A Great American Tapestry

Manco Sneed was a legendary Cherokee fiddle player who developed a distinctive unmatched Appalachian style of fiddle playing.

Joe and Odell Thompson were the last of the African-American string band players who performed for communal activities like corn shuckers in their Piedmont North Carolina community. Joe was a mentor for the Carolina Chocolate Drops. Photo courtesy of Nancy Kalow.

Berzilla Wallin grew up in a ballad-singing family in Sodom, Madison County, North Carolina. Photo courtesy of John Cohen.


The Southern mountains were a diverse mix of Europeans, African-Americans and indigenous native peoples. This backcountry became a vibrant musical cauldron that combined and synthesized the tremendous contributions of many traditions to create a musical legacy that inspired the world — A Great American Tapestry.

Tapestry tells the eyeopening story of the Scots-Irish ballad tradition, the lost chapters of African-American banjo and fiddle history, the role of blackface minstrelsy in creating Old Time Music, the Cherokee music and dance tradition and so much more. A musical journey never to be forgotten . . .