(Photo / Courtesy of Sisters Folk Festival)
Coming off a strong 2019 event featuring numerous Latin American-influenced artists, Sisters Folk Festival (SFF) is excited to present the exciting cross-genre Latingrass band, Che Apalache, on Friday, October 11 at 7pm at The Belfry.
Che Apalache is a four-man string band based in Buenos Aires with members from Argentina, Mexico and the United States. The group’s founder is Joe Troop (fiddle), a North Carolinian, multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter and composer who moved to Argentina in 2010. While patiently carving out a niche in the local music scene, Joe taught bluegrass and old-time for a living. That’s how he met Pau Barjau (banjo), Franco Martino (guitar) and Martin Bobrik (mandolin), his most dedicated students. They quickly became picking buddies, and in 2013 decided to hit the stage. Che Apalache began as a bluegrass band, but eventually incorporated Latin American styles into their repertoire. Combining instrumental prowess with tight vocal harmonies, they have curated an authentic blend of genres to reflect the nature of their lives, evoking images from Appalachia to the Andes.
Immigration is a powerful topic for Che Apalache bandleader Troop. A polymath, polyglot and world traveler, Troop left home at a young age, emigrating from this country in search of a better life. Raised in the North Carolina Piedmont, in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains, Troop came of age to the music of bluegrass and all-night jam sessions at festivals, but being a young, queer man in the South, at a certain point he no longer felt welcome in his own home region. He took refuge abroad, traveling in Europe and immersing himself in his two great loves: music and language. He studied Spanish in Spain, spent summers in Morocco and eventually moved to Japan to teach English. He carried his music and his fiddle with him always, picking up elements of flamenco, jazz manouche and swing. In 2010, Joe immigrated to Argentina, and, looking to make friends and build a scene, he began teaching bluegrass.
Nine years later, Che Apalache features three powerhouse Latin American musicians lead by Troop. Famed banjo player and cross-genre trailblazer Béla Fleck was so taken with the band that he signed on to produce their new album, Rearrange My Heart, released August 9, 2019 on Free Dirt Records.
“I love to work with music that intrigues, excites and inspires me,” Fleck said, “and that describes Che Apalache to a T! We first met at my Blue Ridge Banjo Camp last year. They had come from Buenos Aires and asked to play for me. I was blown away, and they blew away the crowd a few days later. It’s been a blast to get to know them in the creative environment; together we’ve come up with what I believe is a truly striking album. I hope you’ll enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed producing.”
Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. SFF Presents at the Belfry and artist information can be found on the SFF website. The Belfry is located in downtown Sisters at 301 E. Main Street. For questions contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 541-549-4979.