This community event is a free concert series that is a gift from the Town of Port Royal SC, produced by ARTworks, the arts council of Beaufort, Port Royal and the Sea Islands. All the concerts are free at 6 p.m., bring your chairs and dancing shoes. For more information, contact ARTworks at 843-279-2787 or www.ArtWorksInBeaufort.org.
Saturday, August 31: Dwayne Dopsie and the Zyedco Hell Raisers
A flaming accordion fuels this dance party from New Orleans! Dwayne Dopsie hails from one of the most influential Zydeco families in the world — his pa was the beloved Rockin’ Dopsie. Inspired by tradition, Dwayne’s six piece band blazes a distinct path for 21st century Zydeco music, adding a bit of rhythm and blues, funk, rock and roll, reggae and pop to their performances. The band has performed in more than 70 international festivals and appeared on the Travel Channel, Discovery Channel, MTV Brasil, Warner Network, UPN, Programa Jo in South America, the Food Network, 20/20, CBS This Morning, Good Morning America and the Fox Television Network News, as well as in The New York Times, USA Today and Los Angeles Times. Dopsie has been dubbed “The Hottest Accordionist” in America for his ability to both work the crowd and pump out musical harmony in grandiose fashion.
Saturday, September 14: Lavon & Louise
Lavon Stevens has long been one of Hilton Head’s most popular and finest entertainers. Louise Spencer is as exciting as any singer in the business, known for her up-tempo jazz arrangements.
Lavon explains his outlook on music and his name: “It’s pronounced LOVE-ON. We love the music and the people it touches. Share the joy and love of the people and the music.”
Saturday, September 28: A Trio of Blues Masters
Walter, Eleanor and Andy all apprenticed with known tradition bearers, trading their time for the old guys’ wisdom. All have taught that material for over a generation. What they do together has all the power they can muster from the old guys added to their own strengths as players and singers. That’s considerable. Walter hung with Etta Baker and accompanied Son Thomas over a period of 25 years, while Eleanor is famous for her ‘House Party’ film featuring most of the major Piedmont style players at that time. Andy was lead boy for a series of blind players for more than 30 years, until they all passed. They are the tightest of loose ensembles, at times backing one another commandingly, and at others leaving well enough alone.If it sounds as if they’ve been playing together for years, it’s because they have. Enjoy the distinctive sound in the hands of these three. Andy Cohen is a blues guitar player and ethnomusicologist from Memphis. Walter Liniger is known as the Blues Professor and is based in Columbia. He plays guitar and harmonica. Eleanor Ellis is a native of Louisiana, and was nominated for a 2012 Wammie award for Blues/Traditional R & B Female Vocalist. She has performed at clubs, festivals and concerts in the United States, Canada and Europe, including with gospel street singer Flora Molton and bluesman Archie Edwards, and sometimes accompanied Delta Blues great Eugene Powell. She is a founding member of the DC Blues Society and the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation. Bob Burtman, of the Spectator in Chapel Hill, N.C., wrote, “More than copying one artist or another, Ellis distills the elements of the originals and transmits them, intact, in her own expressive way … beautifully sung and thoroughly believable.”
Saturday, October 5: Carroll Brown Celtic Band
This band performs music from the Irish folk songbook, and the pubs and melodies of Celtic tradition as it influenced the music of Appalachia. Front man Carroll Brown is an extraordinary guitar player and performer, having performed at festivals, concerts and music pubs all across the United States, Scotland, and Ireland. He has produced more than 100 albums and also hosts annual tours to Ireland. His broad background brings a rich and diverse musical mix to the stage. The core band includes Marci Short, a fiddle player from North Carolina, mandolin player and singer Bob Sachs from Virginia, accompanied by a bass player and Carroll Brown’s unique South Carolina take on the music of Éire.