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Folklife at Kirkland Summerfest on Sunday, August 11

The Bucharest Drinking Team at the Northwest Folklife Festival. Photo by Piper Hanson.

Northwest Folklife is thrilled to announce we’ve been invited to program a full day of free music and dance at Kirkland Summerfest! The lineup features groups from your favorite Folklife communities, including Cajun/Zydeco, Indian, Hip Hop, Latino, Old Time, and Balkan, on stage on Sunday, August 11.

Folklife Stage Schedule:

11:00 – 11:50 AM: Cultural Focus Representation: Indian Dance Performance with surprise guests!
Each year, the Northwest Folklife Festival has a Cultural Focus, or theme, which allows us to program a “festival within a festival” with expanded opportunities to get to know a community of the Northwest. For 2014, the Cultural Focus is India! Get a head start on familiarizing yourself with the art and dances of Southeast Asia with this great opening showcase.

12:10 – 1:00 PM: Br’er Rabbit
Br’er Rabbit is an indie roots band based in Bellingham, WA. Combining each member’s unique influences ranging from Leadbelly to The Lumineers, blending three distinct vocal styles, and adding copious amounts of foot-stomping, they demonstrate a sound and presence that’s at once original and familiar, appealing to audiences of all generations and genres.

1:20 – 2:10 PM: Los Flacos
Los Flacos performs a blend of the spiciest traditional sounds of Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean. Using a variety of instruments, some indigenous to the Americas and others of European and African origin, they create their own renditions of the songs of Latin America.

2:30 – 3:20 PM: Hip Hop demonstration with 206 Zulu
206Zulu is a Seattle-based group that empowers local communities through creativity and the arts. Their work to organize the Northwest hip hop community has inspired a generation  to get involved in social action, civic service, cultural creativity, and self-education. This showcase lineup features Sista Hailstorm, DJ Zeta Barber and Suntonio Bandanaz.

3:40 – 4:30 PM: Bucharest Drinking Team
Borrowing stylistically from great Balkan brass bands like Fanfare Ciocarlia and Boban Markovic, the Bucharest Drinking Team mixes in a liberal shot of Romanian folk music and a penchant for 80s disco from behind the Iron Curtain to bring you a high-proof Eastern Bloc Party, complete with dancing and music!

4:50 – 6:00 PM: Cajun/Zydeco Dance with  MaryLee Lykes + Zydeco Rex
MaryLee Lykes began teaching dance in Seattle17 years ago….and hasn’t stopped since! She teaches extensively on a local, national, and international level.
Zydeco is a musical genre evolved in southwest Louisiana by French Creole speakers which blends Cajun music, blues and rhythm and blues. Zydeco Rex is one of the region’s newest zydeco bands keeping the tradition going strong!

 

About Kirkland Summerfest

Kirkland’s largest festival of music, art, food, and culture – a weekend festival transforming downtown Kirkland and Marina Park into a lively arts destination with Music (featuring more than 50 performances), Dancing, Street Performances, Family Entertainment, Amazing Art, and an incredible selection of food.

Kirkland Summerfest at a glance: Friday, August 9

  • Summerfest kicks off 2013 bigger than ever with an opening night special theatrical presentation of The Tempest in the ever-popular Shakespeare in the Park at 7pm at Marina Park. Admission is free.

Saturday, August 10

  • Live music, artists in action, food trucks, robotics demonstrations, TechZone, Moss Bay Cardboard Boat Regatta, bouncy toys, Touch-A-Truck, Young Artists Exhibition, beer and wine gardens. Festival opens at 11am. Admission is free.

Sunday, August 11

  • Live music, Northwest Folklife performers, Artists in Action, Rotary Duck Dash, Bot Battles, TechZone, bouncy toys, Touch-A-Truck, Young Artists Exhibition, beer and wine gardens. Festival opens at 11am. Admission is free.

Kirkland Summerfest is a Seafair Sanctioned Community Event and is presented by the Kirkland Events Foundation. More information at www.kirklandsummerfest.com  

 

Festival Hours

Friday, August 9 - 4pm – 10 pm featuring Shakespeare in the Park (7 pm)

Saturday, August 10 – 11am – 11pm

Sunday, August 11 – 11am-6pm

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.

