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FILM: A Great American Tapestry, The Many Strands of Mountain Music on Fri July 7th 2017 at 7:30pm

Tickets: $15

Our first screening of this film in June, Sold Out in advance.
Due to overwhelming demand, we have scheduled a second showing on 
Friday July 7th 2017.  
Advance ticket purchases are highly recommended.

The World Premiere of a film on the rich cultural history of mountain music including the ballad singers from Scotland and Ulster, the African-American string band players, and Cherokee musicians and dancers.
The film features the leading luminaries of the ballad tradition including balladeer extraordinaires Sheila Kay Adams, Joe Penland and Bobby McMillon as well as Grammy Award winning founders of the world renowned black string band, the Carolina Chocolate Drops including Rhiannon Giddens, members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee, David Holt, and musicologists and historians who tell the story of the great melting pot that became Appalachian music.
 A discussion with the filmmaker and principal film participants follows the film screening.

As a  special bonus for tonight's program we've got two musicians from the film who will be performing on our stage just prior to the film.

Donna Ray Norton  
(8th generation Ballad Singer from Madison County NC)

Amythyst Kiah
(East Tennessee songster blending old-time and blues roots )

When Donna Ray Norton thinks about Appalachian music, she says, "I think about home" (May 15, 2002, Mountain Express). Home for Norton is Revere, also known as Sodom Laurel, in Madison County. It's hard to imagine a deeper musical heritage than Norton's.

 She is an eighth-generation ballad singer, the granddaughter of fiddler Byard Ray and Morris Norton, who played the banjo and mouth bow, daughter of singer Lena Jean Ray, and cousin to Sheila Adams and many other prominent Madison County musicians.

Norton is now a highly regarded member of the younger generation of Madison County ballad singers and storytellers.

A professed Southern Gothic songster based in Johnson City, TN, Amythyst Kiah’s commanding stage presence is only matched by her raw and powerful vocals—a deeply moving, hypnotic sound that stirs echoes of a distant and restless past.

Accoutered interchangeably with banjo, acoustic guitar, or a full band (Her Chest of Glass), Amythyst’s toolbox is augmented by her scholarship of African-American roots music. Her eclectic influences span decades, drawing heavily on old time music (Mississippi Sheiks, Son House, Jimmie Rodgers, Olla Belle Reed, Carter Family), inspired by strong R&B and country music vocalists from the '50s-'70s (Big Mama Thornton, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Mahalia Jackson, Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn) and influenced by contemporary artists with powerful vocal integrity (Adele, Florence and the Machine, Megan Jean and the KFB, Janelle Monae).

Recent tours in Scotland and the U.K. have seen Amythyst performing for audiences at the Americana Music Association UK Showcase, the Southern Fried Festival, Cambridge Folk Festival, the Edinburgh Jazz Festival, and SummerTyne Americana Festival. She is a crowd favorite at Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion in the U.S., has performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, and the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival.


More About The Film:

The Southern mountains were a diverse mix of Europeans, African-Americans and indigenous native peoples. This backcountry became a vibrant musical cauldron that combined and synthesized the tremendous contributions of many traditions to create a musical legacy that inspired the world — A Great American Tapestry.

Tapestry tells the eyeopening story of the Scots-Irish ballad tradition, the lost chapters of African-American banjo and fiddle history, the role of blackface minstrelsy in creating Old Time Music, the Cherokee music and dance tradition and so much more. A musical journey never to be forgotten . . .

A Great American Tapestry, The Many Strands of Mountain Music film is a project of The Center for Cultural Preservation.

The Center for Cultural Preservation is a nonprofit institution dedicated to preserving the culture, history, and adaptive strategies of our nation's cultural legacies. By honoring and transmitting these cultural traditions, we offer today's citizenry as closer connection with their recent past that's more sustainable over the long-term. The Center fulfills this mission through oral history, documentary film, and public programs that rekindle the power of local culture and the value of its continuance.

The Center for Cultural Preservation is  run by Executive Director David Weintraub with more than twenty years of experience developing, administrating and promoting cultural programs that include concerts, festivals, forums, film screenings, colloquiums, and more. In addition to publishing 13 books he has produced several films, two of which have appeared at film festivals around the world and on PBS stations. Weintraub is also the director of Weintraub Films a boutique documentary film production company.