Acoustic Trio, The Kruger Brothers, to Perform at the Townsend

Friday, March 4, 2011

The University of West Georgia’s Townsend Center for the Performing Arts presents the Swiss-born acoustic trio, the Kruger Brothers.

The brothers will perform on Saturday, March 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the Richard Dangle Theatre.

The University of West Georgia’s Townsend Center for the Performing Arts presents the Swiss-born acoustic trio, the Kruger Brothers. The Kruger Brothers are lifelong admirers and performers of American acoustic music. They play and sing bluegrass, blues, and contemporary and traditional folk songs with surprising authenticity and impressive “down-home” instrumental virtuosity on guitar and banjo.

Jens and Uwe Kruger were born and raised in Switzerland. They have been performing professionally since 1973.

As children they were introduced to American folk music through their father, who would return to Switzerland from business trips to the United States with folk music records. The brothers developed a passion for bluegrass and folk music.

At age 16, Jens and Uwe left home to attempt a living as street musicians. They traveled throughout Europe, calling themselves the Rocky Road Band. Their adventure paid off in the form of a recording contract with CBS.

In 1982, at the age of 20, Jens crossed the Atlantic, heading for the Bean Blossom Festival. The legendary Bill Monroe introduced Jens to the Grand Ole Opry as the first known European banjo player.

Jens lived with Monroe for the summer and, on his advice, returned to Switzerland to develop his own musical style and repertoire.

Today, Jens plays many stringed instruments with proficiency. But he is a true master of the banjo. Jens is becoming well known as a composer among his peers and the Kruger Brothers’ growing audience.

His brother Uwe, in turn, is renowned for his masterful blend of guitar styles and his unique combination of flat picking and finger picking. His rich, resonant, and mellow baritone voice has an uplifting effect on all who hear him sing.

Uwe’s influences range from Doc Watson, Jerry Garcia and Eric Clapton, to Beethoven, Bach and Brahms.

After touring Europe for twenty years with guitar and banjo, the brothers invited bassist Joel Landsberg to complete their acoustic trio.

Since 1997, Uwe, Jens, and Joel have appeared regularly in the United States at numerous festivals, including: Merlefest; the Doc Watson Music Fest; the Wayne Henderson Festival; Walnut Valley Festival; the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival; Wings and Strings; the International Bluegrass Music Association; Festival for the Eno; the Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival; and WE Fest of Country Music.
Performances at hundreds of arts council and theaters plus appearances on national and international radio and television have earned the Brothers the love of audiences and the respect of the music industry worldwide.

They have performed with many popular artists including: Willie Nelson, Bela Fleck, Doc Watson, Ricky Scaggs, Gillian Welch, Nickel Creek, Bill Monroe, Peter Rowan, Tony Rice, Vassar Clements, Alison Brown and Vince Gill. A highlight of their career occurred in June 2007 when they performed with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra to present the world premiere of “Music from the Spring: A Romantic Serenade for Banjo, Guitar, Bass & Orchestra.”

Jens wrote the orchestral score for this world premiere, fulfilling a lifelong ambition. The concert was a tremendous success, and was recorded for DVD.

Tickets for the Kruger Brothers concert are available through the Townsend Center box office at $18, $15 for seniors/military, and $10 for children. For more information or for tickets, call 678-839-4722.

You can also buy tickets online at https://www.choicesecure03.net/mainapp/eventschedule.aspx?Clientid=TownsendCenter.