TRYON — Tryon Fine Arts Center (TFAC) announced its line-up of free musical performances at TFAC’s Peterson Amphitheater this spring.
Compliant with NC Health mandates, and featuring an exciting array of performers and genres of music, this lively outdoor concert series offers a little something for everyone from jazz and poetry to rollicking traditional music to intimate contemporary folk and light-hearted family fare. “Spring Into Summer” is generously supported by TFAC’s sponsors, Parsec, Tryon Estates, an Acts Retirement Life Community, the NC Arts Council, and the Plume Family Foundation.
“TFAC is humbled and grateful for the support we’ve received from our sponsors and patrons,” said Executive Director Marianne Carruth. “We want to celebrate the beginning of our re-opening process and say Thank You to the community by offering these high quality programs for free.”
The series kicks off on Thursday, May 20, with Pretty Little Goat, an acclaimed Western North Carolina grassroots string band with deep roots in the area’s old time music community. Having worked with roster of celebrated local artists, including Jeff Sipe, Steep Canyon Rangers and more, Pretty Little Goat has worked to foster a continued appreciation for authentic string band music through their involvement with JAM (Junior Appalachian Music). They will also be performing an earlier concert at 5:30 p.m. for PacJAM families
Pretty Little Goat shares the bill with internationally celebrated violinist, composer, educator, and arranger Jamie Laval. Hailed as one of North America’s finest practitioners of traditional Scottish music, Emmy-nominated Laval has released four acclaimed albums, played to audiences all over the world, including to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, and as a Tryon resident, a neighbor of TFAC.
On Thursday, May 27, Grammy®-winning musician and producer Quentin E. Baxter will take the stage with Marcus Amaker, current poet laureate of Charleston, South Carolina, for an evening of jazz and poetry. Baxter, a drummer, composer, and producer, who took TFAC virtual audiences on a marvelous journey through jazz with his virtual series earlier this year, has toured worldwide and collaborated with an extraordinary roster of jazz, soul, and R&B performers, including Freddy Cole, Monty Alexander, Houston Person, Marcus Roberts, Donald Byrd, Gregory Hines, Me’Shell NdegéOcello and India.Arie.
Marcus Amaker, Charleston, South Carolina’s first poet laureate, has been considered a renaissance man for his varied talents and interests. An accomplished graphic designer and electronic musician, Amaker has produced poetry that has been adapted for ballet, jazz, modern dance, opera, and theater, and his works are taught in classrooms all over the world. His eighth book, “The Birth of All Things,” is currently available from Free Verse Press.
Asheville-based, singer-songwriter Christopher Paul Stelling plays intimate, Southern- tinged folk music that has been praised by critics and beloved by audiences all across the US. His fifth album, “Best of Luck,” was produced by Ben Harper and released in 2020 by Anti Records. He takes the Peterson Amphitheater stage on Thursday, June 3, at 7:30 p.m.
Closing out the series, Asheville’s Billy Jonas has long been one of the region’s most beloved creators and performers of music that brings people together. He brings to TFAC an evening of his exuberant, witty and warm-hearted music for the young and young at heart, Saturday, June 12, at 10 a.m.
TFAC’s COVID protocols reflect North Carolina mandates and CDC guidelines on masking and social distancing.
“The TFAC Board has measured the amphitheater in order to provide socially distanced seating for groups of up to four people,” Carruth said. “Tickets are free, but online reservations are required as we are limited in our capacity and committed to present an event you can attend with confidence.”
In the case of inclement weather, all performances will move indoors. Plans are currently underway to outfit the TFAC auditorium with technology to keep the air free of contaminates. Seating will be in compliance with state and CDC guidelines.
For tickets and more information about the performers and events, visit www.tryonarts.org.