Aspen, CO: The Wheeler Opera House is pleased to close out the 2022-23 Wheeler presents season with dramatic musical work by Native & African-American vocalist/songwriter/composer/educator Martha Redbone entitled Bone Hill: The Concert on Friday, April 21 at 7:30 PM. This interdisciplinary theater work features a seven-piece ensemble — five voices with cello, violin/harmonica, banjo/guitar, bass, drums, and piano).

Tickets range $18-$45 and are on sale now at the Wheeler Opera House Box Office (970.920.5770/ aspenshowtix.com). The Wheeler Opera House is located at 320 E. Hyman Ave., Aspen, CO.

Bone Hill – The Concert is a new musical work for theater created and developed by librettist/composers Martha Redbone and Aaron Whitby at Joe’s Pub and the Public Theater, as part of the New York Voices artists’ initiative; Co-commissioned by the Lincoln Center David Rubinstein Atrium. Bone Hill – The Concert is the journey of a woman, Red, returning to her homeland in Black Mountain and the coal mines of Kentucky where her family has dwelled for centuries. As a contemporary multi-racial Cherokee/Shawnee and African American family, they are permanently bonded to their culture, identity, and the mountain despite its violent past and the ever-changing laws of the land that attempt to extinguish them.

Bone Hill – The Concert adds diverse missing narratives– racial dynamics between Native and African Americans, Native American, and White, stories from the perspective of the women and the lives of people of color living in Appalachia, their culture, and music. It reveals erased, forgotten truths and it does so with humor, pathos, and exuberance. An epic journey through traditional Cherokee chants and lullabies to Bluegrass and Blues, Country, Gospel, Jazz, Rock & Roll, Rhythm n Blues, and funk.

Bone Hill is the recipient of the NEFA National Theater Project, an NPN Creation and Touring grant and Redbone is a 2015 Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Fellow.

“It isn’t tripped up BY uncomfortable truths and unresolved conflicts: It grooves through them, bolstered by some of New York’s finest jazz and blues musicians and Redbone’s own stirring voice and commanding presence. And it asks, with a coy wink and stern stare: “What is native to American music?”
– Larry Blumenfeld, regular contributor to The Wall Street Journal

About the Artists:

Martha Redbone is one of today’s most vital voices in American Roots music. A multi-award-winning musician, the charismatic songstress is celebrated for her tasty gumbo of roots music embodying the folk, mountain blues, and gospel sounds of her childhood in the Appalachian hills of Kentucky mixed with the eclectic grit of her teenage years in re-gentrified Brooklyn. With the power of her gospel singing African American father’s voice and the determined spirit of her Cherokee/Shawnee/Choctaw mother, Redbone broadens all boundaries of Americana.

“Martha Redbone is a mesmerizing performer, writer, and storyteller. “Bone Hill” is a uniquely American story of family and dreams — I cannot stop thinking about her unforgettable journey. No matter who you are or where you’re from, Martha takes you home.”
– Charles Randolph-Wright (Director, Motown the Musical)

Aaron Whitby is a London-born pianist, composer, and producer. Whitby is best known for his award-winning work with longtime collaborator/wife Martha Redbone, with whom he has co-written and produced her three award-winning albums Home of the Brave, Skintalk and The Garden of Love. Whitby is the brainchild of Cousin From Another Planet, a jazz/funk exploration purveying a playful approach to life and music rooted in Brooklyn but born far, far away. With tunes inspired by the animated energy and innocence of their young son, and humorous lyrics that celebrate empathy and empowerment.


In conjunction with the performance, Wheeler programs administrator Malia Machado has coordinated an outreach event to take place at Aspen Country Day School for grades K-5 on Friday, April 21. This cultural exchange workshop will include Southeastern Social Dances with Call and Response style singing and storytelling. Students will be invited to participate in a “no-pressure” fun vocal workshop where they will learn some of the traditional music of Martha’s ancestral homelands Eastern Cherokee and Bayou tribes in the southeastern region of the U.S., known for its influences stemming from both Native and African American shared histories.

Martha Redbone is an exemplary ambassador for Native and African American youth, and she guest lectures on subjects ranging from Indigenous rights to the role of the arts in politics and Native American Identity at many institutions including New York University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, to name a few. Redbone includes workshops and motivational talks with grade school children as part of her touring schedule on numerous reservations including Red Lake, MN, Cherokee, NC, Yuma AZ, and Menominee, WI, among others.

Alongside Martha Redbone’s career as a recording artist and songwriter, she has maintained a steady involvement with causes she believes in. Ms. Redbone is contracted by The Department of Indian Education – Louisiana, LaFourche Parish, and teachers Southeastern Traditional Singing Workshop for the United Houma Nation’s Bayou Healers Cultural Enrichment Camp program.

*As an example, Martha helped curate the Native American session of Carnegie Hall’s youth K-2 music program MUSICAL EXPLORERS.