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JCVB Blog

The Johnston County Visitors Bureau BLOG is published weekly with news and feature articles on visiting the county.

Festival Celebrates Five Years of Making and Sharing Music

Festival Celebrates Five Years of Making and Sharing Music

 
The Clayton Piano Festival is celebrating their 5th season this Fall with an astounding line-up of artists. The season schedule of concerts will run October 14th through October 22nd. Organizers are expanding the festival to reach a larger community and have added additional events to celebrate this important anniversary. This year there will be six concerts with one at the Cary Arts Center and another at the Preston Woodall House in Benson, with the remaining events to be held in Clayton.

Both the Creative Director of the festival and a performer every year, Johnston County local Jonathan Levin is excited to showcase the growth of the festival as it enters year five, “Our goal over the years has been to share the joy and exhilaration that great music can bring in a fresh, new way each year, presenting a variety of top level classical artists from around the world.  I think at this point it’s become an anticipated cultural event in the area and we’re very pleased about that.”

The format of the Clayton Piano Festival is built on the premise of accessibility and interaction with the artist. As in past years, there will be intimate dinner concerts at smaller venues, and social “meet the artist” receptions following the concerts to enhance the experience for attendees.  There will be outreach programs to area schools to share the importance of music education and bring concert quality performances to more than 1,000 students.
Clayton Piano Festival Year Five Poster
This year’s concerts include a variety of music genres such as Ragtime and progressive rock.  Levin explains that “the idea is to show the full extent of what the piano can do, not just one discipline.” Performances this year include Rachael Flowers, a multi-talented instrumentalist and composer who lost her sight as an infant. According to Levin the festival is happy to have booked her, “we’re getting her right before she becomes famous. Racheal just had a Hollywood documentary made about her that is already making the film festival circuit.”

Levin, himself always modest, will be a can’t miss performance as well. Just last week he performed a solo recital debut at New York City’s Carnegie Hall. Rorianne Schrade reviewed the performance for New York Concert Review and had this to say, “Showmanship, intelligence, more than ample pianism, and sensitive musicality are all wrapped up in one package in this young artist, so he should do quite well in his career.” This year’s festival line-up offers a unique chance to catch Jonathan in his hometown of Clayton.

Along with returning performers Jonathan Levin and Angelo Rondello, newcomer and renown ragtime pianist and composer Mill McNally at the Preston Woodall House and Russian pianist Azamat Sydykov at the Wagner House will be charming audiences with their performances. Which include dinner provided by the venue, and each will also include a reception to meet the artist.

The final gala will truly be a show stopper.  Hear five CPF artists perform, each sharing inspiring insights into a work with special personal significance for them.  Special guest, Mary Prescott, an adventurous, multi-genre artist, joins the others as she shares her unique voyage into learning the art of improvisation. To conclude the concert and the 5th season, all 5 artists will perform together on stage at the same time…on 5 pianos! With six hundred seats to fill, the organizers of the final concert are offering FREE tickets for children up to age 18, one for each paid adult ticket.

General ticket prices for Concerts with Dinner at The Wagner House and Preston Woodall House are $45.00 adult, $35.00 seniors, $25.00 students, concerts only $15.00 for adults and $5.00 students.  For the Sunday performance by Jonathan Levin at the Wagner House, tickets are $15.00 adults and $5.00 students/children.  The final concert performance featuring all five pianos will be $20.00 adults, $15.00 for seniors and military, and FREE for children under 18 years old. Tickets for the event are available at www.claytonpianofestival.org/schedule-tickets and tickets for the final performance may be purchased directly with The Clayton Center at www.theclaytoncenter.com.

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The Shindig - It's Music for Your Beers!

The Shindig - It's Music for Your Beers!

UPDATE: Rescheduled to November 13th!

To better assist in the understanding of this blog for those not “in the know” and especially for those that “want to be in the know” I have decided to kick-off this week’s blog with a couple of definitions.

1. Shindig - a large, lively party, especially one celebrating something.
2. Americana - an amalgam of American folk music formed by the confluence of the shared and varied traditions that make up the musical ethos of the United States; specifically, those sounds that are merged from folk, country, blues, rhythm and blues, rock and roll and other external influences.

Now that we’re all on the same page, let’s talk about The Shindig. 2016 marks year number five for this intrepid festival, held every October in downtown Clayton, NC. Be sure to get your tickets for this year’s Shindig held October 8th from noon to 10PM. The theme of this year’s event is “Music for Your Beers” because the organizers of the event want to highlight both the amazing bands the music festival is proud to host and the 7 craft breweries that will be on the scene for your enjoyment.

This year’s line-up includes over 10 bands and leads with American Aquarium (pictured below), The Black Lillies, and Yarn. Dave Brown, head of Earth Plow productions and one of the key organizers of Shindig, is very pleased with the line-up, “there isn’t another Americana music festival anywhere. The Shindig strives to bring you cutting-edge music by bands you’ve never seen or heard before in an intimate venue.” This goal is what drives the line-up every year and is why the festival has taken a turn towards the Americana genre recently while still having bluegrass bands on the schedule.
American Aquarium Comes to The Shindig
If you’ve never been to Shindig, or any music festival, this is the year to attend. Brown says that they’ve never had this many bands on the ticket with this much of a following. American Aquarium, the headlining band, is generating over 250 likes on their Facebook page daily. Festival organizers expect the popularity of the genre and the popularity of the bands to draw in attendees. As of now there are people coming from places all over NC and from surrounding states – SC, VA, TN, and even CO.

