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Jim James, Joan Shelley Join Louisville Orchestra For Festival Of American Music

Festival of American Music
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Music Director Teddy Abrams and the Louisville Orchestra have announced the lineup of the third annual Festival of American Music. It will begin March 24.

In a news release, Abrams said: “Our 2018 Festival of American Music celebrates music that was quite literally ‘grown’ and nurtured here in our country, a kind of music from the very earth of this nation.”

The first program, Abrams said, features a range of modern soloists -- including Louisville-natives Joan Shelley and Tyrone Cotton -- who derive inspiration and continue traditions from Kentucky's folk and Americana genres.

As part of this program, neo-folk singer and harpist Lizzie No, will make her Louisville Orchestra debut; Michael Cleveland, the International Bluegrass Music Association’s most awarded fiddler, will perform with his band Flamekeeper.

Ultimately, these different solo sets will lead to a special performance of Copland's “Rodeo.”

On April 6 and 7, the orchestra will perform a second program called “Play,” which will feature some of the most innovative voices in contemporary American composition, like Julia Wolfe and Michael Gordon.

Additionally, Louisville audiences will recognize a performance by My Morning Jacket founding vocalist Jim James. He will join the orchestra for the world premiere performance of a song cycle written in collaboration with Abrams.

“His music is very special to me,” Abrams said. “He combines a beautiful insight into the world around us with a great and readily apparent human spirit.”

More information about the festival is available here.