Seattle Cancer Care Alliance

50 Years of Folklife

Welcome to the 50 Years of Folklife channel, featuring a special livestream of music and dance performances, live interviews, panel presentations, and community discussions. With your hosts Kenneth "KJ" JonesChris Wright, and Selena Whitaker-Paquiet.  

You can watch the livestream below or on Facebook.

Key for Performances:
* = Captioned
^ = Participatory



50 Years of Folklife Schedule:

Friday:

Dance Lessons with Guy Caridi and Nancy Fry * ^

Guy Caridi & Nancy Fry have been teaching dance together for 28 years. They teach all forms of partner dance, including Waltz, One-Step, Cha Cha, Foxtrot, and, especially, the many variations of Swing, such as Lindy Hop, East Coast Swing, Four-Count (Western) and Balboa. They have developed a teaching relationship over the years that is symbiotic, respectful, fun, and easy to learn from. They currently teach for Northwest Dance Network

In celebration of the Friday night dance Guy and Nancy will provide 5 minute dance lessons throughout the evening, immediately proceeding sets by Valse Cafe Orchestra. 

6:10-6:15 Swing Dance lesson  

6:15 -6:30 PM Valse Cafe Orchestra

6:35-6:40 Cha-Cha Dance lesson

6:40 - 7:00 PM Valse Cafe Orchestra

7:10-7:15 Waltz Dance lesson

7:15 - 7:35 PM Valse Cafe Orchestra

Sign up here!

Valse Café Orchestra ^ *

We are a true café orchestra and, like the original café orchestras of 19th Century Vienna, we play what our audiences like to hear (and dance to). So while this orchestra’s “book” includes the grand waltzes from Strauss's day, we’ve also feature gems from more modern worlds that include the Great American Songbook – Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington – plus a taste of Broadway’s best. We’ll slip in some classics from the Yiddish Theatre, and tight-combo swing from Django Reinhart’s Paris, a polka or two that Lawrence Welk adored, and perhaps Puccini’s grandest waltz (from his least-appreciated opera).

Learn more at their website

Donate directly to Valse Cafe via venmo: @Dean-Paton 

Valse Cafe Orchestra will be playing multiple sets in celebration of the Friday night dance, with a dance lesson imediately proceeding them, lead by Nancy Fry and Guy Caridi! 

6:10-6:15 Swing Dance lesson

6:15 -6:30 PM Valse Cafe Orchestra

6:35-6:40 Cha-Cha Dance lesson

6:40 - 7:00 PM Valse Cafe Orchestra

7:10-7:15 Waltz Dance lesson

7:15 - 7:35 PM Valse Cafe Orchestra


Sign up here!

Small Pleasures with Suzanne Girardot, caller ^ *

Since 1996, Vivian Williams, (longstanding scholar of NW dance music traditions, National Senior Fiddle Champion, AND co-founder of the NW Regional Folklife Festival),on fiddle and Phil Katz (contra dance musician since 1979 w/ musical roots in New Hampshire), on melodeon, have combined the traditional music of the Northwest and New England, in the contra dance band Small Pleasures.

Joining them in recent years are backup musicians Joe Micheals of Seattle on guitar and Shelly Jenkins of Yakima, originally from New England, on piano. Joe is familiar in the NW music scene backing up several bands with his coordinated rhythm and syncopation, as well as calling contra dances as only Joe can. Shelly is the founder of the Yakima contra dance, now in its 38th year, and plays piano backup in several bands, as well as calls.

Catherine Graham of Tacoma, is on fiddle. Catherine started playing for contra dances exactly ten years ago, mentored by Phil & Vivian Williams and Phil Katz. She first played for Folklife at the 40th Anniversary festival as a guest member of Small Pleasures.

Small Pleasures played two sets for the Friday Night Dance on the 50 Years of Folklife Channel:

7:45-8:15 PM

8:20-8:50 PM

Sign up here!

