Check out our schedule here and remember…just wander.
Here’s a few highlights from this weekend:
Check out our schedule here and remember…just wander.
Here’s a few highlights from this weekend:
Remember that Volunteer Appreciation Day is Monday May 25th in Volunteer Registration. Volunteers can stop by to pick up a treat and see if they’ve won a prize through our Volunteer Appreciation Program!
We would also like to take a moment to say THANK YOU to all of the organizations that donated to our 2015 Volunteer Appreciation Program!
And an extra special THANK YOU to Girl Scouts of Western Washington Troop #52767!
The Northwest Folklife Festival‘s Indie Roots program returns for its fifth consecutive Festival, packed with live music showcases programmed in partnership with Northwest Folklife and local community curators such as Seattle Living Room Shows, Hearth Music and Underwood Stables. Indie Roots musicians integrate the traditional elements of folk and Americana music – banjos, acoustic guitars, Appalachian harmonies, or country twang – but with a more modern, pop-sensible sound. This year there are nine showcases and over 30 bands performing throughout all four days of the Festival, on four different stages including the Fountain Lawn Stage, Vera Project Stage, Folklife Café and on the new Back Porch Stage.
Indie Roots programming and showcases line-up – sponsored by our friends at 90.3 KEXP – kexp.org – for 2015 Northwest Folklife Festival includes:
Hearth Music Showcase
Featuring Jacob Miller and the Bridge City Crooners, Vaudeville Etiquette, Wild Rabbit
7:00 – 9:00 p.m., Fountain Lawn Stage
SATURDAY, MAY 23
New Generation Roots Show
Featuring Max’s Midnight Kitchen, The Desert Kind
12:20-1:30 p.m., Back Porch Stage
Kinfolk: New Sounds of the Northwest
Featuring Scarlet Parke, Pepper Proud, Whitney Monge
5:00-7:00 p.m., Folklife Cafe
Seattle Living Room Showcase
Featuring The Native Sibling, St. Paul de Vence, The Mama Rags, and Lonesome Shack
1:00-4:00 p.m., Fountain Lawn Stage
Featuring Eurodanceparty USA, YVES, Prom Queen, and Powers
7:00- 10:00 p.m., Vera Project
SUNDAY, MAY 24
Featuring Melville, Mindie Lind, Tomo Nakayama, and OK SWEETHEART
3:00-6:00 p.m., Vera Project Stage
Featuring Caleb and Walter, Lowman Palace, Cahalen Morrison, and The Ganges River Band
6:00-9:00 p.m., Fountain Lawn Stage
MONDAY, MAY 25
Featuring The Elk Tribe, Hallstrom, Joy Mills Band
1:00-3:00 p.m., Vera Project Stage
Ear To The Ground: Indie Roots Show
Featuring COHO, Low Hums, Tango Alpha Tango, and Ravenna Woods
3:30-6:30 p.m., Fountain Lawn Stage
All Indie Roots programming is sponsored by KEXP 90.3 FM – kexp.org
Are you a someone age 25 or under who has wondered how you could help preserve the arts and cultures that exist in the Pacific Northwest? Well, there is one way you can. Folklife is introducing a new donor program geared towards young adults – from those finishing high school, to those venturing out and beginning their first “real” jobs – called Young Folks. For a donation as small as $20, you could have access to some cool donor benefits, like free Folklife swag, some Friends of Folklife buttons and an official festival guide mailed to you prior to the festival – you will know exactly what is happening during the festival before anyone else! And if you are interested in participating, find us at the festival and give us your contact info! In exchange, you will be entered into a raffle. We are receiving really awesome raffle prizes each week!
We are also working on some activities and programming geared towards millennials. (Don’t worry, I am one of you! Don’t be offended!) Please don’t forget though, this is our first year, so we are open to suggestions and feedback! In fact, we invite it! Tell us how to be better! But back to the point, the main event we are planning for you and your peers is a multi-platform scavenger hunt. Throughout the festival, we will send out clues via Twitter/Facebook and tag them #nwyoungfolks. We encourage you to post a picture of yourself with whatever, wherever, or whomever the clues lead you and tag them with #nwyoungfolks.
If this interests you, go to http://www.nwfolklife.org/become-a-friend-of-folklife/ to find out how to sign up and follow #nwyoungfolks on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. We look forward to meeting you at the festival! Also, please send any feedback, questions, or concerns to myself, Grace, at email@example.com.
