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2nd Annual Upper East Tennessee Fiddler's Convention
April 27, 2018 - April 28, 2018
Upper East Tennessee has long been a land of deep musical traditions. Englishman Cecil Sharp knew this in 1916 when he selected Rocky Fork in Unicoi County as his first stop to collect ballads. And in 1925 the famous Mountain City Fiddler’s Convention attracted a who’s who of southern Appalachian fiddling, and reminds us just how varied and unique this regions music is. The gateway mountain counties of Unicoi, Carter, and Johnson give way to the great Tennessee Valley to the north and west, and to the upper reaches of the western North Carolina mountains to the south and east. The story of the music here is one about the movement of people, both in and out of these highlands, and a story about people playing music, from generation to generation, in their chosen community. The Upper East Tennessee Fiddler’s Convention celebrates not only the early influential musicians who made recordings (JD Harris, Osey Helton, John Dykes, George and Lloyd Payne, Dud Vance, GB Grayson, Charlie Bowman, and many others), but also the those who played informally, for the love of music and fellowship with one another.
The Upper East Tennessee Fiddler’s Convention is a collaboration between Rocky Fork State Park and ETSU’s Department of Appalachian Studies, with support from the Tennessee Arts Commission.