Since 1992, the Carl Acuff Jr. Variety Showband has become an American institution…We have New and Old Country, Gospel, Comedy, Nostalgic Rock N Roll, Motown, Doo-wop, Disco, Audience Participation, Impersonations and of course a salute to all of our men and women in uniform from past, present and future that is sure to have you on your feet! The group covers everyone from Hank Williams to Bruno Mars.
Is Carl Related to Roy? Well, guess you’ll have to ask him when we bring him to our town!
Nowhere else in Arkansas can you get this opportunity to study under guitar virtuoso Laurence Juber. LJ will hold a two hour class in the afternoon before his 7:00pm concert at Harrison’s “Roots Music Palace of the Ozarks,” the historic 1929 Lyric Theater! The price for this class is $50—but, if you have a ticket to the concert at the Lyric on Saturday evening (or to Friday’s concert at Sunrise Guitars adjoining venue Sunrise Stage in Fayetteville), you only pay $40!
James White (local guitarist and vocalist and columnist for the Harrison Daily Times) writes, “Although some people refer to ‘Up Close with LJ’ as a master class, he thinks of it as a workshop. He says it’s multi-level and addresses a range of fundamental concepts, some advanced musical information and general guitaristic ‘tune-ups.’ There is a component he calls ‘guitarology,’ in which he explores differing finger style patterns that go back to the beginning of the instrument.
LJ has released 17 critically acclaimed solo albums which feature his celebrated arrangements of popular tunes and genre-crossing compositions. In Fall 2010, he released the highly anticipated LJ Plays the Beatles Vol. 2. He was voted “Guitarist of the Year” by the readers of Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine and named one of the top acoustic guitar players of all time by Acoustic Guitar Magazine—and he is on its cover again for the October, 2018 issue, as he releases his new album, which traces the roots of fingerstyle guitar. From classical to the Beatles and Hendrix, LJ is a master of it all, and is coming to share his insights with you!
How about Some Musical Sleight of Hand? The Magic of the Piano with Scott Carrell!
Sunday, June 24 at 2:00PM
“We were very honored that he included Oklahoma State University on his tour schedule. While the audience was dazzled by his technical brilliance, they were also drawn in by his thoughtful musical interpretation. He was so engaging and knowledgeable as he talked to the audience; students and community members alike felt as though they came away having learned a great deal. It was also a real treat to have the opportunity to hear him perform his own wonderful composition.”
– Ms. Heather Lanners, Assistant Professor of Piano
Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK
Showcasing well-known masterpieces as well as less familiar works deserving greater recognition, pianist Scott Carrell is known for his virtuosic flair, expressive playing and informative comments. From Romantic fireworks to graceful classics, he gives audiences the “highest level of classical music entertainment and education.” Now he brings that virtuosity and desire to give all he has received also to every audience member the historic Lyric Theater on the Harrison, Arkansas square. June 24 at 2:00PM is the time for the event and tickets are available in advance for $7.50; at the door, they will be $10.
A native of Texas, Carrell has performed numerous recitals as soloist and as collaborator, including concerto appearances with the Austin Symphony Orchestra, the Pine Bluff Symphony Orchestra, the Southwestern University Orchestra, the Plainview Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Worth Civic Orchestra, the Little Rock Wind Symphony, the New York Classical Players, and twice with the Harding University/Community Orchestra.
An active chamber musician, he co-founded the Searcy Chamber Music Series and has performed on many of its concerts. He has also performed in recital and small ensembles in Florence, Italy, and Mainz, Germany and was the guest artist for the 2011 Robert Herrin Piano Festival at Texarkana College. In 2014, Carrell was invited to Guangzhou, China, to perform a concert, to give lectures, and to teach piano students in masterclasses. Most recently, he was the featured artist for the 2017 Scott Joplin Festival at Northwest Missouri State University, giving a recital, lecture, and masterclass.
In 2005 his compact disc Crossings was released, including the world premiere recording of the title work, an original composition based on a painting by an Arkansas artist. The disc Ragtime Memories was released in 2007. Other premieres of original works include a Suite for Brass Quintet (2011), Dance for Oboe and Piano (2011), and Conversation for double-reed trio (2015).
Carrell has spent much of his career exploring the music of French composers, with an emphasis on finding unknown masterpieces deserving recognition. This work has resulted in several concerts of French music and in the release in 2016 of the disc Piano Works of Noël Gallon, featuring world premiere recordings of music by a Paris Conservatory professor.
Receiving degrees from Southwestern University, the University of Illinois, and the D.M.A. from the University of North Texas, Carrell studied with internationally-known artists Drusilla Huffmaster, Ian Hobson, and Vladimir Viardo and participated in masterclasses with Abbey Simon, Gail Delente, and Dominique Merlet. The French Piano Institute awarded him a prize for the best performance of a work by Henri Dutilleux at the 1996 FPI Festival in Paris, France. He was also honored with the Distinguished Teacher Award from Harding University for the 2003-2004 and 2012-2013 academic years.
