Abigail Washburn and Wu Fei Meld American and Chinese Traditions with a Banjo and a Guzheng | Music

Abigail Washburn and Wu Fei Meld American and Chinese Traditions with a Banjo and a Guzheng

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Abigail Washburn and Wu Fei - PHOTO BY SHERVIN LAINEZ
  • Photo by Shervin Lainez
  • Abigail Washburn and Wu Fei
Thursday, March 22
UNC's Memorial Hall, Chapel Hill
7:30 p.m., $10-$49
www.carolinaperformingarts.org

Abigail Washburn is an equally enthusiastic scholar of the Southern United States and the farthest reaches of East Asia, and she uses music to examine the deep connections between the two seemingly disparate worlds. Her preferred instrument is the banjo, which she uses to pluck out fiery tunes from Appalachia like the Coon Creek Girls' "Banjo Pickin' Girl" and the Szechuan folk song "Taiyang Chulai." One of her frequent collaborators is Wu Fei, a Beijing native who now lives in Nashville. Fei's weapon of choice is the guzheng, a Chinese zither that has a history dating back nearly three thousand years. As a team, Washburn and Fei bridge and bend their respective areas of expertise into unique multicultural music. Expect plenty of pretty songs and a side of scholarship, but be prepared for a little weird wiggle room, too—the pair isn't afraid to splash around in stranger territory.

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