhibits as well as featured performances by the Cazateatro-Bilingual Theatre, the Street Circus, and Lucia Arte Y Pasion Flamenco.

Yazoo presents outdoor music show

On September 5, 2014, WDVX and Yazoo Brewing Company present Yazoo on the Square on Market Square in downtown Knoxville.

The FREE live outdoor music event includes rock ‘n’ roll from King Super & the Excellents, folk music from Folk Soul Revival, and some blues from Jenna & Her Cool Friends.


Bring a chair or a blanket, and enjoy East Tennessee music from all genres.

Music starts at 6pm.

Wilco returns to TN Theatre

On October 23, 2014, the Chicago rock band Wilco returns to Knoxville for another visit to the historic Tennessee Theatre for “An Evening With Wilco” and will feature songs from every part of the band’s celebrated 20-year history.

Wilco’s brand of classic roots rock incorporates folk, pop and genre-spanning experimentalism. Since their last visit to Knoxville in 2009 the band has released two studio albums: their self-titled album, Wilco (June, 2009) and their 2011 release, The Whole Love, which was released on their own label dBpm.

NPR has called Wilco “the best rock band in America.”

Tickets by phone at 800-745-3000. Tickets go on sale Friday, September 5 at 10 a.m.

Five Plus Six at Market Square

Vance Thompson’s Five Plus Six will perform a concert on Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 8 p.m. at the Square Room on Market Square in downtown Knoxville. The concert is in celebration of the release of the band’s new CD Such Sweet Thunder: the music of Duke, Monk and Dolly.

Five Plus Six is the latest project by Vance Thompson, founder and director of the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra. His new group is an eleven member jazz band with three saxophones, three trumpets, two trombones, piano, bass and drum set.

The band’s repertoire consists of new arrangements of classic material by Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and Dolly Parton. Thompson and pianist Keith Brown have both contributed arrangements to the program. CDs will be available for purchase at the event.

Editor’s Note: To purchase tickets for this event, click the Square Room sidebar ad on the left.

AC announces dates for Big Ears

AC Entertainment has announced the return of Big Ears Festival to Knoxville on March 27-29, 2015.

Heralded as “the most ambitious and avant-garde music festival to emerge in America in more than a decade” by Rolling Stone and an event that “stands apart because of its commitment to excellence in extremes” by The New York Times, Big Ears brings together musicians and artists who span generations and transcend genres for dozens of concerts along with installations, exhibitions, film screenings, interactive workshops, informative talks, surprise collaborations, and unexpected connections.


A crowd waits in line at The Bijou Theatre in downtown Knoxville for a performance at Big Ears 2014. New dates for the festival in 2015 have recently been announced by AC Entertainment. Photo by Celebrate Knoxville.

Venue details, 2015 lineup, activity information and more will be released later this fall.

Big Ears is created and produced by AC Entertainment, recognized as one of the foremost independent promoters in the United States.

TN Shines begins new season

Tennessee Shines, a weekly radio show performed live for an in-studio audience at the Knoxville Visitor Center, begins a new season August 18, 2014. Hosted by Bob Deck and Paige Travis, the shows are Mondays at 7 p.m. and broadcast live on WDVX 89.9 and 102.9 FM and

August 18: EmiSunshine & the Rain

August 25: Jim Lauderdale

September 1: Dixieghost

September 8: Motel Rodeo

September 15: Greg Trooper

September 19: Live from the Paramount Performing Arts Center in Bristol with Willie Watson. The show will be broadcast live on WDVX FM and Admission is included in day and weekend passes to Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion.


Louie Bluie names music line-up

Performers have been announced for this year’s Louie Bluie Music & Arts Festival, East Tennessee’s rich musical tradition to honor the adventurous and pioneering spirit of the festival’s namesake Howard Armstrong.

“Each year, our goal is to present a group of performers that celebrate Howard’s creativity and LaFollette’s diverse musical legacy,” says longtime festival volunteer Chris Durman. “I think this year’s mix has the kind of variety that will please a lot of music fans.”


