Staunton Festival Celebrates Blues and Virginia Craft Beer

Mud Morganfield and Kate Moss
Mud Morganfield and Kate Moss

Bring a chair and get comfortable in downtown Staunton’s Wharf District on August 6 for the eighth annual Shenandoah Valley Blues & Brews Festival. It’s a rain or shine shindig featuring fantastic Blues artists and tremendous Virginia craft beer.

The Artists

Mud Morganfield, son of Muddy Waters, has followed in his father’s footsteps. “When I’m up on stage I always feel pops is there with me and it means so much that I can get on stage and keep his music alive around the world.”

Taking the stage with Mud is Kate Moss. Like the model, this Kate Moss turns heads too, with her looks and mad guitar skills. Joining them is Kevin Chisnell of Fatty Lumpkin and the Love Hogs, as well as Brian Mesko, an accomplished Roanoke jazz guitarist. 

Moonshine Society is led by Blues Hall of Fame member Black Betty, a striking woman whose voice brings a reckoning to every show. The band is joined by renown saxophonist Ron Holloway, who has played with The Allman Brothers, Tedeschi Trucks Band, and Dizzy Gillespie Quintet.

The Blues Music Awards 2011 Acoustic Album of the Year went to The Nighthawks for their album Last Train to Bluesville. Of it, Blues Blast Magazine wrote, “Ten tracks of incredible acoustic blues, all the more impressive given that it was recorded as a live session in the studio rather than pieced together of tracks and parts. The crystal clear recording would showcase any flaws – instead what comes through is a tight, professional acoustic set that truly showcases The Nighthawks’ musicianship.”

Parker & Gray are fresh and local. Their mission is to continue the tradition of preserving blues and roots music while also leaving their own mark. Give them a warm welcome and then look for them at a brewery, bar, or restaurant near you.

Little Lester, “a little white boy singin’ the blues,” is far more, as his performances show. He is a local legend playing shows at a variety of establishments.

The Beer

It is a blues and BREWS festival. Visit these craft beer vendors for a sudsy taste of Virginia:

  • Blue Mountain Brewery
  • Bold Rock Hard Cider
  • South Street Brewery

While you’re in town, check out Staunton’s own craft breweries, too: Red Beard, Queen City, and Shenandoah Valley Brewing Company. For a robust selection of additional Virginia craft beer, Shenandoah Hops is at your beck and call.

The Fine Print

  • Do not bring pets or coolers.
  • Gates will open at 2:00 p.m.
  • General Admission is $25. VIP is $80 and includes seating, snacks, and drinks.
  • Children 12 and younger are free.


>> Eventbrite

Heifetz: A Daily Celebration of Music in Staunton

Heifetz International Music Institute
Heifetz International Music Institute

Summer in Staunton is exciting for many reasons, but one is the music of Heifetz Institute’s Summer Festival. Daily celebrations of noon performances and evening concerts make Staunton a vibrant cultural destination. Plan a date night around something beautiful or enjoy happy hour entertainment before a great dinner nearby. CALENDAR


Heifetz Hootenanny is a Saturday night open air concert filled with lively, down-home sounds. Expect to hear roots, Celtic, jazz, folk, and probably a few other genres at this fun jam session. Local musicians join the Heifetz students in this event. General admission is only $10 or $15 for two!

HeifetzPEG, a class of young, exceptionally gifted string musicians between the ages of 8 and 13 will present their own “graduation recital” on July 28th and 29th at 2 p.m. It’s an exciting celebration all its own for these young musicians.

Mondays on Market, a fun lunchtime concert series, takes place at two iconic spots located just a block away from each other on Market street. Alternating between the historic Temple House of Israel and Blackfriars Playhouse, this concert series is free and features performances and informal conversations with the Heifetz students. 

Salute all the fun with a taste of a special collaboration craft beer! Heifetz International Music, Shenandoah Hops, and Three Notch’d Brewery came together to produce Heifetz-Weizen. You can find it at Shenandoah Hops while you’re in town.



The Heifetz Institute’s Summer Program is an intensive, honorable opportunity for outstanding string musicians between the ages of 13 and 25 to receive instruction from the world’s best music faculty and performers. Two hours of one-on-on instruction is provided to each student each week, as well as multiple performance opportunities and various training and coaching sessions.


Staunton’s Got Talent!

Musical Protégés Perform in Staunton for Heifetz International Music Institute

Heifetz Institute
The Heifetz Institute is dedicated to the artistic growth and career development of some of the most talented and promising young musicians in the world.

For six weeks each summer, the Heifetz International Music Institute brings together 75 advanced string players and a faculty of world-renowned artists for a summer of performance and study – right here in Staunton, Virginia!

Concerts are happening now through August 10, 2013 at Mary Baldwin College’s Francis Auditorium.

So, what’s all the buzz about?

The Heifetz International Music Institute is an intensive, six-week summer program for the world’s most brilliant young artists of violin, viola, and cello. Auditions are held each January at some of the nation’s top conservatories. Students come to study at the institute from all over the world.

Multiple concerts every week

  • The Celebrity Series, in which faculty and students come together to perform, takes place on Thursday and Friday evenings at 7:30. This year’s performances will include such artists as Elmar Oliveira, Amit Peled, Joan Kwuon, members of the Emerson String Quartet, and many more. Tickets for the Celebrity Series are available by calling the Institute office at 410-480-8007.
  • The Stars of Tomorrow Series, featuring the Institute’s brilliant young artists, takes place on Wednesday evenings at 7:30 PM and Saturday afternoons at 1:30 PM at Mary Baldwin College Francis Auditorium. The Stars of Tomorrow performances are free to the public.

Ready to see the stars in action?

Visit the Heifetz website for updated concert and performance details. Don’t delay – this is a limited season.  For visitors to the area, information about where to shop, dine, and stay is available at

 And, wait…there’s more!

Once the Heifetz program concludes, classical music fans can still look forward to more world-class talent in downtown Staunton!  The Staunton Music Festival, one of the most innovative chamber music festivals on the East Coast, runs for nine days in August. Staunton Music Festival offers performances from acclaimed European artists, many of them performing on a rare collection of early keyboard instruments. Tickets are on sale now by calling (800) 838-3006.