AmiciMusic, the award-winning chamber music organization dedicated to intimate concerts in nontraditional venues, kicks off 2020 with Go Tell it On the Mountain, a special vocal program celebrating African- American History Month with soprano Simone Vigilante and pianist Daniel Weiser. The concerts will be held at three different venues from Friday, February 21, through Sunday, February 23, and will feature spirituals including “Go Tell it On the Mountain,” “Wade in the Water,” “Amazing Grace,” and “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” interspersed with fun ragtime interludes.
“There really would be no ‘American’ music without the contributions of African Americans who gave us such a rich musical tradition from spirituals to ragtime to the blues and jazz and who were also extremely instrumental in the development of country music, rock and roll and other genres,” says Weiser.
During the performance, Weiser will share stories about the songs on the program. Audiences will hear about the use of spirituals as a way for slaves to cope with their unbearable circumstances and about how the songs were used to guide them to safety on the Underground Railway through the coded language of their lyrics. Weiser will also share stories about the birth of ragtime at the beginning of the 20th century.
“Many of the great American songwriters such as Harold Arlen, George Gershwin and Jerome Kern borrowed heavily from African-American folk styles to help produce the Great American Songbook as well as such momentous works as Rhapsody in Blue and the musical Showboat,” says Weiser.
Concerts are held at a private residence in Hendersonville on Friday, February 21, at 7:30 p.m.; at St. Giles Chapel in Deerfield Retirement Community on Saturday, February 22, at 3 p.m.; and at the historic Orchard Inn in Saluda as a fundraiser for the new Saluda Tourism and Visitor Center on Sunday, February 23, at 4 p.m.
Information and advance tickets for all shows are available at AmiciMusic.org (click on the link to Asheville Concerts at top of page), or by calling Daniel Weiser at 802.369.0856.