Performers on the festival’s two stages include: The Armstrong Legacy Trio featuring Howard’s son Ralphe and his collaborators Ray Kamalay and John Reynolds; Cajun band The Revelers; Campbell County family gospel group The Beelers; soul music legend John Myers and his band; Paris-meets-Argentina jazz band Kukuly & the Gypsy Fuego; old-time string band The Bearded; folk duo Sparky & Rhonda Rucker; a performance of Howard’s favorite songs and stories by the Carpetbag Singers; revered Campbell County bluegrass band The New River Boys; legendary banjo player Wade Hill and the Bluegrass Professionals Reunion Band; and a bluegrass and gospel reunion of The Muse Family led by Doris and Betty (Muse) Johnson.

The festival takes place September 27, 2014 at Cove Lake State Park, Caryville, Tennessee.

For more information, visit

CK interview: Joe Cocchi of WTR

Ten dates into the 2014 Summer Slaughter Tour that started in San Francisco on July 17 and ends August 12 in Springfield, Virginia (23 shows), Within The Ruins is sharing the stage with Morbid Angel, Dying Fetus, The Faceless, Thy Art Is Murder, Goatwhore, Origin, Decrepit Birth, and Fallujah. spoke with Within The Ruins guitarist Joe Cocchi by phone in anticipation of the WTR show July 31, 2014 at The International in Knoxville.

Joe Cocchi (guitar)
Tim Goergen (vocals)
Kevin “Drummer” McGuill
Andrew Tate on bass

Discography: Creature (2009, Victory); Invade, (2010, Victory); Elite (2013, E1) and Phenomena (2014, E1).


From left: Kevin “Drummer” McGuill, Joe Cocchi, Tim Goergen, and Andrew Tate.  Within the Ruins is part of this year’s Summer Slaughter Tour, coast to coast, from July 17-August 12, 2014. Photo by Jeremy Saffer. 

CK: I bought Phenomena on iTunes and I really like the variety of songs on this album. One minute you’re riding high on “Enigma,” the next minute you’re on your belly crawling in the mud with “Dark Monarch,” and “Clockwork” is right in your face. Really good stuff.

JC: So glad you liked it. We try hard to expand and experiment while staying the same band. It takes balance.

CK: You cofounded WTR with Kevin “Drummer” McGuill during your high school years (2003) in Westfield, Massachusetts. Did you and Kevin ever sit around and say “Hey, we’re gonna play the Summer Slaughter Tour one day!”

JC: No, I don’t think we really ever thought we would get this far, but here we are.


CK: The song “Calling Card” from the new album, Phenomena, was recently featured on as a playthrough. Amazing work! Tell me about your slime green Acacia Romulus guitar. I especially love the glow in the dark inlays.

JC: Yes, that’s a custom guitar; I have several (guitars) now. Those inlays are great when you’re playing onstage.

CK: You still using the Mesa 290?

JC: Yes, that is a very powerful amp, like two amps in one. I’m all about the tube power; the difference in tonal quality is like night and day.

CK: That wasn’t the first time your work made the front page of the site. Last year, the song “Feeding Frenzy” had a featured spot.

JC: I bought Guitar World when I was a kid. Having our work there, tabs in the back and everything, is surreal.

CK: It really must be gratifying to have a magazine that is entirely dedicated to your instrument recognize what you do. They described WTR with this quote: “Audiences at South By Southwest, The Bamboozle, The New England Metal and Hardcore Festival and across the country on the Summer Slaughter festival tour have come to know Within The Ruins for their intensity, dexterity and mind-blowing melding of multiple metal subgenres that somehow sounds all their own.” Good props there.

JC: Pretty much sums it up. It doesn’t get better than that.

CK: I have always wanted to ask someone on the Summer Slaughter Tour if anybody really cares about genre descriptions.

JC: I can honestly say there is not one person on this tour who cares about genre descriptions. I suppose they have some usefulness on the internet, but no, we don’t care.

CK: I could tell by the “Calling Card” video that you enjoy playing around with your effects pedals and it looked like you had recording equipment also.

JC: I use Pro Tools. Not a really crazy set up or anything, but there’s a lot you can do with that.

CK: The band has seen a lot of personnel changes since 2005, and now you have a new record label and this really tight knit, Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, four-man band. What makes it work? Are you afraid to say, because you might jinx it?

JC: (laughs) No, I am not afraid to say. I think it is because we are in it for the long haul. Everyone has life goals and changes, and we have been through a lot, but this is our passion. This is our business.

CK: Would you rather play outdoors where you can play for more people at once, or would you rather play indoors where the intensity of the show is more focused?

