Arts & Culture

'Appalachia in the Bluegrass' Closes Out Season With Paw Paws, Suffragists, Winterbirds and a Fiddler

Watch Andrew Finn Magill talk about his 2018 "Roots & Branches" concept album above.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 31, 2019) The John Jacob Niles Center for American Music’s "Appalachia in the Bluegrass" concert series closes out this November with its final four concerts of the season. The annual concert series celebrates the old-time roots of American folk music, while simultaneously representing a variety of different musical expressions.

The free public concerts will welcome to University of Kentucky's campus Lexington favorites the Paw Paw Pickers, the Women’s Suffragist Centennial Chorus, the Winterbirds and celebrated fiddler Andrew Finn Magill. All concerts begin noon on Fridays, in the Niles Gallery located at UK's Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center.

Paw Paw Pickers: Nov. 1

Since 2012, The Paw Paw Pickers have been a staple in the Lexington old time music scene. They frequently perform at Windy Corner restaurant in Lexington, Wallace Station Grill in Midway, Kentucky, and various private functions, notably the recent Appalachian Food Summit at Holly Hill Inn in Midway. Bruce Lewis, Terri Powell and Noah Adler contribute to the vocals of the group with David Wagoner on fiddle and banjo. Along with vocals, Lewis plays guitar, Powell plays acoustic bass and Adler plays the mandolin. 

Women’s Suffragist Centennial Chorus: Nov. 8

This group of volunteer singers from Central Kentucky presents a history of the 72-year long movement for women to win the right to vote with the 19th Amendment. This effort is to support the gathering of historical resources on Kentucky women's experiences in the women's suffrage movement, both here in the U.S. and abroad.

Winterbirds: Nov. 15

Winterbirds perform timeless melodies in unusual instrumental colors and thrilling textures to offer a powerful take on progressive folk. These young performers are deeply versed in traditional Appalachian folk, bluegrass and newgrass, classical music and contemporary chamber music. Their debut album "Shaker Songs" weaves the poetry of the American Shakers into a compelling exploration of the tensions between humility, self-expression and love.

Andrew Finn Magill: Nov. 22

Andrew Finn Magill is a fiddler and composer who has been pursuing careers in traditional Irish music, Brazilian choro, jazz and American fiddle for 20 years. His diverse collection of music is due to his many years abroad and a childhood growing up at The Swannanoa Gathering in Asheville, North Carolina. In 2014, Finn moved to Rio de Janeiro to study Brazilian choro music. He has been an ambassador of Brazilian violin ever since and has founded many Brazilian music groups. Finn currently tours as a solo artist and as a periodic sideman with dozens of artists in various genres.

The Niles Center is a collaborative research and performance center maintained by the UK College of Fine ArtsUK School of Music and UK Libraries.

For more information on the concert series, contact Niles Center Director Revell Carr at or visit the website at

photo of Paw Paw Pickers at Windy Corner
photo of 4 members of Women’s Suffragist Centennial Chorus backed by man on accordian
photo of Winterbirds band playing instruments
photo of Andrew Finn Magill outside cabin holding fiddle

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