Posted by Grace
This year Northwest Folklife is excited to have CHEER Seattle join us at the Festival as one of our Entrance Sponsors! CHEER Seattle was founded in 2014 in response to the recent nationwide popularity of adult cheerleading teams. The organization is committed to raising spirits and empowering people into action that supports health and wellness in the LGBT community and beyond.
CHEER Seattle is made up of individuals from all walks of life who come together to support charities and nonprofit organizations in the area. To learn more about what they do, how to get involved or support CHEER Seattle please visit their website or Facebook page.
Thank you CHEER Seattle for your support and dedication to our community!
Visit them on Monday May 25th at the Bagley, Founder’s Court and McCaw Entrances to find out more about what they do and how to get involved!
Ask any group of people why they come to the Northwest Folklife Festival and chances are at least one of them will say, “because of the dancing.”
Since Folklife’s inception, dancers have played a big part in shaping the festival. Many long-time supporters are dancers or dance musicians. Folklife is the only community-powered festival in the nation where they can merge to enjoy a huge variety of music, lessons and participatory dance. Dancers make deep bonds on the dance floor, pulling them back from all over the country.
From Balkan to Bollywood and Swing to Salsa, Folklife offers instruction and open dancing to everyone. This year’s lineup is packed with beginning and advanced dance styles and lessons; Bollywood, Cajun/Zydeco, Country Swing, High School Swing, Scandinavian, International, East and West Coast Swing, Square and Salsa dancing, Tango, Waltz, and more.
At Warren’s Roadhouse, beginners can also learn what many dancers believe is the simplest dance style; Contra Dance. (Learn more about Contra in a previous blog post here.)
Also rooted deep in American culture and popular in Seattle, this year welcomes Hip-Hop to the stage. A street dance typically danced in crews, Hip Hop was first popularized in the 1970s on the television show Soul Train and in the films Breakin’, Beat Street, and Wild Style, followed by its studio-based version, sometimes called “new style,” and hip-hop jazz dance, “jazz-funk.”
In addition to participatory dances, demonstrations will be drawn from numerous world cultures. Danced in authentic costumes, these will be performed mostly in the Center House Court or on the International Dance Stage.
Dancing is a wonderful way to “let go” and be completely in the moment – to fully immerse yourself in joy, movement, music and community. So, grab your best dancing shoes and give it a try! Chances are, like so many others, you’ll get hooked!
If reggae is the heartbeat of life, blues the soul, swing the dance, and jazz the conversation, then Hip Hop, with its driving cadence and spirit, could be called the poetry. And certainly no one is more passionately devoted to giving that poetry a voice than artist/filmmaker Georgio Brown.
For over 20 years Georgio has provided a venue for budding and seasoned hip hop artists to showcase their work through the Seattle public access video series, “Coolout Network” and its online “webisodes.” Today Coolout Network can be seen on the following sites: youtube.com/coolouttv, vimeo.com/georgiobrown, and facebook.com/georgiobrown.
With candor and warmth, Georgio says, “There are a lot of talented Hip Hop artists in the Northwest who need and deserve attention. Coolout Network helps get them the exposure and inspiration they need.”
Involved in Hip Hop since its inception, native New Yorker Georgio, while still in high school, got his video production start filming shorts of rappers.
“I grew up in New York in the early stages of hip-hop,” he says. “When I came out to Seattle in 1991, I started making a series of videos which focused on Seattle’s Hip Hop scene. This grew to a program on Seattle’s public access television, “Coolout Network,” which documented what was happening here in Hip Hop – and I think, helped to inspire a lot of people’s art. I’m also an artist, so I like to give voice to other artists. ”
To this end, Georgio is dedicated to sharing the positive aspects of Hip Hop.
“Hip Hop gives people a place where they can freely express their art,” says Georgio. “Mainstream media tends to promote Hip Hop in a negative light – but I prefer to show its positive influence.”
“ It’s taken some time, but I knew what Hip Hop needed was for an artist to come along and bring positive national attention to it – and that other Hip Hop artists would then be inspired to follow their lead. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis winning four Grammy awards for Best New Artist, Best Rap Album, Best Rap Song, and Best Rap Performance in 2013 did just that. They showed other artists it can be done.”
Georgio has also brought awareness for Hip Hop to the larger Seattle community.
