National Folk Festival (in Nashville this year) Announces Third Round of Artists –
73rd National Folk Festival Announces Third Round of Performing Artists
The 73rd National Folk Festival is excited to announce eight more performing artists, among the 30 groups that will appear on stages throughout Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park at this free-to-the-public festival Sept. 2-4. This event is the longest running celebration of traditional music and arts in the nation and will call Nashville home through 2013.
The third round of artists that will perform at the 73rd National Folk Festival include:
Eddie Pennington and Ben Hall – “Travis-style” thumb picked guitar (Princeton, Kentucky and Okolona, Mississippi) Western Kentucky’s Muhlenberg County is the birthplace of “thumb picking,” a complex guitar technique made famous in the 1940s by Merle Travis. Today’s leading proponent of this style is two-time National Thumb Picking Champion and National Heritage Fellow Eddie Pennington, whose delightful performances include a healthy dose of down home humor. Joining Eddie will be Ben Hall, a young thumb picking whiz recently graduated from Nashville’s Belmont University.
Hula Hālau ‘o Keikiali’I — hula kahiko (ancient hula) (San Francisco, California)
The art of hula is a poetic, deeply expressive visual language – a means of perpetuating Hawaiian culture through the passing of traditions from one generation to another. With drums, chant and dance, kumu hula Kāwika Keikiali’ihiwahiwa Alfiche and his hālau express the myths and legends of Hawaii, carrying forward a beautiful, ancient and living tradition.
Thomas Maupin with Daniel Rothwell and Jay Bland — traditional buckdance (Smyrna and Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Kennesaw, Georgia)
A recent recipient of the Tennessee Governor’s Arts Award, 73-year-old Thomas Maupin is a champion buckdancer with a keen sense of rhythm and a highly personal style. Joined by his grandson Daniel on banjo and Georgia State Champion Buckdancer Jay Bland, he’ll demonstrate the exciting interplay between this traditional percussive dance style and old-time mountain music.
Alberti Flea Circus — flea circus (Winston-Salem, North Carolina)
This third-generation flea circus impresario and his talented troupe of tiny performers have been entertaining audiences with astonishing acrobatic feats for over 20 years. Look closely and no blinking. After seeing this amazing show once, you will be “itching” to come back for more. A rare chance to experience a tradition with roots in the 16th century, and one of the few remaining shows of its kind.
Don Vappie & The Creole Jazz Serenaders — New Orleans Creole jazz (Covington, Louisiana)
Led by banjo virtuoso Don Vappie, this seven-piece group of New Orleans’ finest is one of the leading proponents of the Crescent City’s Creole French musical heritage. Breathing fire into the grand repertoire of classic early jazz, it performs Creole songs in the region’s traditional French patois, including those made famous by Ferdinand “Jelly Roll” Morton, Joe “King” Oliver and other early New Orleans jazz greats.
Aubrey Ghent — “sacred steel” gospel (Nashville, Tennessee)
One of the country’s most exciting players of “sacred steel,” a unique musical tradition that originated in House of God churches in the 1930s, Ghent can make his lap steel guitar soar like the spirit-filled voice of a gospel diva. With his wife on vocals and his powerhouse band, this American master is not to be missed.
Marshall Ford Swing Band — western swing (Austin, Texas)
The musical legacy of western swing fiddling legend Johnny Gimble lives on in the piano playing and singing of his granddaughter Emily and her delightful band. With tasty guitar runs, playful vocals, and a rock solid, rhythm section, this band invokes the spirit of the great western swing bands of the past.
Paul Dahlin & Äkta Spelmän — Swedish-American fiddle (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
There’s more than one “Sir Paul.” Keeper of a family repository of precious regional fiddle tunes and a performing style nearly lost in the Old Country, Paul Dahlin is a cultural hero both in America and Sweden, where he was recently knighted by order of King Carl XVI Gustaf. A devoted teacher, he is passing on this beautiful, ethereal music to a new generation of talented young Swedish-American fiddlers who will join him at the National Folk Festival.
Previously announced performing groups to be featured at the 73rd National Folk Festival include:
The Green Fields of America (Irish-American music and dance)
Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano (Mexican mariachi)
The Holmes Brothers (blues, gospel, R & B)
Dale Ann Bradley (bluegrass)
BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet (Cajun)
La Excelencia (salsa dura)
Roan Mountain Hilltoppers (Appalachian old-time string band)
Samba Mapangala & Orchestre Virunga (East African rumba and soukous)
Massive Monkees (breakdance)
Phil Wiggins & Reverend John Wilkins (country blues and gospel)
Lloyd Arneach (Cherokee storyteller)
Özden Öztoprak (Kurdish)
Oyama & Nitta (Japanese Tsugaru shamisen)
For additional performer information and photos, visit www.nationalfolkfestival.com.