Black Mountain – People can hear and see 14-time Grammy winner Dan Tyminski perform at the LEAF Global Arts Festival, instead of hearing him but instead seeing actor George Clooney –– as occurred 23 years ago.
That happened when soulful tenor Tyminski did the voice-over for Cooney supposedly singing the Stanley Brothers’ classic “I’m a Man of Constant Sorrow,” in the hit film Oh Brother, Where Art Thou in 2000. Many viewers of the film likely were astonished at how well Cooney apparently could sing. In reality, it was Tyminski’s stirring voice.
Tyminski provided vocals for the late Swedish DJ and producer Avicii’s 2013 single “Hey, Brother.” It was reportedly streamed online more than one billion times. Its official music video depicts brothers during the Vietnam War.
Tyminski was chosen male vocalist of the year four times by the International Bluegrass Music Association, and in 2004 by the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America.
Tyminski, 56, has played guitar and mandolin for Grammy-winning Alison Krauss and Union Station for nearly 30 years, in addition to his solo career. The Vermont native contributed guitar and/or vocal harmony to recordings by such greats as Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, LeAnn Rimes, Willie Nelson, Kenny Chesney, and pop star Rob Thomas.
Tyminski headlines the festival’s final day of Sunday, Oct. 22 at approximately 3:30-5 p.m. He follows Donna the Buffalo, a frequent LEAF headliner which plays (at 2-3 p.m.) roots music with danceable, bouncing rhythms.
Legends of the Americas
LEAF has honored various musical traditions including mountain music, Cajun, African, and Latin since debuting in 1995. Performers are from across the globe. The site is Camp Rockmount and its Lake Eden, in Black Mountain.
Legends of the Americas is LEAF Global Arts’ general theme in 2023. “We celebrate the artistry of cultures from Western North Carolina, the home base of LEAF Global Arts,” LEAF Executive Director Jennifer Pickering stated.
LEAF Artistic Curator Otto Vazquez hails “beautiful traditions and profound stories that continue to shape our human experience…First Nations, Indigenous, and LatinX communities alongside special LEAF family and friend traditions.” He calls the festival a “realm where learning coexists with festivity, where history influences the present. Where, together, we appreciate the rich fabric of our collective past.”
Vazquez said that “at Spring Retreat, we planted seeds of discovery and learning. Many artists will return with their awe-inspiring full ensembles, such as Angela Miracle Gladue of Frog Lake Nation and John John Grant of The Cherokee” in the Big Barn.
Heritage art displayed in the Big Barn includes Cherokee artist Wahnetah Toineeta’s Grandmother Spider, a “cosmic web of wonder” about the “sacred bringer of stars and light into the universe,” Vazquez explained.
Fuller Festival in Fall
Pickering said next month’s LEAF Global Arts Festival provides a “deep, beautiful fun and access to places and artists from First Nations across our Americas. Enjoy the sweetness of being at Lake Eden — culture, family and friends. The place makes the magic of LEAF.”
Pickering resumed a “celebratory” full festival in each fall, starting a year ago, after a respite in 2020 and vastly down-scaled events in 2021 due to the pandemic. She calls the full festival a “perfect blend” with the cozier, smaller-scaled LEAF Retreat in each spring.
The full-fledged festival fits in 10,000 people – 5,500 daily, Pickering estimated. Contra and other dancing is back in the huge gym, instead of smaller Eden Hall as in Spring Retreats. Brookside Gym is renamed as the Mike Compton Dance Hall, honoring the late, affable sound man. The famed Southern Fried Poetry Slam, as usual, is in Eden Hall on the festival’s Saturday at 8-11:15 p.m.
Festival-goers are encouraged but not required to get vaccinated or tested for COVID. Wearing sanitary masks is optional at LEAF Global Arts (LGA) events, Pickering said. “It’s everybody’s personal preference.”
Fees Support LEAF
Ticket revenue helps support LEAF (in) Schools and Streets (LSS) and other LGA programs. LSS instructors and students get their turn on stage. “Our main fundraiser is our memberships, for the greater mission” of cultural education, Pickering emphasized.
A LEAF Global Arts Festival patron must first buy a yearly LEAF membership, to qualify to purchase (via online) a four-day Weekend Plus pass (at $254 per adult or $228 per teen). Membership options start at $50 per individual (including four LGA downtown events), or $100 per immediate family.
Non-members can buy three-day weekend passes ($215 adult/$180 youth age 10-17), or day passes at $79/$79 for Saturday, or $67/$48 for Friday or Sunday. A weekend-long community pass for Buncombe County residents costs $140 per adult or $125 per youth. Children younger than 10 get in free. A “WeX” volunteer work exchange festival option has a $10 application fee. Parking is $10 pre-paid per commuter vehicle, or $110/$100 for vehicle-side camping.
For more festival info and to buy tickets, check theLEAF.org.