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Past Performers

Adonis Puentes & the Voice of Cuba Orchestra

Cuban son Cuba by way of Vancouver, British Columbia

Propelled by the vibrant horns and rhythms of his sextet, this verdadero sonero (true sonero) transports listeners to his birthplace through the mesmerizing sounds of classic son.  Continue reading

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Albert Lee

rockabilly Malibu, California

Nicknamed “Mr. Telecaster,” this rockabilly guitar icon is noted for his unique picking technique, melodic sensibilities, and lightning speed. Continue reading

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Andes Manta

Andean Ecuador by way of Hudson Valley, New York

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. Continue reading

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Aurelio

Garifuna Plaplaya, Honduras, and New York, New York

One of the most extraordinary Central American artists of his generation, this composer, guitarist, and percussionist is a musical ambassador and champion of the endangered culture of the Garifuna people.  Continue reading

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Bill Kirchen

master of the Telecaster Austin, Texas

This “Titan of the Telecaster” and living guitar legend will take audiences on a high-energy romp through the last 50 years of American guitar history. Continue reading

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The Bing Brothers Band feat. Jake Krack

old-time string band Marlinton and Huntington, West Virginia

One of the Mountain State’s finest old-time bands ably carries on their Appalachian musical legacy with a rousing, hard-driving style. Continue reading

Boukman Eksperyans

Haitian mizik rasin Port au Prince, Haiti

This pioneering ensemble, beloved in Haiti, uplifts and amplifies their country’s traditional music and its spiritual message, combining elements of Vodou with rock and R&B. Continue reading

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Capoeira Luanda

Brazilian capoeira New York, New York

Led by the nation’s foremost capoeira mestre (master), this ensemble will astound with their display of an Afro-Brazilian tradition that fuses dance, martial arts, and acrobatics. Continue reading

The Chankas of Perú

Andean scissors dance Peruvian Andes via Port Chester, New York

Carrying on the legendary danza de las tijeras (scissors dance), an ancient, highly acrobatic indigenous ritual dance from the southern Andes of Peru. Continue reading

Clinton Fearon & the Boogie Brown Band

reggae Seattle, Washington

A core member of the famed Gladiators and living legend of Jamaican roots reggae delivers the message and the groove. Continue reading

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Cora Harvey Armstrong

gospel Richmond, Virginia

Channeling Aretha Franklin, Mahalia Jackson, and Shirley Caesar, this shining light in gospel, together with her sisters, carries on a family tradition that was passed on to them by their parents. Continue reading

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Dancing On Air Crew

breakdance Charleston, South Carolina

Gravity-defying head spins, twirling windmills, and rapid-fire footwork are hallmarks of this urban dance style that lies at the core of hip hop culture. Continue reading

Danny Paisley & the Southern Grass

bluegrass Delaware and Pennsylvania

Led by one of the powerhouse vocalists in bluegrass today, this hard-driving band is a steadfast proponent of a classic sound rooted deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Continue reading

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Daryl Davis

boogie-woogie piano Silver Spring, Maryland

This boogie-woogie piano master who learned at the feet of his musical heroes breaks boundaries by tapping into the shared roots of blues, R&B, and early rock and roll. Continue reading

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Drums No Guns

percussion ensemble Richmond, Virginia

Promoting nonviolence and community healing through diverse percussion traditions, this ensemble unlocks the rhythmic possibilities of buckets and other recycled materials. Continue reading

Eddie Cotton, Jr.

soul blues Clinton, Mississippi

This Mississippi master of soul blues will move audiences, body and spirit, with gritty guitar work, stirring vocals, and a hard-driving style rooted in the church of his youth.  Continue reading

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Greenbelt S.I.T.Y. Stars

precision jump rope team Greenbelt, Maryland

A young champion jump rope team with flashy acrobatic moves, agility, speed, style, and a positive message. Continue reading

The Green Fields of America

Irish East Coast of the United States

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. Continue reading

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Grupo Nematatlín

son jarocho Veracruz, Mexico

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. Continue reading

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Hot Club of Cowtown

western swing and hot jazz Austin, Texas

The preeminent ensemble in western swing and hot jazz today, this trio delivers exquisite performances with impeccable style and its trademark vintage sound. Continue reading

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Imamyar Hasanov & Abbos Kosimov

Azerbaijani kamancha and percussion San Francisco and Sacramento, California

Haunting melodies of the Azerbaijani spiked fiddle supported by dazzling percussion—sounds honed over centuries along the famed Silk Roads of eastern and central Asia. Continue reading

Jason Samuels Smith

tap dance New York, New York

One of the most exciting tap dancers of his generation, a bona fide “hoofer” who upholds a great American dance tradition with verve and style. Continue reading

