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Berea College 49th Celebration of Traditional Music

13oct(oct 13)6:30 pm16(oct 16)5:00 pmBerea College 49th Celebration of Traditional Music

Event Details

The 49th annual Berea College Celebration of Traditional Music will take place October 13-16, 2022. All Berea College COVID protocols will be observed for audience members and participants.

On Thursday night, October 13, at 8:00 P.M. in Phelps-Stoke Chapel, Jerron Paxton will deliver a whirlwind tour through the world of traditional music. This young musician sings and plays banjo, guitar, piano, fiddle, harmonica, Cajun accordion, and the bones (percussion). Paxton has an eerie ability to transform traditional African-American jazz, blues, folk, and country into the here and now. In addition, he mesmerizes audiences with his humor and storytelling. Paxton was nominated for an inaugural International Folk Music Award in the category of “Artist of the Year.” Jerron will be the Stephenson Memorial performer Thursday night and will stay for concerts, jams, and workshops over the weekend.

Other performers will be:

  • Bruce Molsky, Grammy-nominated fiddler/singer, who has been described as “an absolute master” (No Depression). Bruce’s music resonates strongly with listeners. His combination of technical virtuosity and relaxed conversational wit makes a concert hall feel like an intimate front porch gathering. Bruce is a visiting scholar in the Berklee College of Music roots music program. Bruce has deep roots in southern mountain music, but has collaborated extensively with traditional musicians from other countries and cultures.
  • Ginny Hawker and Kay Justice, two icons of Appalachian song, whose repertoire features Carter Family songs, unaccompanied ballads, and soulful gospel songs that paint a true life picture of their proud Appalachian heritage – in short, Appalachian song at its finest presented by two of its most authentic keepers.
  • Sarah Kate Morgan, East Tennessee native and winner of the National Mountain Dulcimer Championships. She performs as a regular member of the Michelle Canning Band, calls square dances, and works at the Hindman Settlement School in Eastern Kentucky as the Traditional Arts Education Director. Sarah is this year’s L. Allen Smith performer.
  • John Harrod and Tona Barkley, fiddle-guitar duo who showcase a repertoire of Kentucky tunes gathered by John for over 45 years. John’s field recordings are housed at both Berea College and the Kentucky Center for Traditional Music at Morehead State University. A native of Shelby County, Kentucky and a Rhodes Scholar to Oxford University, John is a recipient of the Folk Heritage Award of the Governor’s Awards for the Arts. Tona Barkley is well-schooled in Old-Time guitar and is active as a collector as well. Together, they perform music influenced by forgotten Kentucky artists like African American fiddler Bill Livers and banjo star Lily May Ledford.
  • The Possum Queens, led by Berea College alumnus Anna Harrod from Harrodsburg, Kentucky. The Queens are based in Lexington and will be this year’s dance band; renowned dance scholar and caller Becky Hill will be joining them.
  • The Thomas Cassell Band will bring their youthful, exciting and unpredictable take on newgrass music to CTM this year. Thomas Cassell hails from the mountains of southwestern Virginia, and has performed with Billy Strings, the Bryan Sutton Band, and
  • Becky Buller. A founder of the late lamented Circus Number Nine, Cassell was named National Mandolin Champion in 2021, Momentum Instrumentalist of the Year 2020 by the International Bluegrass Music Association, and 2016 Rockygrass Mandolin Champion. He will be joined by fiddle virtuoso Julian Pinelli, Justin Alexander on guitar and banjo, and Hasee Chaccio on bass.
  • Michael Jones will be Thursday’s Dinner-on-the-Grounds symposium speaker. He is a leading scholar of jug band research and an award-winning author who resides in Louisville, Kentucky. Jones sits on the board of directors of the National Jug Band Jubilee, a nationally-renowned festival that celebrates this pre-World War II folk music that flourished along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers and spread into other parts of the country from there. His book, Louisville Jug Music: From Earl McDonald to the National Jubilee, won the 2014 Sam Thomas Book Award from the Louisville Historical League.
  • Mary Colmer, better known as one of the proprietors of Weavers’ Bottom in Berea, is a wonderful dulcimer player and will be sharing some of her lifetime repertoire.

A new innovation for CTM this year is the involvement of local youth. There will be a Kidzone all day Saturday at Woods-Penn Commons. Activities include a puppet show with Richard Brown, a dulcimer workshop led by Madison Dulcimers and Mary Colmer, a youth square dance band led by the Possum Queens and members of the Berea College Folk-Roots Ensemble, and a youth dance.

In addition, there will be Friday night/Saturday afternoon jams, a Saturday night dance, a Sunday morning Gospel Sing, and a Sunday afternoon Traditional Ensembles Showcase featuring Berea College’s traditional music ensembles.

All events will be held on the Berea College campus. Admission is $10 for entry to the evening concerts and $8 for entry to the evening dance. All other events are free to the general public, and all events are free for students.

Please see HERE for schedule, locations and details, and check the facebook page at “Berea College Celebration of Traditional Music.”

The Berea College Celebration of Traditional Music (CTM) seeks to represent homemade music passed on from person to person in the Appalachian Region, and the musicians who play it. CTM is primarily supported by the L. Allen Smith Memorial Fund.



13 (Thursday) 6:30 pm - 16 (Sunday) 5:00 pm


Phelps Stokes Chapel

212 Chestnut St

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