JC: We just played outdoors today and the heat was ridiculous. Inside has more of a show environment. Yes, I would rather play indoors where it is cooler.

CK: Last year’s album, “Elite” sold 6,000 copies the first week of release and made the Billboard 200. That’s impressive. It’s also awesome that you guys did a cover of Metallica’s “Fight Fire With Fire” and Kansas’ “Carry On Wayward Son”. Whose idea was that?

JC: We’re super Metallica fans. I think with the other song we were just trying to do something different, see where we could go with it. Lots of people connect with that Kansas song. We also covered Pantera.

CK: You turned Europe with Carnifex! That had to have been amazing. Favorite city?

JC: The Czech Republic is an amazing place, very beautiful, very historical. And when you are from the U.S. out there, you are introducing yourself, you get to be a new band all over again.

CK: I am sure you are looking forward to the rest of the tour and then getting home. What’s coming up next for WTR after the tour?

JC: When we get home, we stay away from each other for about a week and a half. We do have plans for another U.S. tour starting October 10, 2014. We’ll have more to say about that tour later.

CK: I’ve noticed that a lot of guitarists teach music when they aren’t on the road. Dweezil Zappa does a guitar camp in New York and Chris Ketchford of Scale The Summit has written books on how to play guitar. Do you teach?

JC: I have taught a few lessons, but maybe in the future I will do more. I love meeting young guitar players because they have such energy. I see myself in them and I want to help them along the way.


–Laura Long, July 27, 2014.


Bijou Theatre adds board members

Knoxville – The board of directors of the Bijou Theatre is proud to announce the addition of 11 new board members to its 2014-2015 board. The Bijou Theatre board is comprised of 25 board members, and each of the members will serve a minimum of a three year term.

Recently completing new board orientation the board welcomes: Marian Epps, Jeremy Floyd, David Haynes, Sara Hobbs, David Jones, Chad Martin, Waleed Nour, Carrie O’Rear, Deanne Revel, Holly Romero, and Paige Travis.

“We are thrilled to have so many talented board members join us for the 2014-2015 season,” said board president David Arning. “Our new board will help carry on the rich history of one of the country’s finest stages.”

About the Bijou Theatre

The U.S. Cellular Stage at the Bijou Theatre is a historic theatre located in downtown Knoxville, Tennessee. Built in 1909 as an addition to the Lamar House Hotel, the building has served as a traditional theatre, vaudeville theatre and movie house. Following a restoration and grand reopening in 2006, the Bijou Theatre is a beloved performance venue known for its impeccable acoustics and intimate atmosphere hosting many music and performance art events each year.

WDVX hosts one day fund drive

Knoxville, TN – Community leaders, musicians and volunteers are joining together on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 to help listener supported radio station WDVX raise funds.

The One Day Fund Drive celebrates the station’s 10 years in downtown Knoxville. Prior to moving to the Knoxville Visitor Center, the community radio station’s broadcast home was a 14- foot camping trailer in Norris, TN.

WDVX Board President Rosa Mar attributes the station’s popularity and continued existence to passionate music fans and others who value the organization as an important community asset.

“People can connect to the community through WDVX. It represents Knoxville and East Tennessee in so many ways – the station supports local artists by playing their music, presents free arts performances nearly every day to residents and visitors, and the station embodies our region’s tradition of live radio,” said Mar.

WDVX produces the Blue Plate Special, an hour long, live radio show that happens every weekday plus Saturday and features local and touring artists. The station also presents Tennessee Shines Live Monday nights at the Knoxville Visitor Center, and Kidstuff, a weekly radio show for children which has a live stage show every second Saturday of the month. WDVX’s progressive roots-based programming spans a variety of music genres including bluegrass, blues, gospel, old time, alt-country, early jazz, and the recordings of many artists from the region.

The One Day Fund Drive will feature bluegrass music from The Mountain Jacks and songwriter Adron that day and welcomes in-person donations from the community at that show. Past donations have enabled WDVX to purchase a new digital sound board to improve the quality of live performances and recordings.

Volunteers will be armed with pen and paper, ready to take calls on Wednesday, July 23.

