Jubilee Community Arts
JCA logo

at the Laurel Theater


Laurel Theater

Special Announcements:

Concert Calendars:

Jan-Feb 2020

Mar-May 2020

Purchase tickets 

51st Jubilee Festival March 21-22

Watch videos from our concerts





Ongoing Events

JCA Records

Radio Programs

Directions to the Laurel Theater

Tips on parking

Membership

Wedding & Special Event Rentals

Old-Time Music on the Web

Tennessee Folklore Society

Press photos

Links


Concert Schedule - tickets at Brown Paper Tickets


Knoxville Square Dance

Spring Lizards

Thursday, February 13, 8 p.m.

Join our Appalachian square dance with live old-time music by the Spring Lizards and calling by Leo Collins and Stan Sharp. No experience is necessary and the atmosphere is casual. No taps, please.

$5 JCA Members & Seniors • $7 General Admission

The Smoky Mountaineers

Old-Time String Band

Saturday, February 15, 8 p.m.

Frank Lee, Allie Lee and Bradley Adams of the legendary Freight Hoppers are joined by Knoxville fiddler Frank Bronson for powerful old-time and bluegrass music. Frank Lee has played banjo since he was eighteen years old. He founded the influential old time band the Freight Hoppers in the mid-nineties. Allie Lee was a founding member of the Whipstitch Sallies and has played with Frank and the Freight Hoppers since 2016. Bradley Adams was a founding member of regional acts Sawmill Creek and Commonfolk and a member of the Freight Hoppers from 2008 to 2016. Frank Bronson, son of old-time fiddler Ken Bronson, started playing fiddle at age three and performs regularly with the Tennessee Stifflegs.

$12 JCA Members, Students, Seniors • $13 General Advance
$15 General Day of Show • $8 Children 12 & under

Sparky and Rhonda Rucker

African-American Music Traditions

Saturday, February 22, 8 p.m.

Presenting traditional blues and folk repertoires from Civil War days to the present, Sparky Rucker is a highly accomplished banjoist, guitarist, storyteller, historian and humorist. Having learned his craft from master musicians John Shines, Rev. Pearly Brown and Homer Walker, Sparky is proficient in Delta, Piedmont and Mountain acoustic traditions. Harmonica player and vocalist Rhonda Rucker joins Sparky. Her blues-style harmonica, piano, old-time banjo, and bones add musical versatility to their performances. Rhonda has just released a new historical novel Welcome to Bombingham.

$12 JCA Members, Students, Seniors • $13 General Advance
$15 General Day of Show • $8 Children 12 & under

Kukuly & the Gypsy Fuego

Vintage Jazz

Friday, February 28, 8 p.m.

Kukuly and the Gypsy Fuego is a Knoxville based acoustic ensemble that plays hot jazz inspired by the music of legendary French Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt, and jazz violinist Stéphane Grappelli. The band’s extensive repertoire includes swing standards, ballads, bossa novas, tangos, waltzes, Latin songs and other vintage-jazz sources done in uniquely arranged styles. Playing everything from Django Reinhardt through Gerswhin and Antonio Carlos Jobim. The band’s lineup includes guitarist and vocalist Kukuly Uriarte; violinist Seth Hopper; guitarist and vocalist David Bivens and cello player Andy Bryenton.

$12 JCA Members, Students, Seniors • $13 General Advance
$15 General Day of Show • $8 Children 12 & under


Leroy Troy

The Tennessee Slicker

Friday, March 6, 8 p.m.

Leroy Troy delivers a strong solo old-time banjo performance in the tradition of Uncle Dave Macon, Grandpa Jones and Stringbean. At sixteen he began studying with Middle Tennessee banjoist Cordell Kemp who had in turn learned much from Macon himself; at seventeen he dazzled a nationwide audience on the hit TV show Hee Haw with his banjo expertise and natural gift of comedy.

$12 JCA Members, Students, Seniors • $13 General Advance
$15 General Day of Show • $8 Children 12 & under

Bill and the Belles

Old-Time & 1920s Song

Saturday, March 7, 8 p.m.

With striking three-part harmonies and masterful instrumentation, Bill and the Belles skillfully present the sounds of early country music. The Johnson City based group focus on the music traditions of their region, from sentimental Southern ballads to the popular songs of Tin Pan Alley to regional fiddle breakdowns. A Bill and the Belles show is a celebration of the diversity country music once represented.

$12 JCA Members, Students, Seniors • $13 General Advance
$15 General Day of Show • $8 Children 12 & under

Knoxville Square Dance

Music by the Spring Lizards

Thursday, March 12, 8 p.m.

The Knoxville Square Dance is back on second Thursdays at the Laurel. Traditional regional square dance, with fine old-time music by the Spring Lizards and callers Leo Collins and Stan Sharp. No experience or partner is necessary and the atmosphere is casual. No taps, please.

