Music Maker 25
Pickers & Storytellers:
“Blind Boy” Paxton,
Jake Xerxes Fussell
& Gail Caesar
Wednesday, December 4, 2019 | 8:00 pm
The ‘Music Maker 25’ package — which provides access to all seven ‘Music Maker 25’ shows at The Fruit — and single tickets, including $10 Duke student tickets, are now on sale. Packages and single tickets can be purchased online, via phone at 919-684-4444, and in person at the Duke University Box Office, Tuesday through Friday, 11 AM to 6 PM.
Ninety minutes before each concert, visitors are invited to experience 25 years of Music Maker Relief Foundation history at an extensive exhibition chronicling the organization’s work.
Music Maker 25 opens at The Fruit with a celebration of the next generation of Piedmont Blues boundary-pushers and tradition-preservers. Founding Carolina Chocolate Drops member Dom Flemons, 2018 GRAMMY nominee for Black Cowboys and “equal parts studious folklorist, multi-instrumentalist, and American griot” (St. Pete Catalyst), pulls from repertoire covering more than a century of American musical tradition. Hailed by The Wall Street Journal as “virtually the only music-maker of his generation playing guitar, banjo, piano, and violin to fully assimilate the blues idiom,” Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton reaches back with his faithful renditions of 1920s and 30s songbook repertoire. Two accomplished pickers — Durham-based Jake Xerxes Fussell and Pittsville, Virginia-based Gail Caesar — further demonstrate that the future of the music is in good hands. Each artist will perform a short set and close out the show together in a finale of their favorites.Music Maker 25 is made possible, in part, with support from the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation and the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. Music Maker 25 is proud to be a part of Come Hear NC and the Year of Music in North Carolina, as well as the Smithsonian Year of Music.
“It’s not uncommon for [Paxton’s] audiences to whoop, holler, and stomp in unison — hard enough to shake the floor.”