Final Round of Performers Announced for 79th National Folk Festival
Salisbury, Md. (July 23, 2019) – The National Folk Festival has released the final group of performers who will be among those featured at this year’s festival, which will take place September 6 – 8 in downtown Salisbury. In 2019, the 79th National Folk Festival returns for the second year of the event’s three-year residency in Salisbury.
A national showcase of the best folk and traditional artists in the United States, this year’s National Folk Festival will highlight over 350 artists—musicians, dancers, storytellers, and craftspeople—with more than 35 different groups performing on the festival’s seven outdoor performance venues. This year, Salisbury has the special opportunity to host seven artists who have been recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts with National Heritage Fellowships, the nation’s highest honor for folk and traditional artists, as well as many artists who are making their first-ever appearance at the National Folk Festival.
“It is immensely satisfying to share the complete artistic program for the 79th National Folk Festival,” said Lora Bottinelli, executive director of the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA). “Whether we are talking about the festival’s participatory dance tent, the kick-off parade, the Maryland Folklife Area, or the Family Area, we can truly say the 79thNational Folk Festival is bringing the world to Salisbury.”
The final group of performers announced includes:
Andes Manta (Ecuador by way of Hudson Valley, New York) – Andean
Masters of the vibrant and intricate Indigenous music of the Ecuadoran Andes, these four brothers carry forward traditions that have survived 500 years of European occupation.
The Green Fields of America (East Coast of the United States) – Irish
With some of the finest Irish musicians in the States, this group sparked a renaissance by bringing together Irish vocal, instrumental, and dance traditions on the concert stage.
Grupo Nematatlín (Veracruz, Mexico) – son jarocho
This celebrated son jarocho ensemble compellingly performs the signature folk music of Veracruz’s southern coastal plain, noted for its poetic lyrics and driving, danceable rhythms.
Music from China (New York, New York) – Chinese silk and bamboo ensemble
For 35 years, this virtuosic ensemble has led the charge of Chinese musicians redefining tradition with a contemporary vision as they perform regional styles from across China.
Samba Mapangala & Orchestre Virunga (East Africa by way of Maryland) – East African rumba, soukous, and benga
East Africa’s most beloved singer and his amazing band are renowned for their irresistible musical blend of Congolese and Kenyan sounds.
Tinkus San Simon Filial VA (Northern Virginia) – Bolivian tinku parade
From Northern Virginia’s vibrant Bolivian community, this cultural fraternity carries on a colorful, high-energy parade tradition rooted in a centuries-old form of ritualized combat.
Boogie-woogie piano master Daryl Davis, who was previously announced as a performer in the Maryland Mastersprogram in the Maryland Folklife Area, will also be appearing on other stages throughout the festival, including several electrifying excursions through rockabilly, rock and roll, R&B, and much more with telecaster master Bill Kirchen.
In addition, the following artists will perform in the festival’s Family Area and throughout other areas of the festival. With interactive performances and participatory activities, the festival’s Family Area provides engaging, fun, and educational experiences for children and families. Some of the artists to be featured include:
Drums No Guns (Richmond, Virginia) – percussion ensemble
Promoting nonviolence and community healing through diverse percussion traditions, this ensemble unlocks the rhythmic possibilities of buckets and other recycled materials.
Penn Lions (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) – Chinese lion dance
This award-winning group from the University of Pennsylvania practices an ancient Chinese tradition known for spreading joy and prosperity during Lunar New Year celebrations.
Professor Horn’s Punch & Judy Show (Baltimore, Maryland) – Punch and Judy puppetry
This 120-year-old Baltimore institution features the wisecracking trickster Punch and his long-suffering wife Judy in a puppetry tradition that can be traced to 16th-century Italy.
Over a dozen people of different backgrounds, and with a deep knowledge of music and art forms, came together from across Delmarva to serve as the local Musical Programming Advisory Committee. This committee’s role is to consider—and help the NCTA select—the artists who will perform at the National Folk Festival each year. To learn more about these artists and their stories, please visit nationalfolkfestival.com/performers.
The National Folk Festival will feature individual artists on Facebook (facebook.com/NFFMaryland), Twitter (twitter.com/NFFMaryland), and Instagram (Instagram.com/nffmaryland) throughout the next month.