$5 JCA Members & Students • $7 General Admission

51th Jubilee Festival

A celebration of traditional music

Saturday-Sunday, March 21-22

JCA showcases some of the finest practitioners of mountain music across the generations, home grown in our own back yard. Saturday and Sunday nights we will have old-time string bands and plenty of jamming in the basement. This year’s festival includes plenty of old-time with some blues, early jazz and traditional song and the annual Epworth Old Harp Singing on Sunday afternoon. See the full schedule here.

The Jubilee Festival is part of the Penny4Arts Program — with the advance purchase of one adult ticket through our regular ticket outlets up to three children’s tickets may be purchased for a penny each. Penny tickets are limited and must be reserved in advance through the JCA office at 522-5851.




Kelle Jolly

and the Will Boyd Project

Saturday, April 4, 8 p.m.

Originally from South Carolina, Kelle and her saxophonist husband Will Boyd make their home in Knox County. Kelle’s music influences include Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Nina Simone and Sarah Vaughan, and her repertoire includes early regional women blues and sacred singers, among them Knoxvillians Leola Manning and Ida Cox. Kelle is host of “Jazz Jam with Kelle Jolly” on WUOT 91.9. Will Boyd is a member of the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra.

$12 JCA Members, Students, Seniors • $13 General Advance
$15 General Day of Show • $8 Children 12 & under

Knoxville Square Dance

Spring Lizards

Thursday, April 9, 8 p.m.

Join our Appalachian square dance with live old-time music by the Spring Lizards and calling by Leo Collins and Stan Sharp. No experience is necessary and the atmosphere is casual. No taps, please.

$5 JCA Members & Seniors • $7 General Admission

Don Don and Po Show

Bluegrass and Swing

Saturday, April 11, 8 p.m.

The Don Don and Po Show brings together Don Cassell, Don Woods and Barry “Po” Hannah, all highly respected local musicians. Mandolinist Don Cassell is known for his work with the Dismembered Tennesseans, the Tennessee Sheiks and Strange Company, Don Woods plays guitar with the Tennessee Sheiks and the Lone Mountain Drifters, and Barry “Po” Hannah plays guitar with RB Morris, Tim Lee and others. They will be joined by Jeremy Carriger on bass.

$12 JCA Members, Students, Seniors • $13 General Advance
$15 General Day of Show • $8 Children 12 & under

Kevin Burke

Irish Fiddle

Saturday, April 18, 8 p.m.

Kevin Burke has earned international acclaim in both Europe and America as a solo performer, a teacher and as a member of some of the Irish music revival’s foremost groups including the Bothy Band, Celtic Fiddle Festival and Patrick Street. He has been the recipient of many awards including Ireland’s “Gradam Ceoil” Traditional Musician of the Year and a National Heritage Fellowship, the USA’s highest honor for excellence in the folk and traditional arts.

$16 JCA Members, Students, Seniors • $17 General Advance
$21 General Day of Show • $11 Children 12 & under

Jamie Laval

Music of Scotland & Ireland

Saturday, April 25, 8 p.m.

Fiddler Jamie Laval presents an evening of music from Scotland, Ireland, and Brittany. Jamie gave a private performance for Her Majesty the Queen, appeared on Dave Matthews’ platinum Some Devil album, and presented a TEDx Talk on the value of arts and music in our communities. Murmurs and Drones, Laval’s 2012 release, won the popular vote for “Best World Traditional Album” in the Independent Music Awards. Laval’s newest album, Celtic Christmas was released in December 2019 to critical acclaim.

$19 JCA Members, Students, Seniors • $20 General Advance
$24 General Day of Show • $12 Children 12 & Under

Jay Clark & the Tennessee Tree Beavers

Topical Song

Friday, May 1, 8 p.m.

Jay Clark has been a staple in the East Tennessee music scene for more than 20 years, supplementing his career as a scientist with performing his songs across the Southeast and Southern Appalachia. Jay recently released his fifth recording, Of Mountains & Heartbreak. He will be joined by Greg Horne on lead guitar and Daniel Kimbro on upright bass.

$12 JCA Members, Students, Seniors • $13 General Advance
$15 General Day of Show • $8 Children 12 & under

Dom Flemons

American Songster

Saturday, May 9, 8 p.m.

Dom is a music scholar, historian, record collector and a multi-instrumentalist, with a repertoire of music covering over 100 years of American folklore, ballads, and tunes. He plays banjo, fife, guitar, harmonica, jug, percussion, quills, and rhythm bones. In 2018, Flemons released the Grammy nominated solo album Dom Flemons Presents Black Cowboys on Smithsonian Folkways part of the African American Legacy Recordings series, co-produced with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. In 2005 Dom co-founded the Carolina Chocolate Drops who won a Grammy for “Best Traditional Folk Album” in 2010 and were nominated for “Best Folk Album” in 2012. While with the band he performed at the Laurel Theater. He left the group to pursue his solo career in 2014. Dom’s debut appearance on the Grand Ole Opry was in 2018.

