Twice monthly, my blog 30 Days Out spotlights upcoming music shows and events of note, shining a light into some less well-lit corners, where some fascinating artists schedule performances. I do my best to give ample advance notice so that you can adjust your budget and calendar in a way that lets you get to the show.
Two of these shows feature free admission, and two will set you back a non-trivial sum. But they’re all very much worthwhile, and represent ongoing proof that the Asheville area draws talent from all over on a level that belies our relatively small population. We appreciate good music here, and artists and performers know it.
Artist: Naughty Professor
Venue: Asheville Music Hall
Date: Saturday, July 18, 10 p.m.
Door: $ FREE
Sorry ’bout the late notice; this show is TONIGHT. It’s also no-cover-charge. Big Easy-styled funk/soul/jazz is what’s on tap from this six-piece group from the Crescent City. Though the band’s music is complex and carefully composed, it’s also funk and somehow loose-feeling, and leaves plenty of room for some tasty improvisation. The group has been touring relentlessly (opening for Galactic, Marco Benevento, and other high-profile acts) in support of its latest album, Out on a Limb, and this Asheville date is the final stop on that tour.
Artist: Brevard Concert Orchestra: Dvořák 7
Venue: Brevard Music Center (Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium)
Date: Sunday, July 19, 3 p.m.
Door: $15 and up
Antonín Dvořák’s most well-known work is his ninth symphony, (Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95), best known as the “New World Symphony.” But the other works by the acclaimed 19th century Czech composer are often just as compelling, and — more importantly — tuneful by modern-day standards. For this engagement, the BCO performs his seventh opera, from 1885 (though it was originally published as Symphony No. 2. Reportedly inspired by Brahms, Dvořák composed this 40-minute work is often considered the man’s finest work. Ken Lam conducts the orchestra, which will also feature Gleb Ivanov on piano. The program also includes Benjamin Britten‘s “The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra” and Dohnanyi‘s “Variations on a Nursery Song.” A free recital in nearby Thomas Hall will take place an hour before the main performance.
Artist: Selwyn Birchwood
Date: Thursday, July 23, 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
Door: $30 advance general admission / $50 advance VIP
This young blues guitarist from Tampa, Fla. has established quite the name for himself since his self-released debut four short years ago, FL Boy. Citing influences from Jimi Hendrix to more blues-associated names such as Buddy Guy and Muddy Waters, Birchwood has won a number of awards and played many of the nation’s top blues festivals. His latest release, 2014’s Don’t Call No Ambulance, won a Blues Music Award for Best New Artist Album. Tressa’s bills both of these shows as fundraisers “to benefit local animal rescue shelters.”
Artist: Michael Jefry Stevens Quartet featuring Paula Hanke
Venue: Lake Tomahawk
Date: Thursday, Aug. 6, 7 p.m.
Door: $ FREE
On their own and with other WNC music luminaries, both Michael Jefry Stevens and Paula Hanke have established well-deserved reputations for their musical performances. This free jazz (that’s no-cost-to-attend jazz, not Albert Ayler-styled “free jazz”) show in Black Mountain features Hanke fronting Stevens’ quartet as part of the town’s Recreation and Parks Department’s 2015 Park Rhythms 20th anniversary concert series. Suzy Salwa Phillips‘ Gypsy Queen Cuisine will be the evening’s food vendor.
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