Thursday concert/jam to feature Henry Queen

The 2012-13 First Thursday Old-Time and Bluegrass Jam Series at Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center will continue Thursday, Nov. 1, with a concert featuring traditional musician Henry Queen of Jackson County.

Queen’s 7 p.m. performance will focus on the journeys of songs across oceans and through time. It will be followed by an 8 p.m. jam session in which local musicians are invited to participate.

A member of the award-winning Queen Family Band of the Johns Creek community, Henry Queen is the son of the late traditional musicians Claude and Mary Jane Queen. Henry Queen specializes in the claw-hammer banjo and mountain-country guitar, and he also has explored music outside the genre of old-time music with the ensemble Smoky Mountain Drum and Bass.

The concerts and jam sessions will continue at the Mountain Heritage Center through the fall and winter, with programs from 7 to 9 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month. This year, the first two events are being held in conjunction with the Mountain Heritage Center’s “Journey Stories” project, which includes a traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution that is available for public viewing at the museum through Friday, Nov. 9.

“Journey Stories” is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian and the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Support for Museum on Main Street is provided through Congress.

The First Thursday concerts and jams at the Mountain Heritage Center are free and open to everyone. Pickers and singers of all ages and experience levels are invited to take part in the jam sessions, and the events also are open to those who just want to listen.

The Mountain Heritage Center is located on the ground floor of WCU’s H.F. Robinson Administration Building. For more information, call the museum at 828-227-7129.