Hot nights lead to cool music at Northeast State

Published 8:54 am Monday, June 9, 2014

Hot summer nights lead to cool summer concerts, at least they do at Northeast State Community College.
Northeast State Community College presents the “Hot Nights, Cool Music” summer concert series beginning June 12. The series features seven concerts and includes local, regional, and nationally known artists bringing eclectic sounds of music to the stage.
“This is our third annual ‘Hot Nights, Cool Music event,” said Jim Kelly, assistant professor of history and humanities at Northeast State.
Kelly said the concert series is just one way that the college seeks to interact with the community. “Last year we had 117 events,” he said. “We do a lot of events in the community.”
According to Kelly, the diversity of the featured performers is one of the strong points of the concert series. “We have a wide variety of things so it’s not just the same old thing,” he said. “That is what a college campus should be – a place where people are exposed to different things and ideas.”
This years line up features mostly local and regional acts, Kelly said, including one which has historical significance in the music world – the Tri-Cities Shaped-Note Singing Concert.
“Shaped Note singing is a very historic way of singing gospel music,” Kelly said. “It teaches how to sing using sheet music without having to really read the music.”
Participants come from across the country to attend a workshop on shaped not singing which is sponsored by a local church. At the end of the workshop, those who attend perform a concert as part of the college’s summer concert series.
All shows are free and open to the public. All shows are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at the Regional Center for the Performing Arts at the College’s main campus in Blountville next to Tri-Cities Regional Airport.
The concert series features the following performers:
Curt Mathson and the Nostalgia Dance Band, June 12 – A Johnson City-based band playing Americana music at its best. Curt Mathson – piano and vocals – has performed for years as the area’s “One Man Band.” Melanie Glenn, vocals, dance and percussion, trained musically at the Trinity Arts Center. She has been writing and performing music for 7 years. Danny played lead sax in Science Hill High School’s award-winning jazz ensemble. He has performed in several R&B and jazz bands including the renowned Rick Simerly Jazz Ensemble.
Taikoza Japanese Flute and Drum Ensemble, June 26 – The unique International Taiko drums, Bamboo Flutes and Dance Ensemble that will blow your mind with their performance. The ensemble features soulful Shakuhachi music by a world Master accompanied by the powerful and ancestral Taiko drums of Taikoza.
The Beast, July 7 – Beautifully rebellious and refreshingly original, The Beast is one of the most imaginative bands to emerge from North Carolina’s burgeoning music scene. The Durham-based quartet fearlessly navigates worlds of hip hop and jazz with compelling lyrics, progressive compositions and a gripping live show. The Beast developed its sound at UNC-Chapel Hill where pianist Eric Hirsh, drummer Stephen Coffman, and bassist Peter Kimosh studied jazz, while emcee Pierce Freelon developed his lyricism in classrooms and music venues across campus.
The Johnson City Community Band, July 12 – The band is made up of approximately 60 members and associate members who have a diverse background in music. While lineups have changed over the years, one thing however has stayed the same – the band has grown and improved each year in the quality of members and quality of performances.
Rambling Rose Band, July 15 – The Ramblin’ Rose Band is an all-girl, all-family, band in touch with their roots. Ramblin’ Rose features vocalist Loretta Woodson, her two daughters Bayo Chewning and Renee Riddle, and granddaughter Kristin Jenkins on guitar, banjo, fiddle, and bass, respectively. This band of the three generations of gals is not only a rarity, but a testament to the connection of the family. This sublime blend of the vocal-harmonies in the Ramblin’ Rose band is related, literally.
The Frito Puente Band, July 18 – Local jazz aficionados are excited for the return of Frito Puente to stages around the region. After a 2 year relocation to Germany, jazz musician Bill Perkins returned to Johnson City and reunited with his former band mates Sam Burke on bass and Jose Castillo on percussion. Frito Puente’s style spans Latin flavored artists like Santana and Chick Corea, jazz standards from Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Thelonius Monk, and original compositions.
Tri-Cities Shaped-Note Singing Concert, July 24 – Shaped-note singing is an American tradition of hymn-singing that endures today in churches and annual singing schools and conventions. The style began in New England in the 18th century and made its way to the Southern states where it enjoyed popularity through the mid-19th century.
For more information about the summer concerts visit or call 354-5169.

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