“There is really no better way to celebrate America’s birthday than celebrating its music”

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The traditional music of America is being celebrated in one of America’s most historic sites right here in our own backyard. Wednesday marked the launch for the 1st Annual BlueGrass Music Festival. Cranston Mayor, Allan Fung, and Warwick Mayor, Scott Avedisian, were both in attendance. The unveiling took place in historic Pawtuxet Village. The mayors were joined by local residents and band members who will be performing in this week’s festival. This marks the first time that both cities, in association with the Rhode Island Bluegrass Alliance, will come together to put on an event for everyone in the community to enjoy.

The weekend long event begins July 4th and continues throughout the weekend. During the day, Aspray Park in the heart of Pawtuxet will be taken over by local food vendors, farmer’s market, arts and crafts booths and live acoustic performances and jams by local bluegrass artists. In the evening, the festival moves to Rhodes on the Pawtuxet with performances by  Grammy nominated bands Blue Highway and SteelDrivers along with award winning innovator Tony Trischka & Great Big World and many more.

Chris Keenan, who helped plan and organize the music festival, emphasized that even if you do not know anything about Bluegrass it will still be a great experience and you are guaranteed to have a good time. “There is really no better way to celebrate America’s birthday than celebrating its music,” said Keenan.

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Bluegrass with Street Cred

“While we have some of these amazingly talented musicians here,” Keenan added, “We’ll also be conducting a series of master classes.” From seminars on the basics, to workshops for all skill levels, to some serious insider music-tips, these more intimate sessions will focus on Banjo, guitar, vocals, songwriting, the music business, or just Q&A about how to jam, or what it’s like to be on the road.” It’s a chance to get up close and personal with some amazing talent,” says Keenan. Pete Wernick, Mike Kropp, Susahn Fiering, George Harper, as well as members of Blue Highway, SteelDrivers and Tony Trischka will be leading the sessions.

By: Surya Moreira

Photos by: Karin Tavares