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First Eight Performers Announced for 78th National Folk Festival

First Eight Performers Announced for 78th National Folk Festival

Salisbury, MD – The National Folk Festival announced today the first group of artists who will be performing in downtown Salisbury from September 7 – 9, 2018. The 78th National Folk Festival in 2018 marks the first year of the event’s three-year residency in Salisbury.

Approximately 350 artists—musicians, dancers, storytellers, and craftspeople—will take part in the National Folk Festival, with more than 30 different musical groups performing on as many as seven outdoor performance venues throughout downtown Salisbury. The eight artists announced today include:

  • Clinton Fearon (reggae) – A core member of the famed Gladiators and living legend of Jamaican roots reggae delivers the message and the groove.
  • Imamyar Hasanov & Abbos Kosimov (Azerbaijani kamanchaand percussion) – Haunting melodies of the Azerbaijani spiked fiddle supported by dazzling percussion—sounds honed over centuries along the famed Silk Road routes of eastern and central Asia.
  • Mariachi Los Camperos (mariachi) – Soaring, impassioned vocals, a magnificent violin section, and superb showmanship—one of the finest mariachis in the world.
  • Marquise Knox (blues) – Channeling the power of old-school masters, this prodigiously talented 27-year-old is the future of the blues.
  • Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper (bluegrass) – Ten-time IBMA Fiddle Performer of the Year leads a powerhouse band, creating dynamic traditional bluegrass that has propelled them to the top of the American bluegrass scene.
  • Orquesta SCC (salsa dura) – These “new kings of salsa dura” are leading a renaissance of driving, socially conscious Latin music that brings the energy of the barrio back to salsa.
  • The Quebe Sisters (Texas fiddling and western swing) – Divine three-part-harmony singing and fiddling from the Lone Star State—think Bob Wills’ Texas Playboys meet the Andrews Sisters.
  • Sounds of Korea (Korean music and dance) – In exquisite traditional attire, with powerful ritual drumming, lush music, and expressive dances, this accomplished ensemble offers a powerful journey into the heart of Korean culture.

Over a dozen people of different backgrounds—and with a deep knowledge of music and art forms—came together from across the Delmarva to serve as the local Musical Programming Advisory Committee. This committee’s role is to consider—and help the National Council for the Traditional Arts (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 its Facebook page (facebook.com/NFFMaryland), Twitter (twitter.com/NFFMaryland), and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/NFFMaryland) throughout the rest of February.

More performers will be announced as they are confirmed.

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About the National Folk Festival

Since it was first presented in St. Louis in 1934, the National Folk Festival, the NCTA’s flagship event, has celebrated the roots, richness and variety of American culture. Championed in its early years by Eleanor Roosevelt, it was the first event of national stature to present the arts of many nations, races, and languages on equal footing. It was also the first to present to the public musical forms such as the blues, Cajun music, a polka band, Tex-Mex conjunto, Peking Opera, and many others. Today, the National is an exuberant traveling festival, produced by the NCTA in partnership with communities around the country that embraces the diverse cultural expressions that define us as a people in the 21st century. www.nationalfolkfestival.com

About the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA)

A leading non-profit in the field, the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA), is dedicated to the presentation and documentation of folk and traditional arts in the U.S. Stressing excellence and authenticity, the NCTA presents the nation’s finest traditional artists in major festivals, tours, concerts, workshops, demonstrations, exhibitions, media productions, school programs, cross-cultural exchanges and other activities. It works in partnership with American communities to establish new, sustainable traditional arts events that deliver lasting social, cultural and economic benefits. Over 7,000 hours of the NCTA’s archival audio recordings dating from the 1930s are permanently housed at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. The NCTA champions the interests of folk and traditional artists and organizations in the arena of public policy. www.ncta-usa.org

About the City of Salisbury, Maryland

Founded in 1732, Salisbury is the county seat of Wicomico County, a place where John Smith touched land in 1608 during his exploration of the Chesapeake Bay. Situated on Maryland’s historic Eastern Shore at the crossroads of the Delmarva Peninsula, Salisbury is now one of the region’s largest cities, and serves as the capital of the Eastern Shore, a rural area defined by its agricultural and maritime traditions, landscapes and industries. The Chesapeake Bay is central to this distinctive identity. Though a relatively small city, Salisbury is the geographic and economic hub of one of the nation’s fastest-growing Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Led by a dynamic mayor, the City of Salisbury is working to build its reputation as an arts and culture destination, and is aligning its downtown development and revitalization efforts with the arts. Salisbury believes hosting the National Folk Festival is the perfect catalyst to further a cultural renaissance and urban renewal.  www.salisbury.md