Richmond Folk Festival
Announces Five More Performing Groups
Inuit throat singing, Japanese drum and dance
join 2008 lineup
August 1, 2008 (Richmond, Va.) – The Richmond Folk Festival organizers are excited to announce five more performing groups to the line-up for the 2008 inaugural festival taking place October 10-12, 2008, on downtown Richmond’s riverfront.
In an exact likeness of the National Folk Festival held in Richmond, Virginia, from 2005 -2007, the Richmond Folk Festival will feature the best musicians in American Traditional Music, on seven stages over three days. Performers for the festival are chosen in collaboration between a local programming committee, Venture Richmond and the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA).
“To have this festival in Richmond is something that every citizen of the city should be proud of,” said Chris Bopst, member of the festival’s local programming committee. “Now that the festival is in local hands, this yearly event will continue to bring world class acts from all over God’s good earth to perform in our city for free. That is amazing. It costs you nothing to see a collection of performers that individually would cost a pretty penny to see - if you were lucky enough to know about them in the first place. With this festival, we get to see a breathtaking array of world class musicians in our own back yard all for free. It just doesn’t get any better than that.”
Traditional Arabic music will be performed by the esteemed Nadeem Dlaikan & Friends. Nadeem plays the nye, a reed flute played by shepherds and an important part of traditional Lebanese music and heritage. In addition to the nye, he plays the munjairah (a wooden horn), mizmar (shepherd's flute) and the mijwiz (a double-reed instrument which some believe sounds like a bagpipe).
The 2008 festival will also feature Eddie & Alonzo Pennington, from Princeton, Kentucky, performing thumb-picked guitar, a technique based upon a women’s “parlor guitar” style that became an international fad during the late 19th century. It requires the thumb to keep a regular rolling rhythm while the fingers pick the lead melody.
Inuit throat singing will be performed by Nukariik, a sister duo from Kangiqsualujjuaq, Nunavik, Quebec. Inuit throat singing is a vocal game once used to amuse children and women while men were out hunting. It is practiced almost exclusively by women. Sisters Karin and Kathy Kettler carry on the rarely heard Inuit throat singing tradition and other age-old forms of Inuit entertainment such as drum dancing and a ja ja songs.
Audiences will also be treated to the Eastern European musical group, Harmonia. This multi-cultural group has members from several countries and varied East European backgrounds, that perform on traditional instruments styled after turn-of-the-century East-European gypsy bandas. The ensemble’s emotive performances combine the technical brilliance, soulful melancholy and nostalgic yearning that characterize the music of the region.
And hailing from San Jose, California, one of the country’s oldest and largest Japanese American communities, is the dynamic, world-class ensemble, San Jose Taiko, performing Japanese drum and dance. Ranging in size from the handheld tsusuke to giant drums up to eight-feet in diameter, the thundering taiko drums embody the spiritual essence and heartbeat of Japan. They produce a breathtaking array of sounds and percussive melodies in a whirl of constant motion.
"These artists are some of the few that will be announced in the coming weeks, said Josh Kohn, programming manager for the National Council for the Traditional Arts. “When it was agreed that Richmond would continue with its own festival after the National left, we decided to make a concerted effort to throw a bigger, bolder, and more diverse event than even what was found at last year’s National Folk Festival. We are confident that we have successfully met that goal. It is very exciting to see such vast wealth of talent kick-off what will soon be considered one of the finest festivals in the Nation."
These artists join previously announced performing groups: The Dan Tyminski Band, one of the top bluegrass bands in America, BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet, one of America’s premier Cajun bands and the leading ambassador of Cajun music, Líadan, six young music masters from across the pond in Galway, Limerick and Dublin, Ireland, performing traditional Irish music, Ledward Ka’apana & Mike Kaawa, two of Hawaii’s most respected players of the slack-key and 12-string guitar, Howard Tate, performing Soul and R&B, and Dale Watson playing original honky-tonk country.
These are eleven performing groups of more than 25 that will perform at the Richmond Folk Festival. 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. Additional groups will be announced in the coming months as they are confirmed for the 2008 event. Please visit the website, www.venturerichmond.com, 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, and the largest festival in Richmond, 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.
Stage Sponsors and Major Contributors to date include Comcast, Dominion, Genworth Foundation, NewMarket Corp., Philip Morris USA, Richmond Times-Dispatch, SunTrust, The Community Foundation, Ukrop’s/First Market Bank and Wachovia/Wachovia Securities.
For more information, please visit www.venturerichmond.com or call (804) 788-6466.