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2014 Celebration Concert Series
Fri January 31, 2014
Harpeth Rising-November 15, 7pm Vallillo/Holtz Performance Studio
Named for the small but powerful river in Tennessee, Harpeth Rising creates original songs that layer lush instrumental arrangements with rich harmonies and powerful lyrics.
Their songs depict wanderlust, eternal curiosity, class struggle and extraordinary love. The result is a sound that is both rooted in the folk tradition and simultaneously pushing the envelope. Having studied music for a combined 70 years, they are capable of expressing the full range of human emotion using only the 13 strings they have between them. But they don’t stop there: Their harmonies run the gamut from traditional Bluegrass to full on Gregorian organum. Articulate lyricists, expressive and innovative players and singers, Harpeth Rising is the complete package. The members met while earning performance degrees at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and despite their diverse beginnings (hailing from vastly different cultures and geographic areas), found in each other a unified musical idea – and a brand new one at that.
Born from the desire to write and create original music, Harpeth Rising began on a cross- country road trip. After spending a summer jamming at campsites and attending bluegrass festivals, Jordana Greenberg (violin) and Rebecca Reed-Lunn (banjo) decided to keep the adventure alive. They started writing songs and playing out 4 to 5 nights a week, developing their sound and honing their chops. But it was with the addition of Maria Di Meglio (cello) that Harpeth Rising truly found its sound. Despite the presence of only three string instruments on stage, the three women produce a profusion of sound generally created by a much larger ensemble. Di Meglio transitions fluidly between providing the bass line and taking the melodic lead, while Reed-Lunn’s highly original style of claw hammer banjo–learned mainly by watching YouTube–is both surprisingly lyrical and intensely driving. Greenberg takes on the role of concert violinist and accompanist with equal facility, and ensures that a lead guitar is never missed.
Their live performances are high-energy kinetic events in which both their abilities and their passion for performance are obvious. Harpeth Rising can create a listening room from a rowdy bar crowd, and can inspire even the weariest of audiences. After only a few months as a band, they embarked on a self-booked tour of England, which included a performance with The Bath Philharmonia. They were invited to perform at The Cambridge Folk Festival the following summer, and have since played folk festivals across England and the United States. Building their fan base in the tradition of all wandering minstrels - passionately and by word-of-mouth - they now perform to sold-out audiences internationally. They have released four albums in as many years –Harpeth Rising (2010), Dead Man’s Hand (2011), The End of the World (2012), a collaboration with master wordsmith David Greenberg, father of Jordana, and their brand new project, Tales From Jackson Bridge, which was released October 1, 2013.
Order your tickets online here, or call the station at 800-895-2912 or 309-298-1873 weekdays 8:00am to 4:30 pm to order tickets by phone. Tickets are $10 for Tri States Public Radio members; $15 for non-members.