North Carolinian and Argentinian Musicians Join Forces on New Béla Fleck-Produced Album
By Patrick Phelps-McKeown
CARRBORO, N.C. — On Friday, April 26th at 8 PM, The ArtsCenter presents Latingrass group Che Apalache. Tickets are $22 and are available at artscenterlive.org, by phone at (919) 929-2787, or in person at The ArtsCenter’s Box Office.
With a national tour that spans the East Coast and Midwest and ends in California, Argentina’s Che Apalache continues its rapid surge in popularity with both Bluegrass and World Music audiences. Their Latingrass style (a blend of South American Music and Bluegrass) along with the social issues they address has attracted a national following and media attention.
2018 was a breakthrough year for Che Apalache, including three U.S. tours and a feature on NPR’s All Things Considered. Last August they were discovered by legendary banjo player Béla Fleck, who offered to produce their next record. This past February they traveled to Nashville and recorded the album, which will be released Summer 2019 on Free Dirt Records. Three more U.S. tours are scheduled for 2019, including major bluegrass festivals, Universities and Performing Arts Centers, along with showcase clubs.
Evoking images from Appalachia to the Andes, Che Apalache is a testament to a powerful cultural and musical exchange. Formed in the urban neighborhoods of Buenos Aires, they draw deeply from the musical traditions of the Southern US and Latin America to form their singular style. The group’s founder, Joe Troop (fiddle), hails from Winston-Salem, North Carolina and moved to Argentina in 2010. While patiently carving out a niche in the local music scene, Joe taught bluegrass and old-time music for a living. That’s how he met Mexican Pau Barjau (banjo), and Argentinians Franco Martino (guitar) and Martin Bobrik (mandolin). What began as a band formed between a teacher and his students has evolved into a rich musical collaboration that addresses social issues to bridge the gap dividing the Americas.
Che Apalache is the final artist of The ArtsCenter’s 2018-2019 Performance Season, which has featured great local and international artists like Leo Kottke, Lee Konitz, Sona Jobarteh, Ralph Peterson and many more.