World Dance Party

The Secret to the Best Festival Ever? Participate in Some of These Saturday Picks!

World Dance Party

Tell us how you are going to participate on our Facebook page! See full schedule at our website.

English Country Dance: Downton Abbey comes to Folklife! Channel your favorite Jane Austin character…no corsets required!
Saturday, May 25 from 1:00-2:00pm in Warren’s Roadhouse.

Hey, Hendrix—Jimi Hendrix Tribute: Local musicians pay homage to one of the Northwest’s favorite sons. Jimi Hendrix took the blues to a place it had never been before, but the roots of that music were always an important element. This showcase honors the music of Hendrix as well as the important musicians that came before him. Presented in partnership with the EMP, whose “I Hear My Train A-Coming” exhibit is currently on display. Sponsored by the Washington Blues Society.
Saturday, May 25 from 1:00-4:00pm in the EMP Sky Church.

World Dance Party: This popular community event has taken place all over Seattle, and it is a natural addition to Folklife—after all, the World Dance Party embodies all of what makes Folklife great: people of all ages, young and old, from all ethnicities, coming together to dance and feel good! Be a part of the movement.
Saturday, May 25 from 1:00-3:00pm in the Armory.

Team Up for Non-Profits Showcase: *New!* We are delighted to welcome aboard Team Up for their first year as co-presenters of Indie Roots artists. In partnership with Artist Home (producers of the Doe Bay fest) and with sponsorship by BECU, Team Up has curated a showcase of the best up-and-coming indie bands of the Northwest. Don’t know them yet? You will. Featuring Shelby Earl, Song Sparrow Research, Bradford Loomis and St. Paul de Vence.
Saturday, May 25 from 1:00-4:00pm on the Fountain Lawn Stage.

Bushwick Book Club Seattle Presents Original Music Inspired by the Wizard of Oz: If you haven’t experienced the latest trend in musical folk art, check out this showcase to enjoy the pages of L. Frank Baum’s novel brought to life with glorious original music. But don’t expect Judy Garland impersonations—we said original music!
Saturday, May 25 from 1:30-3:00pm in the Folklife Café.

Sleeping in Seattle: A Bed Making Contest: This year’s Festival “theme” is all about work! Think you know bed making? Let the housekeeping union show you how it’s done. See the full schedule of Washington Works talks, demonstrations, storytelling, art exhibits, film screenings and more at our website, nwfolklife.org/festival.
Saturday, May 25 at 2:00pm in the Olympic Room.

The Arab Show: This tour of the Middle East with eclectic music and dance. Groups Fathia and Les Troubadour play French Arabic music, and House of Tarab revive the vintage classics of Egypt, Lebanon and Syria. Duo Maurice Rouman plays the oud with Waseem Sbait on darbuka. And experience the traditional Arab dabke folk dance, presented here with Lebanese and Palestinian variations.
Saturday, May 25 from 3:00-6:00 at the International Dance Stage in the Ex Hall.

Balkan Misfits Show: Sometimes it’s the old favorites that keep ‘em coming back! If you’ve never checked out this beloved showcase, make this the year. Experience the bad boys of Balkan brass, including Erev Rav, Bucharest Drinking Team, Orkestar Zirkonium and Chervona.
Saturday, May 25 from 6:00-9:00pm on the Fountain Lawn Stage.

The Soul of Seattle: Eldridge Gravy and the Court Supreme (recently seen rocking Bumbershoot stages), join Soul Senate, Kissing Potion, The Braxmatics and Little Big Band for this popular dance party that both closes out and brings to a climax Saturday’s programming. Sponsored by Seattle Pipeline.
Saturday, May 25 from 7:00-10:00pm at the Xfinity Mural Amphitheatre.

Rays-dance-2004a_small

What to See at Folklife #487: English Country Dancing

(Thanks to Elinor Vandegrift for this guest post! Read about all our dance performances and opportunities at the Festival website, www.nwfolklife.org/festival.)

Here’s some information festivalgoers might enjoy about this year’s Scottish Country Dance.

We are part of the Seattle Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society.  I am one of several teachers in the Branch.

The RSCDS is a worldwide society headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland. The Society is in it’s 90th year. The Seattle branch is one of several hundred Branches around the world.  They aim to preserve the dance and music traditions of Scotland.

Scottish Country Dancing is the ballroom dancing of Scotland and as such has been practiced by all levels of society from the Laird to his servants! Queen Elizabeth II is the Patron of the Society.  She has always enjoyed dancing. In their summers at Balmoral Castle the Royal family and staff enjoy an annual Ghillies Ball.

