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The Roan Mountain Suite: The Kruger Brothers with The Kontras Quartet

October 15, 2016 | 7:30 pm
Paramount Bristol
(423) 274-8920 | MAP | WEBSITE

CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKETS! Theme: A suite inspired by the Roan Mountain Massif: a treasured landscape.

A 50th Anniversary Gala celebration of the inaugural citizen meeting to conserve the Highlands of Roan, and the premiere of the Roan Mountain Suite by The Kruger Brothers.

Presented by Judy Murray, and dedicated to the memory of Stanley A. Murray, 1923-1990.

“Roan Mountain resonates in a deep and personal way with all those who visit it, and by the same token, the Kruger Brothers’ music reaches into the hearts and souls of its listeners in profound and stirring ways,” — Judy Murray.

STANLEY A. MURRAY AND ROAN MOUNTAIN — Straddling the border of TN and NC, the Roan Mountain Massif rises above farms and villages of the valley below. Often referred to as the "Crown Jewel" of the Southern Appalachians, these 25,000 acres of ancient mountain peaks are renowned for their magnificent beauty and extraordinary ecological diversity. The Appalachian Trail runs along the crest for more than 20 miles. In 1966, then-Chairman of the Appalachian Trail Conference, Stan Murray, convened a group of people in Johnson City, to initiate planning for the conservation of the Roan Mountain Massif. The seed sown at that meeting grew into the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy which has since conserved more than 65,000 acres in TN and NC. The Highlands of Roan remains its flagship project. Through his leadership, and the dedication of countless volunteers, Stan steered the Appalachian Trail—and the Highlands of Roan—into protection in perpetuity.

The Kruger Brothers have become world renowned for their unique classically-infused folk/acoustic music. On October 15th in Bristol, TN, the trio will perform the worldwide premiere of an original work, commissioned to honor the region, history and legacy of Tennessee’s Roan Mountain. The Kruger Brothers will be joined by The Kontras Quartet for this very special performance at The Paramount Bristol.

The Roan Mountain Suite is a vibrant new example of Jens Kruger’s brilliant ability to enlist the illustrative power of music to tell a story in eloquent detail. While Jens plays in a melodic style that has roots in bluegrass, his music is distinguished by long, melodic passages and a complex compositional foundation, often building on jazz or classical themes and techniques.

Jens Kruger is currently nominated for the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Banjo Player of the Year Award for 2016. He was awarded the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass Music in 2013, the fourth recipient of this prestigious honor. Jens is known for his innovative banjo composition and performance, integrating folk music with European classical music. Jens was inducted into the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame in 2011.

Originally from Switzerland, Jens Kruger began playing North American folk music at an early age and was particularly inspired by recordings of Doc Watson, Flatt and Scruggs, Bill Monroe, and other progenitors of country, bluegrass and folk music. He writes the music for all of The Kruger Brothers’ original tunes, collaborating with brother, Uwe Kruger, for insightful and stirring lyrics that complement the music. In 2006, Jens began his official venture into the themes and forms of classical music when he was commissioned to write Music from the Spring for banjo, guitar, bass and full symphonic orchestra. Jens has since received four commissions to write classical pieces which The Kruger Brothers have performed with various orchestral ensembles: Appalachian Concerto with string quartet; Spirit of the Rockies (commissioned by Canada’s iconic Banff Center) with a small orchestra; Lucid Dreamer, a chamber music piece written specifically for and commissioned by the Kontras Quartet; and now, the Roan Mountain Suite.

“Music is an enhancer,” Jens Kruger says. “For instance, you can look a landscape and the right music enhances the emotion you have for that imagery. Music also shapes, to a certain degree, your perception of the landscape.”