Category Archives: Music

Music Foundation Presents Two Jazz Concerts In Hendersonville, NC

Whether you like your jazz straight up or with a twist, there will be jazz aplenty at the Hendersonville Community Theatre Friday and Saturday, Jan. 12 and 13, when the Music Foundation of Western North Carolina (MFWNC) presents “New Orleans Baroque” and “Jazz Standards.” Both concerts start at 7 p.m. and benefit the Theatre’s building renovations and programming.

On Friday night, the “New Orleans Baroque” concert will be a heady mix of jazz and classical Baroque music performed by flutist Rita Hayes, double bass player Keith Freeburg, drummer Morgen Cobb, and pianist Dr. John Cobb. “This concert will be a unique blending of different music genres,” MFWNC founder Joann Freeburg said. “The musicians are a tight group of local performers who have come up with a program of music that will deliver the best of both worlds in some very interesting ways. You’ll be surprised at how they have fused American jazz and European Baroque. It’s classical music with a jazzy twist.”

On Saturday night, the “Jazz Standards” concert will present the music of George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Irving Berlin. It will be performed by pianist Michael Jefry Stevens and vibraphonist Jason DeCristofaro. “This concert will be for the jazz purists,” Freeburg said. “These master musicians will salute the great American jazz composers. You’ll be sure to recognize these tunes and appreciate the musicians’ dedication to established quality.”

Tickets to each concert are $35 and can be purchased online at The theatre is located at 229 S. Washington Street in downtown Hendersonville.
The Music Foundation of Western North Carolina is a non-profit organization dedicated to uniting, promoting, and building the presence of the musical arts in the Carolinas. It was founded by Joann Freeburg.

As the Official Community Theatre of Hendersonville, Hendersonville Community Theatre, Inc. is a non-profit, non-professional, wholly volunteer organization of theater-lovers. Its purpose is to enrich the lives of neighbors by providing high quality productions of excellent theatrical works to the broadest possible audience in Hendersonville, all of Western North Carolina, and Upstate South Carolina. The money raised by these concerts will be used for the building’s renovations, windows, and dressing rooms, as well as theatrical programming and arts education initiatives.

Hayes plays flutes, hammered dulcimer, and is a vocalist. She received her bachelor’s degree in music from University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and her master’s degree in music from Western Carolina University. She has been a member of the Asheville Symphony for more than 25 years. She serves on the faculty of Brevard College and Asheville Buncombe Technical College in addition to her private student teaching. For nearly 20 years she has hosted classical music programming on the National Public Radio affiliated Asheville station, WCQS. Performing with such music celebrities as Roberta Flack and Ray Charles has been the highlights of her musical career.

Freeburg is the founder and owner of Freeburg & Perzina Pianos in Hendersonville. Music has been Keith’s passion since he learned to play piano, guitar, and string bass as a child. He pursued bass and graduated from the University of Minnesota as a string major with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Music Education.  After teaching orchestra for several years, he studied piano technology at McPhail School of the Arts in Minneapolis and began a full-time career in piano tuning, repair and rebuilding. For the past 31 years, he has been serving pianists primarily in Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina. He is a member of the Asheville Area Piano Forum and performs with the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra and the Brevard Philharmonic. He serves as an elder and musician at his church.  He and his wife Joann Freeburg have two children and three grandchildren.

Cobb is a musician and teacher based out of North Carolina. He is the drummer for McKayla & The Differential and other groups. A native of Bernardsville, NJ, he currently lives in Asheville. “I play the drum set, and various other percussion instruments. Music is my life,” he said.