Cami Lundeen

What to See at Folklife #309: The First-Ever Vashon Island Showcase

Cami Lundeen

Northwest Folklife is thrilled to present, for the first time, a Festival showcase dedicated to sharing the talented musicians of Vashon Island. “Voices of Vashon Island,” coordinated in partnership with Pete Welch, takes place Sunday, May 26 from 1:00-3:30pm on the Alki Court Stage, and features artists Gregg Curry, Cami Lundeen, Kiki Means, and Allison Shirk.

“Vashon Island is just a short 15 minute ferry ride from Seattle–a very short distance, but a million miles away in terms of the hustle and bustle of the city,” says Welch. “It’s home to hundreds of amazing musicians that entertain our community on a regular basis.  There are several music venues on the Island and they are always filled with musicians playing every genre of music imaginable.  The kind folks at Folklife have given us a wonderful opportunity to bring a few of our musicians to this year’s event.  We’re hoping that the music of Vashon will be well received so that we can build on this opportunity and bring even more music in the years to come.”

The 42nd annual Northwest Folklife Festival takes place this May 24-27 in Seattle Center. The full schedule with information about the 800 different acts participating can be found at www.nwfolklife.org/festival.

About the Vashon Artists:

Gregg Curry’s songs dig deep into the roots of American music, blending folk, country, rock, soul, blues, bluegrass and gospel to create his original sound. Website: http://www.greggcurry.com

Cami Lundeen’s sultry vocal, evocative style, and introspective lyrics are shared through catchy, memorable melodies. Her stage presence is real with a raw, relatable quality. Website: http://www.camilundeen.com

Kiki Means has been singing her whole life, and has been performing for many years. Her repertoire includes covers of all types of music and original songs.

Allison Shirk has a distinctive voice with a slightly southern accent. She plays guitar and bass and her songs take life experience and weave stories to which people can connect. Website: http://www.vashonevents.com

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Join Us for the 2013 Northwest Folklife Festival

You are invited to the greatest show of talent in the Northwest! Be part of the 42nd Northwest Folklife Festival this May 24-27 in Seattle Center. Enjoy and participate in your traditions! And experience other cultures by listening to their music, trying out their dances, and hearing their stories. And it’s all FREE.

The 42nd Festival features a special focus on stories and personal histories from the workplace, in a multimedia program called Washington Works. Come hear the folklore of the labor movement, and stories of how jobs have changed over the years, through movies, storytelling, and historical presentations.

Here’s a few other highlights to look forward to:
-A Latin Dance Party with live dance bands!
-A new showcase focusing on traditional dance and music of Asia
-The return of the hugely popular Bollywood Showcase!
-Crowd-favorites Balkan Misfits Party and Monday night Reggae show
-The Tractor Tavern’s Urban Square Dance for beginners and expert dancers
-Indie Roots music across all our stages

We can’t guarantee the weather, but we can guarantee a great time with fantastic entertainment, food, family activities, shopping, beer gardens, and more.

This year we are pleased to feature artwork by Drew Christie and web design by Shaun Swick.

Look for the full schedule on our website, www.nwfolklife.org/festival.
RSVP on Facebook here>

Hawaiian showcase, photo by Ben Shaevitz

28 Great Things to See at Folklife This Year

Don’t be overwhelmed! Here’s just a few of the many great things in this year’s schedule. Leave a comment and tell us what you’re looking forward to! See the full schedule at www.nwfolklife.org/festival. 

28 THINGS TO SEE AT FOLKLIFE THIS YEAR 

FRIDAY

Hawaiian showcase, photo by Ben Shaevitz

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.

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
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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 there’s no excuse not to get out on the floor.
Friday, May 24th from 8:00-10:00pm in Warren’s Roadhouse.

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.

 

 

SATURDAY

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.

