Performer Lineup

Sam Bush

Bluegrass / Newgrass

Kentucky-born multi-instrumentalist, Sam Bush, is considered an originator of newgrass music, a progressive form of bluegrass that incorporates a variety of genres. Bush has been awarded several GRAMMY Awards and has been recognized for his lifetime achievements as an instrumentalist by the Americana Music Association and the International Bluegrass Music Association.

Karan Casey

Irish Music & Song

Singing songs charged with a sense of social responsibility in a career spanning over 25 years, Karan Casey draws inspiration from a wide range of sources from the personal to the historical and political, touching on themes of family, loss, love, the empowerment of women and Irish revolutionary struggle. Karan will be joined by Niamh Dunne on fiddle and vocals, and guitarist and accordionist Sean Óg Graham.

QWANQWA

Music of Ethiopia & East Africa

QWANQWA is a supergroup of musicians from Addis Ababa. Brought together by a shared passion for the power of Ethiopian music, this group shines an experimentalism based in the virtuosity of rooted traditions. They draw inspiration from East African regions in and around Ethiopia, delving deep into regional beats and moods that ranges from a trance-like song of the Eritrean tribe of Blen to a Somalian rock number to Mahmoud Ahmed sing-a-longs.

Michael Winograd & The Honorable Mentshn

Jewish Klezmer

Klezmer is the traditional celebratory music of the Eastern European Jewish diaspora. With roots that pre-date the Middle Ages, Klezmer incorporates cantorial melody, ancient folk tunes, Yiddish poetry, Hebraic ritual, and Greek and Ottoman influences. The all-star lineup of Michael Winograd & the Honorable Mentshn is leading a revival of Klezmer into the 21st century. The band—whose name plays on the plural form of the Yiddish approbation “mentsh,” meaning a person of integrity, is the brainchild of Brooklyn clarinet virtuoso and band leader, Michael Winograd.

Kaleta & Super Yamba Band

Afrobeat from West Africa

Kaleta & Super Yamba Band are fronted by Afrobeat and Juju veteran Leon Ligan-Majek a.k.a. Kaleta. The singer/guitarist from the West African country of Benin Republic lived his adolescent life in Lagos, Nigeria where Afrobeat was born. Now based in New York City, Kaleta has been leading Super Yamba Band since 2017. The group’s sound draws on the members’ shared reverence for the raw, psychedelic sounds that captivated Kaleta as a music loving kid in 1970s Benin. Kaleta is the only guitarist on earth to have backed both Fela Kuti & King Sunny Ade and with more than 40 years in afrobeat, he’s a veteran of the genre.

Big Bang Boom

Family Pop / Rock

Big Bang Boom is a pop/rock music group from Greensboro, NC that writes and plays parent-friendly children’s music with a pop sensibility. Led by North Carolina native Chuck Folds, they have toured the US playing performing arts centers, schools, libraries, and children’s museums.

Jeff Little Trio

Blue Ridge Piano

Jeff Little is an award-winning musician from the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. With few exceptions the piano does not play a prominent part in Americana or Appalachian music and is rarely the lead instrument. But Jeff Little is an exception and has not only been recognized as a critically acclaimed musician but also a true music innovator. Jeff is an inductee to the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame and is Artist in Residence for the Popular Music Program at Catawba College in Salisbury, NC. Rounding out the trio with Jeff are Steve Lewis (guitar and banjo) and Luke Little (mandolin).

Symphony Unbound featuring Dori Freeman and the Winston-Salem Symphony String Quintet

Appalachia Music & Song w/ String Quintet

Steeped in the mountain music of Southwest Virginia, Dori Freeman is a multifaceted artist who defies and expands the notions of being a musician from that region – creating her own signature sound through songwriting and performing in a wide variety of musical styles.  Dori will perform with the Winston-Salem Symphony String Quintet as part of their Symphony Unbound series, an initiative to bring music out of the concert hall and into the community, collaborating with musicians from other genres.  This performance of Symphony Unbound with Dori Freeman is co-presented with the Blue Ridge Music Center.

Futurebirds

Indie Rock

Futurebirds carry forward a legacy of bands rooted in the innovative live music scene of Athens, Georgia. Over the course of their career, they have successfully created a unique musical voice that defies any single genre classification. Their signature sound – a blend of rock, country, pop, and Americana (among other styles) – showcases the sonic reverberations of the pedal steel guitar; while their relatable original songs share tales from everyday life at home and on the road.

