Arts For the Schools | Hearts for the Arts to feature Joe Craven Trio |

Arts For the Schools | Hearts for the Arts to feature Joe Craven Trio

Catch The joe Craven Trio at the annual Hearts for the Arts fundraiser on March 28.
Courtesy photo |

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. — Each year, Arts For the Schools puts together a wonderful show highlighting an incredible performer or performance group for the Hearts for the Arts annual fundraiser.

This year marks an important milestone for AFtS — it’s the 30th year anniversary for the organization. With such a significant benchmark, Arts For the Schools wanted to feature an equally significant performance. Hence, Joe Craven Trio with special guest Hattie Craven was invited to perform.

If you haven’t had the chance to see or hear this group perform, now is the perfect opportunity to understand why All Music Guide said, “this is a journey not to be missed on any account.”

The Joe Craven Trio is a power combo of keyboards, key bass, drums, fiddle, mandolin, found sound and vocals. The group celebrates sounds that pay tribute to traditional American folk, blues, New Orleans, swing, funk as well as the music of Brazil, Haiti, Ireland, Cuba and Puerto Rico.

The trio consists of John R. Burr, Kendrick Freeman and Joe Craven.

Joe will also bring his daughter Hattie, who recently debuted her own first album. John R. Burr is a pianist who combines jazz technique with a genuine love for folk music. Kendrick Freeman uses versatility and skill that crosses musical borders both as a player and a teacher. Joe Craven is an intuitive musician who plays a multitude of instruments and styles and is considered the master of all things musical. Hattie Craven is a budding ukulele player, singer, and song writer bursting with imagination. Hattie has made main stage appearances at the Strawberry Music Festival, Worldfest and Millpond Music Festival to standing ovations.

I caught up with Joe during a tour this past week. He graciously answered some questions, enlightening us all about the world of Joe Craven.

Q: When did you discover your musical talents could lend themselves as an educational tool?

A: When, as an art museum assistant curator, I applied for and was awarded a grant to fund an exhibit, workshops and performance series entitled, “The Uncommon Music of Common People” at the Nevada Museum of Art in the early 80s.

Q: How did your work as an educator through music come about?

A: When, in addition to performances, being asked to present workshops at major music festivals. Teachers in the audience would then ask if I would come present at their schools — and so the journey began.

Q: Tell me a little bit about the two programs you direct, River Tunes Music Camp and Wintergrass Youth Academy.

A: RiverTunes is a “gateway” experience for folks from 8 to 88 years of age who:

Never have tried to make music before but are wanting to, even though they are nervous about the idea;

Have been introduced to learning music with a formal approach that didn’t give them enough gratification, understanding and desire to continue making music through life.                                                                                     

Already play music but wish to learn a new instrument or area of music making such as songwriting, voice, stage performance, improvisation and jamming — or just to go to the next level.

We promote validation, motivation and nurturing of one’s confidence in making folk roots music through a pedagogy of informal learning and community support.

Wintergrass Youth Academy is a two-day, camp-style program leading up to the Wintergrass Music Festival in Bellevue, Wash. It promotes the socialization of acoustic string band music and dance for youth 4-18 years of age. We also foster a youth leadership program for peer teaching. The combination of the academy leading into the festival itself, gives confidence and a place for young musicians to jam and enjoy the festival as both music consumers and makers.

Q: What gives you the greatest pleasure in life?

A: Validating, giving permission to and guiding an older individual in making their first significant connection to music making — in five minutes or less.


Don’t miss this amazing show, meet Joe Craven and get a chance to help celebrate Arts For the Schools 30th year.

Last year the show sold out so we strongly encourage you to purchase your tickets in advance for the Friday, March 28, 7 p.m. event. The show will be held at the community Arts Center, 10046 Church St. in Truckee.

Visit, Community, Onstage Performances to purchase tickets online or call 530-582-8278.

Tickets are $25 for all and includes music, a taco bar by Diego’s and no host bar featuring Lagunitas Brewing Company. Arrive at 6 p.m. for drinks and mingling. There will be fabulous raffle prizes as well

For more information about Joe Craven, video and music clips visit

Bethany Lund is a member of Arts For the Schools. Information also provided from

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