Northeast State wraps up the “Hot Nights, Cool Music” summer concert series with a sizzling performance by The Jeff Little Trio on Thursday, Aug. 14.
Acclaimed by National Public Radio, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe, the Trio lights up at the Regional Center for the Performing Arts Theater at the main campus next to Tri-Cities Regional Airport. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the performance starts at 7 p.m. The show is free and open to the public.
A professional musician since age 14, Little is conversant with traditional old-time country, bluegrass, rockabilly, and blues. His involvement with fiddle tunes, old-time country, and traditional blues dates to his growing up in Boone, N.C. where his family owned a music shop. The shop became a gathering place for musicians who would stop by to pick a few tunes. Beginning around age six he would regularly sit in with many of the musicians, including one of America’s most influential musicians: Doc Watson. These influences helped shape his approach to the piano which is based on these deep musical traditions.
Several years ago Jeff and his family returned to the Blue Ridge where today he is the director of the new Entertainment Technology program at Northeast State in Bristol. The Trio’s performances include NPR, PBS, National Council for the Traditional Arts, American Piano Masters Series, The Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and The American Folk Festival just to name a few. He has also performed internationally including concerts in Sri Lanka, Oman, and France.
The Trio includes Steve Lewis, one of the most respected acoustic musicians lauded for his flat picking on guitar and his mastery of the five-string banjo. Lewis earned many championships for his guitar and banjo playing in competitions at Merlefest, the Galax Old Time Fiddlers Convention, and the Wayne Henderson Guitar Competition. He is also a two-time national champion on the banjo.
Rounding out the Trio is Josh Scott, considered to be one of the most talented upright bass players working today. Scott has been featured on stage and in the studio with many critically acclaimed artists of acoustic and Americana music.
NPR called Little, “A remarkable musician, steeped in the tradition of his native Blue Ridge, yet also a virtuosic and eclectic innovator.”
Northeast State extends its deepest thanks to all the performers and to the audiences that made this year’s series successful. For more information, visit www.northeaststate.edu or contact 423.279.7669.