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Old-Time String-Band music from the Carolina Chocolate Drops coming to Preston Public Library

Mon, Feb 22nd, 2010
Posted in Arts & Culture

The Preston Public Library in collaboration with Riverside Concerts, Arts Midwest and the Southeast Minnesota Arts Council will present old-time string-band music from the Carolina Chocolate Drops on Thursday, March 4, 2010, at 7 PM in the Preston Public Library. Admission is free. Refreshments will follow the performance, courtesy of the Preston Public Library.

Think of traditional African-American music, and the genres that come to mind are gospel, blues and jazz; few people think of old-time string band music. But, the antebellum combination of banjo and fiddle used to be a tradition in most black rural communities in the South. The Carolina Chocolate Drops, a band of three young and talented musicians, are recognized as leading the revival of this venerable musical tradition. The Carolina Chocolate Drops honed their skills under the tutelage of octogenarian fiddler Joe Thompson, a North Carolinian said to be the last black traditional string band player. Thompson, who grew up playing at barn dances, "frolics" and corn shuckings, wound up performing in venues across the country, including Carnegie Hall. Dom Flemons' guitar and jug root the band in an infectious rhythm, and he plays harmonica for additional melody. Banjo and fiddle player Rhiannon Giddens became inspired by old-time music when she fell into contra dancing after graduating from Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Justin Robinson is the band's primary fiddler. Trained in classical violin, he became interested in bluegrass and old-time fiddle music, as well as the fife and drum tradition of African-Americans in the Deep South.

This event is a free concert preview of a full length performance that will take place in Rochester, MN, at the Mayo Civic Center on Saturday, March 6, at 7:30 PM. Attend the preview and receive a coupon for 10 percent off your ticket order for the Rochester performance. For more information call 507.328.2200, 800.657.3980 or visit http://riversideconcerts.com/.

For more information about the free concert preview contact the Preston Public Library at 507-765-4511.

This event is part of the Riverside Concerts' Cultural Exchange Network which provides live-musical events for citizens of rural communities who might not otherwise have access to such opportunities. This program is made possible in part by a grant awarded by The Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council, Inc., through funding from the Minnesota state legislature. This program is also supported by the Performing Arts Fund, a program of Arts Midwest funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes a great nation deserves great art, with additional contributions from General Mills Foundation, Land O'Lakes Foundation, and the Minnesota State Arts Board.

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