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Jerry Douglas, The Whites, and Alison Krauss Play Blue Ridge Music Center

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Joe Wilson, Credit Tom PichGalax, VA -- Some of the biggest names in folk, bluegrass, and Americana, including the finest dobro player in contemporary acoustic music and the most highly decorated female musician of all time, will come together to honor the late Joe Wilson on Friday, September 2, 2016, at the Blue Ridge Music Center, milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. This one-day festival will include performances by Jerry Douglas, The Whites, and special guest Alison Krauss, as well as musical tributes from Wayne Henderson & Friends, The Jeff Little Trio, Linda & David Lay, Elizabeth LaPrelle, Phil Wiggins, The Barr Family & Tony Ellis, The Hurdle Brothers, and Frank Newsome.

The memorial showcase is presented by the Blue Ridge Parkway and Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation in collaboration with the Virginia Folklife Program and Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, with support from the National Folk Festival and National Council for the Traditional Arts. The show is sponsored by WNCW 88.7.

The event replaces an originally scheduled concert on September 3.

A Show for Joe with Jerry Douglas, The Whites, special guest Alison Krauss, plus many more beloved mountain musicians to play tribute concert on Sept. 2 at the Blue Ridge Music Center

In 2015, the music community lost visionary Joe Wilson. From his brainstorming sessions with then Blue Ridge Parkway Superintendent Gary Everhardt to create the Blue Ridge Music Center to his influential work with the National Council for the Traditional Arts, Wilson’s passion for the music of the Blue Ridge Mountains was immeasurable. He produced festivals, recordings, national and international tours, and helped create the Roots of American Music exhibit housed at the Music Center. A native of Tennessee, Wilson was instrumental in the development of The Blue Ridge Music Trails and The Crooked Road: Virginia's Heritage Music Trails. He was also the author of A Guide to the Crooked Road: Virginia's Heritage Music Trail. Many a musician can attest to Wilson’s work in helping to guide them in the music world.

Virginia folklorist Jon Lohman recalls Wilson’s impact on artists and the music world. “It would not be an overstatement to say that Joe Wilson was one of the most productive and influential cultural figures of his generation. His tireless work on behalf of artists and the community-based folk traditions that they mastered transformed not only the lives of these artists but of countless communities and audiences he exposed to them,” Lohman said. “These artists include some who have gone on to gain global recognition. Joe famously brought a then-unknown teenage fiddler named Alison Krauss on an international tour of master fiddlers, and showcased the likes of Jerry Douglas, Ricky Skaggs, The Whites, and Wayne Henderson early in their careers. These artists as well as many others who formed a close relationship with Joe over the years will join together to celebrate his life and legacy at the Blue Ridge Music Center, itself a place born of Joe's dreams and visions.”

Music legends come together for Joe Wilson Memorial Music Festival

The public is invited to attend a special preconcert tribute remembrance for Wilson led by Virginia folklorist Jon Lohman from 1 to 4 p.m. at the indoor theater. Seating is limited and offered on a first come, first serve basis. There will also be a "Jam for Joe" in conjunction with the Music Center's regular Friday afternoon Bluegrass Jam from noon to 4 p.m. The ticketed concert begins at 4 p.m.

During the one-day festival, the exhibit, Banjos: From Africa to the New World, will be on display in the Luthier Shop. Food vendors will also be on site.

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