Saturday:

X̲aat’áay ‘Wáadłuwaan G̲aagáay *

X̲aat’áay ‘Wáadłuwaan G̲aagáay is an Alaskan Native dance group based in the Greater Seattle area. Our group was founded by Vicki Soboleff, Karen Lauth Elliott, and Hlt'anuu Nathan. The name translates to “all nations” in Haida language. We were established in 2018 as a continuing sibling group to Ldak'at Naax Sati Yatx’i which translates to “all nations” in Tlingit language, established by Vicki Sobeloff in 1996 in Juneau, Alaska. Our group is a loving space for our children to enjoy community, culture, intergenerational teachings, and family time. As Potlatch people we believe that community wellness and strength comes from how much we care for and give to one another.

G'ana'K'w & Haan dei I Jin Family *

G'ana'K'w & Haan dei I Jin Family's purpose is to preserve, promote, and provide healthy traditional activities by reconnecting and strengthening a sense of belonging as Native people. With a focus on preserving Native Traditions with our youth through our elders. We provide educational, cultural and social outlets that reconnect indigenous people in the Puget Sound region.

Peter Ali *

Peter Ali has inspired and comforted many through his music since first hearing the call of a Native American style flute at a low point in his own life. He then found his way towards healing through teaching himself to play. Peter comes from a unique blending of cultures. His mother is from Sonora Mexico and is of Mayan, Pima Indian and southern European descent. His father is of Berber descent from Morocco, North Africa. After many years of flute playing, Peter discovered that his paternal grandfather had also played the traditional Ney flute for ceremonies and gatherings. Peter has gathered a wonderful collection of wooden flutes, each with a unique voice that he directs and brings to life. He performs and teaches flute playing and flute making through various Native American tribal programs, schools, public libraries, and other venues. He was a featured performer for the Dalai Lama during the Seeds of Compassion Seattle event. Listen to the sounds of eagle, running river, nature and spirit in the flute’s song.

Learn more on his website.

Morning Star Korean Cultural Center *

Morning Star Cultural Center was founded in 1985 with the purpose of teaching Korean dance, music, and heritage to those interested in sharing the Korean culture. During their 36 year history, Morning Star has continued to expand and diversify its repertoire, programs and services to the community.
Morning Star Cultural Center is committed to enriching lives through artistic expression, educational opportunities, and cultural appreciation. They proudly serve a global community to promote awareness and encourage positive cultural exchange.

Learn more at their website.

Donate to the artists here.

Charmaine Slaven, Crankie Showcase*

Based in Seattle, husband & wife duo Squirrel Butter performs traditional and original music influenced by Appalachian, early country, jug band, and blues artists from the late 1800’s through 1950’s. Charlie & Charmaine are both multi-instrumentalists and active organizers within the old time music community.

La Famille Leger *

Traditional Acadian music, gathered tune by tune from the greatest living Acadian fiddlers by the Léger family, plus some wonderful Acadian songs!

Learn more on their website.

Vivian Williams *

Vivian Williams is a master fiddler and co-founder of Northwest Folklife, Vivian Williams. Vivian is recognized as a master of Celtic, old-time and bluegrass style fiddling. She is also one of the very first folklorists of regional music through her recording company, Voyager Records. Alongside her late husband, Phil Williams, Vivian co-founded the Northwest Folklife Festival in 1971.

Learn more at her website.


50 Years of Folklife: A Town Hall Conversation *

50 Years of Folklife: A Town Hall Conversation with hosts Michelle Demers Shaevitz, Artistic Director at Mission Folk Festival and Northwest Folklife's Board Chair; Francisca Garcia, Founder & Instructor, Machtia and Northwest Folklife's Vice President; and Edurado Mendonça, Community Coordinator and founder of BrasilFest and iBuildBridges Music Director.

Francisca Garcia *

Francisca Garcia is the founder of Machtia, Mexican Cultural Consultant, Folklorist, Culture and Tradition Bearer. Curator, Artist, Teacher, Lecturer. Her work has been seen in Centro de la Raza, Sea Mar Museum, Northwest Folklife, Mexican Consulate of Seattle, Rainier Art Center, eSe Theater, Act Theater, Dance This with Joyas Mexican Youth Dance Group at the Paramount Theater, Meany Theater with Bailadores de Bronce Mexican Folklorico Dance Group. She serves as Vice President for Northwest Folklife's Board of Directors and chair for the Social Equality Committee.  

