A Coming Together of Cultures through Music
In the Appalachians, you’ll find many adaptations of the ancient fiddle and banjo music of Virginia and North Carolina. This music can be traced to the meeting of the African banjo and the European fiddle in the Tidewater region before the US was a nation. You’ll also find older ballads and religious music that reach deeply into the American past.
The Blue Ridge Music Center honors these arts by facilitating their presentation with emphasis on local artists, artists who can best demonstrate this history. The museum houses permanent exhibits that trace the history of this music through local artists, back to the creation of the music generations ago by persons from Europe and West Africa, and will illustrates how it has been kept in America.
The museum also demonstrates how the first American ensemble, the fiddle and the banjo, are symbolic of the meeting of European and African cultures in the New World, how the nation has drawn vigor from these diverse roots, and how many blends of folk and popular music have grown from these roots.
History shows that the coming together of the fiddle and banjo to be the root beginning of much of America’s music. Unassuming and prevailing, ancient and contemporary, these instruments are still contributing to America, and the Blue Ridge Music Center is a great place to hear them as well as learn more about them.
Established by the U.S. Congress in 1985, the site includes an outdoor amphitheater and indoor interpretive center used to highlight an important strand of American musical culture, which is still alive and thriving in the region. The site is operated through a partnership between the National Park Service and the National Council for the Traditional Arts.
The Blue Ridge Music Center, located on the Blue Ridge Parkway (mile post 213) outside Galax, VA and will feature a 16-week summer music concert series beginning in early June, 2006.
Jam Sessions are welcome anytime in the Plaza area.
Visitor Center & Museum is open 7 days a week from 9 am to 5 pm.
Note to Musicians:
If you’re interested in performing at the Blue Ridge Music Center please send a short bio, press materials (including news clips), a recording (CD or cassette), and contact information to:
Blue Ridge Music Center
1320 Fenwick Lane, Suite 200
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Images: from the Blue Ridge Music Center website.
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