Dr. Cobb is an international performer and recording artist known for his broad interpretive range and technical command. The New York Times has praised his “solid technique, bronze tone and flexibility of interpretive style.” The Chicago Daily News commented, “the vibrations that filled the hall were less those of the piano than those of an exquisite musical mind.” Dr. Cobb has been presented by Artists International on their Distinguished Artists series in New York City and has made recordings of 20th Century as well as early piano music on original instruments at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Dr. Cobb has performed internationally some of the most important works of contemporary music and has worked directly with many of the most influential composers of this era, such as Aaron Copland and Lukas Foss. While completing a Doctor of Music degree at Northwestern University, Dr. Cobb held a fellowship at the University of Chicago, where he pursued doctoral studies in musicology and held the position of staff pianist with Ralph Shapey’s Contemporary Chamber Players. He continues to perform a broad repertoire of chamber music and has collaborated with renowned artists such as Joel Smirnoff, former first violinist with the Juilliard String Quartet, and most recently with Jason Posnock, concertmaster of the Asheville Symphony Orchestra. Among Dr. Cobb’s orchestral appearances is a performance of the Samuel Barber Piano Concerto with the Asheville Symphony. As a frequent performer on the Piano Forte concert series at the Asheville Art Museum, Dr. Cobb celebrated Franz Liszt’s bicentennial with an all-Liszt solo program during the summer of 2011. Dr. Cobb is a direct musical descendant of Liszt through his teacher, pianist Claudio Arrau, whose teacher was a pupil of Liszt. He presents master classes on piano technique and literature, and frequently serves as an adjudicator for competitions and music festivals. Dr. Cobb maintains private studios in Fairview and Hendersonville.

Over the past 40 years pianist/composer Stevens has been associated with some of the most important figures in modern jazz. Beginning with his first CD release in 1991 as a member of Mark Whitecage’s Liquid Time Group, Stevens has been in the forefront of the NYC and international improvised music scene. Between 1988 and 1990 he co-led the now legendary “Mosaic Sextet” with Dave Douglas. This group included Mark Feldman on violin, Michael Rabinowitz on bassoon, and the rhythm section of Harvey Sorgen on drums and Joe Fonda on bass. Their “Today This Moment” CD release on Konnex Records and re-release on GM Recordings is considered one of the classic modern jazz recordings of the 1990s and was voted one of the best 1000 jazz recordings by the 2011 Penguin Guide to Jazz. This rhythm section went on to become the nucleus for the Fonda/Stevens Group. Since the quartet’s inception in 1992, the Fonda/Stevens Group has released 14 CDS, repeatedly toured Europe and is one of the most successful working modern jazz groups on the international scene. Stevens also began a very fruitful and fulfilling relationship with Leo Records with his duo “Haiku” CD release in 1994, featuring Mark Feldman on violin. These piano/violin improvisations proved to be a pivotal link between Stevens’ work in both the composed and improvised music worlds. Stevens has currently released nine CDS on Leo Records, including “Elements” with bassist Dominic Duval, and “Twelve Improvisations” with the Fonda/Stevens Group. To date he has released more than 90 CDS. In 2016 he was voted “Best Composer” in Western North Carolina by the readers of the Mountain Xpress and received a “Regional Project Artist Grant” from the Toe River Arts Council. He currently resides in Black Mountain, NC.

DeCristofaro is an active musician and composer, performing primarily as a vibraphonist. In 2011, he was selected as the winner of the Yamaha/Percussive Arts Society international competition for jazz vibraphonists, and his musical compositions have been performed in China, New Zealand, Sweden, and throughout the United States. DeCristofaro is currently adjunct music faculty at Warren Wilson College, where he directs the Jazz Ensemble and teaches courses in Jazz Theory and Improvisation, Jazz History, and World Music, and A-B Tech, where he teaches Jazz History and Music Appreciation. He also teaches Jazz Theory and Improvisation, Percussion, Piano, Composition, and Music Theory privately at Crushed Leaf Studios in Mills River, NC. Since 2012, Jason has been the musical director and host of Jazz Night at the Phoenix, a weekly showcase at the Phoenix in downtown Brevard.

Eclectic Asheville Musician Kevin Lorenz Performs Sundays Unplugged in Spartanburg, SC


Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg, SC, offers opportunities for free, casual, and cultural entertainment every Sunday, 1-5 p.m., during its Sundays Unplugged program. Art galleries and the history museum are open, and regional singer-songwriters perform, 2-4 p.m., to showcase the breadth of musical talent of the Upstate. OnAug. 30,2015,eclectic Asheville-based musician Kevin Lorenz plays.
Lorenz is a classically trained musician with experience in public performance, conducting, composition, teaching, and arranging. He studied classical guitar at UNC-Greensboro while earning his doctorate in music education. In addition, he attended master classes with Michael Lorimer and Jesus Silva among others. Citizens and visitors of Western North Carolina are likely to have heard Lorenz perform with the Asheville Symphony and the NC Pops Orchestra and as a soloist, or in churches, theaters, hotels, colleges, universities, and country clubs. His style is a mixture of jazz, pop, ragtime, bossa nova, Irish, and classical. As a well versed guitarist, he plays several different guitars to match the instrument to the genre. Samples of his work, as well as additional biographical details, can be found on his website
Artists Guild of Spartanburg, Spartanburg Art Museum, Spartanburg Regional History Museum, and the Student Galleries will be open with free admission, 1-5 p.m., to complement Lorenzs performance. Spartanburg Science Center will be open for a small fee.
Sundays Unplugged is a program of The Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg, the administrative non-profit agency that owns and operates Chapman Cultural Center and provides cultural leadership throughout Spartanburg County. For more information on Sundays Unplugged, call (864) 542-ARTS or visit

