The 49th Annual LEAF Festival kicks off Thursday, May 9 in Black Mountain and features a dynamic lineup of performing artists including four-time Grammy Award winner singer India.Arie, folk duo, Shovels & Rope, and Trevor Hall, who performs an eclectic mix of acoustic rock, reggae, and Sanskrit chanting.
Staged around beautiful Lake Eden, LEAF celebrates world culture through music, arts, and creativity to inspire artistic expression, cultural awareness and community building for festival-goers. LEAF is a family event meant for all generations. The theme this year is “Breaking Ground.”
“For the 48th LEAF Festival, we’ve scoured the globe to select artists who are architects of positive change using the strength and resilience of their creative expression to uplift our communities,” said artistic director Ehren Cruz. “Like all our festivals these artists defy expectation, remain true to their path, allowing authenticity to guide them to ever higher heights of accomplishment and impact.”
For more than 20-years LEAF Festival has grown into an epicenter of music, art, creativity, and culture for thousands of families across the U.S. who experience six performance stages, five family adventure villages, over 400 performing artists representing nine different countries, over 80 craft and culinary vendors and dozens of interactive activity centers on the beautiful 200-acre campus amid the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Additionally, there will be more than 50 healing arts, music, and earth skill workshops.
Performance highlights on Friday, May 10 include Trevor Hall, a singer-songwriter who performs a mix of roots, folk and reggae; Dirtwire, electronic music phenoms based in California with a new release, Road Goes All Night; and The East Pointers, a Canadian contemporary folk music group who won the Juno Award for Traditional Roots Album of the Year for their album Secret Victory at the Juno Awards of 2017.
Headliners on Saturday, May 11 are India.Arie, a gifted singer and songwriter who has sold over 10 million albums worldwide and who has won four Grammy Awards from her 21 nominations, including Best R&B Album; Larkin Poe, an American roots rock band from Atlanta, Ga. fronted by sisters Rebecca Lovell and Megan Lovell, and often touted as "the little sisters of the Allman Brothers;” and Black Violin, a hip hop duo from Florida comprising two classically trained string instrumentalists, who go by the stage names Kev Marcus and Wil B. Marcus plays the violin and Wil B. plays the viola.
The festival closes out on Sunday, May 12 with Shovels & Rope, a husband and wife duo (Trent and Cary Ann Hearst) from Charleston, S.C. that blends traditional folk, rock and roll and country rock; The War and Treaty, another husband and wife (Michael and Tanya Trotter) team that thrill with their joyous, gospel-style harmonizing with superb country-soul arrangements and powerful statements of devotion.
An intimate solo acoustic performance by India.Arie, “Songversations” is also scheduled on Sunday.