The Chapmans of Missouri headline the sixth annual Bluegrass Blizzard Weekend Jan. 7-8 on the Bismarck State College campus.
Two evening concerts by the international bluegrass champions are scheduled Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in Sidney J. Lee Auditorium, Schafer Hall.
Opening Friday's show is Spiritwood Creek, a bluegrass-country-gospel group from Jamestown and Spiritwood Lake. Cotton Wood, a Washburn-based band, opens the Saturday concert.
The Chapmans are a family band in the tradition of the Whites, Stanleys and other bluegrass bloodlines. They've been touring together for nearly two decades and gained the national spotlight in 1998 by taking the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America's (SPBGMA) international bluegrass band championship.
Three brothers - John, Jeremy and Jason - and dad Bill Chapman employ instrumental arrangements and vocals that enhance the song rather than overpower it. The band's artistic formula crosses several musical genres that appeal to a wide range of audiences.
Their critically acclaimed first independent album, "Love's Gonna' Live Here" led to a contract and four more recordings. "Grown Up, " the band's fifth album, debuts in February. Their second and third recordings received nominations for the SPBGMA Album of the Year and inspired their Emerging Artist of the Year honor from the International Bluegrass Music Association in 2002.
The Chapmans musical journey began when a teen-age John Chapman won a junior fiddle contest. Inspired by John's music interest, his dad, Bill, took up the banjo. The two started a bluegrass band with friends. John eventually switched to guitar and sang lead vocals. When his brothers Jeremy and Jason took up mandolin and bass, the family hobby turned full-time. Over the years John Chapman has received three awards as SPBGMA's Guitar Performer of the Year.
Bluegrass workshops with The Chapmans are scheduled Saturday, Jan. 8, from 2-4 p.m. in the BSC Leach Music Center. Cost is $5 with no pre-registration required. Bring your instruments for workshops in fiddle, guitar, mandolin, bass and banjo. Other activities include Harmony class and Song-writing class. Participants will learn a bluegrass song.
The Chapmans perform a free community concert Friday, Jan. 7, in New Salem from 10:15 to 11 a.m. at the high school.
General admission tickets for the BSC evening concerts are $15. They can be purchased in Bismarck at Eckroth Music, String Bean, Jacobsen Music, and Night Life Music; in Washburn at Chase Drug and Java Rose; in Center at Corner Express; or at the door, if available. For more information, contact Jill Wiese at 701-315-0017.