An active member of the Arkansas State Music Teachers Association, he has presented sessions at both regional and state conferences and serves as a division coordinator of MTNA. Currently teaching piano, piano-related courses, and music theory at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, Carrell is in demand as a soloist, collaborative artist, teacher, and adjudicator.
Máire Ní Chathasaigh and Chris Newman:
Celtic Traditional, Baroque, Bluegrass, Swing
with Harp and Guitar
POSTPONED Due to Visa Problems Thursday, November 2 at 7:00PM
The celebrated virtuoso partnership of “the doyenne of Irish harpers” (Scotland on Sunday) and “one of the UK’s most staggering and influential acoustic guitarists” (fRoots) is coming to “The Roots Music Palace of the Ozarks,” Harrison, Arkansas’s historic Lyric Theater, Thursday, November 2, at 7:00! Their performances—described by The Irish Times as “music of fire and brilliance from the high-wire act in traditional music”—are rooted but eclectic, emotional but adventurous: a breathtaking blend of traditional Irish music, hot jazz, bluegrass and baroque, coupled with striking new compositions and Chris’s delightfully subversive wit.
The children of the neighborhood teased Máire Ní Chathasaigh and her sister as they walked down the street. Her family in Brandon, West Cork, Ireland was the only one playing traditional music, so they would be teased for being out of step with the times. “We used to be laughed at by other kids because they thought we were being old hat, she says. But that first Planxty album let people see that traditional music could be modern and sophisticated, that it wasn’t some sort of hick music.” (Quoted from “Harping in the Traditions,” by Rob Adams.)
Not only her name (pronounced, Moyruh Nee Kha-huuh-sig), but her upbringing was in keeping with the traditional ways of the Gaelic-speaking Irish, her family featuring generations of musicians and poets carrying forward the folklore of her heritage. She and her sister, fiddler Nollaig Casey (Casey being the Anglicised version of Chathasaigh), were trained in both classical and folk music, both instrumental and vocal. While many worked at bringing forward the old music in new forms for pipes and fiddle, Máire revitalized the harp tradition virtually all by herself. “Since then, there’ve been lots of young people playing traditional music on the harp but there wasn’t anybody else playing when I was coming up,” she says. “If you played the pipes there were loads of recordings and a whole tradition to learn from. But I had nobody, just my ears, and I created techniques and ornaments, ways of doing things, and it was all done by trial and error, by myself. So if I got a lot of attention, it was because I was the first to do it.” (Quotes from “Harping in the Traditions.”)
Having become the first harpist to record an album primarily off Irish dance music in 1985, Máire first teamed up with English guitarist Chris Newman two years later. Celebrating their thirtieth anniversary of collaboration with their current tour of the United States, Máire and Chris will bring their internationally-heralded mastery of styles from traditional Celtic to Baroque to Swing along with a penchant for inventive soloing and challenging interaction between the artists to Harrison’s Lyric Theater for a 7:00 performance on Thursday, November 2.
“When I met Chris, he liked, but didn’t know that much about, traditional music, so he spent a lot of time learning from me,” says Maire. “Then we started experimenting with things he was proficient in, like swing, which he played with Stephane Grappelli as a teenager. We’re completely open, if we hear something nice, we’ll just say, ‘let’s play that.’ It’s extremely enjoyable to experiment and see just what your instruments can do, and we never run out of things to play.” (Quotes from “Harping in the Traditions.”)
Máire won the Senior All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil Harp Competition three times in succession, in 1975, 1976 and 1977—a record that is still unsurpassed. More recently, she was Female Musician of the Year in the Live Ireland Music Awards 2016, where she was described in the citation as “the greatest Celtic harper of our age”. This recognition is not confined to Ireland, though, as she also was named Female Musician of the Year in the Chicago Irish American News Top TIR Awards 2016.
She is the best harp player in Irish music. There are several great Irish harpists—we think of Michelle Mulcahy, Catriona McDonald, Ailie Robertson, and Emer Mallon. There are more. They are all uber-fab. But, then there is Maire. Her new album is called Sibling Revelry. Really, there are no words. Just know this.
Máire has also won awards with Chris Newman, including “Album of the Year” (Live Ireland) and also the “Best Celtic Instrumental Album” (JUST PLAIN FOLKS AWARDS Nashville, Tennessee), 2009 for their album FireWire, as well as “Folk Album of the Year” (The Daily Telegraph) for their 1987 album The Living Wood.
Traditional Celtic music, along with Baroque, Bluegrass, and Swing will be performed by Máire Ní Chathasaigh and Chris Newman at downtown Harrison’s historic Lyric Theater, Thursday, November 2, at 7:00. Tickets available now at our ticketing page or by calling (870) 319-3504.