As part of Northeast State’s 50th anniversary, the acclaimed Jeff Little Trio and Wayne Henderson will perform at Bristol’s Paramount Center for the Arts on Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m.
The concert is being presented by the Paramount Center for the Arts and Northeast State. Tickets for the show are $15 and available online at http://www.paramountbristol.org/event/1283287-jeff-little-trio-wayne-bristol/ or at the Paramount box office located at 518 State St., Bristol, Tenn.
Jeff Little’s approach to the piano is based on the deep musical traditions of the Blue Ridge Mountains. 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 and many festivals, performing arts centers, colleges and music venues throughout the U.S. He has released four CDs, and been featured on National Public Radio and PBS many 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.
Wayne Henderson is the Appalachian guitarist that Nashville pickers all talk about. Sometimes Wayne’s playing is mistaken for flatpicking, but he actually uses a thumb-pick and fingerpicks to achieve amazing speed and fluidity, transforming fiddle and banjo pieces, and even the occasional jazz standard, into stunning guitar solos.
In addition to his reputation as a guitarist, Henderson is a luthier of great renown. He produces about 20 instruments a year, mostly guitars.
Some of Henderson’s instruments are intricately decorated but are most respected for their volume, tone, and resonance. Blues guitarist John Cephas said that Wayne Henderson “is probably the most masterful guitar maker in this whole United States.”
Henderson was awarded the country’s highest honor for a traditional artist, the National Heritage Fellowship in 1995 in honor of both his fine playing and his guitar-making.