The history of collaboration in music, and of deriving inspiration from diverse sources, is exemplified supremely in the history of Bluegrass music, and serves as an inspiring lesson in collaboration in any field of endeavor. With wit and virtuosity, Charles Pettee demonstrates, (he doesn't just “tell” the story), the processes of collaboration that birthed Bluegrass music from disparate origins, over hundreds of years, until it reached its current form(s) in the 20th century. Pettee sets the stage for exploration: How has collaboration influenced our personal paths? What inspires? What collaborative efforts led our company to become what it is? Can we stay open to new, unexpected ways of doing things? How can we seek collaborative experiences when our ideas seem to be faltering?
Charles Pettee's up to an hour-long historical programs, such as Collaboration, explore the “roots of Bluegrass music” in an intimate, up-beat concert/lecture format that inspires the heart and informs the mind. Over the years, Pettee has offered musical keynotes and programs addressing countless church groups, convocations, library lecture series, schools, and corporate groups with his interpretive history of this distinctly American music form. Guiding listener's through a smorgasbord of music styles from “the Pilgrims to the present” with his mandolin (Italy), guitar (Spain), banjo (West Africa), harmonica (Germany – with reeds from ancient China), and his voice, Pettee holds Bluegrass up as a model for collaboration that is applicable in diverse settings. Participants will sing and tap their feet to a renewed sense of fellowship and possibilities.
What a wonderful way to experience the many cultural influences of our southern heritage!”
— Norma McDonald, Principal, North Duplin Elementary
Charles Pettee, believes that music – especially North Carolina Bluegrass music – is an effective vehicle for fostering relationships between diverse groups of people. His programs demonstrate that Bluegrass, (which is an up-beat mix of blues, jazz, gospel, and country sounds), is a product of the influences of many different cultures, across many generations, and therefore, is a music form that engages a wide range of ages and experiences. Through schools, libraries, festivals, and private events, Pettee delights audiences with his unique blend of original and traditional Bluegrass music developed at more than 5,500 performances throughout the US, Canada, and Europe. Among his many projects, he is founding member of the world-traveling bluegrass group The Shady Grove Band, with whom he has recorded over 40 original compositions on six critically acclaimed CDs, he is founder of Charles Pettee & FolkPsalm, which has produced four CDs of Pettee’s original music, and he has toured nationally and internationally for over three decades. Pettee’s original songs have received airplay in more than twenty foreign countries, as well as digital and satellite transmissions. His love and mastery of southern string music have made him a sought-after Teaching Artist in educational settings for over twenty-five years, where his programs highlight the contributions of many cultures to the NC music landscape. Mr. Pettee continues to offer award-winning age-specific performances for preK through college, as well as workshops and residencies for libraries and educational institutions.