Athy Arts Community Centre news

The Spirit of Pete Seeger

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Date(s) – 7 Nov 2017
8:00 PM – 9:45 PM

Athy community arts centre


When Pete Seeger first heard Michael Miles, he sent a letter to Michael saying that “in all my 70 years this is among the most beautiful recordings I’ve ever heard…it is enough to make me want to learn the banjo all over again.”

Michael Miles is one of America’s most inventive clawhammer banjo players. Add guitar, vocals, jazz instruments, orchestras and complex historically-themed theatrical presentations to the mix and, two decades later, Michael has a critically acclaimed catalog of original compositions, stage performances, music CD’s and music instruction books.

Michael Miles performance credits include the Kennedy Center, Smithsonian Institution, Ravinia Festival, Harris Theatre in Chicago,American University in Beirut, and the Royal Opera Theatre in Marrakesh.

Michael previously served as the Program Director at the Old Town School of Folk Music bringing the school to international acclaim. Under his guidance the student population grew from 200 students to over 4000.

“Highly recommended….an exhilarating, musical and multi-dimensional journey….a provocative political and social history of America.”
– Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times
From Senegal to Seeger is Michael J. Miles’ acclaimed one-man show featuring musical and written works of Pete Seeger, Carl Sandburg, Woody Guthrie, Walt Whitman, Johann Sebastian Bach, Mark Twain and others.

Protest, passion, politics, poetry — the banjo is the voice of the people, and From Senegal to Seeger unshackles that voice. From Senegal to Seeger is a journey into Americana — a social and political portrait of America through the eyes of the banjo.

In this 90 minute tour-de-force Michael performs on seven banjos, playing music that spans 300 years and charts the transformation of the banjo from an African instrument to the quintessential expression of the American voice.

Protest songs, fiddle tunes, minstrel sounds — a dazzling array of banjo playing forms the backbone of From Senegal to Seeger, but it is the poetic words of participants and Michael’s masterfully woven narrative that complete this portrait of the American experience.

Michael has performed this critically acclaimed one man musical documentary in a wide variety of venues over the past 15 years including the Smithsonian Institution in Washington and the Kennedy Center in New York.

“…this is enough to make me want to learn the banjo all over again.” – Pete Seeger

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