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Free Planet Radio & The Opal String Quartet – [world music]

July 16, 2016 @ 8:00 pm

WHEN:  Saturday July 16, 2016
DOORS: 7pm | SHOW: 8pm
GENRE:  World-Jazz-Acoustic Experimental Fusion
AGES:  all ages
TICKETS:  $18 adv. / $20 d.o.s. / $30 VIP (guaranteed seating in 1st three rows!)
SEATING:  seated general admission

Here’s a video of these two amazing groups playing together:

Free Planet Radio:


Free Planet Radio, based in Asheville, NC is becoming one of the most exciting partnerships in world music today.
Their world-jazz-classical fusion is a trans-cultural canvas that is at times deeply reflective and at other times rhythmically mind-bending.

This ensemble is composed of River Guerguerian, Armenian-Egyptian born in Canada, an award-winning multi-percussionist / composer whose lyrical percussion style earned him a long-standing tenure with Turkish flutist virtuoso Omar Faruk Tekbilek; Eliot Wadopian, a two-time Grammy-award winner, proficient on string and electric basses, a 17 year member of the Paul Winter Consort. He’s also worked with Hal Galper, Glen Velez, and Eugene Friesen; Chris Rosser, an accomplished pianist, composer / producer, renowned for his outstanding performances on a variety of indigenous stringed instruments. He studied under the master Ali Akbar Khan.

These artists emerged from three of the country’s finest conservatories, and have established themselves in concert halls and studios, appearing on over 250 recordings and in 30 countries. Their individual talents have garnered worldwide recognition in Carnegie Hall, the Hong Kong World Music Festival, the Sydney Opera House, and the Madrid International Jazz Festival.

Opal String Quartet:


The Opal String Quartet, formed in 2006, is a professional chamber ensemble based in Asheville, North Carolina. Known for its fiery intensity and polished precision, the OSQ is dedicated to bringing the art of chamber music to diverse audiences by performing in a wide variety of venues, from schools, bars, and art galleries to street corners and concert halls. While taking a fresh approach to traditional masterworks, the quartet specializes in the performance of contemporary repertoire, and enjoys collaborating with living composers and premiering new works.

Opal String Quartet has performed extensively around Western North Carolina and the surrounding region, appearing on several chamber music series and making frequent collaborations with local organizations Pan Harmonia and AmiciMusic. The quartet has been featured many times on WCQS, and recently recorded an album with Free Planet Radio. The OSQ serves as Artists-in-Residence for the educational outreach programs of the Asheville Chamber Music Series, the Asheville Symphony Guild, and the Brevard Philharmonic. For booking information, contact

FRANKLIN KEEL, CELLO: A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Franklin is Acting Principal Cello in the Asheville Symphony Orchestra, a founding member of the Opal String Quartet, and a member of the Absurdist-Gypsy-Folk-Funk-Punk band known as Sirius.B. He has appeared as a soloist with the Asheville Symphony Orchestra, Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra, and Brevard Philharmonic, and collaborates regularly in chamber performances with Pan Harmonia and Amici Music. He has shared the concert stage with Emmanuel Ax, Ben Sollee, and Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, as well as Asheville’s very own Free Planet Radio, Stephanie’s Id, and Jon Stickley Trio. Mr. Keel teaches cello, coaches chamber music, and conducts young string orchestras through various organizations all over the WNC region.

KARA POORBAUGH, VIOLA: Kara serves as Principal Violist of the Asheville Symphony and is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music (BM-viola performance and music education), where she studied with John Graham and the Ying Quartet. Kara also performs regularly with the Greenville Symphony (SC), Symphony of the Mountains (TN), Asheville Lyric Opera, The Lovestruck Suckers, and maintains a busy private studio of violin, viola, and chamber music students. Kara has been featured as a soloist with the Asheville Symphony, Blue Ridge Orchestra, Raleigh Symphony, Triangle Youth Philharmonic, and Duke University String School Orchestra and has attended summer festivals at Interlochen, Musicorda, and Brevard Music Center.

MARIYA POTAPOVA, VIOLIN: A native of St. Petersburg, Russia, Mariya grew up in a family of musicians and moved to the United States in 1999, where she started studying with world-renowned professor Vadim Voyler. During that time, Mariya became a member of Knoxville Youth Symphony Orchestra, won two first place awards in instrumental competitions, and participated in All State Orchestra. In 2006, Mariya won the Blue Ridge Concerto Competition and was featured as a soloist with the Blue Ridge Civic Orchestra. Currently, Mariya holds two BA degrees from University of North Carolina-Asheville in Psychology and Music. She is a member of the Asheville Symphony Orchestra, Greenville Symphony, SC, and Symphony of the Mountains in Kingsport, TN. Mariya is also a faculty member of the Asheville Music School.


July 16, 2016
8:00 pm