Niles Center Concerts to Feature Karly Dawn and Little Sarie, Dan Dutton

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 28, 2011) − Old-time guitar and banjo duo Karly Dawn and Little Sarie and traditional musician and composer Dan Dutton will be featured in the next two concerts presented in the "Appalachia in the Bluegrass"  concert series. The Karly Dawn and Little Sarie concert will start noon Friday, Sept. 30, and Dan Dutton's concert will follow noon Friday, Oct. 7. Both concerts, which are free and open to the public, will be presented in the Niles Gallery, located in University of Kentucky's Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center.  


Guitar and banjo duo return to UK


Karly Dawn Higgins and Sarah Wood (Little Sarie) both come from mixed musical backgrounds rich in bluegrass, as well as old country traditions. Their music combines a unique blend of vocal harmonies with guitar and banjo. The duo, bonded by a mutual love of singing and old time music, say they draw inspiration from the trials they endure, the people they love, and their Eastern Kentucky homeland.


Karly Dawn and Little Sarie's music is influenced by such noted artists as Hazel and Alice and The Carter Family, as well as local legends like George Gibson and Jesse Wells. The duo has performed at several of the state's musical events and festivals including Berea's Celebration of Traditional Music in Berea, Ky., Morehead Old Time Fiddlers Convention in Morehead, Ky., the MARS Festival in Whitesburg, Ky., and the Chocolate Festival in Washington, Ky.


To listen to music performances by Karly Dawn and Little Sarie, visit their MySpace page at


Untraditional traditional musician comes to the Niles Center


Traditional musician and composer Dan Dutton lives on a farm in the knobs around Somerset, Ky. He was influenced by his parents, farmers with strong artistic sensibilities. Both of the Dutton's parents took great delight in song, word-play, curious events, the beauties of nature, and the foibles of humankind.


Dutton's father was a storyteller and singer, who kept a pack of foxhounds especially chosen for their musical voices. Fox, hounds and father engaged, as he put it, in "the sport of kings." Dutton's mother was a prankster, who told him fairy tales in the oral tradition, freely embellished with subtle intimations aimed at influencing his behavior while providing both with amusement and wonder. Dutton noted his mom's creative freedom from a very early age, and began to mimic it. The artistic nature of Dutton's parents led him to devote his life to art.


Dutton composed the operas "The Stone Man" and the "Secret Commonwealth." He is a painter, balladeer, composer, storyteller and a most untraditional traditional musician.


To listen to music selections from Dan Dutton, visit his MySpace page at


The annual "Appalachia in the Bluegrass" concert series, presented by UK's John Jacob Niles Center for American Music, explores and celebrates traditional music of the Appalachian region. A variety of traditional Appalachia music has been represented through the past few years; from old time sounds of a mountain banjo player to blues-infused styles of music. This year's concert series focuses on different types of American folk music celebrating its roots in old-time music. The Niles Center is a collaborative research and performance center of the UK College of Fine Arts, UK School of Music and UK Libraries.


This year's concert series is sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the Niles Center and the Appalachian Studies Program.


For more information on the concerts featuring Karly Dawn and Little Sarie or Dan Dutton or for more on the "Appalachia in the Bluegrass" concert series, contact Ron Pen, director of the Niles Center by e-mail to or visit



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