Jeff Dunham, Jason Bonham, River Guerguerian, more

Renowned local percussionist River Guerguerian was actually in California when he heard a story on Nationwide Radio about a Chinese-born pipa master moving to Asheville. Even more astonishing for Guerguerian is that this very talented musician, Min Xiao-Fen, would give a local show with a former touring mate of his.

“I was intrigued that a Chinese musician moved to Asheville and brought her traditional and new sounds to the area,” said Guerguerian, who performs with jazz trio Free Planet Radio among others. “It blew me away that the gig she was doing in town (in June) was with an old musician friend, Rez Abbasi. Rez and I performed together in an experimental trio between 1988 and 1992 in New York. rushed to the Orange Peel after a gig to see them and hang on for a bit.

This first meeting led to a musical bond between Xiao-Fen and Guerguerian and an upcoming show. The duo will perform together, for the first time, at 7:30 p.m. on November 21 at Isis Music Hall.

“I was surprised to learn that River and I have a lot in common: we both share a background in traditional music, but we like to cross cultural genres. We also lived in New York and worked with Grammy and Oscar winning composer Tan Dun, ”said Xiao-Fen, who plays the pipa, which is a four-string plucked lute.

The two missed each other in New York, she said, “So we never get a chance to meet, but somehow I felt like I already knew him. “Later I went to his studio and attended a Free Planet Radio concert. I was impressed with his masterful skills, sounds and creative rhythms. Plus, River is a wonderful human being.” I am really looking forward to our first collaboration and I feel so honored to work with him.

The show with these two masterful musicians will include a variety of solos and duets on several instruments, including quite old ones. They will also perform two newly composed pieces, “Echo in the Valley” and “Follow the Dragon”.

Xiao-Fen said she first visited Asheville in 2019 when she attended the Brevard Summer Music Festival. She and her husband made the decision to move after just four days of visiting when, she said, “we quickly fell in love with the natural beauty, the energetic performers and the super nice people.”

“Asheville has already started to inspire my musical journey. Traditional Chinese music has always been associated with nature, ”she said. “The pipa has over two thousand years of history and one of the most important styles in its vast repertoire is the lyrical style. This music describes nature: flowers, trees, water, mountains and the four seasons. The melodies are subtle and sensitive, expressing inner feelings of love and sorrow.

Guerguerian researched Xiao-Fen – checking his website and chatting with joint collaborators – before inviting him to play together.

“I was totally fascinated by its history and its music. We shared a lot of things in common, like learning traditional styles and jazz, while being mostly interested in making new music, ”he said. “I look forward to the possibilities that Min and I have to collaborate together, to merge the variety of musical traditions that we have studied and to explore the common vision of creating ‘new sounds’. ”

2 big shows in the city center

Jeff Dunham is scheduled to perform in Jacksonville in June.

Downtown Asheville will host two big shows on November 21, as a comedian with his puppets and the son of a legendary drummer will both perform.

Jeff Dunham’s Seriously Tour will stop at the ExploreAsheville.com arena for a show at 3 p.m. while Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Party will take place at 7:30 p.m. at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium.

Dunham, who is known for his ‘mainstream-only’ shows, although puppets participate in them, has had a series of specials on Netflix and is a renowned comedian who also stars as a ventriloquist with characters like Peanut, Walter, José Jalapeño, Bubba J. and Achmed the Terrorist Dead. He gained a large following through social media and had numerous performances on the comedy channel and late night shows.

Jason Bonham, pictured at the Coral Sky Amphitheater on August 1, 2017 in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Jason Bonham’s father John was the drummer for the legendary rock band Led Zeppelin and he continued the music of this band over the years. He will perform an ensemble of music from the band as part of a five-piece group that meticulously recreates the songs of the Hall of Fame band.

Blues-Soul Guitarist at Salvage Station

Atlanta native Eddie 9V got his first guitar at the age of 6 and fell in love with performers like Muddy Waters and Howlin ‘Wolf.

Brooks Mason’s live nickname Eddie 9V has performed in other bands in the past, such as The Georgia Flood and Preachervan, before becoming a solo artist.

Now 25, the blues guitarist presents his own stellar country playing. He recently released his second album, “Little Black Flies”, and is on the road. He plays at 8 p.m. on November 20 at Salvage Station.

Rockers Roots to play Jack of the Wood

Little Lesley and the Bloodshots will once again bring its rock, rockabilly and Americana roots to town with an 8 p.m. show on November 20 at Jack in the Wood.

The group, led by singer Lesley Swift, are known for their acting in the Carolinas, bringing an energetic show every time they perform.

The group released “Love Songs” on Western Star Records in 2020.


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Corina C. Butler