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KASU and Collins Theatre Foundation to Host Big Grass Bluegrass Festival


JONESBORO – KASU-FM, the public media service of Arkansas State University, in conjunction with the Collins Theatre Foundation, will present the fourth annual Big Grass Bluegrass Festival at Collins Theatre in Paragould. 

The festival will consist of three concerts. The first concert will be at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 19, featuring the Punches Family and the Dillards. 

Bruce and Bobette Punches and their adult children have been performing a mixture of bluegrass, gospel and country music across America for the past 15 years. The ensemble has performed in KASU’s Bluegrass Monday concert series and on multiple television programs. 

The Dillards are best known for portraying the characters “The Darlings” on the “Andy Griffith Show” in the 1960s. In repeated appearances in the series, the group introduced numerous, now-classic songs, such as “Dooley,” “There Is a Time,” and “Ebo Walker” to audiences who had never heard bluegrass music. The band also produced numerous influential albums throughout the 1960s, blending bluegrass with other styles of American music. 

The second concert will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 20. This concert will be a showcase of musical talent from around the state. 

Pam Setser is a 2024 recipient of the Arkansas Arts Council’s Governor’s Award for Folklife. She has been a regular performer in Mountain View, throughout the Ozarks, and across America since she was a child. Setser and her band recently performed at the prestigious Station Inn, the top venue for bluegrass music in America. 

Casey Penn is a two-time nominee for the Arkansas Country Music Award for Bluegrass Artist of the Year. This Mountain Fever Records recording artist has had multiple songs on the Bluegrass Today and Bluegrass Unlimited charts. 

Sylamore Special received the 2024 Arkansas Country Music Awards for Bluegrass Artist of the Year and Inspirational Artist of the Year. Comprised of young musicians from the Mountain View area, the ensemble has gained a reputation as one of the top bluegrass acts in the region.

The final concert will begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 20, and will feature No Time Flatt and Dailey and Vincent. 

No Time Flatt is a winner of multiple Tennessee Music Awards including Entertainer of the Year and Bluegrass Band of the Year. This quintet performs original songs, bluegrass standards, and their unique, acoustic arrangements of songs from many different styles of music. 

Grand Old Opry members Dailey and Vincent have received over a dozen International Bluegrass Music Association awards including being named Vocal Group of the Year seven times. The group is featured on their weekly TV program on RFD-TV. Their style is described as all-American music with country, bluegrass, and gospel.

Tickets and more information about the festival are available at www.collinstheatre.com/bluegrass.

Proceeds from this non-profit festival will benefit the continued upkeep and maintenance of the 99-year-old historic Collins Theatre which is the home for KASU-FM’s Bluegrass Monday concert series typically held on the fourth Monday night of each month.  

Due to this festival, KASU will not host a Bluegrass Monday concert in July.

Additional information is available from Marty Scarbrough, KASU program director, at mscarbro@AState.edu or 870-972-2367. Additional information is also available on the Collins’ Big Grass Bluegrass Festival Facebook page.

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