$16 JCA Members, Students, Seniors • $17 General Advance
$21 General Day of Show




Our Mission

Jubilee Community Arts (JCA) is a regional, community cultural center dedicated to preserving and presenting the traditional arts of the Southern Appalachians. We began operating as an arts presenter in Knoxville in 1969 and received 501(c)3 status in 1980. The organization's stated mission is "to promote, preserve and present the performing arts of the Southern region and to nurture the cultural milieu responsible for the birth and evolution of these and related art forms." JCA serves two overlapping constituencies: 1) rural, predominately European- and African-American communities of East Tennessee, and 2) the more ethnically diverse communities of the Knoxville metropolitan area.

Join us

If you believe in our mission and want to help out, become a member of Jubilee

Jubilee Community Arts
1538 Laurel Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37916-2016
(865) 522-5851 sketch of theater

info @ jubileearts.org


Our Programs

Concert Series -- One or two nights a week from September to May we host some the finest traditional artists in the world. The majority of our concerts highlight the salient genre of the Upland South, including fiddle, banjo, string bands, a cappella singing, gospel, blues, and related forms. Knoxville is at the center of an incredibly rich complex of traditional performing arts and it is our primary task to document, present, and thereby preserve those traditions. We also recognize the importance of the traditional arts of more recently arrived populations and so schedule concerts ranging from mariachi ensembles to Balkan singing. And we always make a place in our series for younger and emerging local art forms that derive from the older traditions.

Radio Programming -- Altogether JCA is regularly on the air for six hours each week. Mountain Jubilee with program host Paul Campbell is jointly produced with WUOT and airs in Knoxville at 9pm on Saturdays and is also aired by Carlisle, PA station WDCV and by WDVX at 6 pm on Sundays. Sunday Jubilee airs from 6 to 11 pm Sundays on WDVX including Mountain Jubilee, Live at Laurel, Wild Hog in the Woods, Music of the Cumberland Trail and Tennessee Country Classics. All our radio programs are available on the internet.

Festivals -- Our Jubilee Festival, now in its 50th year, is devoted to presenting older traditions of the area. The finest musicians in the region have played at the Jubilee Festival. JCA also produces on a less regular basis special events highlighting Gaelic music and the arts of the many diverse communities of the area.

Jubilee Records -- JCA recently began publishing digital recordings. Our first titles include an anthology of the Pine Breeze Recordings, ballad singers Johnny Ray Hicks and May Justus, and a training CD on area harp singing.

The Fryer Gallery -- In 2000 we opened our new Gideon W. Fryer Gallery in the lower room at the Laurel Theater. The gallery is intended to provide a space for interpretive exhibits on the traditional arts of the region.

Field Research -- With a trained folklorist on staff, we spend as much time as we can locating and documenting regional traditional artists. We maintain a database and act as a clearinghouse for area artists, connecting artists with producers. Some of the presenters we have worked with include The Smithsonian Institution, The Library of Congress, NPR, Prairie Home Companion, The Southern Arts Federation, The Georgia Arts Commission, The Kentucky Arts Commission, and The North Carolina Arts Council.

Archives -- We attempt to document all our performances and field research. Our archives contains over 1200 7" reels of analog audio tape, 200 2-hour digital audio tapes, and about 2000 still images.



The Laurel Theater

The organization owns and operates the Laurel Theater, a 19th century converted church located in the Fort Sanders community of Knoxville. The building was extensively renovated in the 1980's and houses an acoustically and visually excellent concert hall, a secondary display and performance space, an archives of sound recordings, audio production facilities, and the organization's offices.

Services to the Community

Jubilee Community Arts and the Laurel Theater is home to many affiliated groups devoted to the furtherance of traditional arts. They include The Epworth Old Harp Singers, The Knoxville Country Dancers, The Knoxville Cajun Dance Association, the Trollkretsen Scandinavian Dancers, The Knoxville Scottish Music Club, The Knoxville Writer's Guild, The Knoxville Swing Dance Association and the English Country Dancers. In an average week during concert season over 1000 people use the Laurel Theater.

Getting the Word Out

Four times a year we send out our calendar listing all our current activities to a lovingly maintained mailing list of about 4,500 households. We also reach about 5,000 people a week via our radio programs.

Getting the Work Done

Jubilee does all this with only one full time and two part-time paid staff. How is that possible? A lot of people help out. We have a large, working board and an active volunteer corps. Call us if you'd like to help.

Support

About half the money we need comes from ticket sales, service contracts and other earned income. We regularly receive major financial support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Tennessee Arts Commission, the East Tennessee Foundation and the Arts and Culture Alliance of Greater Knoxville. We are also a member of and receive support from Community Shares. Other supporters include the City of Knoxville, Knox County, and Bluebird Christmas Tree Farm. Our major media partners include WUOT, WDVX and Ullrich Printing.

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