Noam & Stuart

Smart bets: Noam Pikelny and Stuart Duncan

We’ve all heard of “Dueling Banjos,” but Noam Pikelny and Stuart Duncan are two string virtuosos who work together. Collectively, the musicians have collaborated with a brimming Rolodex of A-list artists, including Fiona Apple, Wilco, Béla Fleck, Dolly Parton and even the Jonas Brothers. Pikelny, Grammy nominee and banjoist for Punch Brothers, says he’s long […]

Cornelia4

Smart bets: Die Fledermaus

“Die Fledermaus,” a libretto often rewritten and performed with local flair, will soon transform into its Asheville incarnation with the help of Asheville Lyric Opera. Set in Western North Carolina’s famous Giltmore home and based around the Southern mountain charm of the Vanerburgh family, ALO’s adaptation is intended to “create a deeper sense of appreciation […]

PUBLIC WORKS: Asheville-based sculptor Hoss Haley says that the work he does for commission is "more design-based, where the needs of the client and the site require a great deal of consideration.” Xpress file photo

Form and function: Large-form metalwork makes its mark on WNC

Asheville probably has more public sculpture than most cities of similar size — a direct result of the region’s rich arts-and-crafts heritage. For starters, there’s Passage, Albert Paley’s abstract steel sculpture at the Veach-Baley Federal Complex on Patton Avenue; Dirck Cruser’s Energy Loop, the first city-purchased sculpture, which sits across the street from City-County Plaza; […]

BIG TIME: Washington, D.C.-based M.H. & His Orchestra perform at the Blue Ridge Pride Festival on Saturday. This year's event also focuses on organizations oriented to the Pride community. Photo by Heaton Johnson

Blue Ridge Pride Festival focuses on marriage, family and fun

Blue Ridge Pride’s Yvonne Cook-Riley estimates that 35-40 percent of attendees at Pack Square Park for the organization’s festival on Saturday, Oct. 4, will be straight allies. That is, people who identify as heterosexual but back their lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning friends and family. What accounts for such strong support of […]

Maryedith Burrell and Steven Samuels rehearse Burrell's one-woman show, "#OUCH! An Accidental Comedy." Photo courtesy of Samuels

The Magnetic Theatre returns; “#OUCH! An Accidental Comedy” opens

Take an accomplished Hollywood writer, director and actress with decades of comedy writing experience, throw her unexpectedly into the flawed and unpredictable American healthcare system, and you’re bound to end up with entertaining anecdotes. Such as: A mysterious accident catapults an Asheville woman into a dystopia of drugs, disillusionment and worst of all, the dreaded […]

KNOW HOW TO WORK IT: Big Freedia, one of the only bounce artists with prominent national exposure, teaches fans to lose themselves in the music with sage advice such as “release your wiggle." Photo courtesy of the musician

Big Freedia, Queen of bounce, plays New Mountain on Sept. 30

It’s just after noon on the final day of 2013’s South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. The fatigue that the marathon music festival inflicts is readily evident in a grand ballroom in Austin’s labyrinthine convention center. A small crowd has gathered to watch New Orleans rapper Big Freedia (pronounced FREE-duh) perform a daytime set, but their […]