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From Africa to Appalachia and the 5-String Banjo

Cheick Hamala Diabate, Left and Sammy Shelor, Right. Photo Virginia Foundation for the HumanitiesRoanoke, VA -- Jefferson Center in partnership with the Virginia Folklife Program is proud to present “From Africa to Appalachia” on Thursday, January 14, 2016. The development of the 5-string banjo, among the very first truly American-born instruments, provides a revelatory lens on the development of American popular music and culture, and the immense contributions of African cultural traditions. The instrument we now know as the banjo was derived from lutes brought by enslaved Africans to the New World, most notably the West African n’goni and kora. The European violin (fiddle) and the African-derived banjo likely comprised “the first duet” in the New World, providing the cornerstone of American musical forms for centuries to come. Sammy shelor joins Cheick Hamala Diabate for this outstanding event.

Grammy Win Means Music Lab Upgrades for Students & Community

Music LabRoanoke, VA -- Thanks to a historic Grammy win, Jefferson Center Foundation's Music Lab program continues to receive positive attention and forward momentum from around the world and right here at home. In March 2013, Snarky Puppy and Lalah Hathaway made Roanoke history by recording a live performance on Jefferson Center's Shaftman Performance Hall stage, leading to a Grammy win for Best R&B Performance. The performance was just one of nearly a dozen incredible songs found on Snarky Puppy's Family Dinner Volume 1 album, filmed and recorded live at Jefferson Center and benefitting the Foundation's Music Lab program with every purchase made. Music Lab is welcoming a new staff member in sound engineer Nick Corrigan. Corrigan will serve as the go to sound engineer in Music Lab's Roanoke location, joining Music Lab Floyd's sound engineer Joseph "Joebass" DeJarnette.

Darrell Scott Releases Single to Benefit Arts Education

There's A World of SongRoanoke, VA --Music Lab at Jefferson Center in Roanoke, Va. today announced the release of the There's A World of Song single, available now on iTunes, Amazon, Google Music, Shazam, and more. The single was recorded and produced inside Jefferson Center's professional recording studio and arts education hub, Music Lab. All sales proceeds benefit Jefferson Center's efforts to make music education available at the Music Lab to teens in grades 6-12 who want to learn music production, recording, performance, and all the basics of the music business.

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