Two Pianists Perform Benefit Concert in Spartanburg, SC, Aug. 29

John Cobb and Christoper Tavernier photo by Carri Bass


Freeburg & Perzina Pianos presents A Night at the Opera: A Rare Two-Piano Fantasy in Chapman Cultural Center’s theater on Saturday, Aug. 29, beginning at 7 p.m. This concert will feature pianists Dr. John Cobb and Christopher Tavernier. Proceeds will benefit Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra’s youth education program.


Patrons can expect the mesmerizing musical fantasies of 19th century Hungarian composer Franz Lizst, to be performed by 15-year-old pianist Tavernier and international performer and recording artist Dr. Cobb. Other musical selections will include Bellini’s Reminiscences of Norma and Reminiscences of Don Juanfrom Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Broadcast journalist Michael Cogdill of WYFF News 4 will emcee the concert; Jennifer C. Evins, President and CEO of Chapman Cultural Center, will be the keynote speaker.


“Our last two benefit concerts were complete sellouts at the Diana Wortham Theater in Asheville and the Tryon Fine Arts Center in Tryon,” Bob Tavernier, organizer of the concert and father of Christopher, said. “We’re expecting a great crowd at Chapman, too.”


Christopher Tavernier made his debut as the youngest concert pianist in North Carolina at the age of 13, performing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concert No. 1 in B Flat minor with the Tar River Philharmonic Orchestra. This year, he was named the First International Perzina Artist by Perzina Pianos, the first to receive the distinction since the company’s founding in 1871.


Cobb is an international performer and recording artist known for his broad interpretive range and technical command. He studied with Claudio Arrau, whose teacher was a pupil of Franz Liszt. Throughout his career, Arrau (1903-1991) was renowned throughout the world as one of the supreme keyboard masters of the century. Liszt was a student of Carl Czerny, who was a pupil of Ludwig van Beethoven.


Tavernier and Cobb are set to begin the program with an eclectic prelude of some of Liszt’s most loved solo pieces. The two pianists will alternate, each playing parts of the composer’s powerful works, ending with a performance of Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, a composition arranged exclusively for two pianos.


In connection with this concert, the public has the opportunity to win a painted Perzina piano valued at $10,000 through a raffle. Perzina pianos, sold locally by Freeburg Pianos of Asheville, are among the world’s finest instruments, known for excellent quality and sound. Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg orchestrated having the piano painted by renowned visual artist Mark Anderson, who titled this original artwork, “Visions After a Sermon.” Raffle tickets are $25 each and may be purchased through Chapman Cultural Center’s Ticket Office, Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg, and Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra. They can be bought online at Raffle tickets are sold separately from concert tickets.


“People will hear two of the most spectacular two-piano compositions ever written, starting with Liszt’s pieces that make listeners feel like they’re dreaming almost,” Tavernier said. “From classical piano to to sacred choral and orchestral music, these pianists will have you savoring each sensation and maybe giving into your darker side. This music is powerful.”


Tickets are $15 for general admission and $12 per senior and student, available both online at or in the Center’s Ticket Office. Groups of 10 or more will receive a 10 percent discount.

