CHARLESTON, W.Va. — FestivALL Charleston 2015’s alternative music concert, Festiv-ALT, returns as a free event in a new venue, Haddad Riverfront Park, FestivALL co-director Larry Groce announced today.
The Saturday, June 20, event features Virginia Appalachian roots quartet The Steel Wheels at 9 p.m. preceded at 7:30 p.m. by Oklahoma native Parker Millsap, a 2014 nominee for the Americana Music Association’s Emerging Artist of the Year.
The Steel Wheels have built a strong following among folk roots music fans and host one of the best festivals in the country, the “Redwing Roots Music Festival” in Virginia. Americana Roots describes them as“a blend of the passion of the Avett Brothers, the instrumentals of Old Crow Medicine Show, and…the backwoods feel of The Legendary Shack Shakers.”
National Public Radio’s Ann Powers noted Parker Millsap’s vocal chops include yodeling and belting out authentic soul and added, “I wasn’t prepared for the wild, vast power of his voice and his remarkable charisma.” At 21, he’s already been noticed by publications including The Wall Street Journal, performed on the Grand Ole Opry and been tapped by many of the best festivals in the country.
“We’re pleased to be able to offer Festiv-ALT as a free event this year, thanks to the support of Bud Light,” Groce said. “Come down to Haddad Riverfront Park for a night of good music and food. Local and regional craft beers also will be available. In fact, you can start Friday night with Zac Deputy at Live on the Levee and enjoy more music during the day Saturday at Smoke on the Water Chili Cookoff. It’s a great free music weekend!”
More information is available on the Festiv-ALT website, www.festiv-alt.com. For information on the performers, visit http://www.parkermillsap.com and www.steelwheelsband.com.
Also today, Groce and co-director Brittany Javins announced newly added FestivALL events and details for others. FestivALL, Charleston’s celebration of music, dance, visual and performing arts, is scheduled for June 19-28.
New events include:
* Weird, Wild & Wonderful: Ann Magnuson presents An Evening of SurRURALism
“We’re excited to announce a very special event with Charleston native Ann Magnuson,” Groce said.
“She will bring her latest show, which celebrates her West Virginia roots as only Ann can do, to the Clay Center’s Walker Theater on Tuesday, June 23. This will be a one-of-a-kind evening that any lover of theatre and the eccentricities of the Mountain State will enjoy.”
The actress, singer and performance artist also will also offer a sneak video peek of her upcoming Web series, “Ann Magnuson’s Dream Puppet Theater.” Tickets to the 8 p.m. event are $25, will be available through the Clay Center’s website, www.theclaycenter.org, or by calling 304-561-3570. They will also be available at Taylor Books.
* “What is Dance?” a presentation to benefit Heartwood in the Hills, the school founded and run by dancer — and FestivALL princess –Jude Binder. The 6 p.m. show on Monday, June 22, features songs and dances from around the world. Musicians Ron Sowell, Michael Lipton and Ammed Solomon will join dancers from Heartwood in the Hills for a family-friendly show at The Woman’s Club of Charleston. Tickets are $20, which includes admission for one adult and one child. Additional children are $5. Tickets are available at Taylor Books, The Charleston Ballet, River City Youth Ballet Ensemble, Backstage Bodywear and from Heartwood board members.
* The brand-new FestivALL Recital Series — Short, Sweet & Historic.
“This is a great way to take in a series of short classical concerts at some of the city’s most historic venues and have a fantastic dessert at the same time” Groce said. Five concerts, each lasting about 50 minutes, will be presented by small ensembles of the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra and friends on five days from Monday, June 22, to Friday, June 26, and each will be topped off with treats from local bakers and ice cream makers. Performers will be Pam and Matthew Murchison (flute and tuba), the Hillside Brass Quintet with David Porter, Mariel van Dalsum, Robert Turizziani and Vicki Cavendish (voice, clarinet and piano), Saudade (Sandra Groce, viola, and Ryan Kennedy, guitar) and Anton and Irina Shelepov (violin duo).
Locations are the Glenwood Mansion, the MacFarland-Hubbard House, the Craik-Patton House, the Woman’s Club of Charleston and the Sunrise Mansion. Desserts will be furnished by Sugar Pie Bakery, Ellen’s Homeade Ice Cream, Starlings, Sarah’s Bakery and Charleston Bread. Tickets for the series are $55 and will be limited to about 50 per show because of venue limitations. Individual tickets will be available only for the Tuesday and Wednesday events at a cost of $15 each at the door only. Series tickets are available at Taylor Books.
Meanwhile, Groce noted that tickets already are on sale for previously announced events such as The Mayor’s Concert at the Clay Center, this year featuring New Orleans band Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, scheduled for 8 p.m. Thursday, June 25. Tickets are $15 to $45, available at the Clay Center.
Tickets also are available for the Dance Gala, a midweek offering scheduled for 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 24, at the state Culture Center and featuring the Chicago Tap Theater along with dancers from the Charleston Ballet and the River City Youth Ballet Ensemble. Tickets are $20 and are available at the Clay Center, Taylor Books, Charleston Ballet, the River City Youth Ballet Ensemble and Back Street Bodywear.
Author, actor and humorist John Hodgman’s appearance has been scheduled for 8 p.m. Monday, June 22 at the Culture Center Theater. Hodgman is perhaps best known for his appearance as a correspondent on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”
Tickets for his show are $30, available at bit.ly/hodgman.festivall and Taylor Books.
“FestivALL works to incorporate events for all ages, especially families,” Groce said. “Performances by the Cashore Marionettes really fit that bill. You can check out Joseph Cashore’s work on his website (http://www.cashoremarionettes.com/) to see how detailed his puppets are. Adults will appreciate the artistry while kids will just enjoy the magical movements. By all the reviews and reports we have heard, this is a very special show.”
The Cashore Marionettes, presented by DiTrapano Barrett & DiPiero, PLLC, have scheduled two performances on Saturday, June 20, at the Clay Center. The 2 p.m. show, “Simple Gifts,” is designed for the younger set and the 7:30 p.m. show, “Life in Motion,” is designed more for children 12 and older, though both are family friendly. Each show lasts about 90 minutes and is performed on the Clay Center’s main stage with the orchestra pit raised for a more intimate setting. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and students and $10 for children 12 and younger, available through the Clay Center and Taylor Books.
Groce also announced the addition of singer-songwriter Joan Osborne to the lineup of the June 28 live Mountain Stage show at the state Culture Center featuring Chris Stapleton.
“This show already is nearly sold out,” said Groce, who also hosts Mountain Stage.
Friends of FestivALL may purchase tickets to the Cashore Marionettes, Ann Magnuson, John Hodgman, the FestivALL Recital Series and “What is Dance?” starting May 1. The general public may purchase tickets starting May 5.
Tickets are also on sale to The Charleston Light Opera Guild’s La Cage Aux Folles at www.charlestonlightoperaguild.org; Fund for the Arts’ Blues, Brews, & BBQ and Wine & All That Jazz at www.fundfortheartswv.org; Charleston Harmony’s “Celebrate WV” at www.kordsmen.org; and more. (Friends of FestivALL benefits to these events.)
Visit FestivALL’s website, www.festivallcharleston.com, for more complete event and ticketing information.