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Arts & Entertainment

For the month of April, the Jackson County Library is hosting events as part of the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poetry Series. The series was created as a result of past N.C. Poet Laureate, Fred Chappell, who encouraged the N.C. Poetry Society in 2003 to create such a program to foster the reading, writing, and enjoyment of poetry across the state. Join current Distinguished Poet for the western part of North Carolina, Brent Martin, with three of his student poets to hear them and other guest poets present their current work. Student poet Tyler Auffhammer will conduct readings on April 23 and April 30. The April 23 and 30 readings will be with student poets, Alison Howe, and Mary Christensen, respectively.


Sean Gaskell presented an evening of traditional African music last Friday at the Macon County Public Library.

Gaskell, who is an Asheville-based musician, plays the West African Kora, which dates back more than 300 years and is native to the Mandinka people of Gambia, Senegal, Mali, Guinea and Guinea Bissau.

Gaskell has studied with master Kora players in Gambia during multiple visits there, has been featured at music festivals in Gambia, Senegal, and throughout the United States, and has released an album, "Kora Music of West Africa."

The program was co-sponsored by the Macon County Public Library and The Arts Council.

Gaskell also performed in Macon County Public Schools last Thursday and Friday through The Arts Council’s Artists-in-the-Schools Program.


Jeff and Sheri Easter, a southern gospel husband and wife duo have been honored by multiple industry award nominations and make frequent appearances on Gaither Homecoming tours and videos. Both Jeff and Sheri have been singing and performing since they were kids. They began singing together when they were married in the summer of 1985. The Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts is excited to welcome them Friday, April 3. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. and tickets start at $15.

Having grown up surrounded by the sound of people praising God through their musical talents, Jeff and Sheri can imagine no other life. Jeff’s father is one of the Easter Brothers and Sheri’s mother is a member of The Lewis Family. Gospel music is in their blood. In 1984, Jeff was performing with the Singing Americans at a gospel singing in Arkansas. He had met Sheri’s mother Polly once before, but when he saw her at this event, he reintroduced himself. She then introduced Jeff to Sheri, and ten months later they were married. The newlyweds began touring with The Lewis Family, but in 1988 decided to start touring on their own.


Leelanee Sterrett, a member of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, will present a recital on French horn at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 30, in the Coulter Building recital hall at Western Carolina University.

Sterrett, third horn for the New York Philharmonic and former member of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, was previously a prize winner in the International Horn Competition of America and the Yamaha Young Performing Artists Program.

Sterrett also is a member of Genghis Barbie, the leading all-female horn ensemble specializing in original arrangements of pop music from the 1960s through today. The group made its Carnegie Hall debut in 2012 as soloists with the New York Youth Symphony and has released four albums.




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