Diarra is a n’goni & balafon player from Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso in West Africa. He’s been in Asheville for nearly five years and has fronted West African groups Mande Foly and now The AZA Band with multi-instrumentalist Biko Cassini and percussionist Jessie Lehmann.
The reggae band is currently at work on a forthcoming album with producer Damien Marley. Though Third World is not touring, the group made an appearance at fall LEAF on Saturday night.
“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.”
“I love playing Asheville. … The audience there is into it in a way I wish I could take as a training video to train audiences in other parts of the country.”
The quartet played Merlefest and then took the month of May to tour around North Carolina. The musicians make a stop at Isis Restaurant & Music Hall, hosting a bluegrass session, on Tuesday, May 24.
The musician, who is currently based in New York, where he performs with his band Interoceanico, makes a stop at Isis Restaurant & Music Hall on Thursday, March 10. He’ll play an intimate set in the venue’s upstairs lounge. In advance, he talked to Xpress about his move to the U.S., his global influences and his newest project.
Chapel Hill-based author Lindsay Starck took on epic subject matter for her debut novel: The biblical story of Noah. But rather than the ark building it’s his spouse who captured Starck’s imagination.
While currently working on a follow-up to 2014’s The Shipwreck From The Shore, D’Amato is also on tour and will make a stop at The Grey Eagle Friday, Nov. 13. David Wax Museum headlines.
“I like to put a song on repeat in headphones and fall asleep, Dalí-style, in a chair, with a spoon in my hand.” Bassist Jack O’Brien talks about the Austin-based band’s approach to videos, open communication and creating innovation music.
“The California Honeydrops don’t just play music—they throw parties,” says the website for the San Francisco Bay area band. The group performs on The Lakeside Stage Friday, Oct. 16, at 6:15 p.m. and in Eden Hall, at 9:15 p.m.
Asheville-based performance troupe The Faerie Kin is a collective of “of enchanted stiltwalkers and merry elves.” They roam throughout LEAF all weekend and perform at Elfhaven Village and the Roots Family Stage.
Rock and soul band The Revivalists are based in New Orleans. The group, led by vocalist David Shaw, formed in 2007, and recently released its latest studio album, Men Amongst Mountains, which seems fitting considering this festival’s concept.
In advance of this season’s LEAF, the 41st bi-annual iteration of the festival, we’re talking to performing artists from the LEAF lineup about the festival’s New Orleans-meets-Western North Carolina theme. Local singer-songwriter Jeff Thompson talks about his NOLA roots.
The Walking Guys is a collaboration of four Nashville-based musicians on a 1,600-mile tour, on foot, from Portland, Me. back to Tennessee. They will perform at The Root Bar Saturday, Oct. 3, and at The Town Pump Monday, Oct. 5.
Singer-songwriter Eilen Jewell grew up in Boise but lived in Santa Fe, L.A. and Boston, and toured the Canada, Europe and Australia before settling back in Idaho. Her new album, Sundown Over Ghost Town, was largely inspired by that return. Jewell and her band play The Grey Eagle on Wednesday, Sept. 16.
Singer-songwriter Shane Cooley is from Northern Neck, Va., but recently made his home in Austin, Texas. He’s about to embark on a tour that takes him from Texas to New York and back south to Louisiana. Cooley and his band, The Lucky Kings, play Jack of the Wood on Sunday, Aug. 9
New York Times bestselling author Ace Atkins is set to release the fifth book in his Quinn Colson series, The Redeemers, this month. Atkins has written 17 novels to date, and has been deemed by bestselling author Michael Connelly as “one of the best crime writers at work today.” Atkins reads and signs The Redeemers at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe on Monday, Aug. 3.
Matthew Quick, author of “Silver Linings Playbook,” has just published new novel “Love May Fail.” Quick reads from and signs the book at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe on Monday, June 29.
Faustine Wilson is the owner of Survival Pride Clothing in downtown Sylva and the daughter of the late author Victoria Casey McDonald. Wilson presents her mother’s last book, Living in the Shadow of Slavery, at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville on Saturday, June 27.
Local absurdist/gypsy/folk/funk/punk collective Sirius.B has been playing fewer shows lately, but by the sounds of things, that’s about the change. The group launches a busy spring and summer season at Lake Eden.
Grammy-nominated kid-hop artist Secret Agent 23 Skidoo has been regularly making the trip back to LEAF from his new home base in California. Here, he talks about the festival, plans for his own musical trajectory, and his special equation for LEAF maximization.