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From old-time strings to new-age jazz, the Flynn has it all

BURLINGTON This January, the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts will host a pair of concerts honoring the rich traditions of African-American music. On Friday, January 11, the Carolina Chocolate Drops will perform their unique blend of old-time string-band music, a genre associated with black rural communities in the Carolinas piedmont region. [The Carolina Chocolate Drops sound] belongs to an era when music was not something to be sold but something from the soul, said Jeff Tamarkin, of All Music Guide. The trio -- consisting of Rhiannon Giddens, Justin Robinson, and Dom Flemons -- uses a combination of banjo, fiddle, guitar, harmonica and jug to create a soulful sound that renowned fiddler Joe Thompson helped them perfect. This concert, part of the Ben and Jerrys sponsored Flynn Centers American Route Series, is sponsored by Lake Champlain Chocolates. The performance is funded in part by the Flynn General Endowment. The trio will perform at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m in FlynnSpace. Tickets for the shows are $23 for adults and $19 for students. Later in January, the masterful Jason Moran will take over the MainStage along with his backup group, The Bandwagon. Moran, a jazz pianist and composer, took the jazz world by storm in the late 1990s, and has shown an outstanding command of all things jazz -- from improvisation to composition and from technique to technological experimentation. The New York Times wrote that Moran has one of the most independent minds now working in Jazz. Indeed, critics believe that his understanding of pop, hip-hop and spoken language has helped him to become a deft conceptualist. For the January 19 performance, Moran will perform a theatrical, multimedia suite that was inspired by the work of conceptual artist Adrian Piper. For those interested in viewing some of the gallery pieces that Moran turns to for inspiration, a special Gallery Tour is being hosted by the University of Vermonts Fleming Museum, on Friday, January 18, at 6p.m. That tour will be free and open to the public. Guitarist Marvin Sewell will join Moran and The Bandwagon for the January 19 performance. Sewell has performed and/or recorded with a number of acclaimed musicians, including David Sandborn, Marcus Miller, Jorge Sylvester, Sekou Sundiata, Cassandra Wilson, and Ani DiFranco. Tickets for this performance are $35 and $25. Tickets for both shows are available at the FlynnTix Regional Box Office window or on-line through the Flynn website, www.flynncenter.org Children under 17 and students save $4 off the top two ticket prices by showing valid ID. Box office hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on shows days until the time of the show.

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