Martha Redbone broadens Americana music with her folk, soul, and American Indian influences
November 19, 2018
Known for her tasty gumbo of soulful roots music, Martha Redbone embodies the folk and country sounds of her childhood in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky mixed with the eclectic grit of her teenage years in Brooklyn.
Experience her broadening the boundaries of Americana when she brings her “Roots Project” to the Moss Arts Center stage on Friday, Nov. 30, at 7:30 p.m.
The performance will be held in the center’s Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, located within the Street and Davis Performance Hall at 190 Alumni Mall.
With her gospel-singing father’s voice and the spirit of her Cherokee/Shawnee/Choctaw mother’s culture, Redbone embraces folk, country, Piedmont blues, gospel, bluegrass, soul, and traditional American Indian music. Her “Roots Project” concert is celebratory, congregational, and infectious. The audience will be invited to join in and sing along, clap, dance, and be uplifted in song.
Redbone's performance will include original compositions and settings from her latest album “The Garden of Love—Songs of William Blake” and classic protest songs that relate to current events. Redbone created her newest album with her long-term collaborator, pianist/composer Aaron Whitby. Produced by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band founder and Grammy winner John McEuen, the album blends the musician’s voice with the English poet’s immortal words and a masterful mix of roots music.
“The Garden of Love—Songs of William Blake,” along with her sophomore album “Skintalk,” are recognized as examples of contemporary Native American music in the permanent library collection at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.
Redbone and Whitby are recipients of the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) National Theater Project Creation and Touring Grant and National Performance Network Creation Fund and Lincoln Center. Redbone is a 2015-16 fellow of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation.
Alongside her career as a recording artist and songwriter, Redbone gives her time to causes she believes in. She guest lectures on subjects ranging from Indigenous rights, the role of the arts in politics, and Native American identity at universities across the country and leads workshops and motivational talks for school-aged children on reservations.
An exemplary ambassador for both Native and African-American youth for the National HIV/Aids Partnership, Redbone was awarded the Red Ribbon Award for Outstanding Leadership presented on World AIDS Day at the United Nations in 2005. Currently, Redbone is an advocate for WhyHunger.org’s “Artists Against Hunger and Poverty” program, raising awareness of poverty and hunger in the United States, with a particular focus on the Appalachian region.
During their visit to Blacksburg, Redbone and her band presented a matinee performance of “Traditional Southeastern Tribal Songs and Dances” for students in third through sixth grades from Giles, Montgomery, Pulaski, and Roanoke counties, as well as the cities of Radford and Roanoke.
Tickets are $20-45 for general public and $10 for students and youth 18 and under. Tickets can be purchased online; at the Moss Arts Center's box office, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; or by calling 540-231-5300 during box office hours.
While Virginia Tech students can always attend any Moss Arts Center performance for only $10, the center also offers free last-minute rush tickets for students who sign up for text notifications. To receive these notifications, text “arts” to 31996. Availability of rush tickets varies by performance and are available on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last in the box office. Virginia Tech ID will be required for admission.
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.
If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Kacy McAllister at 540-231-5300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to an event.