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Letter: Art has power

“Art brings voice and vision to facts written on the pages of history books. It reflects and shapes culture, liberates us, expresses the forbidden. It confesses our sins and celebrates our triumphs. It can even topple tyrants. Perhaps that is the most disturbing aspect of Trump’s quest to destroy the NEA.”

LEAF 15

In Photos: Fall LEAF 2016

LEAF festival, held last weekend at Lake Eden in Black Mountain, started chilly but quickly heated up with music, dance, performance and visual art. On Friday, hip-hop artist Chali 2na took the Lakeside stage with jazz-fusion band Naughty Professor and performed two songs with students from Eliada Homes. Electronic/world music collective Beats Antique headlined to […]

Photo courtesy of the band's Facebook page

Q+A with LEAF performer Jimbo Mathus of Squirrel Nut Zippers

“I have been fortunate enough to recruit among the best of the best musicians and entertainers from the Southeast, particularly New Orleans,” says Jimbo Mathus. “The new show is a realization of all of the potential that lay in the material that we wrote and performed 20 years ago. It is truly a dream come true.”

Kids took over the downtown streets for fun Sunday. Photo by Adam McMillan

In photos: Open Streets Asheville Festival

The inaugural Open Streets Asheville brought residents and visitors into the streets to enjoy downtown in a new way. With Battery Park Avenue, Wall Street and portions of Haywood Street, Patton Avenue and Church Street closed to automotive traffic, folks did art projects, movement-based activities, listened to buskers and relaxed with yoga and massage.

WELL-TRAVELED: “Balancing between traditional Tuareg and Western music is something that is just natural for me because that is what I grew up on as a musician," says Omara Moctar, aka Tuareg musician Bombino. Photo by Jacob Bombersback

Sound values: How LEAF’s eclectic lineup defines the festival’s ethos

The 2015 lineup for LEAF, which prides itself on its globally conscious reach, is unsurprisingly excellent. Topping the bills each night are acts that range from soul revival firebrand Charles Bradley & his Extraordinaires to Australian world-roots act Xavier Rudd & the United Nations, demonstrating the festival’s knack for mixing quality bedrock American music with an eclectic range of styles that span the Earth.

THE BEAT GOES ON: Adama Dembele, center, of local Afropop band Zansa, drums with students in a LEAF Schools & Streets  program.

LEAF celebrates 20 years of music, art, culture and community

How do you sum up 20 years of festivals? That’s two decades of twice-yearly campouts, dances, new musical discoveries and fond favorites; of friends made and family bonds strengthened; of campfire hangouts and sunny-day revelry. For LEAF, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this May, it’s expressed in the theme, “Global Gratitude.”