Michelle Demers Shaevitz *

In addition to serving as Board Chair for Northwest Folklife, Michelle is the Artistic Director of the Mission Folk Music Festival in Mission, BC, focusing on folk, roots, Indigenous, trad and global music. When not festival-ing, she does freelance arts administration and co-hosts house concerts in West Seattle with her partner and son.

Eduardo Mendonça *

Eduardo Mendonça has played, composed, and directed various genres of Brazilian popular music in the US, Canada, Nepal and Brazil since 1974. A native of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, Eduardo has shared international stages with legendary Brazilian musicians Geraldo Azevedo, Alcione, and Jorge Ben Jor. Mendonça was opening act for renowned musicians such Guilherme Arantes and Ana Carolina. Eduardo has performed for many notable personalities, including the 14th Dalai Lama, Pope John Paul II, and former South Africa President Nelson Mandela, and he was featured in the PBS American Masters documentary, Paul Simon: Born at the Right Time.

Eduardo brings a wealth of experience to his wide-ranging musical endeavors. A variety of musical fusions represented throughout and between the Americas as evidenced in five CDs: “Steps” (2016), “Brazil and Me” (2009), Dois em 1” (2009), “Brazil in Washington” (2003); and “Show Brazil” (1997), where his talents as performer (guitar, vocals, and percussion), composer, and arranger shine.

A naturalized US citizen, this multi-talented performer graduated in Arts Education is a much sought after artist-in-residence and master class instructor recommended by the Washington State Arts Commission for lectures, workshops, and school assemblies. In addition to providing a pleasurable musical experience, his performances never fail to enlighten and entertain multi-generational audiences about music theory, history, and investigation.

In May 2016, Eduardo performed as guest artist with the jointly sponsored Seattle Symphony-Carnegie Hall project “Link Up: The Orchestra Moves,” exploring the creative process of this passionate composer through melody and motif.

Learn more at their website.

Seattle Labor Chorus *

Founded in 1997, the SLC debuted on stage at Northwest Folklife Festival, joined by Pete Seeger. The Chorus is dedicated to economic and social justice.

Learn more on their Facebook.

Don Meyers and Kathi Ploeger *

Don Meyers and Kathi Ploeger are experienced teachers of Scandinavian dance. They have deep experience in learning, teaching, performing and competing in Skandia Folkdance Society in Seattle. They have also taught workshops in Vancouver BC, Portland OR, Salt Lake City UT, and London, England as well as at the Northwest Folklife Festival in Seattle. Whether for a small class of beginners or a large class of knowledgeable dancers, they have demonstrated that they can teach an entertaining and instructive class, including in the new Zoom world.

Seattle Lilla Spelmanslag *

Nordic folk’s next generation of musicians - all under 18 - play rhythmic, strong, lively music for dance. Now in their 13th season the group has performed all over the Northwest, as well as in Sweden and Denmark.

The Seattle Lilla Spelmanslag is actively seeking new members for the 2021-2022 season. Please reach out to them via their website if you have a young person between 8 and 18 who is already well started on their instrument that would like to make music with them! 

Learn more at their website.

Cliff Perry Band and Friends *

Cliff Perry, well known in NW Bluegrass circles, teaches Bluegrass Band class at Shoreline CC, performed widely as Southfork, made award-winning recordings with singing partner Laurel Bliss, opened for Bill Monroe, also Earl Scruggs, has appeared with Josh graves and Kenny Baker. Mary and Greg Maass, gifted fiddle and Dobro players appearing with many Northwest bands, perennials at local Bluegrass festivals. Mary Fleischman, rhythm queen on the bass, plays piano and has danced Flamenco. Ethan Lawton, stunning mandolin player and singer, drummer with country bands. They enjoy making solid bluegrass music together!

Anzanga Marimba Ensemble *

Anzanga has been performing for 33 years with appearances around the globe. The group made its initial day view at Folklife in 1987. Anzanga performs traditional and contemporary marimba music of Africa. The group has produced 5 recordings, two are which in circulation today. The exhilarating sounds are enjoyable to listen to and conducive for dancing.