Jeff Little Trio

Blue Ridge piano Boone, North Carolina

With breathtaking speed, precision, clarity, and a distinctive two-handed style, this remarkable musician continues a hidden, yet fascinating Blue Ridge piano tradition. Continue reading

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Jeghetto

puppetry Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Recycled materials take on life as astonishing 21st-century puppets—breakdancing androids, dinosaurs, dreadlocked cellists, and more—that joyously connect with kids of all ages. Continue reading

Jerry Douglas Trio

Dobro master Nashville, Tennessee

“Dobro’s matchless contemporary master,” the greatest innovator of the resonator guitar in the last half century—possibly the greatest ever. Continue reading

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Jones Benally Family Dancers

Navajo hoop dancing Black Mesa, Arizona

Led by family patriarch and world champion hoop dancer, three generations will share the beauty and richness of Navajo traditional culture. Continue reading

Kahulanui

Hawaiian swing Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

This nine-piece juggernaut’s infectious music gives new life to the meeting of Hawaiian instruments and melodies and the swinging sounds of big band jazz that swept America in the 1930s and ’40s. Continue reading

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Liz Carroll & Jake Charron

Irish Chicago, Illinois

Acclaimed for her consummate musicianship and creativity, this Chicago-born fiddler is among the most influential and celebrated in the world of traditional Irish music. Continue reading

Mangum & Company

gospel brass "shout band" Charlotte, North Carolina

This gospel trombone choir will raise the roof with its heavenly “shout band” harmonies, a musical tradition unique to the United House of Prayer for All People. Continue reading

Mariachi Los Camperos

mariachi Los Angeles, California

Soaring, impassioned vocals, a magnificent violin section, and superb showmanship—one of the finest mariachis in the world. Continue reading

Marquise Knox

blues St. Louis, Missouri

Channeling the power of old-school masters, this prodigiously talented 27-year-old is the future of the blues. Continue reading

Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper

bluegrass Charlestown, Indiana

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 national bluegrass scene. Continue reading

Michael Winograd & the Honorable Mentshn

klezmer Brooklyn, New York

Led by one of today’s premier klezmer clarinetists, this all-star band offers up celebratory Jewish music that is rousing, raucous, and poignant in turn. Continue reading

Music from China

Chinese silk and bamboo ensemble New York, New York

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. Continue reading

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Nicolae Feraru

Romanian cimbalom Chicago, Illinois

Stunning virtuosity and deep musical passion have made this master of the cimbalom a revered figure in Eastern European communities across the nation. Continue reading

Nukariik

Inuit throat singing Ottawa, Ontario

A rarely heard tradition, Inuit throat singing blends breath and voiced sound to create playful, rhythmic melodies and imitations of sounds in nature. Continue reading

Orquesta SCC

salsa dura The Bronx

These “new kings of salsa dura” are leading a revival of driving, socially conscious Latin music that brings the energy of the barrio back to salsa. Continue reading

Penn Lions

Chinese lion dance Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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. Continue reading

Phil Wiggins Blues House Party

Piedmont blues and dance Takoma Park, Maryland

A harmonica wizard and a master of dance lead an exuberant celebration of Piedmont blues music and dance inspired by the rural house parties of their youth. Continue reading

Professor Horn’s Punch & Judy Show

Punch and Judy puppetry Baltimore, Maryland

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. Continue reading

The Quebe Sisters

Texas fiddling and western swing Dallas, Texas

Divine three-part harmony singing and fiddling from the Lone Star State—think Bob Wills’ Texas Playboys meet the Andrews Sisters. Continue reading

Rahim AlHaj Trio

Iraqi oud and Persian santur Albuquerque, New Mexico

This renowned Iraqi oud virtuoso and one-time political refugee is a cultural ambassador whose music evokes his homeland, the experiences of exile, new beginnings, and healing. Continue reading

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Rahzel

beatboxing New York, New York

Redefining the possibilities of the human voice, this one-time member of The Roots sparked a beatbox renaissance. Continue reading

Rare Essence with special guest DJ Kool

go-go Washington, D.C.

Dubbed “the wickedest band alive,” this legendary go-go band—a pioneering exponent of the DMV’s homegrown offshoot of funk—has honed its sound to near perfection. Continue reading

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Red Trouser Show

circus arts Wilton, New Hampshire

This dynamic street circus duo combines precision acrobatics with daring feats and nonstop laughs, and a breathtaking finale that ends high in the air. Continue reading

Samba Mapangala & Orchestre Virunga

East African rumba, soukous, and benga East Africa by way of Maryland

East Africa’s most beloved singer and his amazing band are renowned for their irresistible musical blend of Congolese and Kenyan sounds. Continue reading

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Sheila Kay Adams

Appalachian songs, stories, and ballads Marshall, North Carolina

This North Carolina treasure is the seventh generation of her family to carry on an unbroken, 350-year-old singing tradition. Continue reading

