2015 Performers

Soco Stage

10:30 AM EMBE Marimba Band

Evergreen Community Charter Schools EMBE Marimba Band is not your ordinary middle school band. These 12- to 14-year-olds perform primarily on handmade Zimbabwean style marimbas, as well as on a variety of other percussion instruments. An EMBE performance includes singing and choreography.

The music played in the Marimba Program ranges from traditional songs of Zimbabwe, Guinea, and other African countries to rhythmically complex Latin tunes to Japanese folk songs, adaptations of classical pieces, popular rock ’n’ roll standards, and original compositions by celebrity friends of the band or by the students themselves. More info

11:30 AM Time Crunch

Time Crunch, an Asheville band of 14-15 year old musicians, play a mostly original set. And we mean original. But they also do Beatle covers and will surprise you! Mars Mignon, Luke Taylor, Mac Fisher. More info

12:30 PM Slo_gold

Slo_gold is a Jeff K'norr side project that fluidly shifts from '90s pop rock to more sample-based soundtrack music. For years, K'norr has played keyboards and sung backup vocals, as a sideman, all over Asheville, but now is his time to shine as a front man. This slo_gold appearance will be a live performance of the album that K'norr wrote and recorded at Collapseable Recording Studio between 2004 and 2008.

1:45 PM Buncombe Turnpike

Lead singer and bass player Tom Godleski, along with former banjo player Tim Adams, began Buncombe Turnpike in the fall of 1997. Buncombe Turnpike plays a variety of tunes ranging from traditional and contemporary bluegrass to gospel and handcrafted originals. With their crowd-pleasing, seasoned musicianship and powerful vocals, the band has made a name for themselves among traditional and contemporary listeners alike. Their fifth album, Forever It Will Be, is the first all-original album. More info

3:00 PM Fritz Beer & the Crooked Beat

Singer/Songwriter Fritz Beer heads this group with his down-to-earth, spirited songs about good-hearted people who sometimes go astray. His vocals waiver somewhere between a Joe Strummer snarl and Graham Parker's soulful whine, but it's American music and that means rock, country, soul, and blues laid out in a simple acoustic format. Montford residents Elzy Lindsey (drummer/cajon player) and bassist/vocalist Dave Baker come to Asheville by way of New Orleans courtesy of Hurricane Katrina.

Louisiana's loss is North Carolina’s gain. This joined-at-the-hip rhythm section draws from their punk/rock ‘n roll roots, making bands and singers sound great for years in The Big Easy and in Asheville. Sim Hickman, the newest member shredding on lead acoustic guitar, honed his craft for decades playing five nights a week in jam bands from Jackson to Macon county. In this all-acoustic format with frontman Beer, their skills and raw passion for music truly shines through. More info

4:30 PM Mande Foly

Mande Foly is a collective of musicians and dancers who perform traditions of West Africa, Mande referring to a region which predates national boundaries, and bridges smaller ethnic groups. The music of Mande Foly is dynamic and improvisational, rooted in a strong rhythm section. Along with the syncopated harmonies between the kamale n’goni, balafon, guitar, and call and response singing, the music of Mande Foly delivers a hypnotic experience that attracts people of all ages and backgrounds. Lyrics, sung in Bambara and French, delve within topics such as social consciousness, conflict, and love.

The instrumentation of Mande Foly reflects a bridge between past and present times, using predominantly traditional instruments and also acoustic and electric guitars. The traditional instruments include the kamale n’goni, a 14-stringed harp-like instrument; the balafon, an instrument related to the modern xylophone; the calabasse, a gourd that has been halved and played with the hands; the djembe, a goblet-shaped hand drum; and dununs, cylindrical drums played with sticks. More info

5:45 PM One Tribe Reggae

Keeping it positive, one drop at a time! Give thanks for reggae music, and all the goodness within the greater community. Forward OTP. Peace, More info

Montford Stage

10:45 AM DeWayne Barton

11:45 AM Ira Bernstein & Friends

Born and raised in the suburbs of New York City, Ira began dancing traditional Appalachian clogging and flatfooting, and playing the fiddle as a college student in 1978 in Philadelphia, where there was a vibrant old-time music and dance community. His education in these old-time traditions was at weekly community-style square dances and numerous weekend and holiday social gatherings centered on the music and dance. His earliest group experiences were as a member of the Mill Creek Cloggers, and the Marlboro Morris and Sword team. He later went on to perform with the highly influential, professional companies the Fiddle Puppets, and the American Tap Dance Orchestra. Ira was also the lead soloist in Rhythms of the Celts, which ran for six weeks at the prestigious Waterfront Theatre in Belfast, as well as a guest soloist with Rhythm in Shoes, and the Vanaver Caravan. More info