In recognition of his positive contribution to the Seattle community, in 2004, Georgio and “Coolout Network” received the City of Seattle Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Hip Hop. In 2009 he won local filmmaker of the year at the Langston Hughes African American Film Festival with a short he shot and produced about the 206 Zulu Nation. Georgio serves on the organization’s Board of Directors, whose members King Khazm and Kitty Wu prompted Governor Jay Inslee to proclaim the month of November as Washington State Hip Hop History Month. And in November 2015, “Coolout Network” was featured at “Experience Music Project,” Seattle’s museum of contemporary popular culture.
The history of Hip Hop in the Northwest dates back to the late 1970s when high school kids from the Rainier Beach, Rainier Valley, and Central District areas in Seattle started Hip Hop dancing. Local youth clubs and high schools in south Seattle held competitive dance contests called bop-offs. In the early 1980s, soldiers at Tacoma’s military bases also spawned a hip-hop fan base.
Some of the first Hip-Hop dances in Seattle, held at public-housing recreation centers, featured the Emerald Street Boys and Anthony “Sir Mix-A-Lot” Ray. During this time, “Nasty Nes” Rodriguez also launched the Northwest’s first all-rap radio program, Fresh Tracks, and began airing self-produced tracks by Hip Hop artists. In 1985, the Northwest’s first hip-hop label, Nastymix Records, released Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Square Dance Rap.” Nastymix Records gained national attention in 1993, when Mix-A-Lot won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance. Hip Hop had launched in the Northwest.
Collaborating with media and technology filmmaker/producer Scott Macklin and Hip Hop historian Mike Clark, Georgio is currently on hiatus from “Coolout Network” to work on a full-length feature documentary about the evolution of Hip Hop in the Northwest. Highlighting three decades of Seattle Hip-Hop history, segments of the documentary will be shown at the Northwest Folklife Festival. Come learn why Hip Hop has become such an enduring, grasssroots part of life in the Northwest.
Please enjoy a few words from Douglas Ridings, Odissi dancer and teacher, performing at the 2015 Northwest Folklife Festival. Here he has shared with us the background of this unique dance form and what audiences can expect to see in his Festival performance.
“Odissi” A classical Indian Dance that has a 2000+ plus history and was suppressed under British Imperialism and nearly lost until it was reconstructed after Indian Independence through textual research, sculptural evidence, remnants of old traditions in the Jatra (roving theaters), and the temple tradition sustained by the Maharis, temple priestesses who were married to the deity of the temple and performed dance as part of their offering. I have learned Odissi dance from Dr. Ratna Roy since 2005. Her teacher was Pankaj Charan Das, the adopted son of a Mahari and a seasoned performer in the Jatra. Combining his knowledge of temple ritual and and theatrical savvy of the Jatra, he was a primary force in the modern reconstruction of Odissi and is today acknowledged as the “Guru of Gurus”.
The piece is an invocation to Shiva in his form as Nataraj (King of the Dancers) and Yogiraj (King of the Yogis). The music I had commissioned while I was India with Dr. Ratna Roy’s help, so I was in the studio dancing with the drummer while the recording was being made. Odia music has elements of both Karnatic and Hindustani Classical Music as well as it’s own distinctive elements. The costume was custom made from an embroidered silk saree as well as filigree silver jewelry and ankle bells. Odisha is well-known not only for its dance but also its textiles, jewelry, painting and cuisine. Odissi dance itself is characterized by its capacity to blend sacredness and sensuality, its lyricism and gracefulness, and its intricate, subtle complexity and isolations.
I have performed many times at Folklife but always before with Dr. Ratna Roy and her group Urvasi. This is the first year I have been invited to dance as a soloist.
I perform regularly in India, under Dr. Roy’s guidance. When I’m there, I teach Yoga to dancers in Bhubaneswara (Rudrakshya) in exchange for dance training with them and home-cooked food!
YOU can learn Odissi!
Dr. Roy teaches Beginning Odissi at Velocity Dance Center on Sundays at 3 pm and Douglas Ridings assists her.
Douglas Ridings also teaches a class on Fridays at 7pm at Culture Shakti Dance.
