Artists Featured at the 49th Jubilee Festival


February 23-25, 2018 at the Laurel Theater

See below for schedule    click on photos for higher res    Here's a flyer
Admission each night: $15 ($12 JCA members, students, seniors 65+, $13 general audience advance)
With the advance purchase of one adult ticket through our regular ticket outlets up to three children's tickets may be purchased for a penny each. Penny tickets are limited and must be reserved in advance through the JCA office at 522-5851.

Kelle Jolly


Vocalist Kelle Jolly is one of East Tennessee's most celebrated jazz musicians. She and her husband, saxophonist Will Boyd. were the 2015 MLK Art Award recipients in Knoxville. She is the founder of Ukesphere of Knoxville, a ukulele group for all ages. As an ambassador of jazz, she has traveled to Muroran, Japan as Knoxville's Sister City representative at various jazz festivals and events. Kelle Jolly is the host of Knoxville's newest radio show on WUOT 91.9FM, Jazz Jam with Kelle Jolly, an hour-long show that celebrates great local, national and international singers of jazz.


Roy Harper

A retired brakeman from Manchester Tennessee , Roy Harper has been performing old-time country music for more than fifty years. Roy has devoted his life to continuing the traditions of the style of country music he grew up listening to. Much of the inspiration for his songs comes from the many years he spent working on the railroad. Compared by his fans to Jimmy Rogers, Roy has developed quite a following among people who find this style of music preferable to modern “country” music. “County music gradually got citified, and I stayed the same.”

Roy Harper with Rob Pearson -  video
Roy Harper with Johnny Bellar - video

Tennessee Stifflegs


The Tennessee Stifflegs play old-time and western swing with a keen sense of showmanship and musical integrity. They are a high energy old-time string band featuring Frank Bronson on fiddle and vocals, Thomas McNair on guitar and vocals, Nathan Black on banjo and lap steel, and Tom Cook on upright bass.



photoY’uns is a goodtime acoustic band that blends jugband music with elements of folk, swing, country, and blues.  They boast more kazoo-playing & yodeling than any Knoxville band but will fulfill their contract to play at least one down-in-the-coalmine dirge per set.  Y'uns features Steve Horton & Stan Turner from the Lonesome Coyotes, Danny Gammon from Music Therapy, J. Miller from UT Theater, &  J.P. Reddick from the mighty Mumbillies.


The Volunteer Statesmen

photoTrenton Caruthers is a 15-year-old fiddle and banjo player from Cookville, on the precipice of the Cumberland Plateau. Trenton is a 2017 Jr. National Old-Time Buck Dancing Champion. Trenton has been inspired and influenced by some of the greatest musicans in oldtime music such as Clyde Davenport, a 96-year-old fiddle player also from Cumberland Plateau. Trenton is a recipient of the 2018 Tennessee Arts Apprentice Program Award apprenticing under the great fiddler Michael DeFosche.

Conner Vlietstra is a 19-year-old guitar, banjo, and bass player who hails from Chattanooga currently studying Old-Time and Bluegrass at East Tennessee State University. Conner was filled with the love for this music and inspiration by his maternal grandmother inspiring him to play like his grandfather who played banjo, guitar, and harmonica. Conner was further inspired by figures like Charlie Poole, Lead Belly, Furry Lewis, and Jimmie Rodgers.

Ben Mady is a still kicking 22-year-old from a town just southeast of London called Epsom. His main instrument is the guitar which he's been playing for about five years. He enjoys most playing backup rhythm guitar for which he uses a thumb pick to get strong bass/strum dynamic. He is influenced by the style of Riley Puckett and many kinds of American vernacular music including oldtime, country blues, Western swing and early bluegrass.


The Overmountain String Band

A group fully immersed in the living tradition of oldtime music, Overmountain String Band presents an eclectic repertoire of fiddle tunes drawn from diverse regional, historic, and modern sources. Old tunes, and new alike, are respectfully reenergized with subtle influences ranging from celtic, folk, bluegrass, and rock. Although the group is recently formed, members Dale Stansberry (fiddle), Greg Horne (guitar), and John Bills (clawhammer banjo) are all veterans of oldtime music and have played together (and in various other bands) for many years.