12:45 PM Asheville Morris Men and Ashgrove Garland Dancers

1:00 PM Bandana Klezmer

Bandana Klezmer is a group of musicians from Yancey, Mitchell, and Buncombe counties playing traditional klezmer music. Klezmer is Eastern European Jewish celebration music, played at weddings and other happy events, and is an expression of both the joy and sorrow of the Jewish experience, alternating frequently between major and minor keys. Bandana Klezmer plays old time / old world klezmer music – we've learned melodies from older klezmorim, scratchy old recordings, and contemporary klezmer musicians playing in the traditional style. We have played for festivals, holidays, weddings, bar mitzvas, and parties in synagogues, churches, dance halls and living rooms. Klezmer dancing is similar to Appalachian circle dancing, enabling everyone to feel comfortable when they participate. The name of the band is taken from the Bandana area of Mitchell County where 3 of the musicians live. Band members are: Andy John (cello and harmonica), Meg Peterson (accordion and vocals), Naomi Dalglish (fiddle and vocals), Michael Hunt (tsimbl and poyk), Rob Levin (guitar), and Marc Rudow (fiddle and vocals). More info

2:15 PM Billy Jonas

Funky Folk Music for the Whole Family. It's a "neo-tribal hootenanny." Original voice and percussion-based songs with a generous dose of audience participation. The music mixes conventional instruments (guitar, bass, marimba) with homemade creations (buckets and barrels, keys and cans, bells and body percussion). Billy tailors both his song selection and its presentation to suit each audience. It's spirited, straightforward music accessible to anyone and everyone, regardless of age or cultural background. The big-tent festival quality of Billy's music facilitates connection and community while fostering inspiration and, most importantly, FUN.

Billy Jonas has shared stages with many renowned artists, including Alison Krauss, Peter Yarrow, Keb' Mo', Mary Chapin Carpenter, Kathy Mattea, Paul Winter, Michele Shocked, Justin Bieber, Ani DiFranco, David Wilcox, Richard Thompson, and Pete Seeger. More info

3:30 PM Mountain Lion Chinese Dragon Dancers

3:45 PM Emeline Scales

Montford neighbor Emeline Scales is thirteen years old and already making her third appearance at the Festival. She’s in the eighth grade at Asheville Middle School. She sings in the school chorus, and plays violin in the Asheville Youth Orchestra, having studied that instrument for seven years. She is self-taught on the piano and ukulele. Emeline has performed at various events and venues around Asheville, including the Montford Music and Arts Festival, Barley’s Taproom, Isa’s Bistro and at her church. She has a YouTube channel featuring videos of her singing the National Anthem at a UNCA men's basketball game, as well as popular song covers with her family in the car on road trips. See Emeline sing Sara Bareilles' “Love Song” at Montford Festival May 2013.

She’ll be performing solo and with her father’s band, the Cat Dragons. More info

4:15 PM The Pond Brothers

The Pond Brothers are drawing on bluegrass and world music to create a fresh sound self-dubbed Bluegrasstafari. They hail from the Blue Ridge Mountains and have been playing around the United States and internationally. They make up a core of the groups Snake Oil Medicine Show and CX-1, and are in numerous groups across the Southeast.

They have shared the stage with such heroes as Roy ‘Futureman’ Wooten, Joe Craven, Vassar Clements, Yonder Mountain String Band, Little Feat, Peter Rowan, Tony Rice, Baby Gramps, and Larry Keel. More info

4:45 PM The Sufi Brothers

The Sufi Brothers are Aaron “Woody” Wood on vocals and guitar, and Jason Krekel on vocals, mandolin, guitar, and fiddle. They represent 15 years of Americana from Asheville – locals that have played a diverse collection of venues from revivals to dive bars. The Sufi Brothers play an improvised set that starts with a tribute to country roots, blues, gospel, and folk, and then travels a path unknown guided by an openness and sensitivity to each other and the universe. Like their namesake the Sufis – they let love and a higher power determine the course the music takes. More info

5:15 PM Cat Dragons

A few years back, George and Andy Pond were booked to host a weekly bluegrass brunch on Sundays at the One Stop Deli on College Street. Over the years, the Pond Brothers occasionally invited friends to sit in, and some started showing up regularly, so much so that this band was born. Never knowing exactly who would show on any Sunday inspired the band’s name. Now, when everybody shows up, they call themselves the Cat Dragons.

Cat Dragons include resident Jason Krekel on fiddle and mandolin, Andy Pond on banjo, George Pond, who works in Montford, on bass, Ben Scales on lap-style resophonic guitar, and Aaron “Woody” Wood on guitar. The music is pure Americana with bluegrass instruments in the styles of Johnny Cash and John Hartford.

6:00 PM WestSound

WestSound Band was formed many years ago by three brothers: Randy, Oscar, and Cecil Weston. They have performed locally and abroad. Randy, the band leader, has years of experience performing as a musician with bands and individually. Keeping the family dream alive, Randy formed WestSound, which derives from their last name, Weston. The band is made up of the brothers, plus female singer Regina Duke.

Regina adds great sound and energy with her commanding presence. WestSound has performed in the Indiana Black Expo, Goombay, Harambee, Bele Chere, Eden Fest, LEAF and more!

WestSound is one of WNC's hottest bands, known for their fantastic music and great energy! More info