The Kruger Brothers offers an innovative approach to bluegrass composition and performance
May 28, 2015
Using a variety of music forms and techniques to explore sounds from the American musical tradition, The Kruger Brothers will share an innovative approach to composition and performance at 8 p.m. on Friday, June 12, with an evening of bluegrass music and a special performance with the Amernet String Quartet.
Presented by the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech, the performance will be held in the Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, located within the Moss Arts Center’s Street and Davis Performance Hall at 190 Alumni Mall.
Born and raised in Europe, brothers Jens (banjo, vocals) and Uwe Kruger (guitar, lead vocals) started singing and playing instruments at a very young age. They were joined by Joel Landsberg (bass, vocals) in the early 1990s, solidifying the trio. Through a rich cultural palette, the Kruger Brothers deftly cross the boundaries of bluegrass, jazz, and classical territories.
In an expanding body of work, The Kruger Brothers embrace the spirit that forms the core of American music. The honesty of their writing serves as the hallmark of the group’s work, along with Jens Kruger’s banjo playing and composition. His melodic playing style, which stems from the three-finger bluegrass style popularized by Snuffy Jenkins and Earl Scruggs, is differentiated by long melodic passages and a complex compositional foundation that builds on jazz or classical themes and techniques.
The award-winning Amernet String Quartet joins the trio for a performance of “Appalachian Concerto.” Written for banjo, bass, guitar, and string quartet, Jens Kruger composed the piece in 2010. With three movements, “Appalachian Concerto” brings cultural dimension with distinct musical themes — German, Irish, Scottish, Jewish, and Cherokee, among many others — that can be heard throughout the work. By straddling so many musical worlds, Jens Kruger allows a contemplation of the various identities that have come together within Appalachia.
“Appalachian Concerto” is a deeply personal work for Jens Kruger. Originally from Switzerland where The Kruger Brothers first formed, the band later moved to North Carolina, in part to be closer to the music that has inspired them and so much of their work. The concerto was composed on a property within the foothills of the Brushy Mountains, in a place that embodies the beauty and the isolation reflected in the composition. Jens Kruger uses the piece to celebrate the history, landscape, and determination that continues to form the character of the Appalachian region.
The Amernet String Quartet is currently the ensemble-in-residence at Florida International University and has performed across North America, South America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, collaborating with many prominent artists and ensembles.
Tickets are $25 for general admission and $10 for students and youth 18 years old and under. Tickets can be purchased online; at the Moss Arts Center's box office, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday; or by calling 540-231-5300.
Parking is available in the North End Parking Garage on Turner Street. Virginia Tech faculty and staff possessing a valid Virginia Tech parking permit can enter and exit the garage free of charge. Limited street parking is also available. Parking on Alumni Mall is free on weekdays after 5 p.m. and on weekends.