Union Bank & Trust
Virginia Folklife Area

Union Bank & Trust
 
Virginia FolklifeVirginia Foundation for the Humanities

Virginia Folklife Program at the 2016 Richmond Folk Festival Presents

Tasty Licks: Virginia’s food traditions

The popular expression “you are what you eat” is often meant to be interpreted literally, but this saying holds true in the greater cultural sense as well. Much like our other cultural traditions, the foods we prepare and eat connect us with our own sense of communal belonging and identity, be it ethnic, regional, occupational, or familial. Foodways also play a critical role in how we experience ways of life different from our own. Virginia, like much of America, is a remarkably diverse place, and it often is through the sharing of foods that we, in the most tactile sense, get a taste of each other’s culture.

The 2016 Virginia Folklife Area will showcase the diverse foodways of Virginia, and present some of its greatest practitioners. Our focus will not be on professional chefs and restaurateurs, but rather those “home cooks” who are revered in their own communities. Throughout the weekend, we will be hosting cooking demonstrations that speak to the remarkable diversity of the Commonwealth, showcasing foodways both old and new to Virginia—from fried apple pies of the Blue Ridge to crab soup of the Eastern Shore, from Mexican molé to Filipino Lechon. Audiences will get to learn family-held recipes, share in closely-guarded kitchen secrets, and yes, taste the results.

And what goes better with a great meal than incredible music? The Virginia Folklife Stage will be serving up our usual buffet of musical delicacies and “tasty licks,” much of which will draw from the same communities as our foodway demonstrations—“perfect pairings” if you will, providing a feast for all the senses.

Union Bank & Trust
Virginia Folklife Stage Performers

Cora Harvey Armstrong

Gospel
Richmond, Virginia

Faith is at the center of Cora Harvey Armstrong’s 50-year career in gospel music. She was born and raised in the tiny Newtown community of King and Queen County, Virginia. Her family members were dedicated church attendees, and deeply spiritual. Armstrong remembers being enthralled by church music at an early age; she surprised her family and congregation with her ability to play piano by ear at the age of five.

MORE

 

David and Mason Via

David and Mason Via

Bluegrass/Singer-Songwriters
Patrick Springs, Virginia

Songwriter and performer David Via, of Stuart, Virginia, started singing in church at age three and playing guitar at age twelve. During his long career, David has performed with Tony Rice, Curtis Burch, and Ronnie Bowman, among others, but he is best known as a songwriter. He has penned numerous chart-topping songs for artists including Ronnie Bowman, Dede Wyland, and Larry Keel.

MORE

 

Dori Freeman

Dori Freeman

Appalachian singer and songwriter
Galax, Virginia

Dori Freeman is a remarkably gifted 24-year-old singer and songwriter from Grayson County, on the musically-rich Crooked Road. Dori comes from a family rooted in art and tradition. Her grandfather on her mom’s side, Willard Gayheart, is a locally-loved artist and guitar player; her paternal grandfather was an award winning flat-foot dancer and musician, and her father, Scott Freeman, is a multi-instrumentalist and music instructor. 

MORE

Harold Mitchell

Harold Mitchell

Emcee Extraordinaire
Galax, Virginia

If you have attended the Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention in the last 40 years, you will recognize the familiar voice of Galax native Harold Mitchell. Always impeccably dressed and sporting a white cowboy hat, Harold has served as the instrument-contest emcee at Galax since 1972.

MORE

 

Humayun Khan

Humayun Khan

Northern Indian Khyal Singing
Annandale, Virginia

Indian classical music has evolved over the centuries, and its many diverse forms reflect the great diversity of the subcontinent of India. Hindustani classical music is traditionally practice-oriented, and learned without formal notation, through the traditional “guru-shishya” or teacher-student tradition. Khyal is a modern genre of Hindustani classical singing in North India.

MORE

 

The Hurdle Brothers with Reverend Tarrence Paschall

The Hurdle Brothers with Reverend Tarrence Paschall

Tidewater gospel
Portsmouth, Virginia

Brothers Wilbert, Robert, and Melvin, and Wilbert’s son Dyrell Hurdle individually boast gospel careers that span decades, with each brother singing separately in numerous groups, including the Gospel Harmonaires, the Royal Lights, the Gospel Kings, and the Norfolkaires. They joined together to form the Hurdle Brothers in 2000 when a friend and pastor of Sixth Street Baptist Church in Suffolk was in need of a group for their Men’s Day on short notice. They have been singing with their band ever since, playing at churches and festivals across the South, and performing original arrangements of traditional songs and Wilbert’s own compositions.

MORE

 

The Legendary Ingramettes

The Legendary Ingramettes

Gospel
Richmond, Virginia

For more than five decades, Evangelist Maggie Ingram & the Ingramettes brought their music and ministry to congregations in the Tidewater and Piedmont. For evangelist “Mama” Maggie Ingram, who sadly passed away on June 23, 2015, music was always a family affair, and three generations were represented in the group. Their commanding, spirit-filled performances demonstrated the extraordinary depth of talent in American gospel music.

MORE

 

Reverend Frank Newsome

Reverend Frank Newsome

Old Regular Baptist a cappella gospel
Haysi, Virginia

An elder in the Old Regular Baptist Church, Frank Newsome is a master practitioner of lined-out hymn singing, one of the oldest musical traditions in Virginia. Newsome was born in 1942 in Pike County, Kentucky, where his father worked as a coal miner.

MORE

 

Shadowgrass

Shadowgrass

Bluegrass
Virginia and North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains

Last summer, then 11-year-old Presley Barker won the adult guitar competition at the annual Galax Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention, the veritable Super Bowl of guitar contests. Presley has joined forces with four other young local musicians to form Shadowgrass, one of the most thrilling bluegrass bands to emerge from the musically-rich Crooked Road area in recent memory.

MORE

 

Sherman Holmes

Sherman Holmes

Blues/Gospel
Saluda, Virginia

The year 2015 marked the end of an amazing journey for the Holmes Brothers, a group with humble beginnings on Virginia’s Middle Peninsula who performed a joyous and moving blend of blues, gospel, soul, rhythm and blues, rock ‘n’ roll, and country for more than 50 years. Sadly, 2015 saw the passing of both Wendell and Popsy, ending the Holmes Brothers’ remarkable run. Despite these devastating losses, Sherman has remained dedicated to carrying on his musical career, collaborating with a range of blues artists, and forming the Sherman Holmes Project with Wendell’s former apprentice Brooks Long and harmonica legend Phil Wiggins.

MORE

 

Trio Sefardi

Trio Sefardi

Sephardic Folk Songs
Northern Virginia

Trio Sefardi is inspired by a passion for Sephardic music, playing with La Rondinella, the Western Wind, and National Heritage Fellow Flory Jagoda. When the Sephardic Jews were forced into exile from Spain and Portugal in the late fifteenth century, many settled in other Mediterranean countries but preserved their native language, Ladino, and their oral culture.

MORE

 

Unique Sound of the Mountains: Larry Sigmon and Martha Spencer

Unique Sound of the Mountains:
Larry Sigmon and Martha Spencer

Old Time
Callaway and Whitetop, Virginia

Since the passing of his longtime performing partner Barbara Poole in 2008, Larry Sigmon had been performing rarely until old-time musician and advocate Martha Spencer arrived to interview him for her online documentary project, Mountain Music Magazine. Martha encouraged Larry to play some tunes, joining him on bass and playing Barbara’s signature spirited double-slap style. The two took to each other immediately, and the “Unique Sound” was reborn.

MORE