Learn more at their website

Draze *

Draze (aka Dumisani Maraire, Jr) is the latest member of a premier musical family of Zimbabwe to emerge as a high-profile U.S. artist. He is the son of the Dumisani Maraire, Sr. and Lora (Sukutai) Chiorah-Dye, and the younger brother of Chiwoniso. All were key figures in the Zimbabwean music diaspora. Like Chiwoniso, Draze is being celebrated for the way in which he modernizes the mbira and marimba while infusing new spirit in contemporary music performance. Draze was raised in the Central District in Seattle and fell in love with Hip Hop at an early age. He has gained popularity in the United States with his songs “Seattle Sweeties” and “Irony on 23rd” and continues to share the Shona culture through his music today.

Warren Argo Jam, led by W.B. Reid ^*

Join us for a jam in memory of Warren Argo, lead by WB Reid and Doug Plummer.

Warren Argo started out playing banjo and guitar, but when he came to Seattle in 1968 he became a dance caller, the person who alerts square dancers and contra dancers to the next move. “Warren was a really good caller,” said Sandy Bradley, also a major figure in Seattle’s old-time music scene who, along with Mr. Argo and others, turned the Emerald City into a nationally known hotbed for old-time music and dance. “Everybody who is on the dance floor has an expectation and an agenda. The caller makes it so that everybody gets a piece of what they want. That’s what Warren did. It was a huge talent.”

Warren’s talent as a caller is a good metaphor for his capacity as a community organizer. He was noted for bringing people together — even when they disagreed — whether he was running the “Roadhouse” dances at the Northwest Folklife Festival, managing Centrum’s Festival of Fiddle Tunes or serving as president of the Seattle Folklore Society. He also played in the Gypsy Gyppo String Band, one of the bands that spawned the old-time music revival in Seattle. “Warren was inspiring,” said Scott Nagel, former executive director of Northwest Folklife. “He could get anything done. He made great music and he made collaborations happen. He was universally liked and a leader in the whole folk community.” Warren later became president of the Seattle Folklore Society, a board member of Northwest Folklife, a board member at Centrum at Fort Worden and the manager of Centrum’s Festival of Fiddle Tunes and attended every edition of the Northwest Folklife Festival since its founding, in 1972. At Folklife, he organized the bands at the Roadhouse as if he were programming a symphony, paying attention to every detail of every band and the order in which they played. Mr. Argo was a big, robust man with a mustache and long hair who filled up the room with his presence, voice, a big laugh and good humor.

- Excerpt from Seattle Times article written by Paul de Barros

Sign up here!

Sunday:

Ke Liko A’e O Lei Lehua E Kapuaokalani *

"Aloha! My name is Kapua Quenga and I am the Kumu Hula for our Halau. It was passed down to me by our late Kumu and mother Aunty Claire Cortez. I currently teach at 3 locations. Kent, University Place (Tacoma), and Olympia. I have over 30 years of dancing and teaching and more than 10 years of competitive Hula and Tahitian dancing. We’ve taught over 25 workshops to community based organizations and University groups and jointly host international dance exchange with other Kumu and Halau. We’re also are contacted for booking engagements for our Halau to perform for private and cooperate functions. We’re so honored to come back this year virtually to share the aloha spirit with all of you!" -Kapua Quenga

Learn more on their website.

This performance was filmed on Pier 62 in downtown Seattle thank to Friends of Waterfront Seattle.

Halau Hula Pulamahiaikalikolehua *

Halau Hula Pulamahiaikalikolehua's mission is to preserve and perpetuate the art of Hula through the teachings and styling of Ma’iki Aiu Lake.

Learn more by visiting their Facebook page.

This performance was filmed on Pier 62 in downtown Seattle thank to Friends of Waterfront Seattle.

Halau Hula O Napualani *

Halau Hula O Napualani, under the direction of Kumu Hula Gloria Napualani Nahalea has been involved with the the Hawaiian Showcase at NW Folklife since it's inception. Featuring live music by Napua and Friends and the ladies of HHON.

Learn more at their website.

This performance was filmed on Pier 62 in downtown Seattle thank to Friends of Waterfront Seattle.  

