MONTFORD MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES EARLY MUSIC, FOOD COMMITMENTS FOR 2020 EVENT
New Logo Also Unveiled for Asheville’s Free, Longest- Running, Family-Friendly Festival on Saturday, May 30
The Montford Music & Arts Festival, the longest-running and only free-to-the-public festival in the greater Asheville area, has announced early commitments for its music lineup and food truck or booth service for the 17th annual event on Saturday, May 30. The festival also has unveiled a new logo for 2020 and beyond.
Presented by the Montford Neighborhood Association along tree lined Montford Ave. in the historic Montford District, the event will run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. For the first time in history, this year’s festival is scheduled after Memorial Day to avoid conflict with the 50th Leaf Festival, which will be presented May 14-17 at Lake Eden.
Early music entries, all with some Montford neighborhood connection, will include singer-songwriter, funky-folk musician and multi-instrumentalist Billy Jonas, traditional and contemporary bluegrass and gospel band Buncombe Turnpike, Dixieland and New Orleans jazz group The Firecracker Jazz Band and R&B, blues and soul band Westsound.
Food trucks or booths confirmed include Vegan It (impossible burgers, Hawaiian meatloaf, quesadillas), Cecilia’s Kitchen (empanadas, tamales, Cuban sandwiches, crepes), Blue Collar Diner (all-day breakfast, mac & cheese, sandwiches) and Jamaican Flavors (curry dishes, fried and jerk chicken, jambalaya).
Created by Ross Terry of KRT Designs with direction by Montford Music & Arts Festival Marketing Chair Sherree Lucas, the new logo depicts a hummingbird in a black, gray and red design. The hummingbird image is one often used to represent Montford in house banners, the Montford website (www.montford.org) and various printed materials.
Headlining the music announcements is Jonas, who is celebrating his 25th anniversary as a performer. He has perfected the art of the neo-tribal “hootenanny” with audiences around the globe. He developed his craft in the late 1980’s as a founding member of the Oberlin College Big Bang Theory performance art collective.
Billy, who currently tours with the Billy Jonas Band which was honored with an invitation to perform at the White House in 2010, has received numerous honors and awards including an American Federation of Independent Musicians first place (Gold), multiple Parents Choice Golds and a New York Times “Best” listing. For more information on Jonas, go to: https://www.billyjonas.com/about/programs/intro/
Lead singer and bass player Tom Godleski began Buncombe Turnpike in 1997 and the group has amassed several regional and national awards over the past 13 years. With their crowd-pleasing demeanor, seasoned musicianship, and powerful vocals, the band has made a name for themselves among traditional and contemporary listeners alike. They have produced five albums, the most recent being Forever It Will Be in 2013.
Voted the 2003 International Bluegrass Music Awards Showcase Band, many of Buncombe Turnpike’s albums have been ranked among the Top 10 by WNCW Radio over the past decade. They played the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, S.C. in 2013 and opened for Marty Stuart at the Bele Chere Festival in 2007. In addition, the group won first place in the bluegrass competition at the North Carolina Mountain State Fair in 2007 and have placed first several times at the Western North Carolina State Fair. For more information on Buncombe Turnpike, go to: https://www.buncombeturnpike.com
The Firecracker Jazz Band, which carries the still-burning torch that was once lit by such greats as Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke and other icons of pre-war jazz music, has played hundreds of performances since its founding in 2003. Considered Western North Carolina’s top jazz band according to Ashvegas.com, the group has brought their high-powered music of the 20’s and 30’s to such prestigious venues as Bonnaroo, the Highline Ballroom in New York City, Sacramento Jazz Fest, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Millennium Stage in Washington, D.C. and locally at the Orange Peel.
They have shared the stage with the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Baby Gramps and the Yard Dogs Road Show. Earlier this week, the band released their fifth studio recording, Mardi Gras! Return to the Twenties, which was recorded in an old church at the world-famous Echo Mountain Studio in Asheville. The album was mixed and engineered by Grammy winner Julian Dreyer. For more information on the Firecracker Jazz Band, go to: http://www.firecrackerjazz.com.
Westsound is an Asheville-based group that plays R&B, blues and soul covers by such celebrated artists as Al Green, Aretha Franklin, B.B. King, Earth, Wind & Fire and James Brown. For information, go to: https://www.westsoundproductions.com.
Perhaps the most family friendly street festival in western North Carolina, the Montford Music & Arts Festival features a special children’s area for face painting, interactive displays, sidewalk chalk art contest and other fun activities.
Located on Montford Ave. between Chestnut and Waneta Streets just down the street from downtown Asheville, the Asheville Visitors Center and Chamber of the Commerce, the all-day event will also feature a music stage with another attractive lineup in 2020.
Dan Rogers, the festival committee chairman, said that a list of more than 100 arts, crafts and food booth vendors, as well as additional music acts will be announced at a later date.
Featuring turn-of-the-century “Victorian” homes and several bed-and-breakfast inns, a portion of Montford is proclaimed a National Register Historic District. Many of today’s Montford historic homes were designed by the same architect hired by the Vanderbilt Family to create the Biltmore Estate.
World famous authors Thomas Wolfe and O. Henry are buried in Montford at the nearby Riverside Cemetery, while the community’s rich history also dates back to the once thriving African-American community of Stumptown, which ended in the 1960’s.
The very first Montford festival was presented in 2004, held inside of Pyper’s Place, which is now Nine Mile Restaurant, and Sweet Heaven Ice Cream Shop, now a real estate office.