The University of Kentucky College of Fine Arts

Appalachia In The Bluegrass Traditional Music Series

Appalachia in the Bluegrass & The John Jacob Niles Center For American MusicThe Appalachia in the Bluegrass concert series is generously supported by the John Jacob Niles Center for American Music, the Appalachian Studies Program, and the Appalachian Center of the University of Kentucky.

All concerts are in the Niles Gallery of the Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library just off Rose Street at the University of Kentucky. Concerts are on Fridays at noon and last for one hour. Admission is free and open to the public. Contact for further information.

Current Series

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Nov 17 2017
Photograph of the five members of Relic.

Relic is a Louisville, KY-based band with a sound often summed up by the title track of their debut album “Livin’ in the Past”.  Louisville, once the epicenter of bluegrass music, bears a rich history of bringing the genre right up to the cutting edge. With their songwriting and multi-genre...

Nov 10 2017
A photograph of the four members of the Paw Paw Pickers with their instruments.

The Paw Paw Pickers have been a fixture on the Lexington Old Time Music scene since around 2012, frequently performing at Windy Corner restaurant in Lexington, Wallace Station Grill in Midway, KY, and various private functions, notably the recent Appalachian Food Summit at Holly Hill Inn in...

Nov 3 2017

Julia Weatherford. Growing up in Berea, KY, Julia’s magical youth was aswirl with traditional old time music, handcrafts, folk dancing, baroque ensembles, church choirs. She studied cello from the age of 10, sang in harmony vocal groups, performed and sang in summer theater and...

Oct 27 2017
Image of the three members of Zoe Speaks standing out in a sunset with their instruments.

Zoe Speaks is a trio from the mountains of Kentucky with something to say, and a unique way of saying it. Mitch Barrett, Owen Reynolds, and Carla Gover are all respected musicians in their own rights on the Kentucky music scene, but their musical synergy when they play together prompts fans to...

Oct 20 2017
2012 Rucker

JAMES "SPARKY" RUCKER has been singing songs and telling stories from the American tradition for over fifty years. Sparky performs with his wife, Rhonda Rucker, adding vocals, guitar, banjo, and spoons to their music. They appeared on the Grammy-nominated CD, Singing Through the Hard Times, in...

Oct 13 2017
Black and white photograph of Linda Jean Stokley and Montana Hobbs with their instruments in the woods.

The Local Honeys are comprised of Linda Jean Stokley and Montana Hobbs. Stokley from the rolling hills of the Bluegrass, and Hobbs from the foothills of the Appalachian region have developed a sweet sound of the bluegrass kissing the mountains. 

They have dedicated themselves to the...

Oct 6 2017
Portrait of Brett Ratliff.

Brett Ratliff’s homeplace is Van Lear, Kentucky, the historic coal camp that gave birth to Loretta Lynn.  A musician and community organizer, Ratliff has been an activist for the connection between the arts, foodways, and economic development since graduating from Morehead State University in...

Sep 29 2017
Image of Jennifer Rose standing in a field lightly dusted with snow as more comes down.

Jennifer Rose is a true folk singer who learned her songs as she learned to speak growing up in the small town of Berea, Kentucky. As an educated performer with a degree in vocal music from Berea College, Jennifer unites her heritage with her classical training to give listeners an experience of...

Sep 22 2017
Photograph of Finn Magill in front of an old cabin

Part of the Appalachia in the Bluegrass traditional music series

Multi-instrumentalist, multimedia director and composer “Finn the fiddler” has watched his career surge ever since the 2016 release of his 2-disc concept album Roots & Branches which debuted at #46 on the Folk DJ charts...

Sep 15 2017
Don Pedi 2015

Don Pedi was born into a musical family in Chelsea Massachusetts. On weekends, his grandfather, who died before Don was born, would close his barber shop for business, and open his home in the back as a gathering place for family and friends to share homemade food, fellowship and live music. Don...