Henry Perry and Jaimie Cameron

photoGuitarist Jaimie Cameron, veteran of area bands the House Rockers, Big Kabluey, and Jacqui and the Tumble Kings, adds his signature compositions to a danceable and distinctive sound, with harp player Henry Perry, who took early instruction from Deford Bailey, the only African American member of the early Grand Ole Opry.  Slow Blind Hill has been a favorite at Old City clubs, the KMA's Alive After Five, and at late night swing dances at the Laurel Theater and other venues.  Video

Leah Gardner & Peggy Hambright

photoEast Tennessee native Leah Gardner sings soulful blues, love ballads, and country folk tunes. Her sound is influenced by roots music, old time, classic bluegrass and country, early R&B, and years of playing with a range of fine folks in and around Knoxville. She has performed at Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion Festival, Bonaroo, Nashville's Loveless Café and the Ryman auditorium, Tennessee Shines, and several times here at the Laurel Theater.

Peggy Hambright is well known as the baker and proprietor of Magpie's Bakery and is sometimes caught performing on accordion, fiddle & voice.


The Mumbillies

photoAnybody remember the Newly Evicted Expo City Ramblers?  The Honey Wagon Dip Sticks?  They're still here, the ever-lovin' Mumbillies, wearing the same hats and the one name they couldn't shake.  Alleged to be the oldest continuing band in Knoxville, the Mumbillies have stuffed old time fiddle tunes and banjo riffs into every crack in the Laurel Theater's walls for the last quarter century and more.


John Alvis & Friends

photoJohn Alvis, Juanita Johnson and other friends pay tribute to legendary fiddler Charlie Acuff of the Union County family made famous by Charlie’s cousin Roy.  Charlie can't be with us this year but his many musician friends will carry his music as far as they can.


Acuff, Simmons & Wood

Fiddle and banjo duet Darrell Acuff and Morgan Simmons are area old-time stalwarts who have performed with the Mumbillies, the Hellgrammites, the New Dixie Entertainers and others.  They will be joined by guitarist Don Wood, known for his work with the Tennessee Sheiks and other area bands.
Buck Hoffman & Paul McQuade

photoBuck Hoffman was born in Austin, Texas. He moved to Maryland and he started to play guitar at age eleven. As a teenager he met a couple of the Piedmont Blues greats which influenced his style. His deep voice and sense of timing have matured over the years like good whiskey. Paul Mcquade started playing harp on the streets of New Orleans at the age of 13. He moved to Memphis in the 70’s where he absorbed a wide variety of harp styles heard there. You can hear anything from the bayou to Chicago when he plays. Buck and Paul met in Knoxville, Tennessee. Together they have a sound that reflects the deep traditions of their backgrounds. Their music is at home anyplace from a back porch, to a juke joint, or a festival.   video
Informal sessions 

People enjoying themselves in the basement of the Laurel
Epworth Old Harp Singing

cover of New Harp of
The Epworth Old Harp Singers host a community singing from The New Harp of Columbia, a manual of sacred songs first published in Knoxville in 1848, related to the better known Sacred Harp singing tradition and emerging from the singing school movement once widespread throughout New England and the South.  Copies of the 2001 edition will be available for use.  video


Friday, February 23
Saturday, February 24
7:00 Buck Hoffman & Paul McQuade
7:30 Acuff, Simmons & Wood
8:00 Henry Perry & Jaimie Cameron
8:30 Kelle Jolly
9:00 Tennessee Stifflegs
9:30 Y'uns

all night: basement sessions

7:00 The Volunteer Statesmen
7:30 Leah Gardner & Peggy Hambright
8:00 Roy Harper
8:45 Overmountain String Band
9:15 John Alvis & Friends
9:45 The Mumbillies

all night: basement sessions

Sunday, February 25
Old Harp Singing 2-4 pm followed by a social hour

funded by grants from
 National Endowment
          for the Arts                          Tennessee
                                    Arts Commission logo

produced by

Jubilee Community Arts
1538 Laurel Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37916

(865) 522-5851
info @