Fostering all forms of Americana & roots music…
MUSIC EDUCATION & OUTREACH
As part of Blue Sky’s mission, commitment to music education plays a key role. The initial two-year partnership with Cabbage Patch Settlement House in Old Louisville invited professional or ‘working’ musicians to bring the art and business of music straight to young people. Native singer-songwriter danny flanigan was the featured artist for BSK’s inaugural visit to Cabbage Patch in February of 2010, and Alabama musician Grayson Capps became a three-time favorite when touring through town from his home bases in New Orleans and Nashville. In April of 2015, the music ed program picked up where it left off and with local ‘sirens’ kRi & hettie, followed by area swing/roots favorites Small Time Napoleon in May and Kentucky Arts Council teaching artist Greg Acker‘s hands-on drum workshop in June. Fall introduced the power folk of Vandaveer‘s Mark Heidinger, the traditional stylings and layered harmonies of multi-instrumental trio, Maiden Radio, and the “CariBlueJazz” of Big Poppa Stampley. 2016 kicked off with tin-pan-alley hot jazz maven Rick Quisol and his Derby City Dandies, followed up with the bluegrass prowess of Aaron Bibelhauser & Steve Cooley, Kentuckiana Blues Society winner JonBoy Slim, and a weeklong Blue Sky Summer Music Camp with J.C. Reedy in early July.
“The visual and performing arts are an emphasis of our Recreation / Youth Development program.
Blue Sky Kentucky’s music education program further enhances our existing programming in music, including choir and our popular guitar program.” Rev. J. Tracy Holladay, Cabbage Patch executive director
The original Americana Caravan presented listening room style shows in a professional setting with a three-fold focus: 1) to raise awareness of the organization and its mission; 2) raise funds for future endeavors; and 3) showcase some of the finest Americana music around. First up to bat back in 2010: Texas outlaw country-rocker Joe Ely. A fresh focus for these stand-alone concerts utilizes new and alternative spaces in new places both indoor and out.
The first of these was BSK’s inaugural event in the Pavilion at S. Third & Hill Streets in the Old Louisville historic district. This FREE beer garden-styled shindig overlapped with the annual Hidden Treasures Garden Tour and featured yummy eats from Old Louisville’s Gumby’s Catering, libations for what ‘ales’ you, toe-tappin’ sounds of tin pan alley troubadours The Derby City Dandies AND the knock-out harmonies of Louisville’s 2015 Folk Band of the Year Bridge 19.
Events @ The Pavilion continued in August with hot times and veteran performers – Louisville’s Own HOG OPERATION hauled out their signature blend of Bluegrass, Newgrass, Roots, Celtic & Blues. Free, family-friendly and an easygoing crowd…
HOUSE CONCERT SERIES
A house concert is exactly what the name implies and then some. In a nutshell, house concerts are the grassroots answer to live, acoustic music and song “performed in the comfort of your own home in the company of your finest friends, family and music hounds”. They may also be held at a nearby small private space, such as a barn, backyard, gallery, etc. They often feature local and regional artists yet touring musicians, especially those of the roots genre, are including house concerts as part of their tour schedules with greater frequency.
On the rise in recent years, house concerts have been going on for decades to one degree or another and in all parts of the country, Louisville included, be they stand-alone or part of a series. BSK has its sights set on the latter, a more structured approach to the house concert format with shows booked on a regular basis. A variety of locales are part of the mix, artists are on the radar.
So, some things old and some things new for the Blue. Do check in often for updates as partnerships are established and programming continues to build, one step at a time.