Music plays a large part of life for many in Transylvania County.
The music-inspired White Squirrel Festival during the Memorial Day weekend and the internationally renowned Brevard Music Center Summer Institute & Festival (see the separate stories in this publication) are the two biggest music events during the summer in the county. Brevard College’s Paul Porter Center also hosts events in partnership with the Music Center and is the venue for concerts by the college’s music department, the Brevard Philharmonic and the Transylvania Choral Society.
If bluegrass and classical music don’t get your toes tapping, then check out the Brevard Blues N’ BBQ Festival on June 1 and 2 at the Brevard Music Center. Featured artists this year include Shemekia Copeland, The Dangerous Gentlemens with Anson Funderburgh, and Schnoz Mahal on June 1; and the Heather Gills Band, Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’ Blues, Jonathon “Boogie” Long, the Mojo Brothers Blues Band, Hwie Johnson Trio and Jerry Sapp on June 2. For more information, go to www.bre vardbluesfestival.com. Clubs also provide regular live music, including 185 King Street. For more information, go to www.185kingst.com. The Oskar Blues Brewery, located off the Old Hendersonville Highway, also offers regular music at its bar, the Tasty Weasel. For more information, go to www.nctasty weasel.tumblr.com. Other music venues include The DFR Room at 36 E. Main St. in Brevard. Call (828) 577-4234 or go to www.dfrroom.net for more information; Ecusta Brewing at 49 Pisgah Highway in Pisgah Forest. Go to www.ecustabrewing.com for more information.
For those interested in more traditional music, Silvermont mansion on East Main Street in Brevard hosts free “Mountain Music” every Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Friday night musical jamborees, from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m., are also held at the Lake Toxaway Community Center. For more information, go to www.toxawaycc.com.
Another regular time and location to hear some bluegrass music is from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. most Saturdays at the Cathey’s Creek Community Center. The center is located on Island Ford Road. For more information, call (828) 883-3557. The folks at the Balsam Grove Community Center, about 9 miles up N.C. 215 from U.S. 64 and just past the fire department on the right, also host regular jam sessions. For more information, call (828) 883-8011.
This summer also sees the inaugural Blue Ridge Banjo Camp, featuring Bèla Fleck and others. The camp will be held Aug. 15-19 at Brevard Music Center. For more information, go to www.blueridgebanjocamp.com.
Although not technically occurring during the summer, the annual Mountain Song Festival deserves a mention. Each year, the festival attracts some of the finest bluegrass performers in the country and is hosted by Brevard’s very-own Grammy- winning Steep Canyon Rangers, who are also known for recent collaborations with Steve Martin, who also performed at the festival in the past. The 13th Annual Mountain Song Festival will be held Sept. 7-19 at the Brevard Music Center. For more information, go to www.mountainsongfestival.com.
Above are only some of the musical happenings in Transylvania County, so keep your ear to the ground and pick up a copy of The Transylvania Times for all the latest musical events.