High quality entertainment doesn’t require a long drive or overnight stay when it can be found close to home. The Washington Center for the Performing Arts’ latest lineup of performers is nothing short of incredible, including the one and only, Che Apalache, who will be performing on October 17.

The Washington Center Che Apalache singing in front of concrete wall
The four-man string band, Che Apalache, is currently based in Buenos Aires, Argentina but you can see them live in Olympia October 17. Photo courtesy: Che Apalache

This group is comprised of a four-man string band that’s currently based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Originally a straightforward bluegrass band, Che Apalache has progressed to now incorporate Latin American styles that combine their instrumental prowess with strong vocal harmonies creating what they fondly call “Latingrass.” Their authentic sounds reflect the nature of their lives that can conjure up images of far off places such as Appalachia and the Andes.

Group members hail from Mexico, Argentina, and the United States. The group’s founder, Joe Troop, rocks the stage on his fiddle. Calling North Carolina home, this multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, and composer first made the move to Argentina after living in Spain, Morocco, and Japan nearly a decade ago. As Troop worked to make a name for himself in the local music industry, he spent his time teaching old-time and bluegrass. Through these teachings, Troop would go on to meet three dedicated students that also became his close friends. These four would later go on to form Che Apalache: Martin Bobrik on the mandolin, Pau Barjau who strums on the banjo, and guitarist, Franco Martino. The meaning of the name is simple: Che is a way of saying buddy or pal and it used as an attention grabber. Apalache simply means Appalachian. After growing their friendship and settling on a name, the four began performing in 2013.

The group’s most recent album, “Rearrange My Heart,” was produced by banjo and roots-music legend, Béla Fleck. A recent Rolling Stone article describes how the album seamlessly merges cultures to smash through boundaries that can often form around folk music. “Anyone who loves live music should plan to attend this show,” expresses Jessica Caldwell, marketing and sales director at the Washington Center. “Especially fans of music with bluegrass/Latin influences. Best of all, their music has a message that the group values: music can bring people together.”

The Washington Center Che Apalache performing by white pillars
Che Apalache hopes to open minds and ears with their unique Latin/Bluegrass fusion. Photo courtesy: Che Apalache

Not only are the members Che Apaleche talented, but they appreciate the celebration of music and consider themselves activists through their message. An NPR article delved into the role that they can play during this moment of division in America. As they continue to tour around North America and beyond, Che Apalache is eager to open minds and ears through their music.

This coming October performance will be the first time that Che Apalache has appeared on the Washington Center’s stage. “I’m definitely most excited to hear the Latingrass fusion experience,” exclaims Caldwell. “This is a really fun new genre of music to come to our area. They’re an up and coming group with a lot of energy and a lot to give through their music and unique and impactful lyrics.”

“We are working directly with school groups for a special daytime student-only matinee,” explains Jill Barnes, executive director at the Washington Center. “This project received support from ArtsWA (the Washington State Arts Commission), WESTAF (the Western States Arts Federation), and the National Endowment for the Arts.”

Che Apalache will take the stage on Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. For additional information regarding this show, upcoming shows, and to purchase tickets, visit the Washington Center’s website or email them at boxoffice@washingtoncenter.org. Stay informed on the many exciting events and shows throughout the year by following them on Facebook.

The Washington Center for the Performing Arts
512 Washington Street SE, Olympia


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