Seattle is one of many Branches throughout North America and runs classes in the greater Seattle area. Our website has full information about classes and activities!

overpass sign

Many Ways to Get to Northwest Folklife this Year

In this time of amazing road construction (and sadly, destruction), please help us to help people find their way to Northwest Folklife this weekend. The Festival is offering several creative means of alternative transportation, and alternative road routes will help festival-goers to avoid road snarl-ups.

The Mercer West Corridor Project is underway, and drivers will find road changes in the Seattle Center vicinity. While these do not affect access to Seattle Center from I-5, lane and exit closures do impact on routes that lead away from the Center – and to the Center from SR-99.  Eastbound Mercer St. from 4th Ave N. to Dexter Ave. is reduced to the two south lanes, and the north sidewalk is closed. The SR-99 northbound exit at Mercer St. and the southbound exit at Broad St. are closed permanently. Eastbound Broad St. has re-opened to provide visitors leaving the Center a quick connection to I-5.

Seattle Center and Northwest Folklife have worked together to make sure festival-goers have many transportation options:

Driving to the Festival:   Please check the SDOT and WSDOT websites for more information and updates on road construction. Seattle Center also provides transportation updates at www.seattlecenter.com.

Parking at Seattle Center:  Seattle Center provides three parking garages, at 5th Ave. N., between Harrison and Republican, at 1st Ave. N. between John and Thomas streets, and in the Mercer Garage, between 3rd and 4th avenues. In addition, there are several paid lots within a three block radius of Seattle Center.

Disabled parking:  All lots around Seattle Center have designated disabled parking spots. Visitors should check with a parking attendant if all the available spaces are full. There are also designated spots on 2nd Ave. N. just south of Thomas St. and on Warren Ave. just south of Mercer St.

New! Ride Sharing Options:  This year Northwest Folklife is partnering with RideAmigos to bring festival-goers an easy tool for posting and finding carpooling options. Save money, save gas, and make friends, all while reducing congestion on the road to Folklife. The festival also has a special deal with car2go. Read all about it here!

King Country Metro Folklife Shuttle:  Festival-goers may save time, save money, and have a more enjoyable ride to and from this year’s Northwest Folklife Festival when they ride the King County Metro Folklife Shuttle from Northgate! Click here to read more.

Seattle Center Monorail:  The Seattle Monorail goes directly to Seattle Center from Downtown. The Monorail departs every ten minutes, running between Seattle Center station, adjacent to the Space Needle, and Westlake Center Mall station, at Fifth Avenue and Pine Street. In 2012, the Monorail trains carried 50,000 passengers to and from the festival.

Arrival by bike:  There is a large bike corral located at the Harrison St. entrance hosted by Bike Works! Riders may also stop by their booth to learn more about community bike programs, get a quick tune-up or donate your old bicycles, miscellaneous parts, and accessories/gear! The Seattle Department of Transportation’s Bicycling Guide Map includes bike routes to Seattle Center. Visitors may also use a Google Interactive Directions Map to plan a custom route by bike.

Festival Hours:  Festival programming begins at 11 a.m. and concludes at 10 p.m. from Friday until Sunday. The Festival runs from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Monday. Food vendor hours may vary.

Total Experience Gospel Choir, image courtesy of Pamela Eaton-Ford.

Friday Festival Highlights

Total Experience Gospel Choir, image courtesy of Pamela Eaton-Ford.

Kick off the 2013 Festival right with these great showcases! Of course, there’s a lot more to see. Tell us what you’re most excited about on our Facebook page! See our full Friday schedule at www.nwfolklife.org/festival.

High School Swing Dance: This impressive lineup of young musicians includes the award-winning Garfield High School Jazz Band and the Eckstein Middle School Sr. Jazz Band.
Friday, May 24th from 3:45-6:00pm on the Armory Stage.

Fin Records Showcase: *New!* Folklife is thrilled to have Ballard’s Fin Records on board to host Indie Roots artists this year. The lineup of exciting local roots acts includes The Lures, Davidson Hart Kingsberry, Low Hums and Red Jacket Mine. Sponsored by BECU.
Friday, May 24th from 6:00-9:00pm on the Fountain Lawn Stage.

Groove Train: *New!* Kick off the first night of the festival dancing under the stars with Luc and the Lovingtons, Unite One, Wet City Rockers, Gravity Kings and the Jefferson Rose Band. These groups are sure to move your body and soul.
Friday, May 24 from 7:00-10:00pm at the Xfinity Mural Amphitheater.

