Friday, Feb. 28, 2020, 8 p.m.
“A one-mand band who turns a guitar into an orchestra and his voice into a chorus”—New York Times
Raul Midón offers a signature combination of silky tenor voice and percussive guitar style. His guitar playing is a syncopated, flamenco- and jazz-infused wonder in which bass, harmony and melodic lines fly from the fretboard in a way that seems to belie the fact that all the music is being produced by just two hands. If that weren’t enough, Raul busts out his improvisational mouth-horn technique, in which he creates a bebop “trumpet” solo entirely with his lips, earning himself a spontaneous burst of mid-song applause from the audience in the process. His performances led the Huffington Post to describe how “he plays with such freedom and joy that his hands smile.” Billboard called him, simply and aptly, “a virtuoso.: He’s been known to play John Coltrane’s jazz classic “Giant Steps” in a version that flies through all 12 keys. Raul was recently signed to southeast Michigan’s Mack Avenue Records and comes to town with a new release, “If You Really Want.”
Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, 8 p.m.
Redefining bluegrass and acoustic music
Mountain Heart offers bluegrass and more. This band as been fearlessly revolutionizing the way acoustic music can be presented and played. The band’s name has been synonymous with cutting-edge excellence in bluegrass circles since the group’s creation. Widely known throughout the music industry for continually redefining the boundaries of acoustic music, the band has gained legions of loyal fans as a result of both their superlative musicianship and their incendiary live performances. Mountain Heart’s music always fell just barely under the bluegrass umbrella, and now, from large outdoor folk music, Americana, jam band, and bluegrass festivals, to sold-out shows opening for Southern rock icons like The Marshall Tucker Band, The Tedeschi Trucks Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd, Mountain Heart has been making an undeniable connection with wider audiences. Whenever they come to The Ark, they tear the house down!