Prior to their 7:30 p.m. concert on June 1, as part of Elm Street Cultural Arts Village’s The Lantern Series, Durham duo Violet Bell will present a free songwriting workshop at 4 p.m. at the City Center Auditorium, 8534 Main St.

The eighth installment in the inaugural outdoor concert series combines the traditional Americana style with hints of rock, folk, soul and classical music for a unique listening experience. The workshop is courtesy of South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Georgia Council for the Arts.

At the core of the workshop is the question: Where do songs come from? Music lives in our hearts, minds and bodies. In a world saturated with marketing, it’s easy to forget that humans have been making music for thousands of years. Long before record labels and The Rolling Stone existed, we’ve belted it out, beaten the drum and made up rhymes for no reason. Music belongs to us, whether or not we fit the “American Idol” mold.

Lizzy Ross of Violet Bell explains what participants can expect from the workshop, “In this workshop we’ll explore how songs get written, starting with the ways that we are all connected to music. We’re excited to share creative processes and challenges with workshop participants, and to hear from them about their own experiences. We also plan to share songwriting techniques, including the most powerful songwriting tool we’ve ever encountered.” Participants are encouraged to bring a pen and paper.

Violet Bell has worked with KidzNotes, Wake Forest Youth Orchestra, University of Mary Washington, the Savannah Folk Music Society and others to engage local communities in educational and inspiring performances and workshops.

“We are grateful to those who inspire us, and we feel it is vital that we pass our love of music on to the next generation. We believe that music is a precious gift, a celebration to be shared with the world, and a vehicle for positive change.”

Described as having “atmospheric, captivating vocals,” Violet Bell puts an avant-garde twist on traditional roots music,” according to IndyWeekly. On stage and in the studio, the energy between duo Lizzy Ross and Omar Ruiz-Lopez is fiery, intimate, and intuitive. The two share a mutual love of rock, hip-hop and R&B that finds its way into their traditionally rooted music. Their live performances showcase intricate musicianship as well as a focus on the beauty of music.

The outdoor concert is a one-night engagement at 7:30 p.m. June 1. Violet Bell is appropriate for all ages to attend. Families, friends and co-workers alike will enjoy a musical experience that features playful musicianship and original pieces. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own food and drinks (no outside alcohol) and decorate their tables. Reformation beer and a variety of wines will be available for purchase.

Tickets are on sale now at Tables and seats are available at varying levels. Call 678-494-4251 for more information.

Born and raised in the Canton/ Woodstock area, a graduate of Reinhardt University and a lover of life.

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