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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Berea College 47th Annual Celebration Of Traditional Music

The 47th annual Berea College Celebration of Traditional Music will take place virtually Thursday October 15 through Sunday October 18. Concerts will be presented online Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at 8:00 P.M. and Sunday at 3:00 P.M. and can be viewed at the Berea College Event Production page at

The Berea College Celebration of Traditional Music seeks to represent homemade music passed on from person to person in the Appalachian Region, and the musicians who play it.

The Celebration kicks off with a Thursday night Stephenson Memorial Concert featuring banjo and fiddle player Jake Blount. The Guardian says Blount is “a brilliant banjoist, fiddle player and singer based in Rhode Island in the US, his fingering thrilling and pacey, his voice charismatic and limber. His debut album arrives with a clear objective running through Blount’s choices of songs: to unknot the gnarly roots of where they come from, and the emotional stories they tell.

Friday and Saturday night concerts will feature West Virginia icon Alice Gerrard, who will perform with Kay Justice. Gerrard will be honoured for her decades of contributions to traditional music with this year’s CTM Lifetime Achievement Award. The concerts will also feature legendary blues guitarist and Grammy nominee Guy Davis (L. Allen Smith performer); Clifftop winners The Big Possum String Band; the Gibson Family and their repertoire of religious song from Richmond, Kentucky; banjo player Kevin Howard from Eastern Kentucky; and storyteller Shelia Arnold from Washington D.C.

The Sunday concert at 3:00 P.M. will feature some of Berea College’s diverse array of traditional music ensembles in the college’s first Traditional Music Showcase. The Bluegrass Ensemble, Folk-Roots Ensemble, Black Music Ensemble, African-Latin Percussion Ensemble, Country Dancers, and members of Mariachi Berea will perform.

For more information, call 859-985-3472, email , or consult the CTM website at

Updated information can be found on the organization’s Facebook page,

The Celebration of Traditional Music is supported by a grant by the L. Allen Smith Memorial Fund and is presented by the Loyal Jones Appalachian Center, the Celebration of Traditional Music Committee, the Music Department, and the members of the Berea College Folk-Roots Ensemble.


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