Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Art in Asheville: Part One

Over the weekend Hubs and I visited our dear friend Gail in Asheville, NC. Knowing how drawn we are to anything connected to art and music, Gail and her significant other, Ed, had mapped out a fascinating itinerary to introduce us to their city's cultural scene.

Our first stop was the Friday night drumming circle, held in a downtown Asheville park. Unlike many American cities whose central business districts are deserted after the sun goes down, Asheville turns into Party Central. On Friday night, it was Party Central on steroids as several hundred people crowded into a small ampitheater surrounded by enormous trees. There they -- and we -- thumped, bumped and writhed in unison to throbbing drumbeats produced on an amazing array of instruments from toy bongos to bodhrans.

Drumming is very primal. Drumming in company with a huge, amazingly diverse crowd of people you don't know is quite an experience. There were young couples cradling infants, toddlers perched on their parents' shoulders, suburban professionals, funky types in boho garb, high schoolers, college kids, senior citizens sporting hippie ponytails, black, white, Hispanic, Asian...just one great big happy crowd thoroughly intoxicated by the driving beat. (And more than a little weed, I suspect.) Peace, love and drums under the stars. No cover charge, no admission required. It was all free and open to everyone. What a city!!!

©2014 Lynn Edwards

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