Friday Night Gospel Celebration: Be thankful for this great local gospel music, featuring Pastor Pat Wright and the Total Experience Gospel Choir and the Mt. Calvary COGIC Praise Team.
Friday, May 24th from 7:00-9:00pm in the Bagley Wright Theatre.

Bollywood Show: We are bringing back one of the most popular shows of the 2012 Festival! Get ready to feel the rhythms of India. Sponsored by NW Asian Weekly.
Friday, May 24th from 7:00-8:30pm at the International Dance Stage at the Ex Hall.

Cajun Roadhouse: Experience a little bit of the South in the great Northwest! The evening kicks off with Louisiana Dance Lessons, so why not get out on the floor?
Friday, May 24th from 8:00-10:00pm in Warren’s Roadhouse.

comedyshow

Folklife’s First Ever Comedy Show!

This year we are delighted to have–for the first time–the Jack-A-Napes Comedy Show!

The lineup features some great up-and-coming Seattle acts, including host Evan Morrison, Albert Kirchner, Sean Murphy and Yogi Paliwal. You may already recognize some of those names from their regular gig at the Conor Byrne Pub.

We are stoked to have comedy coming on for this year, and hope to have this year be a kick-off to having comedy as part of our festival programming.

220px-Seattle_Center_Pavilion_during_Folklife

Your Question Answered: Selling Items at the Festival

This one came in from a local jewelry maker:

I know you let people perform music on the streets during the Festival, but do you let people wander and sell crafts too?

The answer is no. If you want to be a vendor of food or crafts, please apply in the winter and go through the formal process. Otherwise the Festival is not the place for casual craft selling.

Do you have a question for Northwest Folklife? Submit it here!
Read other submitted questions here

Bucharest Drinking Team. Credit: Diane Smithers

What to See at Folklife #463: The Balkan Misfits Party

(Big thanks to Marchette Dubois for this guest post! You can see our full lineup of bands at the Festival website, www.nwfolklife.org/festival.) 

Bucharest Drinking Team. Credit: Diane Smithers

At 2009’s Folklife Festival, in a jam-packed VERA Project, hundreds of sweaty, ebullient people linked hands and line-danced at the first Balkan Misfits Showcase.   Though it was called the Balkan Bridge in those days, it was showcasing the same community.  Five years on, our misfit contingent is doing well and we have held out our hands to new friends and met many new and lovely people.   My name is Marchette and I am the volunteer coordinator for the Balkan Misfits showcase – I am also the Artistic Director of one of the misfit bands – The Bucharest Drinking Team.

This year’s Showcase will highlight four amazing and genre-stretching bands: Olympia’s Erev Rav will open the show with their fantastic fusion of traditional Klezmer and funk  – Daniel Landin, the leader and manager of the band described their music as “World Klezmer Fusion.” And goes on to explain:   “We take gorgeous Eastern European Jewish folk songs, and lay them atop funk rhythms. …Or we might have a traditional bulgar rhythm with a tune, but then we add a bebop solo on clarinet. And our arrangements are influenced by Led Zeppelin.”   Check out their brand new video:  The Funk Tash”.

The second band will be your host band, Seattle’s Bucharest Drinking Team – Our music rises form the wells and stills of the Romanian taraf, Balkan Brass bands, Europop, and a variety of other Balkan and Eastern European party music.  We also put our own spin on everything we do.  Hear for yourself our reggae take on the classic tune Opa Cupa.

Erev Rav. Credit: New Spin Media

If that’s not enough brass, stick around for Seattle’s favorite Balkan-inspired Brass party:  Orkestar Zirkonium, whose sensibility for creating music is securely planted in the world of FUN.  Their representative Kevin Hinshaw describes their process this way: “…Balkan Brass [is] our core, for sure.  But if somebody in the band loves a Latin tune or a Bollywood soundtrack, that’s fair game too as long as we like playing it.” He continues: “Sometimes we do straight transcriptions.  But some arrangers get inspired and will try to be more creative.  (Like Whitney squishing Ederlezi from 4/4 into 7/8, or Jerry’s raucous-down-to-tiny rendition of Zaspo Janko.)”. I hope we get to hear some of these inspired arrangements!  You can also look forward to seeing OZ opening for Romania’s Fanfare Ciocarlia July 24 at the Triple Door!!!  Get tickets here.

Closing out this year’s show is Portland’s Russian powerhouseChervona Their bandleader André Temkin describes their music: “…you can find elements of gypsy punk, klezmer, balkan brass, slavic polka and more. There are many bands in Europe playing similar music, but what makes Chervona different from all the bands in this genre? I think the biggest difference is our unique personality and artistic approach in creating and playing music…”  He talks about their high energy and audience participation, and I think you will not be disappointed with how they will keep your feet moving.

