1/13/2012 - Asheville's Altamont Theatre opens new year with variety of sounds and shows
by Tony Kiss - Asheville Citizen Times
ASHEVILLE -- The downtown Altamont Theatre is one of the city's smaller entertainment venues, but it has a big and diverse schedule of entertainment coming in the next few weeks.
The next three days alone, the Altamont has comedy, a fast-rising young fiddler, brunch-time jazz and a Grammy-nominated harpist. That sets up a busy winter season at The Altamont, tucked away in a historic building on Church Street, just off Patton Avenue.
"There's a diverse audience in town, and to (present) just one thing doesn't make any sense," said Altamont owner Brian Lee. "We are a mini-performance arts center."
After opening last year with live theater, the 120-seat Altamont is settling into a niche as a listening venue. "At first, people were saying they didn't know we were here," he said. "Now, they're saying they have been meaning to get over here."
This would be a good weekend for a visit. Tonight, the Altamont has Canadian-born stand-up comic Landry at 8 p.m., for $10. On Saturday, award-winning fiddler Jeremy Kittel and his band perform at 8 p.m., for $15. At noon Sunday, the Altamont continues its jazz series with pianist Michael Jefry Stevens and saxophonist Don Aliquo, for $10.
At 7:30 p.m. Sunday, harpist and storyteller Deborah Henson-Conant plays a variety of sounds from blues to Celtic to folk. Tickets are $25, but order online with the promo code of HARP, and they're half price.
Looking ahead, signer-songwriter Erick Baker and English-born singer Calaghan play Jan. 20; singer-keyboardist Steve Conn is booked Jan. 27, and the hot Western North Carolina bluegrass band Balsam Range appears Jan 28.
The Altamont is also hosting a weekly original music series -- next performance is Jan. 24, with Bill Gerhardt.
In February, the Pan Harmonia music organization will begin a series of monthly chamber music concerts there.
And Lee said he's lining up a return appearance by blues guitar great Bob Margolin.