19 Jun 2007
Arts & Entertainment
Folk Festival announces first performers for 2007 festival
Richmond.comTuesday, June 19, 2007
Staff of the 69th National Folk Festival announced today the first eight performing groups for the 2007 event, taking place October 12-14, 2007, on historic Richmond’s downtown riverfront. A brand new festival every year, these first performing groups offer just a sampling of the wide variety of cultural traditions that will be presented this year.
“Coming over from County Kent, England, where many Jamestown settlers had roots, is Professor John Styles” said Julia Olin, executive director of the National Council for the Traditional Arts. "He’s the world’s foremost Punch & Judy man, and he’ll be presenting this hilarious, slapstick hand puppetry, a centuries-old art form, in the family area.
“We are also very pleased to bring together two brilliant percussive dancers from very different traditions, young African American tapper Jason Samuels Smith and North Indian Kathak master Pandit Chitresh Das, in a fascinating cross-cultural collaboration.
"Latin music lovers will absolutely not be able to stand still when they hear Grupo Fantasma. Mambo, merengue, salsa, and cumbia and more - all played with such explosive energy. The group’s the hands-down favorite dance band in their home town of Austin, Texas, and also Prince’s new favorite band. He invited the group to perform with him at the Super Bowl. Coming down from Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, is the young Acadian music and dance ensemble Vishten, whose fiddling and dancing make you feel like you’re at a "kitchen party" in the Maritimes.”
The 69th National Folk Festival will also feature bluegrass and gospel legend and National Heritage Fellow Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver; the undisputed masters of blues-based American roots music, The Holmes Brothers, along with Honky-tonk Cajun music from DL Menard with Terry Huval and the Jambalaya Cajun Band, plus Richmond’s own gospel divas, Maggie Ingram and the Ingramettes.
These are the first of more than 25 performing groups expected to play at this year’s National Folk Festival.
The National Folk Festival has been thrilling audiences since 1934. This “moveable feast of deeply traditional folk arts” has been held in 27 communities around the country and in 2005 it began the first of its three-year tenure on historic Richmond’s downtown riverfront. An event like no other, “The National” celebrates the roots, richness and variety of all American cultures through music, dance, traditional craft, storytelling and food. It is the oldest celebration of traditional arts in the country and regularly attracts more than 100,000 people each year.
Presented by Richmond Region 2007, the National Folk Festival features more than 25 artists/groups on seven stages with continuous music and dance performances, along with world-class craft demonstrations from across Virginia, children's activities, a folk arts marketplace, regional and ethnic foods and more. The free three-day festival is one of the largest in Virginia and draws visitors from across the country.
The festival is produced by the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) and Venture Richmond, in partnership with Richmond Region 2007, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, the Richmond Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Children’s Museum of Richmond. Working in close cooperation with the producing partners are The City of Richmond, Tredegar Civil War Center, and the Richmond National Battlefield Park.
In 2008, “The National” will travel to a new city, but Richmond will continue the cultural celebration by presenting its own festival – with the same commitment to quality and authenticity established by the National. For more information, please visit www.venturerichmond.com or call (804) 788-6466.
--excerpted from a National Folk Festival press release