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Yadkin Arts Council
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The Blue Ridge Music Center
700 Foothills Rd
Galax, VA 24333
Milepost 213 on
The Blue Ridge Parkway

Music Center Info Call:
(276) 236-5309
Concert & Ticket Info Call:
(866) 308-2773 x 212

info@blueridgemusiccenter.org

2020 Hours of Operation:

Open Thurs.-Mon., May 1-18
Open daily, May 21 - Nov 1
10 a.m. - 5 p.m

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Women in Bluegrass & American Roots Music

Abigail Washburn & Wu Fei 
and Wayne Henderson

Saturday, September 5th @ 7:00 PM

$30 advance / $35 day of show

Abigail Washburn and Wu Fei

Abigail Washburn and Wu Fei

Wu Fei and Abigail Washburn have just announced their self-titled debut collaborative album, out April 3 on Smithsonian Folkways. Their work together is a testament to the connective power of music across seemingly disparate cultures. Merging American old-time music and Chinese folksong, Wu Fei & Abigail Washburn features gorgeous, impressionistic renditions of traditional material from the hills of Appalachia to the prairies of Xinjian province, each tune flowing seamlessly into the next. The effervescent resonances of Wu’s guzheng zither dance around GRAMMY-winner Washburn’s expressive banjo playing, their voices intertwining English and various Chinese dialects. This album recasts “world music” as music of our shared world, highlighting our shared humanity and the transformative power of song.

One fateful day 11 years ago, Abigail Washburn was miraculously offered a record deal in the halls of a bluegrass convention in Kentucky which changed her trajectory from becoming a lawyer in China to a traveling folk musician. Since then, Abigail has been recording and touring a continuous stream of music. Her music ranges from the "all-g'earl" string band sound of Uncle Earl to her bi-lingual solo release Song of the Traveling Daughter (2005), to the mind-bending "chamber roots" sound of the Sparrow Quartet, to the rhythms, sounds and stories of Afterquake, her fundraiser CD for the Sichuan earthquake victims. The New York Times praised her 2011 release, City of Refuge, written with collaborator Kai Welch, saying the the songs "mingle Appalachia and folk-pop, with tinges of Asia and Bruce Springsteen." Her most recent release, Echo in the Valley (2017), was recorded with her husband, 15-time Grammy award winning banjo virtuoso, Béla Fleck. Echo in the Valley is the follow up to Béla and Abigail’s acclaimed, self-titled debut that earned the 2016 Grammy for Best Folk Album.

Having toured the world, Washburn is also armed with Chinese language ability and profound connections to culture and people on the other side of the Pacific. Washburn is one of the few foreign artists currently touring China independently and regularly. She completed a month-long tour (Nov-Dec 2011) of China's Silk Road supported by grants from the US Embassy, Beijing. Abigail, along with 24 other innovative and creative thinkers worldwide, was named a TED fellow and gave a talk at the 2012 TED Convention in Long Beach about building US-China relations through music. In March of 2013, she was commissioned by New York Voices and the NY Public Theater to write and debut a theatrical work titled, Post-American Girl, which draws from her 17-year relationship with China and addresses themes of expanding identity, cultural relativism, pilgrimage, the universal appeal of music and opening the heart big enough to fold it all in. Abigail was recently named the first US-China Fellow at Vanderbilt University, in addition to Carolina Performing Arts/Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's DisTil Fellow for 2018-2020. Her efforts to share US music in China and Chinese music in the US exist within a hope that cultural understanding and the communal experience of beauty and sound rooted in tradition will lead the way to a richer existence.

abigailwashburn.com

Wu Fei is a native of Beijing and a current Nashville resident. She is a classically trained composer, master of the guzheng — the 21-string Chinese zither, and a vocalist. She plays in the guzheng's vernacular — a musical language which is at least 2,000 years old, and mixes Western classical and Chinese traditions with a contemporary, idiosyncratic sound. Her early music education was at the China Conservatory of Music, but did her Master's at Mills College and later immersed herself in the New York downtown improvisation scene at venues like The Stone, where Fei has frequently performed and curated.

Wu Fei composes for choir, string quartet, chamber ensemble, Balinese gamelan, and orchestra; her commissions range from a composition for Percussions Claviers de Lyon that premiered in the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing to live performances in Paris and Tokyo for luxury brand Hermès.

In addition to her own original compositions, Fei has collaborated with many artists of different disciplines and genres ranging from Béla Fleck, Abigail Washburn, Billy Martin (Medeski-Martin-Wood) to avant garde composers John Zorn and Fred Frith. She has taken her guzheng and music around the world.

wufeimusic.com

Wayne Henderson

Abigail Washburn and Wu Fei

Wayne Henderson is a National Heritage Award recipient honored for his craftsmanship as a luthier and his renowned finger-style Appalachian guitar playing. His lightning fast, articulate playing style was influenced by the late Doc Watson and E.C. Ball, who were both close friends. He has won more awards at the Old Fiddlers’ Convention in Galax, Virginia, than any other competitor in its 77-year history.