KUOW’s RadioActive Youth Producer Showcase *

Put on your headphones and join three RadioActive youth producers for an immersive audio listening session. Youth producers Kouther Ahmed (Tyee High School), Jared Lam (Ballard High School), and Sarah Pham (University of Washington) will each play and reflect on an audio story they produced last year: Kouther’s story about her brother’s move from South Africa to SeaTac; Sarah’s spoken-word poem exploring her mom’s diaspora; and Jared’s interview with a local teen musician in recovery. After the show, join the youth producers live on Instagram @KUOWRadioActive to continue the Q&A.

KUOW’s RadioActive Youth Media is where young people discover public radio journalism and gain access to the skills, community and institutional resources that spur their growth as media makers. Through their stories, listeners of all ages gain a deeper understanding of young people whose voices are rarely heard by the greater public.

Learn more at their website.

Bailadores de Bronce *

Bailadores de Bronce started at the UW in 1972. Their mission is to promote the beauty and richness of Mexican traditions through music and dance in the Pacific Northwest. They create a bridge of understanding among all people by sharing their culture, preserving their traditions, and instilling pride in their youth.

Learn more on their website.

Donate directly to the artist here.

Ballet Folklorico Mexico en la Piel *

Ballet Folklórico México en la Piel was started in January of 2008 in Hillsboro Oregon. We have the aspiration of becoming an organization dedicated to the growth and preservation, of one of the most beautiful artistic representations from the Mexican culture, the ballet folklórico mexicano.
Our purpose is to maintain a dance group that is capable of performing with the outmost quality and authenticity possible, our traditional dances from the different regions that represent the Mexican folklore.

Learn more on their website.

Riley & Vivian, presented by Hearth Music Presents *

Vivian Leva & Riley Calcagno’s self-titled record is old-soul roots music to its core. Though both just out of college, the duo’s musical talents extend far beyond their years. Produced by GRAMMY-winning Cajun roots heavyweight Joel Savoy at his Louisiana studio, Vivian Leva & Riley Calcagno (released March 12, 2021 on Free Dirt Records) is not some soulless collection of songs imitating previous masters of American music. Rather, the pair has responded to one of the darkest eras in American history with an album of stunning breadth and originality. Their album is out now everywhere on Free Dirt Records.

Learn more on their website.

Donate directly to the artists on Venmo @RileyCalcagno or PayPal - rileycalcagno@gmail.com

Oinkari Basque Dancers *

The Oinkari Basque Dancers are a non-profit organization with the mission of promoting and maintaining the Basque culture through performances of centuries-old dances from the Basque regions of Spain and France. They began in 1960 when a small group of Boise Basques traveled to the Basque Country to learn dances. Since then they have been carrying on the tradition of those initial members and expanded our repertoire to include almost forty different numbers, representing nearly each of the seven Basque provinces. All dancers are of Basque decent and many are second or third generation Oinkaris, excited to carry on the tradition.

Jaialdi, a large Basque festival in Boise, will be occurring in July 2022.

Learn more at their website.

Donate to the artist directly here.

Building from Here: Arts and Culture in the Pacific Northwest *

Building from Here: Arts and Culture in the Pacific Northwest featuring Leigh Bezezekoff of Tractor Tavern, King Khazm of 206 Zulu, and Benjamin Hunter from The Black and Tan Hall. Moderator by Alexa Peters.  

Benjamin Hunter *

Benjamin is an award winning multi-instrumentalist, composer, community activist, social entrepreneur, and educator. Benjamin’s work explores the intersections of music & art, community, policy, and culture.

​In 2016, his America roots duo with Joe Seamons took first place in the International Blues Competition. In 2018, Benjamin composed the music for the critically acclaimed production, Black Bois. With his primary instrument the violin, he is as comfortable playing classical as he is blues and jazz. City Arts Magazine wrote, “ The music he plays not only spans an array of genres but a huge swath of history.” Living Blues magazine wrote, “An unbridled freedom and genre emancipation is evident in Ben Hunter’s music, yet the deep blues are a cornerstone of his style”.

​Benjamin Hunter is the founder and director of Community Arts Create, co-founder of the Hillman City Collaboratory, co-founder of Black & Tan Hall, sits on the Seattle Music Commission, and is a teaching artist for JazzEd as well as festivals around the world. Benjamin is a 2020/2021 Artist-in-Residence at On The Boards, and is a 2020 Artist Trust Fellowship Awards recipient.

