Two Exclusive ISC Concerts You Won’t Want to Miss

A few weeks after the conclusion of another great year of the National Storytelling Festival, we at ISC hosted our final Teller in Residence—at least for 2019. (Not to worry: we’ll be back next year!) Our world-class Storytelling Live! program brought a different storyteller to Jonesborough each week from May to October, which means the beloved program is about to go into hibernation for winter. We want to thank everyone who stopped by for a live storytelling show this season. We hope to see you again soon!

John McCutcheon at the National Storytelling Festival. Photo by Charlie Mauk.

In the meantime, we’re offering a handful of encore concerts through the end of the year. In November, we’re presenting two phenomenal musicians who specialize in storytelling: John McCutcheon, the acclaimed folk singer and instrumentalist, and Hiroya Tsukamoto, an incredible world-class guitarist who’s originally from Japan.

Each artist will only be in residence for one day—not a full weeklong residency—so these are limited opportunities with first-come first-served availability. All concerts are in the International Storytelling Center’s intimate theater.

First up is McCutcheon, whose connection to storytelling has deep roots. He’s been performing in Jonesborough for many years and, for the uninitiated, he happens to be married to storyteller Carmen Deedy. McCutcheon is known as a musician’s musician, with a dedicated fan base that included the late, great Johnny Cash. He’s a hardcore traditional instrumentalist, having learned more than a dozen instruments at expert level. McCutcheon’s high charm, traditional tunes, and lovely stories (he has cheerfully referred to himself as “the musician who talks too much”) have long been popular with Jonesborough crowds.

World-Renowned Guitarist Hiroya Tsukamoto.

For Tsukamoto, a guitarist who’s based in New York but from Kyoto, this performance will mark his first appearance in Jonesborough. An instrumental prodigy, he also plays the banjo, which he taught himself at the age of 13. Tsukamoto has described his singular music as “a journey to different places”—stories that connect his audiences to his far-away home, his grandparents, and his more recent experiences in the U.S. He has been described in Acoustic Guitar Magazine as playing “with fluid mastery, pristine tone, and greatwarmth”—a singular instrumentalist and a unique teller of tales.

McCutcheon’s appearance will be Thursday, November 14, with two shows: a matinee at 2:30 p.m. and an evening concert at 7:30 p.m. Tsukamoto will perform only once, on Saturday, November 23 at 2 p.m. All shows are 1.5 hours, with a ticket price of just $20.