Black Opry Revue featuring Joy Clark, Autumn Nicholas, Tae Lewis, Chris Pierce, and Aaron Vance

Country

Black Opry is a home for and collective of Black artists and Black fans of Country, Blues, folk, and Americana music. Country music has been made and loved by Black people since its conception. For just as long, Black artists have been overlooked and disregarded in Country music by fans and executives. Black Opry seeks to change that – inviting audiences to discover, support, and enjoy the Black artists that make magic in this musical space. One of the most valuable aspects of Country music is its versatility and diversity in sound. Country, Blues, folk, and Americana music often overlap and weave together; these artists explore all of those sounds and intersections. Black Opry Revue will feature 5 unique voices on stage together in a songwriter-in-the-round format, as well as in solo performances shining a light on each individual artist.

BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet

Cajun

For the past 40 years, BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet has been making some of the most potent and popular Cajun music on the planet. Born out of the rich Acadian ancestry of its members, and created and driven by bandleader Michael Doucet, BeauSoleil is notorious for bringing even the most staid audience to its feet. Their distinctive sound derives from the distilled spirits of New Orleans jazz, blues rock, folk, swamp pop, Zydeco, country and bluegrass, captivating listeners from the Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans to Carnegie Hall.

Since becoming the first Cajun band to win a GRAMMY with “L’amour Ou La Folie” and then a second GRAMMY in 2010, “Live at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival”, BeauSoleil has garnered many accolades, including twelve GRAMMY nominations. They are regular guests on Garrison Keillor’s NPR show “A Prairie Home Companion,” where Keillor has dubbed them as “the best Cajun band in the world,” and their music is so integral to the Cajun culture that they have been featured on the New Orleans–based hit HBO program Treme.

In 2005, Michael Doucet was recognized for his lifetime achievements as a performer, composer, and bandleader by the National Endowment for the Arts with the National Heritage Fellowship – the highest honor awarded by our nation to folk and traditional artists.

The Rumble

Mardi Gras Indian Funk from New Orleans

The Rumble feat. Chief Joseph Boudreaux Jr. is New Orleans’ premier Mardi Gras Indian Funk ensemble, representing the legacy and preservation of NOLA music and Black masking culture. Through their authentic Big Easy brass sound fused with deep Funk and Black masking street culture, The Rumble gives audiences a full-on New Orleans experience.

The group was created in 2021 by seven members of multi-Grammy-nominated band Cha Wa. After its mass exodus, the collective vowed to both preserve and further its musical vision that blends New Orleans culture from past, present and future. Fronted by Second Chief Joseph Boudreaux Jr. of the legendary Golden Eagles Indian Tribe, The Rumble boasts some of the next generation’s most prolific artists.

The Rumble continues the legacy of Mardi Gras Indian funk, which was pioneered in part by Boudreaux’s father Big Chief Monk Boudreaux with the Wild Magnolias. The younger Boudreaux is a Grammy-nominated singer himself and a well respected leader of the Black Masking Indian community.

Soultriii

Soul, R&B

Rooted in Greensboro, NC, Soultriii (pronounced “sultry”) transcends any single genre. Through their vocal harmonies, they express deep desire and soul; their instrumentation is imbued with influences from several styles of music including R&B, Neo-Soul, Pop, and Rock, among others.

The Secret Agency

Family Soul & Hip-Hop

Combining the positive, primal power of hip-hop with the surreal storytelling of science fiction, The Secret Agency concocts a potent potion that wows family crowds across the planet.

Led by GRAMMY award-winning 23 Skidoo, the ingredients of the group’s magic spells include reverence for the boundless mind-states of young children, respect for the culture and DNA of hip-hop, funk, and soul music, and a deep belief in the power of the imagination to change the world in positive ways, both personal and universal.

If you can imagine a band with Jim Henson on guitar, Shel Silverstein on bass and PIXAR as the lead vocalist, you’ve pretty much got it. And if George Clinton and Q Tip stopped by the party, that might clarify things even more. Basically, if Dr. Seuss and Dr. Dre had a baby, it would be the music of Secret Agent 23 Skidoo. Nuff said.