Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State

Singer-banjoist Abigail Washburn to collaborate with Asian Classical Music Club Oct. 22 in Deike Portrait Gallery

The public is invited to attend “Bilingual Bluegrass”—a collaboration between Abigail Washburn and the Penn State Asian Classical Music Club—at 2:15 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22, in the Deike Portrait Gallery. Washburn will share samples of her music and discuss some of her cross-cultural experiences working in China. Club members will juxtapose her input with examples of Asian musical traditions.

The free one-hour event, in Deike Building on Burrowes Road just south of Pollock Road, is hosted by Penn State’s Center for the Performing Arts and College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. A question-and-answer period will follow the presentation. Light refreshments will be provided.

Washburn, an American clawhammer banjo player and singer, has performed as a soloist and with the female Americana group Uncle Earl, Appalachian-Chinese folk trio The Wu-Force and Sparrow Quartet.

Her most recent project is a duo album and tour with Béla Fleck, the acclaimed American banjoist who is also her husband.

Washburn has spent significant periods of time in China. Before launching her music career, she even contemplated attending law school there. As a result, her music is profoundly influenced by the country’s culture. Her 2012 TED Talk was titled “Building U.S.-China Relations … by Banjo.”

Members of the Asian Classical Music Club meet to exchange knowledge about traditional Eastern music and practice playing bowed-string instruments such as the paqin and the erhu.

The College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, the Richard R. Brown Earth and Mineral Sciences Art Appreciation Endowment, the Ryan Family Student Center and the Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum and Art Gallery support the gallery event.

Washburn and Fleck will perform at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 22 in Eisenhower Auditorium. For information or tickets, visit banjo concert.