Spartanburg, SC ArtWalk Slated for August 20

Spartanburg’s monthly ArtWalk will be Thursday, Aug. 20, 5-9 p.m., and many of the local galleries and museums will have new or continuing exhibits for the public to see. ArtWalk is the third Thursday of every month. Many of the art galleries and museums in and near downtown Spartanburg stay open late so that patrons can see what is new on the local art scene. Many of them have wine-and-cheese type refreshments, receptions, and special programs. There is no cost to attend. The participating galleries are as follows:


Chapman Cultural Center

200 East Saint John St., Spartanburg


Through the Lens Photography — Chapman Cultural Center will exhibit works by local photographer and retired Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Jimmy N. Gibson. Gibson became interested in photography during a guided tour of a Buddhist temple by a Korean soldier early in his military career. Throughout the years since then, Gibson has worked with many types of photography, with his favorites being MACRO, still, and portrait photography. Also visit Spartanburg Art Museum and Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg Gallery.


Spartanburg Art Museum

Chapman Cultural Center, 200 E. Saint John Street, Spartanburg


Pot Boiler — Pot Boiler is a group exhibition featuring the work of nine artists. This varied and playful exhibition includes a collection of images and objects that range from surreal photographs of toys to large installations to performance based work that activates viewer participation. What appears to be an almost childlike innocence in imagery and objects has metaphorical undertones that resonate in our personal and collective imaginations.

Closing Reception: Jimmy Gibson — SAM will host a closing reception for a close friend of the museum, local artist Jimmy Gibson. Gibson’s exhibition Through The Lens Photography features a variety of photographic techniques and subjects, showcasing the talents of an accomplished artist.

Putt It Together — HUB-BUB and Spartanburg Art Museum are teaming up! Make a wacky putter out of improvised materials! Gather up some quirky items and bring them to SAM 5-7 p.m. during ArtWalk to create your own putter, or make one beforehand for more time to enjoy some delicious refreshments.  Supplies are limited so stop by early! Then register for the Putt-It-Together Tournament to compete for the ultimate prize at a Tournament at Sparkle City Mini Putt. (Homemade putters only.)  Besides the grand prize, prizes for Most Elegant Putter, Least Functional Putter, and Most Creative putter will be awarded. This do-it-yourself putter workshop is free. The tournament is free for SAM members and $3 for non-members.  Both events are family friendly.


Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg

Chapman Cultural Center, 200 East Saint John Street, Spartanburg


Textures in Colors — Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg is hosting Carol Funke and Kate Thayer in the Guild Gallery this month. There will be a food-and-drink reception during ArtWalk, 5-8 p.m. Funke’s textured handmade papers and pigment dyes has an exciting, interesting feast for patrons’ eyes. Thayer, using pastels and oils, thinks of her paintings as poems – wordless encounters with stunning voices of nature – in its colors and forms.


The Johnson Collection Gallery

154 West Main Street, Spartanburg


Coming Home — This exhibition features a selection of works from The Johnson Collection that serve as powerful visual representations of the concept of home. Paintings by artists such as Alfred Hutty, Harrison Cady, William Halsey, Gilbert Gaul, and Rudolph Ingerle, among others, conjure memories of one’s own travels leading to a place of comforting familiarity, evoking a sense of peace that is at once palpable and profound.


UPSTATE Gallery on Main

172 E. Main Street, Spartanburg


Bridget Kirkland, artist and graphic designer, continues her exhibit in August and will discuss her work during ArtWalk. Reception 5 to 8 p.m. Kirkland uses her design and photography skills to create work that “recalls memories and interprets through image design.” Also, see selected works by Andy Warhol and Beatrice Riese from the permanent collection.


Kiss The Frog Gallery

518 East Main Street, Spartanburg


First Anniversary Party — Kiss the Frog Gallery will celebrate its first-year anniversary with a glamorous, Hollywood, VIP, red-carpet theme during ArtWalk. The three-day celebration will continue Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., featuring the works of numerous nationally award-winning artists from the Southeast whose works include oils, acrylics, watercolors, mixed media, pottery, sculptures, and photography. Of special interests will be handcrafted jewelry by Betty Holland and Rose Marie, and estate jewelry. A preview of Christmas will also be on display. Heavy hors d’oeuvres and signature cocktails will be served.


Refuel Wine Bar

129 N. Spring Street, Spartanburg


Scott Neely’s work will be on display. Drink and dinner specials will be available during the ArtWalk.


H & K Gallery

151 W. Main Street, Spartanburg


Steve Langley, a regional bubble artist, will be at H&K Gallery for ArtWalk. He will perform an artistic presentation, creating bubble sculptures, putting bubbles inside bubbles, and putting people inside of bubbles.


