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  • George Lowe has had a long time interest in global music of all stripes. As a former member of Richmond bands Ululating Mummies, Rattlemouth, and Hotel X, he took a particular shine to the music of Ethiopia’s club scene. He taught himself how to transpose the music he was hearing into charts his bandmates could play. Gathering musicians from some of the aforementioned groups, along with alumni of VCU’s celebrated jazz program, he formed the Afro-Zen Allstars in 2014.
  • Whether swimming as a child, or encouraging a paddling newbie as an outfitter owner, Ashley Noble has never known a world without the James River. Raised on the water from a very young age, she now runs her family’s business, James River Reeling and Rafting.
  • Horace Scruggs holds many profound connections with the James River, from a long family history along its banks, to seeking calm and empowerment while paddling its waters. His most recent journey down the river as a documentary filmmaker has added yet another link between his life and the James.
  • We first enjoyed the thoughtful story songs of North Carolina son of a preacher man and Gulf War veteran Jonathan Byrd when he played our concert series solo nearly a dozen years ago. He’s spent the last two decades sharing his gift of telling small, simple, human stories in an eloquent and elegant way.
  • This show spotlights the New England collective known as Crocodile River Music, a talented and diverse collaborative dedicated to preserving and celebrating traditional African culture.
  • When Tricia Pearsall moved to Richmond in 1966, she wasted no time getting familiar with her new waterway by canoeing and kayaking on the James. Over time, she witnessed transformative changes in the river that has made it one of Richmond’s most beloved features today.
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  • The James River has been a constant and cherished companion in musician Elizabeth Wise’s life. When she was homesick for the river, she wrote a song about it called “Richmondtown (Peace of Mind)”, which has become the title track for Stories by the James.
  • This edition of the show featured a refreshing hour with Tarheel songstress and cellist Shana Tucker and her engaging accompanist Christian Tambur. Together they brought us a tasteful sampling of what’s been dubbed ChamberSoul, that weaves jazz, folk, acoustic pop, and a touch of R&B into melodies that might echo in your head for days.
  • Throughout her life, Amber Ellis has turned to the James River for comfort and inspiration. Whether seeking a spot in nature to clear her head, or trying to find more meaning in her work, the river has flowed through Amber’s world as a guide every step of the way.