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.
Saturday, May 25 from 7:00-10:00pm at the Xfinity Mural Amphitheatre.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

 

SUNDAY

206Zulu Jam featuring Junior Breakdance Competition and Hip-Hop Showcase: See youth from local b-boy/b-girl classes showcase their dancing in a one-on-one competition. Featuring danceable music for everyone by DJ Cues & DJ Zeta Barber, with special guest performance by artist Fleeta Partee. All b-boys & b-girls are invited to come support the next generation of dancers & participate in open circles!
Sunday, May 26 from 3:00-6:00pm at The VERA Project.

Gaelic Crankie Show: Artist and musician Su Truman revives and reinterprets a beloved Appalachian tradition. Half movie, half handmade folk art, crankies are animated drawings and papercuts on cloth “reels,” hand-cranked for movement, and presented with traditional Gaelic music accompaniment. Sounds amazing, right?
Sunday, May 26 from 3:00-4:00pm, Center House Theatre.

You Can’t Fake Fresh—Northwest Live-Band Hip Hop: *New!* The name says it all! Featuring Global Heat, The Sharp Five, Eastern Sunz and Irukandji Physics of Fusion.
Sunday, May 26 from 7:00-10:00pm in the EMP Sky Church.

Giddy Up! Country Roots: *New!* Bring your spurs and whiskey to the Indie Roots Giddy Up showcase featuring the best of local country: Country Lips, Ganges River Band, Annie Ford Band and Ole Tinder. Yee-haw! Sponsored by BECU.
Sunday, May 26 from 6:30-9:00pm on the Fountain Lawn Stage.

Country Swing Dance: I dare you to not join in after feeling the energy of this swingin’ cowboy soiree, back by popular demand after a long hiatus from the Folklife roster of dances.
Sunday, May 26 from 1:00-3:00pm in Warren’s Roadhouse.

Rockabilly Round-Up: We’re bringing back the rockabilly and vintage country styles of the 50s to sweeten your Sunday afternoon. Join The Roy Kay Trio, The Black Crabs and The Honky Tonk Sweethearts for the Rockabilly Round-Up. Don’t forget your bowling shirt and dancin’ creepers!
Sunday, May 26 from 1:00–3:00pm on the Fountain Lawn Stage.

Puget Sound Rosies: Riveting History: This year’s Festival “theme” is all about work! Join us for a fascinating panel discussion with some of the women who went to work in Washington shipyards during WWII. See the full schedule of Washington Works talks, demonstrations, storytelling, art exhibits, film screenings and more at our website, nwfolklife.org/festival.
Sunday, May 26 at 2:00pm in the Olympic Room.

Vamos!: A Latin Dance Party *New!* Save some energy on Sunday to join the rhythms of The Cumbieros, Cambalache, and SuperSones. That’s not enough? Parade in with VamoLá! Brazilian Drum & Dance Ensemble!

Sunday, May 26 from 6:45-10:00pm at the Xfinity Mural Amphitheater.

 

 

MONDAY

Memorial Day Flag Ceremony: Celebrating Memorial Day, the Flag Raising Ceremony will include words from Northwest Folklife, the West Seattle Cub Scout Pack 828, and music from the Northwest Scottish Fiddlers.
Monday, May 27 at 11:00am at the Xfinity Mural Amphitheatre.

American Standard Time Showcase: Some of the best names in roots music (and a little bit of gospel!) will hit the stage during this Indie Roots showcase, brought to you by BECU, and hosted by KEXP’s Roadhouse radio presenter Greg Vandy. The lineup includes The Sojourners, The Sumner Brothers, Crow Quill Night Owls and The Slide Brothers. Sponsored by alt-country authority No Depression.
Monday, May 27 from 3:30-6:10pm on the KBCS Fisher Green Stage.

Kindiependent: Get ready to rock your onesie socks off! This wildly popular show is supposedly for youngsters, but don’t be surprised to see some in-the-know hipsters there too. Featuring the musical stylings of Harmonica Pocket, The Not-Its!, Recess Monkey, Johnny Bregar and the Country Dawgs, and (new this year!) Cat Doorman. Sponsored by ParentMap.
Monday, May 27 from 11:00am-2:30pm on the Fountain Lawn Stage.

