February 4, 2000

More Information:
Eastman Office of Communications, 585-274-1050

ROCHESTER, NY – Legendary American folk guitarist Doc Watson, a five time Grammy winner and recipient of the National Medal of Arts, will perform in concert as part of the Eastman School of Music’s World Music Series at 8 p.m., Thursday, February 24, in Kilbourn Hall (26 Gibbs St.).

Though it wasn’t until age 30 that Watson began to develop a professional music career, he has since recorded close to 50 albums and performed all over the world, from local stops near his hometown in Deep Gap, NC, to Carnegie Hall, to locations in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Blending his traditional Appalachian musical roots with bluegrass, country, gospel, and blues, Watson not only has earned a reputation as the folk guitarist’s gold standard, but also has created a unique style and repertoire of his own. Now in his 70s, Watson – who remarkably also is blind – continues to be a musical innovator. The New York Times once noted that although Watson is "a living museum of American roots music," he is far from dated, still experimenting with more current styles and idioms.

Known for his informal charm and extraordinary ability to turn large concert halls into intimate performance settings, Watson is a popular performer, but one who gets harder to book as the years go by. After the tragic loss of his son and one-time performance partner Merle in 1985, Watson actually stopped performing altogether. He has since resumed a limited schedule of about 20 concerts a year (accompanied by guitarist Jack Lawrence). His concert in Kilbourn Hall is a rare opportunity to experience America’s own unique musical heritage with a truly magnificent performer.

Tickets for this concert are $5, $10, and $15, and are available at Ticket Express, 100 East Avenue (222-5000). Any unsold tickets will be available at the hall box office one hour before the performance.

Eastman’s World Music Series is designed to showcase the music of cultures from around the world. The series continues on Saturday, March 25, with a concert by the South Indian percussion ensemble Trichy S’ankaran, followed by a performance featuring the School’s own Balinese gamelan ensemble on Tuesday, April 4. (Both concerts will be at 8 p.m. in Kilbourn Hall.)


Note to editors: Photos and a complete bio of Doc Watson are available.