Carolina Chocolate Drops to perform March 3 at WCU

Feb 26, 2014

The Carolina Chocolate Drops, a Grammy Award-winning black string band, will perform Monday, March 3, in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center at Western Carolina University.

The show begins at 7:30 p.m., and tickets cost $5 for students and $10 for all others.

The Carolina Chocolate Drops formed in 2005 after three Durham-based musicians began meeting weekly with Joe Thompson, a black old-time fiddler with a short bowing style who was in his 80s.

The younger musicians wanted to learn the tunes he knew and hear his stories. As a tribute to Thompson — to bring his music back to dancehalls and public places — they formed a band featuring fiddles, banjos and other instruments.

What the group offered was fresh interpretations of styles of southern black music from the 1920s and 1930s, including string-band music, jug-band music, fife and drum and early jazz. The band’s membership has grown and evolved over time, and its repertoire began to incorporate more blues, jazz and folk balladry alongside string-band tunes.

The Carolina Chocolate Drops’ awards include a Best Traditional Folk Album Grammy for the album “Genuine Negro Jig.”

Tickets to the show at WCU can be purchased at the Bardo Arts Center box office, online at or by phone at 828-227-2479.

The performance is part of WCU’s Arts and Cultural Events Series. For more information about the series, visit