The town of Boone continues the Summer Concerts at the Jones House on Friday, Aug. 9 at 5 p.m. with three acts set to take the stage. This concert will feature an eclectic mix of three solo guitar performers, each bringing something different to the table: Hiroya Tsukamoto, Jimmie Griffith and Melissa Reaves.
“Don’t let these one-person acts fool you,” says Brad Farthing of the Jones House. “Each performance will pack a punch with creative, real-time looping and overdubbing techniques that construct a powerful sound.”
Starting the show Friday is Japanese-born guitarist, Hiroya Tsukamoto. After receiving the banjo as a gift at 13 years old, Tsukamoto began practicing along with the only bluegrass record he owned, Earl Scruggs’ “Foggy Mountain Banjo.” Soon after, he also picked up the guitar, and in 2000 came to the United States to attend the Berklee College of Music. Since then, Tsukamoto has released three solo albums and formed his own highly acclaimed group, Interoceánico, consisting of musicians from across the globe.
It is difficult to ascribe Tsukamoto’s music to a specific style or genre. In addition to his Japanese heritage, Tsukamoto’s songs feature a blend of influences that include Southern U.S. bluegrass, Latin American folk and classical American Jazz. With a busy touring schedule this summer taking him across the country, Tsukamoto always tries to make time to play shows in the North Carolina mountains, the source of inspiration for his musical beginnings.
Second on the stage is another performer that also has some deep international connections, guitarist, flutist and percussionist Jimmie Griffith. Born and raised in the mountains of Brazil, Griffith is the son of multicultural parents and was exposed to a uniquely rich blend of musical traditions from an early age. Now living in Lenoir, he draws upon these influences, along with his love for the mountains, in the writing and performing of his songs.
As a solo artist Griffith performs under the moniker MaisCéu, which loosely translates to “more sky.” This title is fitting, as his performances transport the listener to a heavenly musical nirvana of sorts. Regardless of the language in which he sings, the unexpected yet familiar melodies and rhythms in Griffith’s songs have a universality to them that transcends geography and culture.
Rounding out the performances on Friday will be local Boone favorite and the aptly named “Queen of Action,” Melissa Reaves. A powerful avant-garde vocalist and guitarist, Reaves brings energy to all of her concerts, with a diverse repertoire of rock n’ roll, rhythm and blues, and funk sounds. Reaves’ ever-growing list of achievements and accolades include opening for the likes of Robert Plant, Sarah MacLachlan, Cyndi Lauper, Leon Russell and Doc Watson, touring across the U.S., Canada and Europe, and most notably earning multiple Grammy nominations for her individual and collaborative work.
In her single “New Rock Song,” Reaves warns the listener, “Don’t get stuck on love.” However, the audience may get stuck on loving Melissa Reaves after listening to this song nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Performance. With a powerful set of vocal cords, an electric charisma and an on-stage élan matching that of Janis Joplin, Reaves knows how to get an audience on its feet.
The Summer Concerts at the Jones House are free and open to the public. Concerts are held every Friday in June, July, and August, starting at 5 p.m., and they are held rain or shine. Patrons are encouraged to bring their own chairs or blankets to enjoy the music from the Jones House lawn. Alcoholic beverages are permitted on the Jones House property, if patrons are of legal age and bring their own beverages. No open containers are allowed beyond the Jones House property. Friendly pets are permitted on leash.
For more information about the series, including a complete schedule, please visit www.joneshouse.org or call (828) 268-6280.