Listeners can make pledges by calling the station at (865) 544-1029 or toll-free at 1-866-946-9389. Pledges can also be made at any time, securely, quickly and conveniently at

Donations may also be made in person at the WDVX studio in the Knoxville Visitor Center, 301 S. Gay Street during normal business hours.

WDVX’s contributions to the community include free live concerts nearly every day, programming variety, the ability to provide performance space and air play for up and coming local artists. The station can be heard in Knoxville and surrounding areas on the radio at 89.9, 93.9, and 102.9 or online at

Former Korn guitarist releases new album

by Laura Long, Former Korn co-founder, guitarist Brian “Head” Welch released his new single “Paralyzed” on October 4, 2011 and already the song is creating a buzz on iTunes.

In a telephone interview on Wednesday, Welch told that the full length album will be coming out in Spring 2012 and that he will likely release one more single before the album drops.

“We are stoked about it,” Welch said, adding that next year’s tour will likely include stops in South America and Europe as well as an extensive U.S. leg. “It’s a work in progress. I’m working with others to develop this new material. It’s good. It gives us an opportunity to get some outside influences.”

Welch, who co-founded the Grammy-award winning, multi-platinum band Korn, left the band in 2005 to focus on recovery from drug addiction.  Although he is no longer a part of Korn, Head has continued on with a solo music career.

Welch said that times have changed for musicians reaching out and building new audiences, but he enjoys the challenge.

“I enjoy social media and all the new ways we have to connect to fans,” he said, speaking about his Twitter and Facebook posts. “I get a wide range of people that show up to say something. It’s totally real and not censored and I like that.”

Moving from California to Nashville (along with his teenage daughter), was a bit of a culture shock for Welch, but he takes it in stride.

“I can fit in anywhere,” he said.

Welch credits Jesus Christ with his recovery from addiction and openly shares that experience onstage at performances.

“My message is simple,” he said. “I want people to know that God is real and Jesus is real.”

Listen to the new single at this link




Brain Welch performs at The Square Room, Knoxville. Photo by



Leon Redbone performs at Square Room

Part jazz/blues, part comedy, all mystery: Leon Redbone. Seriously, who is that guy?

Want to win two tickets to see Leon Redbone at The Square Room on October 3, 2011? Send us an e-mail at

Most online music sites can tell you that he is a noted American guitarist and singer, known for his stylized performances of early jazz and blues songs. Others may tout Redbone’s delight for onstage theatrics, comedy, and performing (in his trademark Panama hat and suit) largely unknown songs from vaudeville and minstrel shows of the 1910s and ’20s.  But there’s a mystery surrounding this performer that has never lifted. As the Toronto Star once reported, it’s a mystery that Redbone keeps intact by answering interview questions with long sighs and “I don’t remember.”

The fact that he tours only by car, and has never released any biographical information (or ever confirmed any) about himself finally led to ongoing rumors that he is “an act” being performed by a well-known performer who wants his real identity to remain a secret. For a while, some even suggested that he was Frank Zappa or Andy Kaufman, both of whom he has outlived.

In the 1970s, Bob Dylan has said he first met him at the Mariposa Folk Festival, liked his work, and mentioned him in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine. Redbone was later featured in Rolling Stone before he ever released an album. When Redbone finally did release his first album, “On The Track”, he quickly landed an appearance on Saturday Night Live, both in 1976.

Since then he has released 14 critically-acclaimed albums, developed a cult following, and has performed on Saturday Night Live three times as well as The Tonight Show. His voice is heard in commercials for Budweiser and Chevrolet as well as on movie soundtracks including “Elf.” He sang the theme song for the television series, “Mr. Belvedere.”

Fans of eclectic music, don’t miss this rare opportunity to see Redbone live in concert.

Leon Redbone, w/Erin Donovan. The Square Room, Knoxville, TN. October 3, 2011, at 8 p.m. Tickets $30.




Adrian Belew & his modern electronic lives

by Laura Long, (September 13, 2011)  Adrian Belew taught himself to play guitar, and he doesn’t really read music either. With enough session/tour/band/solo work to fit into what Belew calls “three lifetime’s worth,” the list of creative and interesting people he has worked with (in between putting out solo albums, mind you) includes Frank Zappa, David Bowie, Talking Heads, Nine Inch Nails, Laurie Anderson, Tori Amos, Tom Tom Club, Cyndi Lauper, and Paul Simon. Oh yeah, he’s also well-known for his work with the legendary rock band “King Crimson.”

