• May 25, 2024
  • Rydr
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ROXBURY — A trio featuring Jake Blount, Nic Gareiss and Sammy Wetstein will kick off the 2024 performance series at Roxbury Roxbury Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Saturday May 25.
According to a media release, they will blend their scholarship, identity and performance practice to draw old time music traditions into a fuller and brighter future.
Blount, from Providence, Rhode Island, is a singer and multi-instrumentalist. His recent Smithsonian Folkways release, The New Faith, is an Afrofuturist exploration of American folk music and merges centuries-old traditional songs with modern genres like hip hop.
Blount’s work is reported to have made significant contributions to American roots music by recovering and restoring the music of black and indigenous artists that were purposely segregated and erased by white record labels in the past. He then produces original music through his own gender-queer and afro-futurist lens- providing a joyous and sonorous healing of the historic record. A winner of the 2021 Steve Martin Banjo Prize and a Smithsonian Folkways recording artist, American Songwriter has dubbed him the “King of Roots.”
Percussive dancer Gareiss from Lansing, Michigan, was named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch,” and has been hailed by the New York Times for their “dexterous melding of Irish and Appalachian dance.” His performances are often curated to call attention to what we would now call gender queer themes hidden within traditional song and dance. In 2020, Gareiss received the Michigan Heritage Award, the highest honor his home state bestows on traditional artists.
Boston’s Sammy Wetstein is a musician who infuses folk and jazz music with improvisational creativity. He has performed at the Newport Folk Festival, Shalin Liu Performance Center, and International Bluegrass Music Association conference.
He is a student at Berklee College of Music focusing on jazz and roots cello performance.
The evening is being promoted as a celebration of rhythms and the deepest roots of American music along with vibrant synergy, deft movements and stories.
Roxbury Arts Center at 5025 Vega Mountain Road in Roxbury.
Ticket prices are varied and may be reserved at roxburyartsgroup.org or by calling 607-326-7908.

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