IWW Little Red Songbook: Enflaming the Fans of Discontent: This year’s Festival “theme” is all about work! Help us wind up the weekend with a soul-stirring sing-a-long from the Industrial Workers of the World’s Little Red Songbook. See the full schedule of Washington Works talks, demonstrations, storytelling, art exhibits, film screenings and more at our website, nwfolklife.org/festival.
Monday, May 27 from 5:00-6:00pm at the Narrative Stage at SIFF Cinema.

Ver(A)rt Gallery Closing Reception: Toast the young artists who contributed to this weekend’s gallery show “When Your Work Speaks for Itself, Don’t Interrupt: Perspectives on Working.”
Monday, May 27 from 6:00-8:00pm at the Ver(A)rt Gallery.

chancebros1

Take a chance on The Chance Brothers Band

(Thanks to Rob Witte for this guest blog! You can see the complete list of 2013 Festival performers at our website, www.nwfolklife.org/festival.) 

The Chance Brothers Band’s story begins with The Outriders, a critically acclaimed country/cowboy band that performed in several iterations until 2008. Bruce and Rob were both original members of the band.  The Outriders played a lot and grew and released a CD in 2004 that met with critical success.  The Outrider sound was largely defined by the three part harmonies of Tony Reed, Bruce Coe, and Rob Witte and Bruce’s stellar guitar playing.

In 2008, Tony died. Unfortunately, Bruce and Rob will not be singing harmony with Tony again in this life . . . and he is missed.  On the up side, Bruce and Rob hooked up again in June of 2011. It became clear pretty fast that the ole magic was still there. Both fellows can play bass and guitar. Both are at home on electric and acoustic instruments. Both can sing. Both are fanatic about “good balanced sound”.

In the purest form, The Chance Brothers Band is Bruce and Rob on acoustic guitars and upright bass. When the gig calls for something a little more lively, They contact their drummer and electrify. TCBB even plays with a 35 voice choir and a keyboardist when the occasion warrants it.

Take a chance on The Chance Brothers Band – you won’t be disappointed!

The Chance Brothers play Monday May 27, from 1:40pm – 2:10pm on the Alki Court Stage.

 

The Bollywood Project

What to See at Folklife #313: Bollywood!

(Many thanks to Katrina Ji for this guest post. Did you know that next year our Cultural Focus is India? Look forward to even more Indian dance and music to come. Full 2013 Folklife schedule is online now at www.nwfolklife.org/festival.) 

The Bollywood Project

I am so excited to be hosting the Bollywood Showcase (sponsored by NW Asian Weekly) for the 3rd year at the Northwest Folklife Festival! Our first year was a mere 30 min showcase on the Mural Amphitheater Stage. Now we are hosting a full 90 minute show at the Exhibition Hall (International Stage) on Friday, May 24 beginning at 7pm. What’s even more special is that I am hosting 3 of my former teachers in Bollywood Dance (Shub Gill, Nalini, Mollie Singh)! Now, I have my own dance company, The Bollywood Project.

Recently, I spent a month in India where I obtained costumes from a Bollywood costume rental shop in Mumbai (Bombay).  During Bhangra Bistar, we will be wearing costumes that were worn in a real Bollywood movie! Another exciting thing about The Bollywood Project’s performance this year is that we have collaborated with Chi Shen, Bhangra choreographer.

While in India, I performed with International star Queen Harish at the India Military Base in Rajasthan. I also had the honor of meeting Kamruddin Khan. He is not only a musician but a dance choreographer. He taught Aishwarya Rai the dances for Nimbooda. It was fun looking through his scrapbook of stars that he has worked with. Along with Kamruddin, I met his brother Immamdin Khan (Director, Ustad Arba Music Group), Suva Devi (Khalbelia Dancer, Starred in Latcho Drom) and 7 other musicians. We are working on a USA Tour called Rajasthani Gypsy Caravan in Summer 2014.

Rajasthani Gypsy Caravan

Many Bollywood songs have been based on the old folk songs of Rajasthan. So, we are very excited to be working with this group.

