Imagine for a moment, if you will, the first time you witnessed the incomparable musicianship of the traditional/Americana legend, Doc Watson. Now, take it a step further, and try to picture the wide-eyed amazement of a five-year-old child sitting at the knee of the master.
That’s exactly what happened to pianist, Jeff Little, who will be appearing along with his trio at the Sunrise Theater in Southern Pines on July 29. His parents owned a music store in Boone, North Carolina, and Doc was a frequent visitor. He often would come in and play on Christmas Eve. Jeff tells the story of one particular Christmas Eve when his parents sold twenty-nine guitars. “Apparently, they all thought they would go home and learn to play like Doc!” Jeff laughed.
Today, Jeff Little is far more than an accomplished musician. He and the Jeff Little Trio, including national award-winning banjo player and guitarist, Steve Lewis, and bassist, Josh Scott, have traveled the world showcasing Jeff’s totally unique piano style. All hail from the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, and are schooled in the music traditions of that special corner of the world. They have appeared countless times on PBS, at the Smithsonian Institution, American Piano Masters, Merlefest, and many other festivals and venues.
So, what can one expect at a Jeff Little concert? It is so much more than a bluegrass show, though the trio does that very, very well. American swing, rockabilly, country, gospel, and even jazz can be featured in the show. At a recent concert, Jeff even did his own take on Take Five, the intricate and innovative Dave Brubeck number. Above all, expect to be entertained with superior musical talent, humor, and a show that has something for everyone.
The following represents just a sampling of reviews of this one-of-a-kind performer:
“Jeff Little tore the place apart with his wondrously quick and articulate piano style. He is tricky and playful, yet always intelligent and richly melodic.”
-The Boston Globe
“Jeff Little is a remarkable musician, steeped in the tradition of his native Blue Ridge, yet also a virtuosic and eclectic innovator.”
-National Public Radio
“There is a more contemporary mountain tradition in Jeff’s performance. His lead solos are breathtaking in their speed, precision, and clarity.”
-The National Council for the Traditional Arts “American Piano Masters”
The Jeff Little Trio will be making its first-ever appearance in the Sandhills of North Carolina. It promises to be an unforgettable show – a family-friendly experience that should satisfy all musical tastes. But most of all, you’re going to leave smiling. As one of the Sunrise Theater’s board members says, “He’s funnier than a rubber crutch!”
Tickets for the Jeff Little Trio are on sale now and can be purchased at the theater, by phone at 910-692-3611, or online at www.sunrisetheater.com.
The show will be held July 29, 2017 at 7:30 PM. Doors will open at 6:30 PM.