DateSaturday, September 5, 2020 - 7:00pm
This musical pairing is a natural extension of Abigail Washburn and Wu Fei’s cross-cultural musical explorations. Washburn is an Illinois-born, Nashville-based singer-songwriter and clawhammer banjo player. Fluent in Mandarin, she has a profound connection to the culture and people on the other side of the Pacific. By sharing U.S. music in China, and Chinese music in the U.S., she hopes to foster a cultural understanding and richer existence with sounds that are rooted in tradition. Combining elements of American folk music with far-flung sounds, the results feel both strangely familiar and unlike anything heard before.
Wu Fei is a native of Beijing and resident of Nashville. She is a vocalist, classically trained composer, and master of the guzheng, a 21-string Chinese zither. She mixes Western classical and Chinese traditions with a contemporary, idiosyncratic sound. In addition to her original compositions, Fei has taken her music around the world, collaborating with artists of different disciplines and genres ranging from Béla Fleck and Billy Martin to avant garde composers John Zorn and Fred Frith.
Wu Fei & Abigail Washburn will release a self-titled debut collaborative album on 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.
Tickets are $30 advance, $35 day of show, $15 for children ages 3 to 12. Season passes are also available.
Since 2013, the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation has supported musical programming at the Blue Ridge Music Center to help preserve the cultural heritage of the mountains.