The growth of the festival year-over-year is exciting but Brown still calls it, “the best festival you’ve never heard of.” The Shindig isn’t on a national scale with music festivals like Moogfest or Bonaroo, but it wants to be. Right now though the smallness of the festival means you can experience the heart of what a music festival is supposed to be, with nationally recognized bands, at a reasonable ticket price, and without the crowds associated with larger festivals.

The other component of The Shindig is craft beer and food trucks. You can’t enjoy good music for hours on end without sustenance. West Johnston County has a great craft beer community with well-loved breweries Deep River and Double Barley, both of who will be on-tap on the 8th. But, sometimes you need a little more than 2 for a party. So, Shindig got Foothills Brewing, Bull City Cider Works, Fullsteam Brewing, Bombshell Brewing, and new-kid-in-town Yester Year Brewing out of Carrboro. So not only will there be music you’ve never heard before, but also beer you’ve never tasted! Plus, with multiple food trucks already confirmed and Zaxby’s sponsoring a chicken wing eating contest, you couldn’t ask for a better way to spend a Saturday.

I know what you’re asking yourself. How can this get any better? Well, hold on to your horses because there are still beer taster tickets with VIP line access available for purchase. General admission is $20 ahead online. But, for $35 ahead, and while they last, the UNLIMITED Beer Tasting Ticket gets you VIP "line-skip" service, a commemorative glass, and of course unlimited sampling of all of the craft breweries for 5 hours. Yes!!!

To find out more regarding sponsors, the line-up, tickets, or general information, visit www.theshindig.net. If you’re wondering what else there is to do while you’re in town for the Shindig, visit www.johnstoncountync.org. Lastly, if you want to keep up with other rad festivals and events happening in Clayton and Johnston County’s other towns visit www.johnstoncountync.org/events.

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New Mondo Roots Festival Grows Music Line-up

New Mondo Roots Festival Grows Music Line-up

 

 

Mondo Roots Cultural Arts and Music Festival is a celebration of diversity, art and music. It is a free to all ages event taking place in Downtown Clayton, NC on Saturday, June 4th starting at 1:00PM. Performances include The Lee Boys, Sol Driven Train, Black Masala, The Amateurs and many more.

According to Dave Brown, owner of EarthPlow Productions and event organizer, "Mondo Roots Cultural Arts Festival is the first festival of its kind on the eastern side of the state!  It is going to feature live music that is as inspirational as it is eclectic.  Our musical genres are going to span from Soul and R&B, to Reggae and Rap, to Blues and everything in between."

Brown has been steadily adding to the line-up and he's excited about the well-rounded mix of sound, "We have a true vinyl Dj that will be spinning old reggae with a new twist between sets. Black Masala (pictured below) is rooted in the second line tradition of New Orleans, this band  is going to make you feel like you are standing on Bourbon Street.  To round out the lineup we are going to have two of the most popular reggae bands in Raleigh, the Amateurs and Jamrock Reggae."


Brown is partnering with Clayton Visual Arts to create a festival that is inclusive of all cultures and walks of life. They felt it was time for something like that in Clayton, an event that can celebrate diversity and empower the community. For those visitors and locals who have attended Millstock Arts & Music Festival in the past, Brown says the only thing this event shares with that is the date, "When Millstock closed the curtain it opened an opportunity to create something special from scratch. We are very happy with our partnership with Clayton Visual Arts to create something this special and unique. Visitors would be hard pressed to find a lineup of music this strong that you can enjoy for free. The bands that will be performing have a long track record of packing venues up and down the eastern seaboard. This festival is not a Clayton festival, this festival is for the whole eastern part of the state, it just happens to be set in the heart of the great town of Clayton."

According to Brown the whole point of Mondo Roots is celebrating diversity and empowering the community.  It's powerful and simple, "Our vision on a more personal level is to grow this festival to expand the minds and hearts of everyone that is involved.  If you attend, you are part of this family and part of this movement.  We are going to see a lot of different cultures and some of the greatest artists that this state has to offer."


In addition to all the music there will be LIVE performing artists (like local Clark Hipolito, pictured above) painting murals, sculpting, and even doing chainsaw art.  The festival has over 70 tents spoken for by artists, vendors, and sponsors.  There will also be multiple food trucks set-up, as well as a beer tent, so bring your appetite!

If you're a lover of diverse music and art, be sure to travel to Clayton in a few weeks to experience this festival for yourself. There's plenty to do in Johnston County so make a weekend getaway out of it. You can also find more information about the Clayton area at the Visit Clayton website. Mondo Roots starts at 1:00PM on the 4th of June, rain or shine. For more information visit www.MondoRoots.com.

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Beer Wine & Shine Trail

beer wine and shine trail logo

Travel around the county to four award-winning wineries, two breweries and get a taste of brandy along the way!  Receive a Free $30 coupon book when you complete the trail.

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Meeting Planners

meeting venue with presentation screen

Johnston County offers conveniently located and affordable conference facilities for meetings, reunions, and unique destination weddings sites.  Why not select a historic home or horse farm for your next event?

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Group Tour Operators

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Groups have discovered exits along I-40 and I-95 for outlet shopping, music theatre, museums and heritage sites.  Call today for custom itinerary planning.

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Hotel Packages

hotel bed and pillow with johnston county logo

We have created several special hotel packages including a Girlfriends Getaway for outlet shopping, we know you need a break and great deals on shoes!  Click here to book your getaway today.

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FREE TRAINING

 

Check out what other travelers say about Johnston County, North Carolina on TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor
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