Happy holidays from Northwest Folklife! As the weather starts to get colder and we all huddle up around the fire it’s the perfect time to share your traditions, music and songs with those around you. Here are Folklife we are preparing for our 2016 Cultural Focus, The Power of the Human Voice through song. With this Cultural Focus we will explore the power of the human voice and its role among communities through many different forms of vocal expression.
You may have seen our holiday card in the mail recently and we would love to introduce you to some of the amazing vocal performers from past Festivals featured on that card.
The Seattle Women’s Chorus singing at the 2012 Northwest Folklife Festival. The Seattle Women’s Chorus is a staple of Seattle’s choral community and is a perennial Folklife performance group. A leading voice for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, Flying House Productions and The Seattle Women’s Chorus offer 30 outreach events and main stage concert performances annually. To learn more about the Seattle Women’s Chorus, you can visit their website here and find out about future performances. Photo by Ben Shaevitz.
A soulful gospel trio hailing from Vancouver, BC, The Sojourners are pictured here performing at the 2013 Folklife Festival. The Sojourners light up the stage wherever they are performing and have an incredible live show that can’t be missed! To learn more about The Sojourners, please visit their website here. Photo by Dan Thorton.
A young girl sings during one of the 2012 Folklife Festival performances by our Hungarian community partners. It is through the work of community coordinators and performers like these that Folklife is able to present the scale and quality of festival that we do and we are very thankful for the work that they do in order to make the Northwest Folklife Festival what it is today! Photo by Samuel Lin.
The human voice was the first instrument. Singing is one of the most natural means of human communication and expression. Songs play an essential part of the social fabric of cultures – every ritual a community shares calls for its own song: birth, marriage, death, the planting and harvest, the coming of spring and fertility, the changing of the seasons. Songs are used for protest, for love and honor. They are used as expressions of unity through national anthems and sports teams. Songs are used to sing babies to sleep and to accompany a child’s play. Singing is thus an ideal tool to express the common themes of humanity and culture. Photo by Christopher Nelson.
Banda L M, also known as Banda Le Mejor, is the best banda in town and they’re usually pretty busy playing for the Mexican communities here in the Northwest. Here they are playing at the Mural Amphitheater during the 2015 Folklife Festival, and if it’s your first time hearing Banda, then this will be a real treat. Banda is the ebullient and infectious brass-band dance music of Mexico and California, originally from Sinaloa in N. Mexico, huge in Mexican and Mexican-American communities. For more information about Banda L M, click here. Photo by Piper Hanson.
We can’t wait to bring you more of the incredible vocal traditions of the Northwest in 2016. Everyone at here a Northwest Folklife wishes you a wonderful holiday season and a harmonious New Year!
-The staff and board of Northwest Folklife