The Kruger Brothers to premiere Roan Mountain Suite
Award-winning trio to be joined by The Kontras Quartet in honor of Stanley A. Murray and the Roan Mountain Massif
Nashville, TENN --- The Kruger Brothers have become world renowned for their unique classically-infused folk/acoustic music. On October 15th at the Paramount Bristol, the trio will debut of an original work, commissioned to honor the region, history and legacy of Tennessee’s Roan Mountain. Tickets: ticketf.ly/2bPMygp.
The Roan Mountain Suite is the 5th commission granted to composer Jens Kruger and the Kruger Brothers trio, who will be joined by The Kontras Quartet for the premiere. The performance coincides with the 50th anniversary of the inaugural meeting to conserve the Roan, an effort initiated by the late Stanley A. Murray, husband of patron, Judy Murray, of Kingsport, TN.
Judy Murray founded The Stanley A. Murray Roan Mountain Suite Memorial Fund and sought support for the project. Her passion has now become a reality, and on Oct. 15th she will experience the debut of this lasting tribute to her husband and the legacy for which he planted the seed in the 1960’s.
Dedicated to the memory of Stanley A. Murray, 1923-1990, The Roan Mountain Suite is a musical experience honoring the treasured landscape of the region. Stan Murray was a 14-year Chairman of the Appalachian Trail Conference, a visionary and champion of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail and Highlands of Roan, and Founder of the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, initially founded for the protection of Roan Mountain appalachian.org/, and its flagship project: appalachian.org/conservation/roanhighlands.html
“Roan can be perceived in many ways through all of our senses, and countless words, beautiful words, have been written about the Roan, and glorious photographs have been taken, but I’ve always felt that Roan needed a wonderful piece of music to pay tribute to it, to honor it,” Murray says. “When I heard the Kruger Brothers and works that Jens had composed, I knew I’d found my composer and my musicians.”
The Roan Mountain Suite is a vibrant new example of Jens Kruger’s brilliant ability to enlist the illustrative power of music to tell a story in eloquent detail. While Jens plays in a melodic style that has roots in bluegrass, his music is distinguished by long, melodic passages and a complex compositional foundation, often building on jazz or classical themes and techniques.
“Jens is able to capture the essence of a landscape and translate it into music,” Murray says.
Jens Kruger is currently nominated for the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Banjo Player of the Year Award for 2016. He was awarded the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass Music in 2013, the fourth recipient of this prestigious honor. Jens is known for his innovative banjo composition and performance, integrating folk music with European classical music. Jens was inducted into the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame in 2011.
Originally from Switzerland, Jens Kruger began playing North American folk music at an early age and was particularly inspired by recordings of Doc Watson, Flatt and Scruggs, Bill Monroe, and other progenitors of country, bluegrass and folk music. He writes the music for all of The Kruger Brothers’ original tunes, collaborating with brother, Uwe Kruger, for insightful and stirring lyrics that complement the music. In 2006, Jens began his official venture into the themes and forms of classical music when he was commissioned to write Music from the Spring for banjo, guitar, bass and full symphonic orchestra. Jens has since received four commissions to write classical pieces which The Kruger Brothers have performed with various orchestral ensembles: Appalachian Concerto with string quartet; Spirit of the Rockies (commissioned by Canada’s iconic Banff Center) with a small orchestra; Lucid Dreamer, a chamber music piece written specifically for and commissioned by the Kontras Quartet; and now, the Roan Mountain Suite.
“Music is an enhancer,” Jens Kruger says. “For instance, you can look a landscape and the right music enhances the emotion you have for that imagery. Music also shapes, to a certain degree, your perception of the landscape.”