I have integrated some Rajasthani Dance into my students choreography Dil Dhak Dhak Dadke that will be seen in the Bollywood Showcase.

Katrina Ji, Artistic Director, The Bollywood Project & Skin Deep Dance

http://thebollywoodproject.com

http://skindeepdance.com

http://rajasthanigypsy.org

(Want to try a little Bollywood dancing yourself? Katrina will also be hosting a workshop at 1pm on Friday t0o!)

Queen Harish and Kkatrina

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Spirit of West Africa Festal Celebrates the African Artists in Our Own Backyard

The Northwest Folklife Festival is a celebration of how traditions of world cultures are kept alive in the Northwest. It sounds like this year the Spirit of West Africa is moving in a similar direction, featuring more and more West African artists and musicians in our own backyard!

Seattle Center Festál Spirit of West Africa Highlights the Influences of West African Cultures in Music, Dance and More

Seattle Center Festál presents Spirit of West Africa, Saturday, May 11, 12 p.m. – 8 p.m., in Seattle Center Armory. The festival invites visitors to explore and experience the cultural roots and contemporary influences of West Africa through live performances, visual arts, hands-on activities, foods, games, and a lively marketplace.

The annual festival expands this year to include artists and performers whose expression clearly reflects the influence of West African culture, but who live and work in Seattle and call this city their home, regardless of where they were born. They come from places like Trinidad, Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, Peru, Columbia, Brazil, Guyana and the list could go on.

Under the direction of Senegalese born Thione Diop, Festál: Spirit of West Africa, has always focused on music and dance as performed by West African artists, many of them brought to Seattle just for this festival as guest performers. The more expansive view this year considers the fact that Seattle is now home to many artists from the these nations as well as the great African Diaspora, that vast region of the Americas created by the trans-Atlantic slave trade, who continue to practice their traditional arts. In addition, many American-born artists consciously work in mediums, especially music, that emphasize and celebrate West African cultural ideas and values.

Thus, the exciting and accomplished performers at this year’s festival will feature music and dance from the following cultures:

  • Afro-Peruvian traditions De Cajon
  • Caribbean steel drums – Cover Your Ears Steel Band
  • Afro-Brazilian dance – Dora Oliviera
  • Afro-Cuban Ceremonial music – Omo Alagba Bata’
  • Traditional and contemporary music and dance from the following Senegal – Sabar with Mapate Diop,

Thione, Gora Diop with Yeke Yeke and dance with Sumaya

  • Guinea – Mamady Mansari
  • Ghana – Obo Addy’s Ghanain Legacy.

 

An art workshop and an Africa-Seattle fashion show, Best of Both Worlds, will add to the fun and enjoyment. Admission is free as part of the Seattle Center Festál series.

Seattle Center Festál, a series of 22 celebrations presented by community organizations with support from Seattle Center, considers themes of importance to ethnic cultures in our region, revealing their common forms of tradition and expression, while highlighting their unique contributions to the Pacific Northwest and the world.

Spirit of West Africa is produced in partnership with Spirit of West Africa Committee. For more information on the festival, visit thionediop.com. Click on www.seattlecenter.com or call 206 684-7200 to learn more about Seattle Center Festál and other outstanding public programming offered at Seattle Center.

 

About Seattle Center Festál

 

Seattle Center Festál 2013 presents a series of 22 world festivals on weekends throughout the year highlighting the distinct cultures and common threads of ethnic communities in our region through traditional and contemporary art, music, foods, youth activities, workshops and more. This collection of cultural events is produced with the generous support of Coca-Cola, The Boeing Company, T-Mobile, Wells Fargo, Real Networks, and KUOW 94.9 Public Radio. Additional support is provided by 4Culture, Washington State Arts Commission and the City of Seattle.

 

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2013 Festival Schedule Now Live

Plan Your 2013 Festival Now!

The 2013 Northwest Folklife Festival schedule is now live on our website!

Browse the offerings that take place over four days across more than 24 venues and stages.

Design your ideal personal schedule using our handy tools, then share your calendar to Facebook or Twitter, or email to a friend.

