Asheville, NC – August 29th, 2015 marked the 10th year since Hurricane Katrina impacted New Orleans, Louisiana – environmentally, socially and economically. In honor of the contributions that this cultural capital of the world has given to music, food, the arts and LEAF, the 41st LEAF Festival has been created with the inspirational theme of “Celebrating the Spirit of New Orleans” at heart. LEAF Festival will take place from Thursday, Oct 15th to Sunday, Oct. 18th at the majestic Lake Eden in Black Mountain, NC. Performers and Artists-at-Large were hand selected with a strong emphasis on artists native of or connected to New Orleans. Headlining acts include the Grammy-award winning Aaron Neville, the legendary Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Dumpstaphunk led by Ivan Neville and many, many more!
“In creating LEAF, New Orleans (NOLA) was a guiding inspiration, states LEAF Executive Director & Founder, Jennifer Pickering, as the doors opened for musician friends and Mardi Gras Indians we stepped deeper and deeper into the gumbo of culture that continues to feed my soul. My dad grew up in the French Quarter just down from Preservation Hall. I grew up under the mystic of NOLA, visiting family, living there briefly, and being captured by the magic spirits of the place and people from Chicken Man to Second Lines to Lagniappes. When I hit Lake Ponchatrain, drove across the bridge, my senses would come alive, and I came to refer to NOLA as ‘the place where my heart beats’”.
Unlike most music festivals on your fall roster, LEAF Festival is produced by a 501(c)3 nonprofit, LEAF Community Arts (LEAF), with a mission to connect cultures, build community and enrich lives through the arts – locally and globally – with festivals, community events, and arts education programs. As a nonprofit venture, ALL donations and festival proceeds support our year round music and arts education programming, locally through LEAF Schools & Streets and globally through LEAF International.
For the first time, LEAF International Haiti, LEAF International Guatemala and LEAF Schools & Streets will be collaborating on a Teaching Artist residency at Hanger Hall, entitled “Musical Traditions of Guatemala & Haiti”. This residency features experienced LEAF International students from Haiti and Guatemala to introduce young students to the rich music and dance traditions throughout Latin America. By focusing on more than one cultural tradition, students will learn about the great diversity throughout Central America and the Caribbean. Students will learn basic Haitian drumming and dance, a tradition deeply imbedded in the cultural interplay between West African continuity, Caribbean rhythm, and acts of positive resistance that challenged oppression. Students will perform Sunday, October 18th with LEAF Teaching Artists at Roots Stage, 1:45pm.