NCTA Tour List

Traditional Arts on the Road: The NCTA Touring Program

The NCTA’s touring program began in 1974 when it organized the first of seven international goodwill tours featuring American folk, ethnic and tribal artists that have traveled to six continents.  In 1978, the NCTA began organizing national tours; 50 NCTA tours have traveled to 49 states, and performed in hundreds of major concert halls, community centers, and school auditoriums.

Estados Unidos: Rascos Musicales del Pueblo ­– Organized for USIA Arts America, this goodwill tour through Central and South America presented Cajun, African-American string band, old-time, Appalachian dance and Puerto Rican jíbaro. 1974

Green Fields of America – This tour of Irish-American music and dance visited Irish-American communities throughout the U.S. on four national tours. 1978, 1979, 1982, 1984

Mountain Music Homecoming – This eastern U.S. tour of traditional Appalachian buckdancing, ballad singing, gospel, old-time and bluegrass music traveled throughout Appalachia and to mountain migrant communities in the North.  1980

Country Roads –– Organized for USIA Arts America, this tour to the Middle East featured western swing and bluegrass, Spring, 1981

Country Rhythms – This tour organized for USIA Arts America traveled to Africa, presenting old-time string band and zydeco music. 1981

Country Music, USA – Bluegrass, country and gospel music were featured in this USIA Arts America tour that traveled to the Mediterranean and South Asia.  1981

A la Mode de Chez Nous – Cajun, French-Canadian, Creole, and Missouri French artists performed for French-American communities in five states in the Mississippi Valley.  1981

Der Yiddisher Caravan – Two national tours of traditional Yiddish theater, klezmer music, cantorial and folk songs visited Jewish community centers and Hebrew homes for the aging across the country.  These tours set off a mini-revival that continues. 1981

Khmer Classical Dance Tour – Thirty-five survivors of the Cambodian holocaust presented their thousand-year-old classical dance and music tradition to audiences of Southeast Asians settled on the East and West Coasts through two national tours. 1981

Folk Festival, USA – Piedmont blues and buckdance, Cape Breton fiddle, bluegrass and old-time music were presented in this USIA Arts America tour to East Asia. 1982

Echoes Of The Ozarks – A tour of old-time music, stories, and dance of the Ozark region featured outstanding performers from Arkansas, Missouri and Kansas. 1982

Raíces Musicales – Regional styles of Mexican music and dance including marimba, conjunto, mariachi and Veracruz jarocho, and music of the Hispanic Southwest, were presented in three national tours. 1982, 1988, 1990

Teater, Visafton och Bal – The theater, music and dance traditions of Swedish America traveled across the country from Seattle to Chicago. 1982

Old Puncher’s Reunion/The Cowboy Tour – Eight working cowboys from Louisiana to Hawaii presented their brand of music, stories and poetry to audiences on two tours in the West. 1983, 1984

In Performance U.S.A. – Blues and zydeco musicians, mimes, street dancers and others performed for local audiences in this USIA Arts America tour to the Bahamas and Jamaica.  1985

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning – An African American heritage tour of blues, gospel, buckdancing and storytelling which toured the Southeast. 1986

Masters of the Folk Violin – A tour of Irish, Cape Breton, bluegrass, jazz/blues, Cajun and Western longbow fiddle styles that toured the nation four times. 1988, 1989, 1994, 1995

Masters of the Steel String Guitar – Masters of blues, Appalachian flat-picking, Hawaiian slack key, dobro, jazz and rockabilly guitar styles toured the nation four times.  1990, 1991, 1993, 1999

Voices of the Soviet Union – This tour, presented to audiences in the Mid-Atlantic and New England states, featured a  seven-voice women’s vocal ensemble from the far North of the Russian Republic, a Tuvan “throat singer,” a Georgian male choir, and shepherd’s horn duo from central Russia.  Eastern U.S. 1990

Juke Joints and Jubilee – Musics of the house party, the roadhouse and the church were brought together in this tour of African-American blues, R&B, gospel and juba dance which twice toured the nation.  1991, 1992

California Generations  – Honoring the passing of the cultural torch from one generation to another within families and communities, this commissioned tour presented diverse performing traditions from seven of California’s native, immigrant and ethnic communities.  California, 1992

Masters of the Banjo – Seven master banjoists offered a rich sampling of the myriad ways to play this much-loved American instrument with African roots in two national tours.  1993, 1994

From Plains, Pueblos & Tundra  –  Native American music, song and dance of the Zuni of the Southwest, the Lakota of the Great Plains and the Yup’ik of southwestern Alaska were presented in a six-week USIA Arts America tour of East Asia and in two national tours. 1993 (Asia), 1994 and 1995 (U.S.)

America’s Master Storytellers  – Narrative arts and humor by master storytellers from deep tradition.  Four of America’s best talkers presented a program of prose, verse and outright lies which toured in New England and the Mid-Atlantic region. 1994

Echoes of Africa – An exploration of the African-folk origins of American popular music and dance through a juxtaposition of traditions from West Africa and the Georgia Sea Islands with older Piedmont blues and modern tap in three national tours.  1994, 1995, 1996

The Memphis Sound – Examined the creation of new forms – early rockabilly and rock and roll – from regional folk musics in and around Memphis in the early 1950’s.  Toured in the Eastern U.S. 1995

The Perfume River Traditional Ensemble – An eleven-member ensemble from Huê, Vietnam, the former royal capital of Vietnam and a cultural and musical center for centuries, was presented in a two-week national tour – the first-ever performances of the music of Huê outside of Vietnam.  1995

American Masters of Celtic Music  – A tour celebrating the exuberant music and dance traditions, particularly those of Irish-Americans, which are flourishing in contemporary America. Presented in the Mid-Atlantic region. 1997

Irish Fire – Irish music and dance by the young virtuosos whose innovative talents are fueling the current worldwide interest in this genre.  Presented in the Western U.S. 1997

The Big Apple, The Big Easy  – This juxtaposition of New York klezmer and traditional New Orleans jazz offered an exploration of these two powerful musics which express the collective experiences of the communities from which they grew.  Presented in the eastern U.S. 1998

Masters of the Steel String Guitar – A new edition of one of the NCTA’s most memorable tours, presented in the western U.S. and again in the South, Midwest, and Mid-Atlantic.  1999, 2000

Masters of Mexican Music – This celebration of Mexican musical heritage presents four distinctive regional styles of Mexican music and dance that toured the nation twice in 2004.

Masters of Caribbean Music – This tour offered a sampling of the rich musical traditions from the islands of the Caribbean including Puerto Rican jíbaro, Haitian twoubadou and Trinidadian calypso, and toured in the eastern U.S.  2005

Music from the Crooked Road: Mountain Music of Virginia – Showcased the living musical culture of Southwest Virginia through bluegrass, mountain gospel, old-time and flatfoot dance in two national tours.  2007, 2010

Don’t Fence Me In – A tour that explored the musical and oral culture of the American West through cowboy songs and poetry, high plains yodeling, western swing fiddle and vocal harmonies, Tex-Mex polkas, and Northern Plains pow-wow drum and song. Toured the western U.S.  2012