Art Lounge

500 East Main Street, Spartanburg


Fused Glass Show — Camille Corn and Shelley Sperka became friends while taking fused glass art classes at Tryon Arts and Crafts. Their styles are very different but both love the process of fusing. They work together a great deal at art markets, working on projects and now, having their first art show together. By day, Sperka works in the library at her alma mater, Wofford College. Corn works in marketing and advertising at QS/1.


West Main Artists Co-Op

578 West Main Street, Spartanburg

  1. 804.6501

4th Annual Artist Invitational — This show opens during ArtWalk and runs through Sept. 12. Seventeen local artists were invited to join co-op members in exploring the theme “It’s Alien to Me.” There will be an opening reception with live music by “The Collective Mind.” Invited artists include: Bailie, Stacy Battle, Pam Stevens, Pat Kabore, Carrie Caldwell, Norman Williamson, Shannon Patrick, Alice Kay Mcmillan, Eula La Croix, Thomas Koenig, Alice Smith, Jeremy Kemp, Katee Hargraves, Logan Lockett, Sterling Jackson, Judy Martin and Amanda King. Co-op artists include Beth Regula, Jeanne Brown, Patty Wright, Annette Giaco and several others. The artists will be present to discuss their interpretation of the theme.

Also, Free Pottery Bowl-Making Session — West Main Artists Co-op and the Carolina Clay Artists will host a bowl-making session for the Hub City Empty Bowls 6 until 8:30 p.m. Clay and instruction will be provided free of charge. The bowls made will be used at a fundraiser — Soup Day — at Chapman Cultural Center on Sept. 26.


Bluegrass Artist Craig Owen Performs Live in Downtown Spartanburg SC

Chapman Cultural Center supports local singer-songwriters through its Sundays Unplugged program, providing a venue to showcase regional musical talent every Sunday, 2-4 p.m. These concerts are but one part of Sundays Unplugged, which also features free admission to art galleries and the history museum, 1-5 p.m.  Sunday, Aug. 16, bluegrass and folk artist Craig Owen performs in Zimmerli Plaza, weather permitting.Craig Owen
Having performed in the Spartanburg/Greenville area for years, Owen has played both bluegrass covers and folksy originals in many local venues. He plays bluegrass on fiddle, but plays his own modern folk and easy listening songs on acoustic guitar, pairing his instrumentals with great vocals. Owen has also produced several CDs, including The Smallest of Things and Daydreams and Memories.
Patrons may also enjoy free admission to Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg, Spartanburg Art Museum, Spartanburg Regional History Museum, and the Student Galleries. Spartanburg Science Center will also be open with a small admission fee.
Sundays Unplugged is a program of The Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg, the administrative non-profit agency that owns and operates Chapman Cultural Center and provides cultural leadership throughout Spartanburg County. For more information on Sundays Unplugged, call (864) 542-ARTS or visit

Young Pop Musician Abbey Elmore Performs Free

Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg, SC, puts local singer-songwriters in the spotlight during its weekly Sundays Unplugged program, providing casual and cultural entertainment every Sunday, 1-5 p.m. Art galleries and the history museum are open with free admission while musicians perform in Zimmerli Plaza, weather permitting, 2-4 p.m. Genres and musicians vary from week to week, and Sunday, July 26, young pop artist Abbey Elmore will perform.
A Gaffney resident and lead of The Abbey Elmore Band, which formed in July of 2012, Elmore writes songs about love and angst. Her style is a blend of acoustic and rock sounds with pop elements. Guitarist and vocalist Elmore will be joined this Sunday by the band’s drummer Tyler Tullis, who will play the cajón, a box-like percussion instrument from Peru that is played by slapping the front and back sides. Other members of the band include Donnie Elmore and Nick Wells. The Abbey Elmore Band released a music video for “Us Undaunted” early in 2015, available for viewing on YouTube. Elmore’s influences include Ed Sheeran, Green Day, Taylor Swift, A Great Big World, Arcade Fire, and Imagine Dragons.AbbeyElmore1
Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg, Spartanburg Art Museum, Spartanburg Regional History Museum, and the Student Galleries will complement the concert with free admission. Spartanburg Science Center will be open for a small fee.
For more information on Sundays Unplugged programming at Chapman Cultural Center, call (864) 542-ARTS or visit

Find Your Favorite Music Here