Arts Performing Arts

A Swannanoa Solstice Welcomes Zoe & Cloyd to its Lineup

Zoe & Cloyd. Photo by Sandain Gaither

The 19th annual A Swannanoa Solstice takes place Sunday, December 19, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Diana Wortham Theatre in Asheville. Since 2003, the show has delighted audiences with world-class Appalachian folk, becoming a beloved holiday tradition with its mix of Celtic, American Roots and world-influenced music. The concert features performers and tunes that reflect the heritage of the hills and spread a peaceful, united and uplifting message for the holiday season. This year, fiddler and vocalist Natalya Zoe Weinstein and award-winning songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist John Cloyd Miller of Zoe & Cloyd join the cast for the first time.

“For a while now we have thought that Zoe and Cloyd’s fine musicianship and connection to the area’s traditional music would be an excellent addition to the show,” says A Swannanoa Solstice founder, emcee and performer Doug Orr. “When long-time ensemble member Ellie Grace announced she was starting a family and would be suspending her performances, it opened a slot for Zoe and Cloyd.”

Weinstein is a classically trained musician, and Miller is an Artist Fellowship recipient for songwriting from the North Carolina Arts Council. Both are instructors in the Traditional Music Program at Warren Wilson College. The duo’s portion of the show will include selections from their klezmer (Jewish folk music) repertoire, as well as traditional bluegrass Christmas songs and other seasonal favorites.

“We enjoy celebrating a variety of holiday traditions in our family, including Hanukkah, the Winter Solstice and Christmas, and teaching our daughter about them,” says Weinstein. “We are really excited to share them as part of the show this year.”

This season’s returning performers include Robin Bullock, helping lead the celebration with his iconic stringed Celtic and Americana sound; four-time Grammy Award-winning musician, storyteller, artist, historian and radio and television host David Holt; professional Highland bagpiper EJ Jones and the Piper Jones Band; Phil Jamison, a flatfoot dancer and acclaimed old-time musician on banjo and fiddle; and, back for a second season, Grammy nominee and rising acoustic music star Josh Goforth.

“As I founded A Swannanoa Solstice with a fond hope and a vision, it is most gratifying that the show has become a popular and festive holiday tradition at the Wortham Center,” says Orr. “And it is a special tribute to the talented local artists in our cast, all of whom perform on national and international stages.”

Diana Wortham Theatre is located inside the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts at 18 Biltmore Avenue, in downtown Asheville. Tickets to A Swannanoa Solstice are $20–$58. To purchase tickets or to learn more, visit WorthamArts.org.

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