An engaging veteran performer with strong chops on his instruments, and an obvious love for both students and the subject matter, Mr. Pettee presents NC Bluegrass music not as a niche folk music from the Appalachians, but as a global art form based on myriad influences from around the world, forged over time in the southern US. The shows include lively anecdotes and humor, and invite everyone to appreciate the depth and variety of folk music styles enjoyed by the peoples of NC from the Pilgrims to the present. Assembly programs are tailored for each grade to address NC Essential Standards for Middle School social studies. High School programs are best offered in an interactive seminar-type format, and are best suited for social studies, art, music, and creative writing students. All are encouraged to connect the sounds and styles of music with the cultures that lived in the Carolinas then and now, and to see how one culture has contributed to another to make great music for all.
Charles Pettee is a guitar and mandolin-wielding songwriter and singer from Asheville, NC with a strong commitment to music education who loves sharing the catchy rhythms and melodies of southern Bluegrass and Folk music, as well as the segregation-defying stories behind this culturally diverse tapestry of sounds. Transitioning from fronting Chapel Hill, NC’s world-traveling Bluegrass band The Shady Grove Band for over 25 years, Mr. Pettee has become a master teaching artist and music educator whose programs and residencies feature interactive audience participation and are in high demand throughout North and South Carolina. Pettee offers a number of age-adjusted presentations that align with SC and NC Standards for both Music and Social Studies for grades preK-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Along with his group “Charles Pettee & FolkPsalm,” Mr. Pettee also performs at festivals and special events with many of NC’s finest acoustic musicians, including his son, guitar player Jackson Pettee, under the name “Slippery Hill,” with whom he is currently at work on his 14th CD/album. He has logged over 6,000 performances over the course of his career.