Hands of Hope Benefit Featuring Music Artist Billy Jonas To Take Place At Asheville, NC's Orange Peel March 27, 2011

Much to the anticipation of music fans around Western North Carolina, renowned music artist, Billy Jonas, will be performing at the Orange Peel in support of the third annual Hands of Hope Benefit. This year, students and staff of Odyssey Community School are partnering with Maccabi Academy to participate in 'Hands of Hope'. On Sunday, March 27, 2011 the schools will celebrate their work with Children First and RiverLink at the 'Hands of Hope' family concert at the Orange Peel in downtown Asheville. As in past years, this benefit concert will feature Billy Jonas, a nationally known and locally loved family entertainer. Doors open at 2:30 pm. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children.

Throw out the rules when Billy Jonas hits the stage! It's a musical conversation… a sonic celebration … a splendid gathering of old and young, because at a Billy Jonas show, the ensemble is…everyone. "My favorite instrument is the audience,” says Billy. “I work to 'tribalize' the compositions … to create songs that provide an immediate opportunity, on first hearing, for the listener to join in, as if the song had been a part of their life for a long time.”

“Billy Jonas' talent, wit and obvious love for children and learning make him and his music irresistible. Whenever I see him perform, my face hurts from smiling.” – Alison Krauss

Billy Jonas is one of those rare performers who can engage and delight both young and adult audiences. Billy's clear tenor voice is well suited to a plethora of venues, from intimate settings and workshop sessions to large halls and outdoor festivals. For more than two decades, his creative and interactive performances have enchanted and inspired folks from all walks of life — touching hearts, souls, and minds world-wide. As a founding member of the acclaimed duo 'The Billys', Billy Jonas has made innovative use of “found objects” (buckets, broom handles, bottles, key chains and more) as well as traditional instruments. But on any given day, the specific nature of this unforgettable neo-tribal hootenanny is largely determined and shaped by the audience. He tailors both his song selection and its presentation to suit the needs and vibe of each audience; every Billy Jonas concert is a unique experience. He makes spirited, straightforward music that is accessible to anyone and everyone, regardless of age or cultural background. The big-tent festival quality of Billy's music facilitates connection and community while fostering inspiration and, most importantly, FUN.

Billy Jonas' recordings and live concerts across the US and Canada have generated an enthusiastic following. His CD 'What Kind of Cat are You?!' received multiple awards including a First Place/Gold from AFIM (American Federation of Independent Musicians), and a Parent's Choice Gold. Jonas' videos have garnered critical acclaim, including Parents Choice Awards and a New York Times “Best” listing.

Billy Jonas has shared stages with many renowned artists, including Patti Larkin, Ani DiFranco, David Wilcox, Richard Thompson, and Pete Seeger. His upbeat, engaging presence (both onstage and off) encourages active audience participation. His concerts are a magical mix of stagecraft and wholesome, open-ended, anything-can- happen spontaneity. Billy Jonas offers family and adult oriented concerts, primarily with his three or four piece band. Billy's educational concerts include study guide materials and are usually booked in conjunction with a public performance in a community.

The Billy Jonas Band:
Led by guitarist / vocalist / industrial re-percussionist Billy Jonas, on selected dates the Billy Jonas Band also features the supreme talents of:
•Ashley Farmer (vocals, percussion) – In turns soulful, sensual and humorous, Ashley adds an exciting vocal dimension to the Billy Jonas Band.
•River Guerguerian (percussion, vocals) – River's inventive and lyrical percussion highlights the exciting and mystical quality of Billy's songs.
•Jake Wolf (bass, percussion, vocals) – With a varied background in classical, jazz and world music, Jake holds down the funky bottom for the band.
•The audience (vocals, percussion) – because everybody's in the band!

"He engages the audience with a wild assortment of rhythm and word play that usually leaves them both entertained, and a little more in touch with their spiritual selves. He teaches, through experience, that music is everywhere." – Sing Out! Magazine

For more information about the Hands of Hope benefit concert: ginnyhunneke@charter.net
For more information about Maccabi Academy: www.maccabiacademy.org or call
(828) 254-566
For more information about Odyssey Community School: www.odysseycommunity.org or call (828) 259-3653
For more information of Billy Jonas go to: www.BillyJonas.com

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