WILLIAMSBURG — Music will be in the air this June with the announcement that the Virginia Arts Festival is bringing back Williamsburg Live!.
Over three starlit nights, the festival will include musical performances by musical artists who have left their marks in the industry.
Friday, June 18, 7:30 PM
Chris Thile started playing the mandolin at five years old and got his first Grammy nomination at just 15; he has since won four Grammys along with a MacArthur “Genius” Grant. From his early days with the bluegrass band Nickel Creek and his groundbreaking explorations with the Punch Brothers, he has leapt across genres from Americana and folk to jazz, classical, and boundary-busting creations of his own. His brilliant collaborations with Béla Fleck, Edgar Meyer, Mark O’Connor, The Chicks, Dolly Parton, Dierks Bentley, Sarah Jarosz, Yo-Yo Ma and more have sent critics scrambling for superlatives. The New York Times dubbed Thile “a superstar;” from his transcriptions of Bach’s partitas for solo violin, bluegrass standards, arrangements of pop songs to his own dazzling compositions, “the music flies by in one joyous arc.”
Saturday, June 19, 7:30 PM
Leyla McCalla finds inspiration from her past and present, from her Haitian heritage, to living in New Orleans, to growing up on the streets in Brooklyn, this bilingual multi-instrumentalist and singer creates a distinctive sound that reflects the union of her roots and experience. She rose to fame during her two years as cellist of the Grammy-win-
ning African-American string band, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, alongside bandmates Rhiannon Giddens and Dom Flemons, before leaving the group in 2013 to pursue her solo career. She collaborated with Giddens, Amythyst Kiah and Allison Russell on Songs of Our Native Daughters, a stunning reinvention of slave narratives. Deeply researched, beautifully performed, McCalla’s “magnificently transparent music holds
tidings of family, memory, solitude…her voice is disarmingly natural, and her settings are elegantly succinct.” (The New York Times)
The Lone Bellow
Sunday, June 20, 7:30 PM
When this “Nashville by way of Brooklyn” band released their first album in 2013, fans signed on and critics sang their praises; People Magazine placed it in their Top 10 Albums of the year, along with many other publications, and Entertainment Weekly called it “one of the top reasons to love country music.” The Americana Music Award-winning group released their latest album Half Moon Light in 2020 to rave reviews; NPR said, “The Lone Bellow makes music that feels like it’s welcoming you in – like the band members are opening their arms and inviting you to join their family with sing-along choruses, hand-clapping rhythms and melodies that somehow sound familiar even on a first listen.” Settle in for this Sunday night show and savor “songs that are meant to comfort and bring light.”
The Virginia Arts Festival holds the safety of patrons, artists, staff and volunteers as its highest priority. COVID-19 safety precautions will be followed strictly throughout Williamsburg Live!. Precautions include socially distanced seating through designated spaces throughout the lawn. Patrons will be required to wear face masks and Williamsburg Live!/Virginia Arts Festival staff and volunteers will also be wearing face masks throughout the event.
Guests are encouraged to bring their own blankets or low-profile lawn chairs. Parking will be available at the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center, 101 Visitor Center Drive, and patrons are asked to either follow the Williamsburg Live! signs or take the Colonial Williamsburg buses to the historic area.
For more information, visit the website for Williamsburg Live! by clicking here.
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