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American Roots Weekend - Friday Night

Muziekpublique @Théâtre Molière
24/03/2023 from 20:00until 24/03/2023 - 20:00
24 Mar
Muziekpublique @Théâtre Molière
Square du Bastion 3
(galerie porte de namur)
1050  Ixelles

Intro ballads West-Virginia, Docu, Intro Sacred Harp & Jam session


Come discover and discuss “old-time” music, an American tradition whose lively practice has spread to Europe.

This themed weekend is proposed to you to immerse yourself in this culture with simple finery, but requiring you to immerse yourself in it to understand its appeal: the construction of a rhythm and a melody in unison, made to take away, in dance and music, the feet of the participants.


The weekend will begin on Friday with an immersion in West Virginia. Annick Odom will introduce you to the ballads of this state, famous for these traditional songs passed down orally over generations. They often talk about stories and local culture and are performed most often without musical accompaniment by women. Annick Odom will introduce you to Phyllis Marks: a late ballad singer from whom she learned in person many pieces from the region's repertoire. An opportunity to discover the treasures of this multi-centenary style and to sing your own first ballad.


The evening will continue with the screening of the documentary Dance All Night – The Highwoods Stringband Story. In the 1970s, this group won over tens of thousands of listeners with its musical genius, combining humor, exuberance and an eclectic repertoire. He was nominated for Grammy Awards and performed at major festivals. Combining performance footage, photographs, sound recordings and interviews, this colorful film by Larry Edelman captures the spirit of the times and of this unique band.


Léo Divary will finally present the Sacred Harp, a style of a capella choral music that was developed in the United States in the 18th century. It is considered one of the earliest styles of American music and has remained popular to this day. The Sacred Harp is characterized by complex harmonies and a unique method of musical notation that uses geometric shapes to represent notes in a way that makes it accessible to everyone. Léo Divary will present this technique and give the public the opportunity to try it themselves: thrills guaranteed.


The evening will end with a Sacred Harp practice session in the foyer, followed by an ‘Old-Time’ jam session.




On Saturday, a teachers' concert will be organized in the foyer, followed by an 'Old-Time' ball (square dance). More info on the concert page.

Workshops will be offered throughout the weekend. See the full program on the courses page.