Upcoming Northwest Folklife Events

Mark your calendars for our upcoming 2020 events!


Our Big Neighborhood at Seattle Center Winterfest

November 27 | Online, Starting at 11 AM PST | Online at http://www.seattlecenter.com/events/featured-events/winterfest 

Ring in the holiday season at Our Big Neighborhood at Seattle Center Winterfest, taking place virtually on November 27 at 10am. This year, we’re excited to be to showcasing:
- Songs by Dunava Balkan Women’s Choir
- Music by Youth Old-Time Band, The Geoducks
- Cooking Tortillas with Francisca Garcia of Machtia



Crossroads Cultural Arts Series: Peter Ali Native – Indigenous Flutist

January 18 | 6:30 - 8:30 PM | Crossroads Bellevue Market Stage

Songs of the Heart

Native American flutist Peter Ali, shares stories about his music as well as his rich ethnic heritage intermixed with performances of his original songs. Listen to the sounds of eagles running river nature and spirit in the flute’s song. Peter Ali a talented and self-taught Native flutist creating his music not from notes but from spirit within so each performance is unique and special. He plays a variety of native flutes and shares their stories as well as stories of his rich ethnic heritage.

Movin’ Around the World: Winter

February 15-21 | 11 AM - 2:30 PM | Seattle Center Armory

Our Big Neighborhood provides a unique space for artists, family, and friends to celebrate our diverse traditions. Experience the cultures of our Pacific Northwest neighbors at Movin' Around the World: Winter! Held during Seattle Public Schools’ mid-winter break, this weeklong celebration geared for kids 10 and under highlights a different theme each day to encourage learning through song, dance, and art.

Crossroads Cultural Arts Series: Orkestyr Farfeleh

February 15 | 6:30 - 8:30 PM | Crossroads Bellevue Market Stage

Not your Bubbe’s Klezmer!

A radiologist, a music theorist, and a spiritual philosopher walk into a bar… and play klezmer. Orkestyr Farfeleh, the winsome concoction of Harvey Niebulski, Marianne Tatom, and Thaddeus Spae, is a portable feast for lovers of Jewish music, replete with frelachs, Eastern European folk tunes, Yiddishkayt and hats of overwhelming personality. Performing on accordion, clarinet, trombone, guitarron, and vocals, they present their diverse material with sharp ears, quick fingers, and irrepressible humor, in a program sure to delight young and old alike.

[CANCELED] Crossroads Cultural Arts Series: Japanese Koto Club & Japanese Dance World

March 21 | 6:30 - 8:30 PM | Crossroads Bellevue Market Stage

Japanese Koto Music & Dance

Mirei is a Japanese koto player. She started learning koto at age 5 and has studied in Japan and Seattle. She plays locally at company events, schools, nursing homes, wedding receptions, memorial services and private parties. Playing the koto is her passion and she does not charge to perform at schools and nursing homes. She also sings blues and soul and has a blues band in Japan. Nathaniel is a professional guitar player who tours with various band a couple of times a year.

Kazuko Kaya Yamazaki, Ph.D. is founder and director of Japanese Dance World in Bremerton, Washington. She is a recipient of the 2008 Artist Trust/Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship in the traditional/folk category. Yamazaki began training in Traditional Japanese Dance (Nihon Buyo) at age four in her birth city of Tokyo, Japan. She holds a natori (master dancer license) awarded by the Hanayagi School of Japanese Dance, the largest of such in Japan. She had performed professionally over 10 years in Japan before arriving in the USA in 1987.

Movin’ Around the World: Virtual

April 13-17 | 11 AM | Online at nwfolklife.org/maw-virtual

Movin’ Around the World is going digital! Families are invited to participate in dances, music, and culture from around the world from some of the same artists they would see at Northwest Folklife events, right in your own home!

Each day will focus on a new topic as local artists share their arts and culture with us through videos. Get up, move, and learn along with us! New videos and activities will be available daily starting at 11 AM.

