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The Clayton Center for the Arts, WDVX, and Maryville College have formed a partnership to revive The Smoky Mountain Jamboree. The Smoky Mountain Jamboree is a live, Americana music (from bluegrass to blues) show presented at the Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre and broadcast live on “East Tennessee’s Own” WDVX. The Smoky Mountain Jamboree, hosted by Jay Clark, will feature two, nationally recognized artists that just happen to call Blount County home. Wyatt Ellis, acclaimed bluegrass prodigy, will co-headline the Jamboree along with Americana front man and singer-songwriter, Cruz Contreras.
Multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, songwriter, and producer Cruz Contreras has roots in Tennessee and Michigan, but has impacted Americana music worldwide. The front man, founder, and driving force behind The Black Lillies’ raw and rootsy sound also co-founded Robinella and the CCstringband, and has collaborated with musicians ranging from John Oates and Jim Lauderdale to Langhorne Slim and The Turnpike Troubadours. His projects have topped both the Billboard and Americana radio charts, won Independent Music Awards, and been nominated for the Americana Music Association’s Emerging Artist of the Year award. After over a decade touring under the name The Black Lillies, Contreras wrapped up the band in 2019 and is performing under his own name. Contreras, a country/rock-leaning Americana artist who spent the past decade performing in venues large and small across the country, has cultivated a fiercely loyal fan base. He instigated this new direction to facilitate growth, both artistically and personally.
Born in the rich music bed of East Tennessee, Wyatt Ellis has quickly become one of the most-watched young musicians in bluegrass music. A devotee of Bill Monroe, Ellis has been mentored by many iconic bluegrass musicians, including Sierra Hull, Bobby Osborne, Mike Compton, and many more. Wyatt has studied with mandolin masters, composed his own original instrumentals, and transitioned from playing alone in his living room to performing seamlessly alongside bluegrass legends and Hall of Famers.
Wyatt grew up not far from the Great Smoky Mountains. His first recollection of hearing the mandolin, Bobby Osborne’s solo on the bluegrass classic “Rocky Top,” led Wyatt to set his sights on learning to play mandolin. During the pandemic, music became Wyatt’s preferred pastime. With no close neighbors, and the music world suddenly at his fingertips, his passion for the instrument grew. As word circulated in the bluegrass community about his accelerated abilities, Wyatt befriended many of the genre’s top mandolin players through camps, workshops, and lessons. In three short years, Ellis has mastered the mandolin and morphed into a multi-instrumentalist. He has been invited to perform on stage with some of the most iconic musicians of this era, including Billy Strings, Dierks Bentley, Peter Rowan, Sam Bush, Bryan Sutton, Dailey & Vincent, and Marty Stuart.
$60.00 Hospitality Box – VIP
$40.00 General Admission
$35.00 Seniors (Age 60+) and Active Military