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

Festival of American Music

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.