[CANCELED] Movin’ Around the World: Spring

April 13-19 | 11 AM - 2:30 PM | Seattle Center Armory

Our Big Neighborhood provides a unique space for artists, family, and friends to celebrate our diverse traditions. Experience the cultures of our Pacific Northwest neighbors at Movin' Around the World: Spring! Held during Seattle Public Schools’ spring break, this weeklong celebration geared for kids 10 and under highlights a different theme each day to encourage learning through song, dance, and art.

[CANCELED] Crossroads Cultural Arts Series: Eduardo Mendonça

April 18 | 6:30 - 8:30 PM | Crossroads Bellevue Market Stage

Brazilian Music

Eduardo Mendonça is a guitarist, percussionist, singer, composer, and director of ‘Show Brazil!’ ‘Show Brazil!’ Productions is led by Brazilian-American first generation immigrants Eduardo and Ana Paula Mendonça. Ana Paula as a woman and immigrant, and Eduardo as an African-American man and immigrant representing in Seattle, a minority working hard and surpassing challenges to keep alive the diversity of Brazilian culture in the Pacific Northwest. He has played, composed, and directed various genres of Brazilian popular music in the US, Canada, Nepal and Brazil since 1974.  Eduardo Mendonça brings a wealth of experience to his wide-ranging musical endeavors.

[CANCELED] Crossroads Cultural Arts Series: Folk Voice Band

May 16 | 6:30 - 8:30 PM | Crossroads Bellevue Market Stage

International Folk Dance Music

Duo, Trio or Ensemble Scandinavian, Continental, Balkan or International. We are as versatile with our music as we are with our instrumentation! Folk Voice Band can provide anything from a listening program, to a full dance band sound. Instruments include but are not limited to Accordion, Piano, Concertina, Button Box, Mandolin, Guitar, Recorder, Flute, Fiddle, Viola, and Bass. Weddings, Family and Office Gatherings, Picnics and other special occasions, we add color and variety to any event. From background music, to ceremonial music to a full dance band, we can provide music to fit your special occasion.

[POSTPONED] 49th Annual Northwest Folklife Festival

May 22-25 | Seattle Center

Presenting more than 5,000 performers, the Festival draws from the 100+ cultural communities that Northwest Folklife collaborates with year-round. The festival is more than a celebration of the diversity of the Pacific Northwest, it’s a chance to engage directly with the many communities that make up our region. The Northwest Folklife Festival is our key annual event bringing up to 250,000 people over four days to the Seattle Center.


From Home to Home: Northwest Folklife Festival

May 23-25 |Online at nwfolklifestreaming.org

Presented by Seattle Cancer Care AllianceFrom Home to Home: Northwest Folklife Festival will take place online May 23-25, 2020 at nwfolklifestreaming.org. Created in partnership with Seattle CenterFrom Home to Home: Northwest Folklife Festival features 6 program channels and a virtual marketplace that will bring together local culture bearers, artists, creatives, sponsors, and merchants all on one platform.


[CANCELED] Crossroads Cultural Arts Series: Anjali Joshi & Ensemble

June 20 | 6:30 - 8:30 PM | Crossroads Bellevue Market Stage

Indian Instrumental Orchestral Music

Anjali Music School was founded in 2007 by Anjali Joshi, who is well known in the Seattle area as a solo Santoor artist and teaches different instruments to adults and children. Anjali has been teaching music since 2002 and has given numerous workshops on music theme; worked as a judge on musical competitions and has published her album series “Instrumental Melodies”. Anjali Joshi is a software engineer by profession, but music will always remain her passion.


[CANCELED] Crossroads Cultural Arts Series: Jim Page

July 18 | 6:30 - 8:30 PM | Crossroads Bellevue Market Stage

Folk Music with Teeth

Jim Page was named by Seattle Metropolitan Magazine as “One Of The 50 Most Influential Musicians In Seattle History.”  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. Lyricist Robert Hunter said, “If Jim Page ain’t the bastard son of Woody Guthrie I’m T-Bone Walker.” Bonnie Raitt says, “I’m a longtime admirer.”  The late Utah Phillips said it best: “If you’re ever going to get the message, this is the messenger to get it from.”