View the Schedule Now

Read more about using the online schedule tool and downloading our new & improved mobile app.

The printed schedule will be available at our office and many local libraries after May 16, and can be found in most home editions of The Seattle Times on Thursday, May 23.

What are you most excited to see at the Festival?
Tell us on Twitter or our Facebook page!

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Your Question Answered: Is Folklife Free?

Sometimes it can just be too good to be true, so you have to double-check.

Laura asks, “Is Folklife free?”

Yes, the Northwest Folklife Festival is free to the public!

Wait, how is this possible?

It is Folklife’s mission to provide opportunities for everyone to celebrate and participate in the arts & traditions of the Northwest. However, in order to keep the Festival free for future generations, we suggest a donation of $10 per person per day (or $20 for family/groups). You can also become a Friend of Folklife and receive special benefits and free goodies.

Help us keep the tradition alive by doing your part and donating what you can! Click here to contribute now.

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cherry blossom

Seattle’s Cherry Blossom Festival–Off to Set a New World Record

One of Seattle’s most beloved traditions, the Seattle Cherry Blossom Festival never fails to delight. And with highlights this year that include mathematical oddities, a record-breaking battle between an abacus and a super computer, and an underwater singer, this year sounds like it will be something special! See the full release below for more details.

Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival

Focuses on Numbers, Underwater Photgraphy, Japanese Foods and More

 

Seattle Center Festál presents Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., April 26 – 28, in Seattle Center Armory, Fisher Pavilion and Seattle Center Pavilion. Explore and experience the cultural roots and contemporary influences of Japan through live performances, visual arts, hands-on activities, foods,  games, and a lively marketplace.

The 38th annual Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival focuses on the theme of Numbers. Did you know that the name Google was adopted from the word Googol, which signifies the number digit one followed by 100 zeros? Do you know how many zeros a Nivenonagintillion contains? The Festival delves into these and other numeric fascinations. It also will attempt to create a new Guinness World Record involving a challenge between a Japanese Abacus device called Soroban and the Super Computer.

Additional Festival highlights:

  • TOHOKU Through the  Eyes of Japanese photography exhibit, sponsored by Japan Foundation;
  • U.S. premiere – Aquaphoto Concert by underwater photographer-singer, Hiroshi Takano of Osaka, Japan, sponsored by Japan Foundation;
  • Dance and music by the Nago Minori troupe of Okinawa, Japan;
  • Over 60 traditional arts and crafts;
  • Over 30 traditional performing arts / martial arts including Taiko Drummers;
  • Many child oriented hands-on activities including The Kid’s Passport;
  • Japanese foods including:  curry-rice (Japanese style curry), Takoyaki (octopus dumplings), Gyudon (beef bowl), Japanese hot dog, Bento-Box, Manju sweets and gourmet cookies;
  • Updates on the 2011 Erthquake/Tsunami recovery.

 

The Festival was founded in appreciation of 1,000 cherry trees gifted to Seattle by Prime Minister Takeo Miki on behalf of the Japanese government in commemoration of the nation’s bicentennial. It is the first ethnic festival to be held at Seattle Center annually and the oldest in the Seattle Center Festál series.

Seattle Center Festál, a series of 22 celebrations presented by community organizations with support from Seattle Center, considers themes of importance to ethnic cultures in our region, revealing their common forms of tradition and expression, while highlighting their unique contributions to the Pacific Northwest and the world.

Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival is produced in partnership with Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival Committee. For more information on the Festival, the Festal series and other public events at Seattle Center, visit www.seattlecenter.com or call 206 684-7200.

 

About Seattle Center Festál

Seattle Center Festál 2013 presents a series of 22 world festivals on weekends throughout the year highlighting the distinct cultures and common threads of ethnic communities in our region through traditional and contemporary art, music, foods, youth activities, workshops and more. This collection of cultural events is produced with the generous support of Coca-Cola, The Boeing Company, T-Mobile, Wells Fargo, Real Networks, and KUOW 94.9 Public Radio. Additional support is provided by 4Culture, Washington State Arts Commission and the City of Seattle.