When the Appalachian Cultural Music Association announced late last year that it was relocating from the Bristol Mall to 620 State St. in downtown Bristol, Tenn., board members decided to bring the annual Leon Kiser Memorial Tribute Concert with them.
Previously held at the Paramount Center for the Arts, this year’s 17th annual show is set for Saturday, Feb. 23 on the second floor of the Foundation Event Facility at 620 State, which is also home to the ACMA’s Pickin’ Porch. Plans are under way to relocate the Mountain Music Museum, also under the ACMA umbrella, next door to the Foundation Event Facility at 626 State St. this spring.
“We are excited to be working with the fine folks at the Foundation Event Facility in downtown Bristol this year, and we are amazed at the quality of the venue and the intimate setting it has with bands and the audience,” said Delores Anshutz, the chairman of the Leon Kiser Concert committee. “We are looking to have another great concert this year to raise funds for the two scholarships at East Tennessee State University’s Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music Program.”
Tickets are $15 in advance and are available at Morrell Music stores in Bristol and Johnson City or by calling (423) 218-9931. Admission is $20 at the door.
Proceeds benefit the Benny Sims and ACMA’s Leon Kiser Scholarships at ETSU.
The concert — named after the late Kiser, a longtime musician and supporter of traditional music — is designed to honor musicians and contributors to the music of the Southern Appalachian region.
This year’s honorees include Paul Williams, who performed in the 1950s with Jimmy Martin and the Sunny Mountain Boys and now fronts his own band, Paul Wlliams and the Victory Trio, and Rita Forrester, daughter of the late Janette Carter, who founded the Carter Family Fold in Maces Spring, Va., and granddaughter of the late A.P. and Sara Carter of the original Carter family.
Receiving posthumous honors will be the late Charlie Bowman. A pioneer in old-time fiddle music, Bowman was born in 1889 in Gray and traveled to New York to record for several record labels in the 1920s.
Scheduled to perform at Saturday’s concert are Williams and his Victory Trio, the ETSU Bluegrass Pride Band, the ETSU Old Time Pride Band, Raymond McLain and the Morehead State University Mountain Music Ambassadors, the Kiser Family, Jim Bowman, Duty Free, the Holston Mountain Boys, Lonesome Will Mullins, Lightnin’ Charlie, Tim White and Breaking Tradition.
For more information, visit www.appalachianculturalmusic.org .
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