Northeast State’s annual Because of You Campaign will feature the acclaimed Jeff Little Trio in concert Sept. 24 at 7:00 p.m. in the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts.
The concert is free. Donations will be accepted to support the students and programs with the College’s Business Technologies Division. The Because of You Campaign was started in 2011 by the Northeast State Foundation to raise scholarship funds within the College’s divisions.
The concert promises a toe-tapping night of music ranging from traditional old-time country to bluegrass to rockabilly to blues.
Little’s 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 was a regular gathering place for musicians dropping by to pick a few tunes. At an early age, Jeff would regularly sit in with many of the musicians from the region, including one of America’s most influential musicians: Doc Watson.
These influences helped shape Little’s approach to the piano which is based on these deep musical traditions. With few exceptions, the piano does not play a prominent part in Appalachian or Americana music, and is rarely the lead instrument. But Little is an exception–and a remarkable one. His distinctive two-handed style, much influenced by the mountain flat-picked guitar tradition, is breathtaking in its speed, precision, and clarity.
Little’s performances include The Smithsonian Institution, The National Folk Festival, American Piano Masters, Merlefest, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, and many festivals, performing arts centers, colleges and music venues throughout the US. He has released four CDs, and has been featured on National Public Radio and PBS several times.
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.