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Weekend Arts Roundup: Banjo, Guitar And Drums

Julia Youngblood

Once again, this weekend is more than full of things to do here in Louisville -- it's the most festive season we have, after all.

Among other things, there's a hot-air balloon race on Saturday morning, followed by sweaty insane people in the streets -- sorry, runners -- competing in the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon and Mini-marathon. If you can get around all the street closings, I've got a few suggestions for how to get your culture on.

I'm sure there's a Kentucky joke to be made about banjo players with the orchestra, but I'm not touching it. We'll have one of the world's greatest banjistas (that's not really a word) in town to play with the Louisville Orchestra: Béla Fleck. He'll perform an original concerto as part of a program that includes Berlioz's "Symphonie Fantastique," which is always thrilling to hear in person. (Friday at 11 a.m. and Saturday at 8 p.m., Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts.) 

For a different kind of picking, head over to the Clifton Center on Friday night to hear guitar virtuoso Leo Kottke. In addition to being a ridiculously good guitarist, he's also a terrific storyteller with a dry sense of humor. I have recently learned that he was awarded a Certificate of Significant Achievement in Not Playing the Trombone from the University of Texas at Brownsville. (Friday at 8 p.m.)

There's nothing quite like hearing a fabulous drumline in person, and you'll get a chance to hear some of the region's best on Saturday afternoon at Da 'Ville Classic Drum Line Showcase at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts. Drum corps from Simmons College, Lincoln University and Clark Atlanta University, as well as local middle school and community groups, will strut their stuff onstage, then head out to Main Street for a drumline battle. Maybe it'll look something like this? (Saturday at 2 p.m.) 


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