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Arts Council programming returns with Fridays in the Park Concert Series at Ashe Park.

Every third Friday, May-August, the outdoor concerts will feature well-known, local and regional musicians. Mark your calendars for May 21, June 18, July 16 and Aug. 20. The concerts are free and start at 7 p.m. The outdoor concerts will have a limited audience and participants must sign up in advance at www.ashecountyarts.org.

The May 21 concert will feature Liam Purcell and Cane Mill Road. Growing up in Deep Gap just down the road from Doc Watson, Purcell leads Cane Mill Road as they rock the traditional bluegrass standards they were raised on, yet boldly write original music with roots in the fertile grounds of bluegrass, old-time and Americana.

Steve Lewis and Bluegrass, Inc. will perform June 18. Lewis will be joined by brothers Eric and Brandon Hardin and Josh Scott. These musicians all call Ashe County home and have performed regionally and nationally. Traditional bluegrass music with nods to old-time, folk, gospel and newer contemporary bluegrass will be part of the repertoire.

The concert on July 16 will feature the Burnett Sisters Band with special guest Colin Ray. Growing up playing music together in Boone, the sisters’ sound has tight vocal harmonies that lend themselves to old-time fiddle music, traditional country and the bluegrass standards. Ray joins the vocals with a smooth tenor sound and plays multiple instruments.

To end the concert series on Aug. 20, Wayne Henderson from Rugby, Va., will bring his musician friends and a surprise guest or two. Henderson specializes in a unique finger-picking style on the guitar and plays a wide range of old-time traditional music. In addition to his reputation as a guitarist, Henderson is a luthier of great renown. He produces about 15-20 instruments a year with a waiting list of some length.

In partnership with Ashe County Parks and Recreation, the Arts Council will be following COVID-19 protocols with a limited audience, therefore the concerts will require registration signups. The concerts will be pod-based and you will be asked to remain inside your designated area. You may have up to six people in your area and your group must be six feet from the next group. Masks are required outside your pod and must be worn when interacting with volunteers and persons outside your group. Pods spots may be chosen upon arrival on a first come, first served basis.

Fridays in the Park Concert Series is supported by the Ashe County Bluegrass and Old-Time Fiddlers Convention and Ashe County Parks and Recreation and is sponsored by the Ashe Civic Center and the Ashe County Arts Council. Registration is available at www.ashecountyarts.org. For more information call (336) 846-2787 or email info@ashecountyarts.org.

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