40 Days of Forecastle
Forecastle Festival40 Days of Forecastle presented by Kiel Thomson Company40 Days of Forecastle presented by Spalding University

Forecastle 2017 is right around the corner. We’re celebrating with 40 Days of Forecastle, covering the festival from all angles — playlists, artist interviews, city guides, behind-the-scenes stories, and a whole lot more. WFPK’s 40 Days of Forecastle is made possible by Kiel Thomson Company and Spalding University.

How many music festivals feature the conductor of an orchestra? Probably not many. How many music festivals feature the youngest music director of a major American orchestra? Only one!

When the lineup for Forecastle 2016 was announced, a lot of people were caught off guard by the inclusion of “Teddy Abrams and Friends.” Sure, the music director of the Louisville Orchestra had ingratiated himself into the city’s indie music scene, but having someone known for symphonic arrangements was still an odd pairing on its face.

Dig a little deeper into his mission though, and it makes a lot more sense. “I want to make [Lousiville] a better place with music,” Abrams said during his CitySong session. “That’s the whole point.”

That idea transcends genre, which is one reason why he rounded up a veritable who’s who of Louisville music stalwarts to form the inaugural Forecastle Symphony. It encompassed everything from classical to jazz, from indie rock to hip hop.

There were guest vocalist, guest soloist, covers, original compositions, improvisations — but at the center was Abrams and his desire to cross lines of demarcation between what you might call high art and low art. “Ultimately,” Abrams revealed, “it’s about bringing people together.”

That’s what he did last year during one of the best performances at Forecastle 2016, and it’s what he’ll do again this year at what will certainly be a highlight of Forecastle 2017.