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2009 Richmond Folk Festival
Announces Second Round of Performers

August 18, 2009 (Richmond, VA) – The Richmond Folk Festival is pleased to announce the second round of performers who will grace the stages of the annual festival that will take place October 9-11, 2009, in downtown Richmond along its historic riverfront. More than 25 groups will be scheduled to perform on the festival’s six stages. Presented free to the public, the 2009 Richmond Folk Festival continues its successful tradition of presenting diverse and engaging performances like those that have dazzled audiences for the past four years.

Joining the already exciting festival lineup:

Direct from New Orleans, Louisiana, Bob French's Original Tuxedo Jazz Band are the keepers of an influential jazz tradition. Founded in 1910 by “Papa” Celestine, the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band is New Orleans’ oldest continually active jazz band. The last three decades of its 99-year history have been under the brilliant direction of Bob French, carrying forward a great legacy and the raucous, irresistible sounds of classic New Orleans jazz.

Possessing a powerful, resonant tenor voice and mandolin skills honed over a 50-year career, Paul Williams & The Victory Trio make their way to the 2009 festival from Russellville, Tennessee. Paul is a leading figure of bluegrass gospel and his top-notch group demonstrates year after year that some things really do keep improving with age.

Sophia Bilides Trio from Natick, Massachusetts, brings the intricate and sensuous Greek cabaret music of smyrneika to the Richmond Folk Festival for the first time. Born in the city of Smyrna (Izmir) in Asia Minor, this music has been lovingly kept over the decades by Anatolian Greek refugees, and is passionately performed here by one of America’s greatest keepers of this tradition.

From the Cheyenne Reservation in northern Montana comes North Bear. These up-and-coming champions of the pow-wow circuit bring intense drumming and soaring falsetto singing, along with a youthful style, humor and energy influenced by modern R &B and hip-hop culture.

With warmth and impressive skill Don Roy, the “Dean of Franco-American fiddling in Maine,” leads The Don Roy Trio on a musical romp through Maine’s unique repertoire of Acadian and Quebecois-influenced tunes.

Bring on the blues with Phil Wiggins and Corey Harris from Takoma Park, Maryland, and Charlottesville, Virginia. It’s a blues lover’s dream to have these two amazing bluesmen sharing the stage, joining harmonica, guitar and passionate singing to present acoustic blues from the Piedmont to the Mississippi Delta.

With some of Puerto Rico’s finest bomba drummers and dancers in tow, former Richmonder Jorge Negron returns to our city from San Juan with one of Puerto Rico’s most engaging Afro-Latin ensembles - Jorge Negron’s Master Bomba Ensemble. This ensemble is sure to get you on your feet.

Debashish Bhattacharya comes to the festival all the way from Calcutta, India. Given the honorific title of pandit (master) in his home country, this virtuoso and innovator of Indian slide guitar playing performs deeply meditative ragas as well as lighting-fast, intricate slide work on his hand crafted 22-stringed guitars.

The Richmond Folk Festival is one of Virginia’s largest events, drawing visitors from all over the country to downtown Richmond’s historic riverfront. The Festival is a FREE three-day event that got its start as the National Folk Festival held in Richmond from 2005-2007. In the tradition of the National, the Richmond Folk Festival features more than 25 performers, on 6 stages with continuous music and dance performances, along with a Virginia Folklife Area, an interactive Family Area produced by the Children’s Museum of Richmond, a folk art marketplace, regional and ethnic foods, festival merchandise and more. More information is available at

The Festival is produced by Venture Richmond, in a continuing partnership with the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA), the City of Richmond, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, the National Park Service, the Library of Virginia and the Children’s Museum of Richmond. Venture Richmond is a non-profit organization formed to engage business and community leaders in partnering with the City to enhance the vitality of the community, particularly Downtown, through economic development, marketing, promotion, advocacy and events. Venture Richmond also produces Easter on Parade, Friday Cheers and the 2nd Street Festival, and partners with the Richmond Sportsbackers to produce Dominion Riverrock. For more information visit

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