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Richmond Folk Festival Announces
First Six Performing Groups

Inaugural Festival set for October 10-12, 2008

May 28, 2008 (Richmond, Va.) – The Richmond Folk Festival is excited to announce its first six performing groups for the 2008 inaugural festival taking place October 10-12, 2008, on downtown Richmond’s riverfront.  In an exact likeness to the National Folk Festival held in Richmond, Virginia, from 2005 -2007, the Richmond Folk Festival will feature the best musicians in American Traditional Music.

Coming to the festival from Nashville, Tennessee, is one of the top bluegrass bands in America, The Dan Tyminski Band.  Tyminski, a "Union Station" veteran has put together what people say is the hottest band in the land.  Hailing from Lafayette, Louisiana, the performing group BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet, brings one of America’s premier Cajun bands and the leading ambassador of Cajun music.
From across the pond in Galway, Limerick and Dublin, Ireland, six young music masters, known as Líadan, who all happen to be women, will perform traditional Irish music.  These women are a must see having everything it takes to become the next major global force in Irish traditional music. And from across the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii, two of the Islands’ most respected players of the slack-key and 12-string guitar, Ledward Ka’apana & Mike Kaawa, will join forces to grace this year’s festival with traditional Hawaiian music and song.
Howard Tate, a celebrated singer from the “golden age” of soul music, has caused quite a sensation by returning to the stage after a 30-year absence.  This Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, native will perform Soul and R&B for audiences at this year’s Richmond Folk Festival. The festival will also feature original honky-tonk country.  From Austin, Texas, comes the reigning "king" of uncompromising, deep country, Dale Watson.  
"We're so pleased that Richmond is carrying on the National Folk Festival tradition,” said Julia Olin, executive director of the National Council for the Traditional Arts.  “The public response over the last three years demonstrated that Richmond has embraced the festival as its own.  The strong, able team of partners led by Venture Richmond is committed to making the inaugural Richmond Folk Festival the very best one yet.  It's shaping up to be a stunning event.”
Venture Richmond, in collaboration with the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) and the Richmond Folk Festival Programming Committee, has selected a rich variety of musicians for this year’s festival.  The first six confirmed performing groups display talent in various genres, including, Cajun, bluegrass, Irish, Hawaiian guitar, go-go and original honky-tonk country.
"As we transitioned from the National Folk Festival to our own "brand" in 2008, the primary concern of the programming committee was that we deliver as dynamic and diverse a slate of artists this year as we've enjoyed over the past three years,” said Jim Wark, chairman of the Programming Committee.  “I believe we've accomplished that mission... and then some!  It just doesn't get much better than these first six artists, who will transport us from Ireland to Hawaii, with stops along the way in New Orleans, Texas, Tennessee and the soul of Philly.  And we're far from done.  Stay tuned for more announcements."
These are the first six performing groups of more than 25 that will perform at the Richmond Folk Festival.  Additional groups will be announced in the coming months as they are confirmed for the 2008 event.  Please visit the website, for complete performer bios and photos.

About the Richmond Folk Festival

The Richmond Folk Festival continues the three-year tradition established by the hugely successful National Folk Festival in Richmond, Virginia, celebrating the roots, richness and variety of American culture through music, dance, traditional craft and food.  

The Richmond Folk Festival takes place October 10-12, 2008.  In the exact likeness of the National Folk Festival, the Richmond Folk Festival will feature more than 30 performing groups on seven live music stages with continuous music and dance performances, along with a Virginia Folklife demonstration area, children's and family activities, a folk arts marketplace, regional and ethnic foods and more. The FREE three-day festival is expected to be one of the largest events in Virginia, drawing visitors from across the country.

The “National” has been held in 27 communities around the country and spent three years on downtown Richmond’s riverfront from 2005 through 2007. The National has moved to Butte, Montana, but Richmond is continuing the cultural celebration by presenting its own festival with the same commitment to quality and authenticity established by the National.  Planting the seeds for continuing folk festivals across the country is part of the mission of the National Folk Festival, hence the reason for its three-year stay in selected cities.

The Richmond Folk Festival is produced by Venture Richmond in continuing partnership with the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA), the same organization that produces the National Folk Festival.  Other producing partners include the City of Richmond, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, the National Park Service, the Library of Virginia and the Children’s Museum of Richmond.

Sponsors to date include Comcast, Dominion, Genworth Financial, NewMarket Corp., Richmond Times-Dispatch, SunTrust, Ukrop’s/First Market Bank and Wachovia/Wachovia Securities.

For more information, please visit or call (804) 788-6466.

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