Chervona

We Invite you all to the party on the Fountain Lawn Stage Saturday night.  Where we will bring you Balkan and Eastern European inspired music interpreted with our own 21st century voices.

Love these bands? Support them by buying their music!

Erev Rav:  http://erevravmusic.com/store-2/

Bucharest Drinking Team:  http://music.bucharestdrinkingteam.com/album/bucharest-drinking-team

Orkestar Zirkonium: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/zirkonium/

Chervona: http://www.reverbnation.com/tunepak/2457609

Orkestar Zirkonium

The Joy Mills Band

What to See at Folklife #429: The Emerald City Songwriters Circles

The Joy Mills Band

(Thanks Wes Weddell for this guest post! See the full schedule of workshops and participatory jams at www.nwfolklife.org/festival.)

For the fifth consecutive year now, Folklife will offer the opportunity for anyone at the Festival to share an original song with listeners and fellow songwriters in the Emerald City Songwriter Circles.  The circles have become a celebration of originality, creativity, and the regional songwriting scene.

The guidelines are simple:

-Anyone is welcome to join the circle and share an original song when it is his/her turn.  Listeners welcome too!

-Choose a song of 5 minutes or less to share.

-Please listen actively and avoid playing along unless you are specifically asked by the song-sharer.

Come by the Shaw Room Saturday or Sunday (5:00-7:00pm) to contribute a song or join in the listening.  Hosts Wes Weddell, Nancy K. Dillon, Tai Shan, Steve Wacker, Carolyn Cruso, and Mark Iler, and Joy Mills will be on-hand to offer gentle guidance if necessary.  Hope to see you there!

 

Image courtesy Wes Weddell

Emerald City Songwriter Circles

Saturday & Sunday, May 25 & 26

5:00-7:00pm

Shaw Room (Acoustic Stage)

Seattle singer/songwriter Wes Weddell has released five CDs over the past decade, his latest a collection of demos from his involvement with The Bushwick Book Club Seattle (with whom he will also be performing at the festival).  He founded and runs Puget’s Sound Productions, a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to creating community live-music spaces.

philly cheesesteak

What to See at Folklife #221: The FOOD!

Not only can you take a trip around the world through music, dance, stories and art at the Northwest Folklife Festival, but you can eat your way around the globe as well!

Check out our complete list of food vendors here. Be sure to check out Eloi Taste the Carribbean – an unusual treat for the Northwest! You’ll also want to stop by Bahn Thai Restaurant — Seattle’s first Thai restaurant, in operation since 1984.

There’s also Pelmeni Dumpling Tzar, serving up Russian style dumplings (a staff favorite!), Horn of Africa , providing regional cuisine from Northeast Africa, authentic Filipino food from Espis Sausage & Tocino Co., and much much more.

Of course, no festival is complete without Little C’s Funnel Cakes or Shishkaberry’s. Indulge, and have fun trying new things. That’s what Folklife is all about!

 

Shelby Earl on the Indie Roots stage, by Ben Shaevitz

What to See at Folklife #87: Shelby Earl and the Team Up for Nonprofits Showcase

Shelby Earl on the Indie Roots stage, by Ben Shaevitz

(Tune into KEXP this morning at 9:30 to hear Shelby Earl live on the Morning Show with John Richards!)

We are delighted to welcome aboard Team Up for their first year as co-presenters of Indie Roots artists. In partnership with Artist Home (producers of the Doe Bay fest) and with sponsorship by BECU, Team Up has curated a showcase of the best up-and-coming indie bands of the Northwest. Don’t know them yet? You will. Featuring Shelby Earl, Song Sparrow Research, Bradford Loomis and St. Paul de Vence.

Saturday, May 25 from 1:00-4:00pm on the Fountain Lawn Stage.

This tent's not meant for sleeping.

Your Question Answered: Can I Camp at the Festival?

This tent’s not meant for sleeping.

For our out-of-town guests, this might not be obvious:

Can I sleep overnight at Folklife?

Northwest Folklife takes place at Seattle Center, a public Seattle city park. There is no camping allowed. However, we have some great options for you. We have some great deals worked out with nearby hotels and hostels. And for those of you looking to save a few dollars, we have set up an event on Couchsurfing to help you connect with locals with a couch or bed to spare…or maybe even just a place to pitch your tent or park you RV. Check it out on our website: http://www.nwfolklife.org/festival/experience/where-to-stay/

Do you have a question for Northwest Folklife? Submit it here!
Read other submitted questions here