[CANCELED] Global Playground

August 1, 8, & 15 | 2 PM - 5 PM | Seattle Center Artists at Play

Global Playground is where cultural connectivity meets outdoor fun! Located at Artists at Play, the city’s most unique gathering space, local bands, DJs, and dancers will keep the party going with the sights and sounds of our young creative community. Geared for youth 13 and under, this event takes place on the first three Saturdays of August.

Crossroads Cultural Arts Series: The Rouge & Noir Tango Orchestra

August 17 | 6:30 - 8:30 PM | Crossroads Bellevue Market Stage

Argentine Tango 1920-1960s.

Founded in 2002 to play Argentine tango for the Northwest Folklife Festival, the whimsical Rouge & Noir Tango Orchestra will inspire you to get down and moving.

[CANCELED] Crossroads Cultural Arts Series: Saeed Abbas & GyeNyamé Music

September 19 | 6:30 - 8:30 PM | Crossroads Bellevue Market Stage

Traditional Ghanaian Dance Music

Saeed Abbas has performed and taught traditional West African percussion since he was 16. After acceptance into Ghana’s prestigious National Dance Ensemble, he performed the rich indigenous rhythms of his county in many parts of the world. He was invited to the US to teach at a disabled school in 2002 and decided to stay performing on both coasts. His credits include Berklee College of Music, Dartmouth and the Kennedy Center. Saeed was selected to be one of 5 teaching artists for the WSAC roster 2018-2019, which you can find more information on his website in the TA roster page.

[CANCELED] Crossroads Cultural Arts Series: Quarteto SuperSones

October 17 | 6:30 - 8:30 PM | Crossroads Bellevue Market Stage

Cuban Son Music

SuperSones play the sublime music known as Son – the acoustic dance music of the Cuban countryside that inspired modern Salsa. Son is a unique blend of Spanish guitars and harmony, Afro-Cuban percussion and swing, call-and-response singing, and trumpet improvisation. Since 2001, SuperSones have performed for a wide range of audiences. In Seattle, public performances have included the following venues: The Triple Door, The Royal Room, Northwest Folklife Festival, Tractor Tavern, Nectar, Seattle Folklore Society, Seattle City Hall, and Seattle Art Museum.

From Home to Home: Seattle Children’s Festival

October 24-25 | Online at nwfolklifestreaming.org, Facebook & Twitch

From Home to Home: Seattle Children’s Festival brings the family fun to you virtually from October 24 - 25, 2020 at nwfolklifestreaming.org! All weekend long from 11 AM to 1 PM, kids and families can experience the arts and culture of our greater Pacific Northwest communities with special guests Caspar Babypants, Northwest Tap Connection, Aleksa Manila, and more—all from the comfort of your home. With so much to see, do, and discover, this is the place to celebrate Our Big Neighborhood!


[CANCELED] Crossroads Cultural Arts Series: Carolyn Cruso

November 21 | 6:30 - 8:30 PM | Crossroads Bellevue Market Stage

Adventurous Dulcimer with Story Songs

Cruso will regale you with the intricacies of the fascinating hammered dulcimer; an ancient instrument that originated in Persia over 2000 years ago.  She plays both traditional Celtic tunes and her own world inspired contemporary compositions. She is also a singer/songwriter, accompanying herself often on alternately tuned guitars. Her lyrics explore such characters as bards, outliers and divine strangers.  She explores topics of love, sensuality, loss and redemption, creating a rich weaving of rhythm, melody, and intelligent lyrics.

[CANCELED] Crossroads Cultural Arts Series: Pacific Northwest Sacred Harp Singers

December 21 | 6:30 - 8:30 PM | Crossroads Bellevue Market Stage

Join in and sing with us from The American Christmas Harp, a collection of carols, hymns, psalms, and fuguing tunes from 18th and 19th century rural, non-denominational American songbooks.

First and foremost, we are not a choir. We sing for ourselves and for each other with no director, no rehearsals and we don’t try to sound pretty! The tradition of shape note singing is as old as the United States itself. There has been a shape note singing group in some form or other in Seattle since the mid- 1970’s. The American Christmas Harp is a collection of songs compiled by a local woman that we sing from every December. The stage performance is not so much a performance as it is a singing demonstration, so please come join us!