Learn more at his website.

Leigh Bezezekoff *

Leigh Bezezekoff is Marketing & Social Media Manager at Seattle’s Tractor Tavern. She was previously an artist manager working with The Maldives, Brent Amaker and the Rodeo, & Evening Bell and got her start in the Seattle music scene at KEXP. She is one of the founders of the Washington Nightlife Music Association (wanma.info), an advocacy organization created to support music venues in the state of Washington during the COVID-19 pandemic.


King Khazm *

King Khazm is a multifaceted artist and community organizer who advocates for community empowerment through Hip-Hop. As a prominent and in-demand performer and educator, he tours internationally supporting the movement to preserve and elevate Hip-Hop culture.

Alexa Peters *

Alexa Peters is a Seattle-based freelance writer with a specialty in arts & culture journalism, as well as cannabis copywriting. Her music journalism has appeared in The Seattle Times, Seattle Weekly, Seattle Magazine, No Depression, Audiofemme, Amy Poehler's Smart Girls, and more.

Learn more at her website.

Interview with Martin Koenig: Sounds from Bulgaria *

In the early 1960s ethnographer and Balkan dance specialist Martin Koenig embarked on his first trip to Southeast Europe armed with a letter of introduction from the legendary anthropologist Margaret Mead. On that trip and many subsequent ones over a span of twenty-five years, Koenig traveled to villages throughout the Balkans, researching and documenting traditional music and dance in rural communities on the cusp of change.

His ethnographic photographs and recordings have been widely published and exhibited in periodicals, newspapers, magazines and professional institutions.

The music described in the films are in a 144 page hard-cover book with 2 music CDs published and distributed by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and Balkan Echoes.

Learn more on his website. Watch more On-Demand!

Radost Folk Ensemble *

Radost Folk Ensemble has been performing the dances of the Balkans and Eastern Europe since 1976.

Learn more at their website.

Baby Gramps presented by KBCS *

Baby Gramps, "The Salvador Dali of Americana Music" plays an acoustic National resonator guitar, and sings unique arrangements of rags, jazz, & blues songs from the 20's & 30's, folksongs, sing-a-longs, & originals with wordplay, vaudeville antics, and throat singing. His voice conjures up Popeye & a Didgeridoo.

His extensive repertoire has provided him with opportunities to share shows with internationally known blues musicians, traditional folk musicians, and jam bands. Whatever the audience, he keeps them engaged with his energy, humor, spontaneity, and incredible guitar playing. Each show brings something new.

Visit www.babygramps.com

Moved By Words: New Voices of Color 2021 *

New Voices of Color presents new work by writers and performers of Color in collaboration with NW Native Writers Circle, Northwest Folklife, the White Noise Reading series, giving Indigenous, Black, Asian, and other POC Voices an open and welcoming space to share their latest work in 2021 with the Folklife community.

Want to see more from Moved By Words? Stream the 2020 Writers Showcase for the 2020 Northwest Folklife Festival.

David Francey presented by Mission Folk Fest *

"Francey's clear, simple songs speak volumes to his followers. After a decade in music, David Francey is known as one of Canada's finest tunesmiths and a champion of the Everyman, admired for his less-is-more approach to writing. It's amazing how he manages to address deep stuff with such spare ingredients" -The Edmonton Journal

Learn more at his website.

Jim Page *

Jim Page – who, in 1974, legalized busking in Seattle and has since been a major force in the scene - was named by Seattle Metropolitan Magazine as “One Of The 50 Most Influential Musicians In Seattle History.” In 1974 he legalized busking here and has since been a major force in the scene. He has recorded 23 albums over the course of a 50-plus year career and written a mountain of songs. He has toured in 13 countries including the US, Canada, Ireland, the UK, and Taiwan. Said the late Utah Phillips, “If you’re ever going to get the message, this is the messenger to get it from.”

Learn more on his website.

Donate directly to the artist on PayPal.

