A spin-off of the Clifton Roots, Jazz, and Heritage Festival held at the Clifton Center last year, Butchertown Roots continues the quest to bring the best in roots, jazz, and world music to Louisville audiences.
Featuring five Grammy nominees, a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Award recipient, and a MacArthur Foundation genius grant award winner,Butchertown Roots welcomes internationally renowned performers, as well as several of Louisville’s most celebrated local artists. Both concerts will be held at Louisville’s most exciting new venue, Odeon, located at 1335 Story Avenue in Louisville’s Butchertown neighborhood.
Masters of the infectious Brazilian music known as “Choro”, Trio Brasileiro, will kick off the festival on Saturday, September 15th at 8:00 pm. Recipients of a 2017 Grammy nomination for Best World Music Album for their recording with clarinetist Anat Cohen, Rosa dos Ventos, the Trio includes world-renowned guitarist Douglas Lora, mandolin virtuoso Dudu Maia, and percussionist Alexandre Lora, and is regarded as one of the world’s leading exponents ofChoro, a musical style that has been described by some as a Brazilian cross between bluegrass and ragtime. With heart-wrenching harmonies and blazing virtuosity, Trio Brasileiro has brought crowds to their feet in concert tours throughout the U.S., South America, and Europe.
Butchertown Roots continues Sunday, September 16 with True Blues, an inspiring evening of music and conversation with legendary blues artists Corey Harris and Phil Wiggins. Harris, the phenomenal blues guitarist and singer who was a featured artist and narrator of Martin Scorcese’s 2003 documentary, “Feel Like Going Home”, which traced the evolution of the blues from West Africa to the southern U.S., will be joined by legendary blues harmonica virtuoso Phil Wiggins. Wiggins was recently awarded a National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts in honor of his many accomplishments, which included a 32-year stint as a member of one of the most famous duos in blues history, Cephas & Wiggins.
Tickets for the events are $22 in advance for a single day ticket to either concert ($25 at the door) or $40 in advance for the two-day pass ($45 at the door). Tickets may be purchased online through Louisville Tickets at louisvilletickets.com.
Outreach Program for Young People
In addition to the concert performances, blues artists Harris and Wiggins will conduct a free outreach workshop for young people on Sunday, September 16 at noon. The outreach program
is made possible with support from AMPED, a free youth music program that provides a safe environment for Louisville’s young minds to explore their creativity through the power of music.
Butchertown Roots is presented by HiteHarris Artists, the production company and artist management agency founded by former Clifton Center director John Harris.
About the Artists
Formed in 2011, Trio Brasileiro quickly made a name for itself as an ensemble worthy of international attention. And, after four recordings and successful tours through Europe and North and South America, they are receiving more than their share of it. Among the many accolades, their 2017 recording with the brilliant Israeli clarinetist Anat Cohen, Rosa Dos Ventos, was nominated for a Grammy for Best World Music Album, and was named one of the top twenty jazz recordings of the year in the Downbeat Readers’ Poll.
Trio Brasileiro’s stunning virtuosity is matched with remarkable musicianship and a deep devotion to the language of music to achieve a compelling sound that shares equal parts understated subtlety and bone deep groove. But it is their love of the traditional music of Brazil and the connection between brothers – by birth and by bonds of friendship – that create a very rare and profound beauty.
Half of the highly regarded Brazilian Choro ensemble, Caraivana, Trio Brasileiro includes the celebrated guitarist and full time member of the award-winning Brasil Guitar Duo, Douglas Lora; one of Brazil’s finest mandolin virtuosos, Dudu Maia; and the master of Brazilian percussion and Hand Pan virtuoso, Alexandre Lora.
Trio Brasileiro is dedicated to performing the great traditional choro music of Brasil by Jacob do Bandolim, Ernesto Nazareth and others, as well as their own compositions, which are modern reflections of that great traditional musical form.
Trio Brasileiro’s recordings include Simples Assim (2012); Camino do Meio (2015); and Alegria Da Casa (2016) and Rosa Dos Ventos (2017), both of which feature Israeli clarinetist Anat Cohen.
Corey Harris is a guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and band leader who has carved out his own niche in blues. A powerful singer and accomplished guitarist, he has appeared at venues throughout the North America, Europe, Brazil, The Caribbean, West Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
He began his career as a New Orleans street singer, travelling throughout the southern U.S. In his early twenties he lived in Cameroon, West Africa for a year, which had a profound effect on his later work. He has recorded many old songs of the blues tradition while also creating an original vision of the blues by adding influences from reggae, soul, rock and West African music.
His 1995 recording, Between Midnight and Day, is a tribute to the tradition of acoustic blues. Subsequent recordings, such as Greens From the Garden (1999), Mississippi to Mali (2003), and Daily Bread (2005) show Harris’ maturation from interpreter to songwriter. Some of his imaginative compositions are marked by a deliberate eclecticism; other works stay true to the traditional blues formula of compelling vocals and down-home guitar. With one foot in tradition and the other in contemporary experimentation, Harris is a truly unique voice in contemporary music.
He has performed, recorded, and toured with many of the top names in music such as BB King, Taj Mahal, Buddy Guy, R.L.Burnside, Ali Farka Toure, Dave Matthews Band, Tracy Chapman, Olu Dara, Wilco, and others. His additional recordings include Fish Ain’t Bitin’ (1996), Vu-Du Menz (with Henry Butler, 2000), Downhome Sophisticate (2002), Zion Crossroads (2007), and blu black (2010).
In 2003 Harris was a featured artist and narrator of the Martin Scorcese film, “Feel Like Going Home,” which traced the evolution of blues from West Africa to the southern U.S. In 2007, he was awarded a $500,000 MacArthur Fellowship — commonly referred to as a “genius award” — from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Phil Wiggins is a versatile traditional harmonica player, continuing the Piedmont blues tradition, a gentle and melodic blues style of the mid-Atlantic region. He plays the diatonic ten-hole harmonica in the country blues style, cupping both hands around the instrument and playing acoustically. His sound is not shaped by the gear, the microphone or amplifier when performing on stage, instead by his complex syncopated patterns, breath-control and rhythm, stylistic virtuosity and fiery solo runs.
As a teenager living in Washington D.C. in the 1970s, he played at the Smithsonian National Folklife Festival with street singer Flora Molton, sitting in with blues greats Johnny Shines, Sunnyland Slim, Sam Chatmon, Robert Belfour and Howard Armstrong. By the time he graduated from high school in 1973, D.C. blues elders John Jackson, John Cephas and Archie Edwards had embraced him. He joined the Barrelhouse Rockers, a band fronted by pianist and singer Wilbert “Big Chief” Ellis, where John Cephas played guitar. They toured regionally until Ellis retired in 1977, when John Cephas invited him to join in the duo ‘Cephas & Wiggins’.
With John Cephas as guitarist and primary singer, the duo performed together for 32 years as internationally renowned stars of the country blues, and a staple on blues radio, ever present on the concert and festival circuit – all with the help of National Council for Traditional Arts director Joe Wilson. Cephas & Wiggins played Carnegie Hall, Royal Prince Albert Hall in London and the Sydney Opera House, as well as small venues worldwide, touring every continent except Antarctica. They recorded more than a dozen critically acclaimed albums, including on Flying Fish and Alligator Records, winning the prestigious W.C. Handy Blues Award in 1984 for Best Traditional Album of the Year and in 1987 as Entertainers of the Year.