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Richmond Folk Festival Announces 2011 Event Dates & A Sampling of This Year's Performers

March 10, 2011  (Richmond, VA) – Richmond Folk Festival organizers are pleased to announce the first group of performers booked for the Richmond Folk Festival to be held October 14, 15 and 16, 2011, along downtown Richmond’s historic riverfront. 

This always-exciting festival, which presents an entirely new lineup of artists each year, has become one of Virginia’s largest and best-loved annual events. The Richmond Folk Festival has been voted “best music festival” in Richmond for two consecutive years. Last year, more than 190,000 people enjoyed its incredible array of music, dance and culture from across America, boasting more than 25 performing groups on seven stages.

Since the first year of the National Folk Festival in Richmond (2005) local producer Venture Richmond and its Local Programming Committee have worked in partnership with the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) to book and secure the enormous array of traditional artists for the festival.

“This initial batch of performers is just the beginning.  So many amazing artists will grace the stages during festival weekend,” said Julia Olin, Executive Director of the National Council for the Traditional Arts, “This year’s final line-up, including a quite unique Virginia Folklife Area program, will be very exciting – with some surprises, too.  But it’s not just great artists that make the Richmond Folk Festival so wonderful – it’s also the way the community has embraced it. The event has a joyous, warm feel that’s magical.”

Among the artists to be featured at the 2011 Richmond Folk Festival are:

The Mighty Diamonds
Kingston, Jamaica
Donald "Tabby" Shaw, Fitzroy "Bunny" Simpson and Lloyd "Judge" Ferguson are international roots reggae heroes — the original trio whose soulful, pure harmonies and socially conscious songs infused with Rastafarian spirituality are as powerful today as when they first emerged from the ghetto of Trenchtown in 1969.

Mary Jane Lamond Quartet featuring Wendy MacIsaac
Cape Breton
Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
Steeped in the Scottish Gaelic heritage of Cape Breton Island, singer Mary Jane Lamond creates timeless music for a modern age, with a powerful trio that includes the masterful fiddler/piano player/step dancer Wendy MacIsaac.

Magic Slim & The Teardrops with Big Time Sarah
Chicago blues
Chicago, Illinois
Black Americans who traveled north from the Mississippi Delta to seek work and opportunity created the gritty, electrified blues of Chicago. Among them was 73-year old blues guitar ace Magic Slim – the real deal – the personification of Chicago blues at its raucous, house-rocking best. Teamed up with fellow Mississippi native and special guest, powerful Chicago blues shouter “Big Time” Sarah Streeter, Slim and company deliver a one-two punch by Chicago’s finest.

Git-Hoan Dancers
Traditional Tsimshian dance and song
Tacoma, Washington 
Performing, in striking carved wooden masks, the dances and songs of the seafaring Tsimshian people from the Pacific coastal areas of northern British Columbia and southeastern Alaska, this ensemble shares a commitment to preserving Native American cultural traditions once on the verge of extinction.

Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys
Lafayette, Louisiana
With an uncompromising respect for tradition and a forward-looking vision, this band has set the standard for modern Cajun music, creating a sound that is at once intelligent, sophisticated, soulful and exhilaratingly danceable  - inspired music that never fails to both move the spirit and the body.

Larry Chance & The Earls
Bronx, New York
First heard on the street corners of American cities in the 1940’s, doo-wop went on to define an era in American popular music.  With roots in South Philadelphia and “Little Italy” in the Bronx, Larry Chance is a true doo-wop original who has produced a string of national hits.  Over a 50+ year career, Chance’s singing seems only to have gotten stronger, and his flawless group retains the vitality, excitement and charm that has made doo-wop a beloved American musical style.

Photos of the artists are available upon request. See photos and hear samples.

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 20 performers and performing groups, on seven stages with continuous music and dance performances, along with a Virginia Folklife Area, featuring ongoing demonstrations, 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 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 such long-standing and signature community events as Easter on Parade, Friday Cheers and the 2nd Street Festival, and partners with the Richmond Sportsbackers to co-produce Dominion Riverrock. For more information visit

The NCTA was founded in 1933, and is the nation’s oldest folk arts organization. The NCTA presents traditional artists to the public in festivals, national and international tours, concerts, radio and television programs, films, recordings and other programs.

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