Urvasi Dance Ensemble *

Urvasi Dance Ensemble practices classical Odissi dance in the rare style of Adiguru Pankaj Charan Das from the state of Odisha, India, and includes some senior multinational dancers. The Ensemble has performed both traditional choreography and choreography on modern and historical themes. In 2009, The Ensemble was invited to perform at the National Mukteswar Festival in India (the only one in Odisha to be live broadcast by both DoorDarshan and BBC) as the first International troupe to do so. Urvasi has been showcased by the Department of Tourism, Odisha, several times in the natonal Konarak and Kharavela Festivals. It also performed at the Chaunsat Yogini Mahotsav in Odisha, again invited by the Government of Odisha. In 2018, the director, Dr. Ratna Roy received her Lifetime Achievement Award from India. Urvasi dancers performed in India in March 2018 when Ratna Roy received the “Parampara Award” as the successor of this tradition in the world. Most recently, Urvasi Dance Ensemble performed in India, in December 2019; 13 dancers performed 21 solos in 4 festivals in Odisha and Kolkata.


Learn more at their Website.

Donate directly to the artist by emailing xerling@hotmail.com

To see more dances from Sukanya, click here.

Strikes A Bell *

Strikes A Bell made its Folklife Debut in 2013 and is a collection of chantey singers from the Seattle area. They all met at the Northwest Seaport Chantey Sing and have honed a repertoire of chanteys, forecastle ditties, and river songs. They will be joined by their friends from around the Pacific Northwest to sing up a tempest in the session.

Learn more on Facebook.

Donate directly to the artist here.

Monday:

Randall Kimball *

Randall Kimball is a singer/songwriter who plays acoustic guitar, harmonica, and slide. He is from Haida Gwaii and currently resides in the Pacific Northwest. 

Learn more by visiting the website here.

Ryan Yellowjohn & Family *

Ryan Yellowjohn (Shoshone Bannock/Quechan) is a traditional hoop dancer.

Unkítawa *

Unkítawa (uhn-kéy-tawa) is the Lakota word that embodies the concept that what belongs to each of us individually, equally belongs to all living things. Unkítawa is a group of dedicated, results-oriented people who have come together to support the efforts that protect and heal the Earth for the benefit of all.

Learn more at their website here.

Fern Renville *

Fern Renville is a theatre director, storyteller, teaching artist, and enrolled citizen of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, an eastern Dakota band of the Oceti Sakowin (the seven council fires of the great Sioux Nation), which recognizes our land base in accordance with the 1805, 1851, 1858, 1865, and 1868 Sioux treaties with the U.S. government. A long-time teaching artist in out-of-school spaces and former director of Red Eagle Soaring Native Youth Theatre, Fern currently is director of SNAG Productions, a Seattle-based collective of Native artists committed to sharing traditional stories in contemporary settings. SNAG Productions is collaborating with Sound Theatre in March of 2020 to co-produce Changer, a play written and directed by Fern that explores Tribal Sovereignty through a mythic lens and the origin stories of Coast Salish peoples.

Roger Fernandes *

Roger Fernandes is a Native American artist and storyteller who shares the culture of the local Coast Salish tribes in his work. He is a member of the Lower Elwha Band of S'Klallam Indians and sees art and story as keys to learning about other people and cultures.

Joe Seamons *

Joe Seamons is a musician and educator based in the Pacific Northwest and dedicated to helping people connect with their heritage through music and storytelling. As director of The Rhapsody Project, he works with youth in Seattle to explore the influence of regional and personal history through the lens of American blues and folk songs. He serves as board chair of the Maxville Heritage Interpretive Center. Born and raised in Northwestern Oregon, Joe has made a living interpreting the songs and stories of the local sawmill, logging, and fishing ballads composed by elder working people and folklorists. Many of these songs are included on the 2016 album, Timberbound, the story of which is detailed here. In the same vein, Joe directed and served as executive producer for a Smithsonian Folkways album entitled, "Roll, Columbia: Woody Guthrie's 26 Northwest Songs." ​Joe's work to interpret, document, and reflect upon the ethos of Northwest folk songs and stories--post-colonization--continues regularly on his blog, which you can read here. Touring internationally in a multi-instrumental duo with fellow songster, Ben Hunter, Joe was awarded 1st place in the 2016 International Blues Challenge, as well as recognition by the Ethnic Heritage Council for excellence in ethnic performance and significant contributions to the development and presentation of the traditional cultural arts in the Pacific Northwest.

