The Jeff Little Trio will appear at the Blue Ridge Music Center with Wayne Henderson & Herb Key opening the show at 7 p.m., Saturday, September 4.
The concert will be held in the outdoor amphitheater at the base of Fisher Peak. The Music Center is at milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Drawing from various musical genres, including bluegrass, blues, honky-tonk, jazz, and rock and roll, Jeff Little has dubbed his playing as Blue Ridge piano. His distinctive two-handed style, influenced by the flat-picked guitar traditions of the mountains, brings the piano to the forefront of the music as the lead rather than backup.
Steve Lewis, a member of trio, is an award-winning guitar and banjo player from Todd, N.C. He is well-respected throughout the country for his flat-picking guitar and mastery of the five-string banjo. Lewis has won many guitar and banjo awards from prestigious events including the Walnut Valley Nationals, MerleFest, the Galax Old Time Fiddler’s Convention, RenoFest and the Wayne Henderson Guitar Competition. He is also a two-time national champion on the banjo.
The trio travels the country, performing with an energy and dedication to their music that is evident at every show. Past performances include The Smithsonian Institution, The National Folk Festival, American Piano Masters. Little has been featured on National Public Radio and PBS many times, and has also taken his music around the world for the U.S. Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, performing in Sri Lanka, Bahrain, Oman, France and Tanzania. In 2014, Little was inducted into the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame.
Opening the show are Wayne Henderson and Herb Key. Henderson’s top-notch fingerpicking is a source of great pleasure and pride to his friends, family and neighbors in Grayson County, Virginia. His guitar playing has also been enjoyed at Carnegie Hall, in three national tours of Masters of the Steel-String Guitar, and in seven nations throughout Asia. Henderson is also known for his entertaining jokes and tales of life in rural Rugby, Virginia.
In addition to his reputation as a guitarist, Henderson is a luthier of great renown. He is a recipient of a 1995 National Heritage Award presented by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Key is a long-time member of Henderson’s band. He grew up in musical family in Wilkes County and plays bass and guitar. Key has played music for most of his life and has spent more than 30 years making, repairing, and restoring instruments.
Tickets are $20 for adults, children 12 and younger are admitted free. Tickets are available online in advance through BlueRidgeMusicCenter.org, and will also be sold at the admission gate on the evening of the show. Parking opens at 5:15 p.m. on the day of the show, and admission to the amphitheater begins at 5:45 p.m.
The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation will also be on hand to accept and provide applications for the new Blue Ridge Parkway specialty license plate. It’s the only specialty license plate in the commonwealth with proceeds dedicated to supporting projects and programs on the Blue Ridge Parkway, including programming at the Blue Ridge Music Center. To print and fill out an application in advance, visit https://www.brpfoundation.org/vaplate.
The Music Center is taking several precautions during concerts to make the experience as safe as possible for visitors. Those with a fever, cough, aches and pains, loss of smell or taste, difficulty breathing, or are sneezing and coughing, are asked to stay at home.
Attendees are asked to maintain six feet of distance between groups throughout the evening, including when standing in line and selecting seating locations in the amphitheater; wear masks to protect others when in high traffic areas.