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Jeff Little Trio & New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters at Blue Ridge Music Center July 4

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New Ballards Branch BogtrottersGalax, VA -- To celebrate the Fourth of July weekend, the Blue Ridge Music Center is welcoming The Jeff Little Trio and New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters to the amphitheater stage on Saturday, July 4, at 7 p.m., for a Holiday Dance Party. A special banjo exhibit will be featured daily. During the concert, The Galax Smokehouse will be on site serving its signature barbecue, down-home sides, drinks, and desserts.

Like Doc Watson, who famously adapted traditional fiddle tunes to the guitar, Jeff Little has adapted those tunes to the upright piano. “His distinctive style, much influenced by the flat-picking guitar tradition, is breathtaking in its speed, precision and clarity,” according to the National Council for the Traditional Arts. The trio also features two-time national banjo champion and flat-picking aficionado Steve Lewis. He has traveled across much of the United States performing and winning contests at RenoFest, Galax Old Fiddler’s Convention, MerleFest, and the Walnut Valley Festival. He currently holds the title of Walnut Valley National Bluegrass Banjo Champion, and placed second in the guitar competition. Upright bass master Josh Scott rounds out the group.

About 25 years ago, a group of talented musicians from the Galax, Virginia, area formed the New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters, taking their name, in part, from the original Bogtrotters of the 1930s. The original group won the first fiddlers convention in Galax, setting a high standard for musicians to come. The New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters play in the traditional Appalachian string-band style, often performing at square dances across the region. Today, the band comprised of Eddie Bond (fiddle & vocals), Dennis Hall (guitar), Jesse Morris (bass), Leon Frost (mandolin & vocals), and Josh Ellis (banjo) remains a driving force in carrying on the traditional music of Virginia and the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Jeff Little Trio + New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters takes place Saturday, July 4, 7 p.m. at the Blue Ridge Music Center, 700 Foothills Road, Galax, Virginia; Milepost 213 - Blue Ridge Parkway. Admission is just $10 and free for children 12 and younger. Tickets are available through www.BlueRidgeMusicCenter.org or by calling the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation office at (866) 308-2773, ext. 245. Purchase in person at The Blue Ridge Music Center, Galax Visitors Center, and Barr’s Fiddle Shop in Galax, Virginia.

The Music Center will also be featuring an exhibit, Banjos: From Africa to the New World, is on display in the Luthier’s Shop at the Music Center through July 13. This collection of 23 instruments, mostly reproductions crafted by Bob Thornburg, illustrates much of the history of this intriguing instrument. The exhibit is open daily from 12 to 4 p.m. and Thornburg is on-hand to offer insight on his work and the instrument’s history.

The Blue Ridge Music Center is one of the major attractions along the Blue Ridge Parkway and includes a state-of-the-art performing arts facility built to preserve and promote the historic music of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Blue Ridge region has produced more old-time and bluegrass musicians per capita than any other region and serves as the epicenter of many of America’s living music traditions. The Music Center is operated by the National Park Service, and the programming is coordinated through a partnership with the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. The Blue Ridge Music Center is a major venue of The Crooked Road: Virginia's Heritage Music Trail and a partner venue of the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina. www.BlueRidgeMusicCenter.org

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