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Sounds of Korea

Korean music and dance New York, New York

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. Continue reading

Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys

Cajun Mamou, Louisiana

Both deeply traditional and forward-looking, this band sets the standard for modern Cajun music—sophisticated, soulful, and never failing to move both body and spirit. Continue reading

Tamburaški Sastav Ponoć

tamburitza Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

A new generation of brilliant players of the exhilarating Balkan string band tradition, which is lovingly kept in communities across the industrial Upper Midwest. Continue reading

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Terry & the Zydeco Bad Boys

zydeco Duson, Louisiana

This rising star from the heart of French Louisiana is filling the dance halls with a zydeco sound that is both highly innovative and deeply respectful of tradition. Continue reading

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Tinkus San Simon

Bolivian tinku parade Northern Virginia

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. Continue reading

Tremé Brass Band

New Orleans brass band New Orleans, Louisiana

From the storied Tremé neighborhood, and firmly rooted in community parade traditions, one of the Crescent City’s most beloved brass bands.
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West African Highlife Band

highlife El Cerrito, California

Acclaimed Nigerian bassist Babá Ken Okulolo and his all-star band deliver the irresistibly danceable sounds of classic highlife. Continue reading

Yamini Kalluri & the Carnatic Ensemble

Kuchipudi dance New York, New York

Featuring a 21-year-old rising star of Kuchipudi dance, this intergenerational ensemble weaves their shared heritage into a spellbinding display of South Indian music and dance. Continue reading

Yves Lambert Trio

Québécois Montreal, Québec

Led by a towering figure in traditional Québécois music, this brilliant trio mines the rich musical heritage of “La belle province” to create a one-of-a-kind musical experience. Continue reading

Maryland Traditions Folklife Area Stage Performers

Ann Porcella

old-time bass playing and singing Baltimore, Maryland

Andrea Hoag & Chris Ousley

Swedish fiddling Brentwood, Maryland

Maryland Traditions Apprenticeship Award Team Continue reading

Arty Hill & the Long Gone Daddys

honky-tonk country Baltimore, Maryland

Brendan Mulvihill & Emily Martin

Irish fiddle and mandolin Virginia (formerly of Silver Spring) and Boyds, Maryland
2018 - 2019 Folklife Apprenticeship Award recipient

Carolyn Rapkievian & Kristine Antanesian

Armenian dance and music from the Anatolia region Washington Grove and Clarksburg, Maryland
2018 - 2019 Folklife Apprenticeship Award recipient

Cheick Hamala Diabate

Malian griot and ngoni player Adelphi, Maryland

Chum Ngek & Suteera Nagavajara

Cambodian homrong music Gaithersburg and Takoma Park, Maryland

Maryland Traditions Apprenticeship Award Team Continue reading

Hugh Campbell & Dave Reed

old-time and bluegrass Elkton and Rising Sun, Maryland

Jay Armsworthy & Eastern Tradition

bluegrass California, Maryland

Katherine Fahey

crankie and paper cut artist Baltimore, Maryland

Lafayette Gilchrist

jazz piano Baltimore, Maryland

Lustre Quartet & Electric Avenue Quartet

barbershop quartet singing Baltimore, Maryland
2018 - 2019 Folklife Apprenticeship Award recipient

Mama Linda Goss & Dr. David Fakunle

African American storytelling Baltimore and Laurel, Maryland

Maryland Traditions Apprenticeship Award Team Continue reading

Marimba Linda Xelajú

Guatemalan marimba Silver Spring, Maryland

Meki’s Tamure Polynesian Arts Group

Tahitian drumming and dance Brooklyn Park, Maryland
2018 - 2019 Folklife Apprenticeship Award recipient

Mohammadreza Kazemifar & Ali Analouei

Persian classical singing Potomac and Rockville, Maryland

Maryland Traditions Apprenticeship Award Team Continue reading

Phil Wiggins Blues House Party

Piedmont blues and dance Takoma Park, Maryland

A harmonica wizard and a master of dance lead an exuberant celebration of Piedmont blues music and dance inspired by the rural house parties of their youth. Continue reading

Sebastian Wang & Sanghyuk Park

Korean samulnori Kensington, Maryland and Laurel, Maryland

Maryland Traditions Apprenticeship Award Team Continue reading

The Sensational Royal Lights

gospel quartet Catonsville, Maryland

Shodekeh & Ian Hesford

Tuvan throat singing Baltimore, Maryland

Maryland Traditions Apprenticeship Award Team Continue reading

Singing & Praying Bands of Maryland and Delaware

African American devotional music Anne Arundel and Dorchester Counties, Maryland & Sussex County, Delaware

Trinidad & Tobago Baltimore Steel Orchestra

steel pan orchestra Baltimore, Maryland

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