Play it again

‘Play it Again’ concert series
opens season at Gen. Butler State Park

Music series features
a variety of ‘Americana’ sounds

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

CARROLLTON, Ky. (May 2009) – When they began playing music together as members of the Louisville Leopard Percussionists, Nora Grossman, Ben Scruton and Eli Kleinsmith had no idea where the union would take them. The trio of 16-year-olds now performs their own style of music and will kick off this year’s Play It Again concert series at the Butler Turpin State Historic House located inside Gen. Butler State Resort Park in Carrollton.

Nora, Ben & Eli

Photo provided

Teenage music trio “Nora, Ben and Eli,”
will kick off the ‘Play it Again’ series
at General Butler State Resort Park.

Known as Nora, Ben & Eli, the teenagers play an eclectic mix of music including Irish and Appalachian folk, jazz, old time music and original tunes. Past performances include appearances at World Fest 2007 and 2008, Mellwood Arts Center, Third Avenue Café and Lynn’s Paradise Café, all in Louisville.
This talented ensemble doesn’t let their age hold them back. Performing as seasoned musicians, each member has trained on a variety of instruments.
Grossman, a sophomore at DuPont Manual High School, plays guitar, mandolin, percussion, ukulele and piano. As interested in dance as she is in music, she pursues this interest through the Angleterre Morris Dancers, Samovar Dance Theatre and the Salsa Club at her high school.
Scruton, a junior at DuPont Manual High School, is fluent on a range of folk instruments including banjo, guitar, ukulele, mandolin, accordion, tin whistle and recorder. He performs with the Youth Performing Arts School bands and the Louisville Youth Orchestra, playing piano and trombone.
Kleinsmith, a junior at St. Francis High School, plays guitar, piano, banjo, mandolin and percussion. He is an outstanding fiddler and accomplished classical violinist, having performed with the Louisville Youth Orchestra for three years.
“They are extremely busy students and involved in a lot of activities,” said Scruton’s mother, Lisa Willner. Performing while still in school is “a juggling act for all of them.”
The trio has been influenced by musicians at the Hindman Settlement School’s Appalachian Family Folk Week, Berea College’s Christmas Country Dance School, and the Port Townsend (Washington) Festival of American Fiddle Tunes. They are constantly adding new styles of music, new instruments, and even traditional dance elements into their repertoire.

Play it Again Series 2009 Schedule

• May 23: Nora, Ben & Eli (folk-jazz)
• June 27: Jimmy Mundane of the Jimmy Mundanes (folk-rock-Americana)
• July 25: Cutthroat Shamrocks (Celtic-acoustic experimental)
• Aug. 29: The Downtown Country Band (Americana-acoustic alternative)
• Sept. 29: Dan Hardin (acoustic pop)
• Oct. 17: J. Glenn (folk-country-blues)
• Information: (502) 732-4384, ext. 2415

They have attended the Appalachian Family Folk Week ever since they were kids, said Willner. It’s been a great opportunity for them to be mentored by professional folk musicians, she said.
“These kids are wonderful,” said Evelyn Welch, who manages Butler Turpin. “They are so talented and enterprising.”
The trio will open the Play It Again concert series at 7 p.m. on May 23. A variety of musical genres will be presented during the 2009 season. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs.
Welch first saw the trio a few years ago at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft in Louisville. They fit Welch’s three criteria for the series: an American music genre. She likes to feature a very young band each year, and they write original music “and keep alive standards of both jazz and folk music,” she said.
“This concert series is about promoting original music and/or old time music that should not be forgotten,” said Welch. This free series was begun because Welch wanted “to build relationships with people in the community, nearby counties and those visiting the park.”
This will be the eighth season for the Play It Again series. It is made possible through the Kentucky Department of Parks and Carrollton-Carroll County Tourism.

Back to May 2009 Articles.



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