Diversity Is Key At The Fifteenth Annual GrassRoots

The fifteenth annual Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance (GrassRoots) promises to be the most musically diverse one to date, ensuring that the event is unmatched in Upstate New York. Performances will range from Tinariwen, a group that formed in a rebel training camp in Libya, to Grammy Award winning Ricki Lee Jones, the premiere singer/songwriter of her generation, to a specially formed Grassroots Chamber Orchestra, who will performing Sunday, July 24th and everything in between. Over 60 other unique performances will entertain at the four-day event, July 21-24, held at the Trumansburg Fair Grounds in Trumansburg NY. GrassRoots is a non-profit, vehemently non-commercial event, which focuses on “Supporting the Arts, Education, and the fight against AIDS ” while preserving cultural diversity through music. It combines the excitement of big venue blowouts with the intimacy of a small town celebration, and draws an exuberant caravan of listeners whose love for traditional and roots music unites them. On the opening night of GrassRoots, Thursday July 21st, audiences will experience the dessert nomad Malian rock group, Tinariwen, along with 20 other unique performances.Winners of a 2005 BBC Radio 3 World Music award, Tinariwen was formed in a rebel training camp in Libya by a group of soldiers fighting in a civil war that wrecked Mali in the late 1980’s/early 90’s. In those years, Tinariwen also forged a more lasting weapon: a freedom rock of ancient desert song and blues fundamentals played on electric guitars with the same bite and spirit of the ’68 Rolling Stones. On Friday July 22, the GrassRoots audience will be treated to a rare performance by the Grammy Award Winning Ricki Lee Jones, the premier singer/songwriter of her generation. Along with Ricki Lee, over 30 other performances will entertain on Friday. Rickie Lee is best known for the songs: “We Belong Together,” “Weasel and the White Boys Cool,” “Chuck E.’s in Love,” and “Coolsville,” and many others. She is a gifted guitarist that moves easily from riffs to sophisticated jazz harmonies. Rickie Lee is a sweet, sexy and smart vocalist who has a poetic way with words and a penchant for bohemian debauchery. “I’m more interested in following my own muse than in musical trends,” stated Rickie Lee Jones, which makes her a perfect fit for GrassRoots. In celebration of Grassroots’ 15 years of commitment to diverse and eclectic programming a special musical ensemble has been formed, The Grassroots Chamber Orchestra. The Orchestra will be performing Sunday morning, July 24th, on the Grandstand Stage. Conductor Cayenna Ponchione will lead the group in performing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1, Mozart’s Overture to the Marriage of Figaro and the Beethoven violin concerto featuring violinist William Hurley and more. GrassRoots will also feature performances by The Meditations, a beloved trio from the roots era of reggae; The Waifs, a rising Australian folk band; Dervish, a seven-piece Irish group; and Ronnie Bowman and the Committee, which CMT named Bowman as one of the best vocalist in Bluegrass. The GrassRoots favorites will also be there to make sure the weekend is complete and unmatched by any other event in Upstate New York. Visit www.grassrootsfest.org for the full line-up. Tickets are on sale NOW at www.grassrootsfest.org or by calling (607) 387-5098. Advance four-day tickets are $75; $85 at the gate; Youth (age 13-15) are $35 in advance and at the gate; Children 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult; day tickets are Thursday $30; Friday $35; Saturday $40; and Sunday $30. Camping is available as well as discounts packages at many local Hotels and Inns. Volunteer opportunities are available for a weekend pass, please email [email protected] to learn more. The gates open Thursday at noon and close at dark on Sunday. Please call 607-387-5098 or visit www.grassrootsfest.org for more information. Continuing in the decade long tradition, GrassRoots will features four stages, workshops, a Healing Arts tent, crafts, demonstrations, food, as well as a Kids’ Area, which has its own schedule of performers, crafts and events, plus a mid-festival parade. Whether you come for the day or the weekend, one will see that GrassRoots is organized and geared toward being a true family affair. www.grassrootsfest.org, 607-387-5098


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