Telluride Bluegrass Festival: Larry & Joe Open the Show 6/21!

Telluride Bluegrass Festival: Larry & Joe Open the Show 6/21!

The 51st annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival takes place June 20 – June 23. Joe & Larry open the action on the Main Stage, Friday, June 21.

Learn more about Planet Bluegrass at www.bluegrass.com.

Go here for more about the history of Telluride Bluegrass. (Back to 2009.)

And please scroll down to listen to Telluride Inside…and Out’s podcast featuring Joe Troop.

Larry & Joe, credit Tommy Coyote.

“Larry & Joe played at RockyGrass last year and absolutely blew us away. We were familiar with Joe through Che Apalache, and felt immediately drawn to this new project. The duo’s stage presence is so amazing, and the music they create together, so unique, we can’t stop listening,” said Grace Barrett, Planet Bluegrass.

Looking for ways to bridge the socio-cultural divide that plagues our country, tagging brown immigrants for one group as The Other?

Larry & Joe could be part of the solution.

The unique duo believes music has the power to break down barriers and leave their diverse audiences with feelings of connection and pure joy. They have dubbed their mix of Venezuelan and Appalachian folk music “Venezualachia,” describing the voodoo they do on stage as “a unique blend of languages, cultures, and musical sounds.” Specifically the two virtuosos perform on a dizzying mix of harp, banjo, cuatro, fiddle, upright bass, guitar, and maracas in an attempt to prove that music crosses borders. Their bilingual program includes storytelling, humor, singalongs, and dancing.

Larry is Larry Bellorín, a Joropo maestro, multi-instrumentalist and expatriate from Venezuela.

Raised solely by his mother, an impoverished farm-worker, Larry was forced to supplement the family piggybank at age six by shining shoes – literally singing (while working) for his supper. His innate talent soon caught the ear of a local music educator who got the boy into a top music school. By age 11, Larry was able to support himself as a musician. By age 13, he was proficient on guitar, electric bass, mandolin, and maracas.

Success felt inevitable, that is until the Venezuelan economy crashed and burned in 2013 and socialist President Nicholas Maduro cracked down on opponents and folks like Larry for refusing to choose his side. Larry arrived in the US with only $30 in his pocket, eventually landing a very tough construction job and thinking his musical career was in the rear-view mirror.

That is until her met Joe Troop, a Grammy-nominated musician and North Carolina native who introduced Larry to the folk sounds and traditions of Appalachia.

After a decade living and working in Buenos Aires and traveling throughout Latin America, during the pandemic Joe found himself back in his old stomping grounds in North Carolina, his acclaimed “Latingrass” band, Che Apalache, forced into a break. Joe then shifted his attention to asylum-seeking migrants, eventually meeting Joe. He also recorded and co-produced his homecoming album, “Borrowed Time,” featuring Béla Fleck, Abigail Washburn, Tim O’Brien, and Charlie Hunter, regulars on the Telluride Bluegrass stage.

Larry & Joe have since played hundred of gigs across the lower 48 state and made appearances at any number of major festivals, including Big Ears, California Worldfest, the Green River Festival, Rockygrass, Pickathon, and now Telluride.

Why does bluegrass have the ability to cross borders and transcend cultures?

“It’s because that twang is infectious,” Joe has repeatedly said. “It’s irresistible – but only for the coolest folks.”

So bring your cool to Town Park when Larry & Joe open the show Friday morning, June 21.

Larry & Joe – credit Tommy Coyote.

For more, listen to our podcast with Joe Troop.

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