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Formed in 2009 by lead vocalist Damasqhs, Tuatha Dea has an eclectic sound incorporating tribal drumming into the Celtic music genre. Their name comes from Irish legend, in which the Tuatha De Dannann, or People of the Goddess Danu, suffered a defeat in battle and retreated underground to become the fairy folk. Deep connections to both Celtic heritage and the mysterious natural beauty of the Smoky Mountains underpin the music. Uniting it all is a strong rhythmic pulse provided by African and Latin drums. Additional textures are woven in by guitars, bass, keyboards, didgeridoo, and Native American flute. The sound and membership of Tuatha Dea are ever evolving, but the current lineup features Danny "Damasqhs" Mullikan, Rebecca Hubbard, Tesea Dawson, Brandon "B" Mullikan and Chris "Foxfire" Bush.
Tuatha Dea's répertoire includes originals, plus covers whose origins range from traditional Gaelic songs to rock, all given freshness by the band's tribal Celtic fusion approach. Their energy and enthusiasm invite audience involvement through movement and even playing along on small percussion instruments.
Also on the bill is Asheville-based Chikomo Marimba, specializing in the intricate marimba music of Zimbabwe. The experience of multiple sizes of the xylophone-like marimbas playing precisely interlocking patterns is simultaneously a treat for the ears, the body and the eyes as the players bring a joyful physicality to the performance.