Master kalimbist, vocalist, and sonic explorer Kevin Spears is a visionary. He’s ushered the ancient African thumb piano into a world where the traditional meets digital, and he’s encountered other like-minded pioneers along the way.
A recent collaboration with Bela Fleck percussionist Roy “Futureman” Wooten sparked the idea of an ongoing series of world music concerts pairing Spears with other musicians who explore the intersection of tradition and innovation.
A recent collaboration with Bela Fleck percussionist Roy “Futureman” Wooten sparked the idea of an ongoing series of world music concerts pairing Spears with other musicians who explore the intersection of tradition and innovation. On Saturday, April 15 at 8 p.m. “Masters of the Moment: World Edition” will premiere at the White Horse Black Mountain when Kevin Spears welcomes gifted Asheville multi-instrumentalist Chriss Rosser for a lively meeting of African, Middle Eastern and American inspiration.
Spears first encountered the kalimba in 1974 by way of a photo of Maurice White on the cover of an Earth, Wind and Fire album, and it soon became the focus of his life. As his career trajectory took him to larger venues the use of a pickup for amplification was a must, and the introduction of electronic timbres and effects soon followed and mushroomed, becoming a signature component of Spears’ compositions. His kalimba pieces include both composed and improvisational elements, with digital percussive, bass and chordal loops layered to create a platform for soloing.
Chris Rosser’s name is inescapable on the Asheville music scene, whether as a multi-instrumentalist (Indian sarod and dotar, guitar, Turkish çumbus, oud, melodica, piano), singer-songwriter, composer or high profile producer. As a performer he’s opened for folk and pop artists such as John Mayer, Tom Rush, David Wilcox, Shawn Mullins, John Gorka and Nickel Creek. His compositional and instrumental talents are also on display with Asheville world fusion group Free Planet Radio, with whom he’s recorded two CDs.
Show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12 advance/$15 door.
Tickets available online at