Northwest Folklife is thrilled to introduce EMP‘s 2015 Sound Off winner, Emma Lee Toyoda to this year’s Festival lineup. If you adore artists like Fleet Foxes and Sufjan Stevens, you’ll fancy Emma’s delightful tunes that will invoke a rural aesthetic charm. This Seattle based singer-songwriter has a dainty, but rustic sound that reveals uniqueness in every song. It may be out of season for her ‘Em & Fran’s Christmas Jams’ album (look for those here!), but her melody and beats will allure year-round.
Emma is an innovative young Seattle artist and Northwest Folklife is excited to include her dazzling charm on stage at this year’s Festival. Check back for the schedule announcement in early May to find out just when Emma will appear.
Kukeri is a plural for kuker which means a mummer. Mummer’s games are traditional Bulgarian rituals for fertility, regeneration and awakening of the earth, performed by unmarried men around New Year and before Lent. The kukeri reinforce the connection between the people and the land. Through their dance and stumping moves, they chase away the old, the cold and evil, and clear the path for regeneration, fertility and the warmth brought by the spring.
Traditionally, the kukeri wear costumes and scary masks made from animal furs and skins, and heavy bells on the belt to produce a loud noise. The Kukeri Parade at the Northwest Folklife Festival is performed by men from the Bulgarian community in Seattle.
Check out the 2013 Northwest Folklife Festival parade in the video below!
Paperstock will return to the 2015 Northwest Folklife Festival, and we’re thrilled!
PaperStock features the prints of many current and popular concert poster artists and silkscreen print artists. Art for everyone is the focus of this exhibition and Festival-goers will be able to peruse art and maybe even find their favorite new print to purchase directly from the artist! On-site screen printing demonstrations will also show attendees how prints are produced – we’re very excited.
Here’s a preview of what kind of prints you can expect to see at Paperstock 2015 – BEWARE… this is merely a preview.
By Frida Clements.
“Sohoyini” translates literally as ‘one heart’ in the Dagbani language of the Dagomba people in Northern Ghana. Sohoyini was created in efforts to unite cultures and to celebrate our diversity through the beautiful dance and music of Africa.
On March 21, 2015, Awal Alhassan, traditional African percussionist and dancer, will bring his West African dance company Sohoyini to Crossroads Bellevue for a special, FREE performance for families and people of all ages to enjoy. To get you ready for his performance, we asked him a few questions – take a peek!
NWFL: How did Sohoyini African Dance form and when?
Sohoyini was founded in 2005 by Dance Director and Choreographer Awal Alhassan when he moved to the United States from Ghana West Africa.
NWFL: What is the cultural background of your performance/art form?
Sohoyini is a pan-African collaboration of traditional arts embracing the music and dance from the countries of Ghana and Guinea, as well as other cultures from the African continent. Sohoyini means “one heart.” We celebrate not only our roots, but the branches of our new global culture.
NWFL: What is one thing you want your community to know about your work?
Sohoyini strives to provide a cultural experience that opens minds and hearts to the spirit of Africa. As a music and dance company, Sohoyini celebrates not only the Dagbon tradition of Ghana, but also that of all traditions and backgrounds in which we share the common belief that as human beings, we are one people. Through this we celebrate the true spirit of Africa. By singing, dancing, and making music, we make the movement towards, “one-heart, one-people.”
A performance of celebration that will lighten your spirit and bring happiness to your heart.
NWFL: Tell us about the choreography and some of Awal’s inspirations?
Awal Alhassan is the principle choreographer of Sohoyini Dance Company. Many of the dances from Sohoyini are traditional dances from Ghana and other parts of Africa, which Awal has arranged in a modern form. Awal also has created original dances that he has choreographed for the stage, which incorporate contemporary movements influenced by pan-African traditions.
Awal Alhassan has been an ambassador of the Dagomba Traditions for as long as he can remember. Born into a traditional drumming and dancing family in Tamale, Ghana, he has spent his life devoted to the arts of his culture. In addition to his involvement in traditional ceremonies, he has also been extremely involved and passionate in helping to keep his traditions alive. He has worked with numerous performance groups throughout the world, entertaining and educating people of virtually all cultural backgrounds.
Awal has been a professional dancer since he was a young boy. Most notably, Awal was a member of the Centre for National Culture, as well as the National Dance Theatre of Ghana.
NWFL: How did you first come to be involved with Northwest Folklife?
Awal Alhassan has performed with countless groups at Northwest Folklife in the past, including his own Sohoyini Dance Company.
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