Indiana bluegrass musicians Jim Smoak and Michael Cleveland to livestream performance at IU Southeast

2nd September 2020

NEW ALBANY, Ind. (Sept. 2, 2020) – Renowned Indiana bluegrass musicians Jim Smoak and Michael Cleveland will livestream a performance on Monday, Sep. 7, at 4 p.m. from the Paul W. Ogle Cultural and Community Center on the IU Southeast campus.

While there will be no in-person audience, this free event will be livestreamed on the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts website. As one of the Kennedy Center’s Social Impact initiatives, the center recently launched Arts Across America, a program to uplift artists and showcase art from communities and regions across the country in this time of uncertainty.

Over twenty weeks, Arts Across America will feature free, digital performances from over 200 artists who play leadership roles in their communities, exemplify unique regional artistic styles and are using their medium as a tool for advocacy and social justice.

“While the Ogle Center’s doors have closed for in-person performances, our mission of creating educational and entertaining events for our community is not canceled,” said Kirk Randolph, director of the Ogle Center. “The incredible Arts Across America program by the Kennedy Center creates opportunities for us to continue offering the human connection we are all craving. We are delighted to partner with Traditional Arts Indiana, the Indiana Arts Commission and the Kennedy Center in showcasing the arts in Southern Indiana and our local acclaimed bluegrass musicians to the world.”

Jim Smoak started his career in Knoxville, Tennessee. He moved to Nashville to play with Bill Monroe on the Grand Ole Opry. He did television shows for Martha White Flower with Hylo Brown and The Timberliners. He also made recordings with Bill Monroe on Decca Records, with Hylo Brown on Capital Records and with Arthur (guitar boogie) Smith on MGM Records.

Picking up the fiddle at age four, 2020 Grammy winner Michael Cleveland’s musical momentum began to propel him forward towards early success. At age nine, he was invited to sit in with the legendary Bill Monroe at the Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival. Soon after, he brought his virtuosic style to the Grand Ole Opry as a guest of Alison Kraus and was handpicked for the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Bluegrass Youth All-stars before he was 14. In 2006, he formed his own band Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper.

For more information, visit the Arts Across America website.

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