'Weekend Starts' With Blue Thread at Lower Ramble

Blue Thread members Cristi Catt and Nikola Radan
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Blue Thread members Cristi Catt and Nikola Radan

The first season of the Weekend Starts outdoor music series continues on Friday, May 26, with the group Blue Thread, featuring Cristi Catt (soprano), Nikola Radan (flutes and percussion), Kartik Balachandran (violin) and Cody Lucas (guitar). The series is free, and concerts are Friday nights through June from 5-7 p.m. at the Lower Ramble, across West Avenue from the Fayetteville Public Library. Weekend Starts is a collaboration between the city of Fayetteville and the U of A Department of Music.  

Blue Thread converses on music as a thread that binds cultures, languages and religions. The group traces ballads that have traveled from Portugal to India to Greece to the Ozarks and beyond. The concert celebrates the upcoming release of a new recording of the Arkansas song, Lord Banyon.

Portugal's Evora News writes of their 2017 debut concert: "Blue Thread revealed a vibrant and playful music that transported us to the rich and varied musical experience of medieval times without abandoning the present." Singer Cristi Catt's singing has been described as "stunning" by the LA Times, and flutist Nikola Radan is praised as "striking" by the Boston Globe

Catt has built numerous performance and recording projects around medieval and folk songs. She has made several trips to Arkansas to dive into the wealth of ballads, field recordings, books and other research materials in the Special Collections of Mullins Library at the U of A. She has recordings with MDG, Telarc, Erato and several independent labels. Radan has long been fascinated by Sephardic ballad traditions that have traveled from Spain to diverse points around the globe.

The Ramble is the newest part of the growing Fayetteville arts corridor. There is convenient parking in any of the Fayetteville Public Library's lots. Feel free to bring a picnic, blanket or lawn chairs.  As part of the Lower Ramble, Weekend Starts will be held within Fayetteville's "outdoor refreshment area," allowing participants to stop by participating establishments within the designated zone and pick up their favorite to-go beverages to enjoy during the event. However, participants must adhere to the guidelines set forth by the outdoor refreshment area.

In the event of inclement weather, updates regarding cancellations or rescheduling will be provided on the city website. We encourage attendees to check for updates before heading to the event. For more information, go to Fayetteville Arts and Culture.


Alan Gosman, associate professor
Department of Music
479-575-5764, agosman@uark.edu


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