Grammy-winning world music comes to Tryon, live!

Published 10:00 pm Monday, May 16, 2016

Event takes place Saturday, May 21

How does a column about local food get away with expressing a deep appreciation for world music? Because I think that food and music are two of the most distinct things that define a region and its culture.

We can hold on to memories through food and music, share in celebration and learn to take solace in it. Food and music come in so many different varieties, yet we can become unified in them, through them, like no other universal vehicle. Food and music allow every person on the planet to spend a moment together speaking and listening to one another in precisely the same language.

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A live performance of world music is coming to Tryon this Saturday. Free Planet Radio, based in Asheville, N.C. will bring its exciting and innovative world-jazz-classical music blend to the stage at the Tryon Fine Arts Center.

Brought to Polk County by Saluda resident, dance troupe leader and percussionist  Rima Synnestvedt, this 10-year musical partnership with Grammy award-winning talent began as the shared vision of three multi-instrumentalists who have combined to explore the seamless, infinite relationships between musical cultures through the universal language of sound.

Their performances expertly weave the improvisatory element of jazz, and the subtleties and harmonic vocabulary of Western classical music, with Middle Eastern, Indian and North African melodic and rhythmic structures. Performing mostly original compositions, even while playing extremely complex melodies and time signatures, the trio always maintains a sense of accessibility, spontaneity and easy engagement with the audience.

Free Planet Radio consists of two-time Grammy-winner Eliot Wadopian moving effortlessly between rhythm and melody on electric and string basses, River Guerguerian’s extensive array of percussion instruments gathered from his travels around the globe, and Chris Rosser exploring melody on the 17-stringed Indian dotar, Turkish cumbus oud, guitar, piano and melodica.

Bringing the music back to local food and healthy communities, a special addition to the evening’s experience includes Tom Boots, a WNC visual artist, who will put brush to canvas as he creates a painting to the music. Tom blends ancient techniques with modern and contemporary styles.

Part of the proceeds from the silent auction of this painting go to two Polk County non-profits: GRO, (supporting farmers) and Wind River, (cancer wellness retreats).

Join world music trio Free Planet Radio in concert at the Tryon Fine Arts Center, 34 Melrose Ave., Tryon on Saturday, May 21 at 8 p.m.

Concert tickets are available online and at the TFAC box office, open Tuesday-Friday, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Call 828-859-8322 or visit for more information. For more on Free Planet Radio, visit their website,