Arts & Culture

Appalachia Concert Series Returns With Shows Featuring LaMay and Reese, Don Pedi

See Don Pedi perform at 2014 Shindig on the Green.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 6, 2017) The upcoming performances in the "Appalachia in the Bluegrass" concert series are filled with artists committed to keeping the folk music genre alive and thriving. On Friday, Sep. 8, traditional folk musicians LaMay and Reese will perform. The following Friday, Sept. 15, dulcimer legend Don Pedi will perform. Both free public concerts will begin at noon, at the Niles Gallery, located in the University of Kentucky Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center

Folk in Common

Joe LaMay and Sherri Reese began singing together after they met at a folk song gathering in 1998. For 19 years, the duo has gained a reputation for their impactful song writing and old-style harmonies.

LaMay was bitten by the music bug early, drawing inspiration from artists like Buddy Holly, the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan. It was this love of rock and folk style that began LaMay’s journey to study musical roots.

Musicianship runs in the Reese family. She follows in the footsteps of her father, a bluegrass and traditional country music artist. Her musical influences are credited to groups such as the Carter Family, Don Reno and Red Smiley, and the Stanley Brothers.

Today, LaMay and Reese are popular festival and concert performers looking to inspire their audience to embark on a traditional folk journey.

A Grandfather’s Legacy

Born into a musical family in Massachusetts, Don Pedi follows in his grandfather’s footsteps of being a gifted musician and singer with a love for the traditional folk sound. He got involved with folk music during the early 1960s, and is now recognized as one of the best lap dulcimer players in the country. His musical influences include artists such as Doc Watson, Almeda Riddle and Frank Proffitt.

Pedi is distinguished from other artists by his unique style of fiddle tunes. Today, aside from traveling to perform, he is a teacher, a radio host and a visual artist.

The Appalachia in the Bluegrass concert series celebrates the old-time roots of American folk music by highlighting a diverse range of traditional musical expression. The concert series will showcase 12 different artists, duos and groups from southern Appalachia ranging from hometown heroes to those who have earned international acclaim.

The John Jacob Niles Center for American Music, host of the concert series, 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 “Appalachia in the Bluegrass” concert series or the concerts featuring LaMay and Reese or Don Pedi, contact Revell Carr, director of the Niles Center, by email to or visit the website

photo of LaMay and Reese
photo of Don Pedi playing dulcimer

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