With Belew scheduled to play The Bijou on September 21, 2011, (Two of a Perfect Trio Tour with Tony Levin, Markus Rueter, Pat Mastelotto, Julie Slick, Tobias Ralph) it seemed like a good time for to ring him up and ask about gadgets.

LL: “You’ve been quoted as saying “I went to the Frank Zappa school of rock.” What do you mean by that?

AB: My work with Frank Zappa (1977-1978) was very intense, and not just because I was a non-reader (of music) or because we had the challenge of odd time signatures and things like that. Frank taught me things like ‘this is how you tour’ and ‘this is how you run your music business.’ He taught by telling stories; he was full of stories. He was brilliant.

LL: Is that where you got the idea of doing a duet with your daughter (on “Oh Daddy)?

AB: Because of the (Frank Zappa/Moon Unit) ‘Valley Girl’ thing? No. The song I did with my daughter was never meant to be a real recording; she just said ‘I want to sing something with you.’ And so we did this song together, but then someone else heard it and took it to Atlantic (Records) and said ‘You gotta hear this.’ And so we ended up recording it.

LL: It charted # 5 on Modern Rock.

AB: Yeah, I wish everything I did went that well.

LL: You were invited onstage to play guitar on the song “Psycho Killer” with Talking Heads (before you went on tour with them). Was that planned or were you just hanging out backstage and they said, ‘Hey, why don’t you come out and do a song?’

AB: I had been to their shows, and I think it was the third show of theirs I went to and they asked if I would play on that song. I told them I didn’t know ‘Psycho Killer’ and they said, ‘Just play guitar and freak out at the end.’

LL: You’ve been called ‘Trent Riznor’s guest guitarist of choice.’ You played on Nine Inch Nail’s ‘The Downward Spiral,’ ‘The Fragile,’ and ‘Ghosts I-IV.’ When you work with artists you have worked with before, how do you keep your guitar work fresh but still fit in with what the artist expects from you?

AB: I’m always changing. My guitar work is concurrent with change in my life in general, so I always have a new round of tricks.

LL: You have a signature guitar now.

AB: It’s the Parker Fly. It weighs four pounds and always stays in tune. It has this epoxy coating baked into it that gives it super strength; you could stand on it and it wouldn’t go out of tune. Never needs intonating. It makes me play better! Updated electronics, Midi, every bell and whistle, no dead spots—

LL; How much?

AB: Ten thousand dollars.

LL: You’re kidding.

AB: I know that’s a little much. There will be a second model early next year that will be five grand. The Dragonfly.

LL: You have also served as producer on projects; you produced ‘Flood’ for Jars of Clay.

AB: And ‘Liquid.’ They helped me pay for my home studio (when they paid me $10,000 for that work.) It was the first project I did in my home studio, too. When it was done, I thought they would do okay, sell a few copies of their CD to family and friends. Imagine my surprise when it sold (2 million copies).

LL: A lot of people obviously identified with it. You’ve done a little soul-searching yourself, like on your solo album, “Inner Revolution.” (quoting) ‘Your love is precious; give it to someone who deserves it.’

AB: That album came about after a time of personal upheaval, a lot of music, and a lot of changes in my life. In 1990, I toured with David Bowie in 27 countries. I made lots of money. I got divorced. I fell in love. It was a life-changing year. And ‘Inner Revolution’ is about how changes on the inside contribute to changes on the outside

LL: Is that song you did with David Bowie, “Little Pink Rose,” about a vagina?

AB: You’ll have to ask David, because that’s his song. Personally, I never thought it had any sexual connotation. Have you seen the video? There’s a Russian lady in it. I always thought it was a political song, a song about Russia.

LL: Any new projects you care to mention?

AB: I’ve got a DVD called “E for Orchestra,” which is an orchestral project I did with the Amsterdam Symphony. It’s modern classical music in five movements. It took me three years to finish, and since I don’t write music, I had to spell it out to someone who prepared the sheet music for me. It’s only been performed once, and that’s the DVD. It’s available on my website at, and we will also have it available at the Sept. 21, 2011  show at The Bijou.



Adrian Belew sits in on a set at Java in the Old City with local guitarist George Middlebrooks during Knoxville’s Big Ears Festival. File photo by Laura Long for