Learn more at his website.

Lady A *

Lady "A" has been a Blues and Soul favorite for many years and is known as “The Hardest Workin Woman in Blues, Soul Funk & Gospel A National Recording artist, this is not your ordinary Blues singer.

Lady A pours, Soul, Gospel and a touch of Funk, along with storytelling into her performances, in hopes of Inspiring her audience as well as supplying them with great music. Voted 2020 Blues Performer of the Year, by the Washington Blues Society, she is always striving to meet the needs of her audience through performance and lyrical education, making their experience in music memorable.

She is also, Host DJ on NWCZ online Radio of Lady A’s Black N Blues on Saturday’s and Lady A’s Gumbo & Gospel on Sunday mornings along with KMRE FM 102.3 Radio in Bellinghamm, Washington beginning in October ~ Lady A’s The Boss - Blues show.

Always working towards making a better community she produces The Big Blues Blowout, The Annual Red N White Holiday Affair where she brings awareness to homelessness in Seattle and donates back to Shelters in the area; the 4th Annual Ladies Luncheon which benefits the Rhapsody Music Project for Youth in Seattle where she mentors young artist.

A Race and Social justice activist at work and in her community.

Truly The “Hardest Workin’ Woman,” Lady A is likened to a pot of Lou-sana Gumbo... best served HOT!

Learn more at her website.

Donate directly to the artist through Paypal = @ladiawhite / Venmo = @TheRealLadyA / Cashapp = @ladiawhite

Face the Music: Confronting Racism With Living Legacies, Part 2 *

Northwest Folklife and The Rhapsody Project are proud to present a virtual two-part discussion about how music, traditions, heritage, and artistic lineage have lent our community strength and insight for confronting social and racial injustice.

Hosted by Joe Seamons and featuring Briar, Roger Fernandez, Lady A, Fern Naomi Renville, Mariah Roberson, and Tate Linden. 

To watch Part 1 of the conversation, visit this link.

Massive Monkees ^*

Seattle's largest regional B-Boy/B-Girl (break dance) battle for the youth! This dynamic event is a partnership between Northwest Folklife and Extraordinary Futures, a nonprofit affiliate of the Massive Monkees breaking crew.

Massive Break Challenge supports students from schools around Washington state to compete in the ultimate championship at Folklife Festival. Historically, hundreds of people have showed up every year to witness the dancers compete in this high-energy competition as they challenge each other’s skills in front of a live audience.

This year’s Massive Break Challenge Grand Finale 2021 will be held virtually in a 30-minute battle highlighting two crews, Style Monkees (Washington) vs Double Down (California).

Donate via Venmo: @Jeromeskee 

Sign up here!

Seattle Peace Chorus

The Seattle Peace Chorus offers two virtual presentations for the 50th anniversary of The Seattle Folklife Festival
One is the Gospel classic “The Storm is Passing Over” with the Courage Ensemble featuring Gospel great Kent Stevenson on piano and Rev Dr. Kelle Brown on the solo line.
The other is the poetry of Langston Hughes “Let America Be America Again”set to music by composer Frederick N. West with Jason Turner -gospel soloist.

Learn more at their website

Próxima Generación *

Próxima Generación is a program that provides a space for Latinx-identifying youth to collaborate, share ideas, and explore their artistic expressions. Members meet and work with regional culture bearers, artists, and activists to envision a new future. All while amplifying and nurturing pride in heritage and community.

Learn more on their website.

Clinton Fearon *

Jamaican reggae master Clinton Fearon is a prolific song maker, singer and multi instrumentalist. His professional career started in 1969 with The Gladiators, before he founded his own band in Seattle in the mid 90s. Today at almost 70, Clinton Fearon stays very productive. Last year he released “History Say” and toured in Europe, Africa, Brazil and several US states. Since the beginning of the pandemic, he is staying home and performs from Facebook and Instagram with his live streaming series “A Sunday With Clinton Fearon” and “Talk With A Friend.”

Donate directly to the artist on PayPal.