Indie Roots programming at the Festival

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Rabbit Wilde.

The 2016 Indie Roots showcases combine elements of traditional music with today’s popular sounds. New this year is a showcase programmed in part by Treefort Music Fest, featuring head turning performances from Rabbit Wilde, Karl Blau, and Hillfolk Noir. These artists put their individual spins on folk music, sharing with audiences a unique sound.  Each showcase has been curated in part by community groups such as 91.3 KBCS, Seattle Living Room Shows, Underwood Stables, and Treefort Music Fest. An incredible line-up is programmed this year including Naomi Wachira, Luz Elena Mendoza, Hurray For The Riff Raff, and The Sweet Lowdown. There are nine showcases and over 30 bands performing throughout all four days of the Festival. Find these bands on four different stages including the Fisher Green Stage, the Fountain Lawn Stage, Vera Project Stage, and the Folklife Café.
Indie Roots programming for 2016 Northwest Folklife Festival includes:
Kickin’ Up Dust Showcase
Featuring The Lucky Shots, The Gortexans, Johnson Country, and The Fentons
6:00 – 9:00 p.m., Fountain Lawn Stage
Next Generation: Indie Roots
Featuring Crow’s Share, Dark Madrona, The Banner Days, and The Bruised Hearts Revue
7:00 – 9:55 p.m., Vera Project
Seattle Living Room Showcase
Featuring The Cloves, Lanford Black, The Hollers, and Sarah Gerritsen and the Shadow Catchers
12:30 – 3:15 p.m., Fountain Lawn Stage
91.3 KBCS Acoustic Showcase
Featuring Naomi Wachira, Luz Elena Mendoza, Hurray For The Riff Raff, and The Sweet Lowdown
12:30 – 3:20 p.m., Fisher Green Stage
Sarrah Danzinger HI RES

Hurray for the Riff Raff to be seen in the 91.3 KBCS showcase. Photo Credit: Sarrah Danzinger.

Ear to the Ground: Indie Roots
Featuring Murfitt and Main and Fish and Bird
2:00 – 3:25 p.m., Fountain Lawn Stage
Folk, Redefined
Featuring Familiar Wild, Shelita Burke, Intisaar, and Aimee Wilson
3:00 – 6:00 p.m., Vera Project
Kinfolk: Ancient Voices
Featuring Jean Rohe and Meghan Yates
1:00 – 2:10 p.m., Folklife Cafe
Underwood Stables Show
Featuring Caleb and Walter, Denver, Silverhands, and Country Lips
6:00 – 9:00 p.m., Fountain Lawn Stage
Treefort Music Showcase
Featuring Hillfolk Noir, Rabbit Wilde, and Karl Blau
3:45 – 5:45 p.m., Fountain Lawn Stage
Indie Roots programming is sponsored by KEXP 90.3 FM –

For the LOVE of Film – SIFF Film Center and Folklife Unite. Part Two.

In partnership with SIFF Film Center, the 2014 Festival presents bold and local films throughout the entire weekend. Come join us in the Film Center and get inspired!

Listening to music just isn’t enough for you? Come join us to celebrate two music inspired documentaries as part of our Indie Roots Programming at this year’s 2014 Northwest Folklife Festival; The Light in the Attic’s:  Wheedle’s Groove Movie and 50 Feet of Song.

Light in the Attic Records: Wheedle’s Groove Movie, Director Jennifer Maas

Friday 4:00PM, With Q&A by Jonathan Zwickel

People forget that Seattle used to have a very thriving soul music scene. It was growing in popularity when it stopped suddenly and seemed to fade away as quickly as it came.  In the documentary, Wheedle’s Groove, filmmaker Jennifer Maas examines the legacy of Seattle R&B, and interviews some of the leading musicians of the day. Seattle’s once-thriving now-forgotten soul/funk scene of the 1960s and ’70s in entertaining and highly educational fashion; while none of them broke through to nationwide success, bands like Cookin’ Bag, Black On White Affair, The Soul Swingers and Cold, Bold & Together were stars in the city’s African-American community and they headlined the city’s many nightclubs catering to soul music fans. This film is centered around grace, specifically having grace about not succeeding at the level that maybe you thought you would. Seeing as how the bands responded to not becoming hugely famous became the theme throughout, that making it is not everything. Wheedle’s Groove is the proof of Seattle’s thriving music scene, as it shows footage and photos, and interviews with talented artists. Light In The Attic Records mission is simple: put out great music, wherever it may be found, however it may sound. This documentary proves they did just that.

 50 Feet of Song

With Q & A by Max McSimov and Stacy Atkinson

Saturday 6:15, Sunday 4:00, Monday 2:15

Created in 2012, 50 Feet of Song sets out to create original documents of the songs of our day.  Inspired by both the direct cinema of the late sixties and the field recordings of Alan Lomax, each session is catered to this time limit and shot on location which makes for a completely original version of the song. The 50 feet refers to the one cartridge of super 8 film that the sessions are shot on. 50 feet of film equals about 3 minutes of record time. By introducing this restraint of time, the artist has to work within the confines of the film and is forced to recreate and adapt their song to the space that is shaped by the super 8 cartridge, and creates a more intimate and personal rendition of the song.


The 2014 Northwest Folklife Festival is partnering up with SIFF to also welcome courageous youngesters to participate in a media movement.  The Reel Grrls and SIFF’s Crash Cinema are both non-profit organizations who provide hands-on experience with filmmaking and production.

Reel Grrls

Saturday 2:00PM, Monday 5:00PM, With Q&A

Reel Grrls is a non-profit organization located founded in 2001 by Seattle media educator and filmmaker Malory Graham, as a project of the 911 Media Arts Center and YMCA of Greater Seattle. Malory was inspired to launch Reel Grrls after her experience teaching media production in co-ed groups of teens, finding that boys jumped at the chance to film while girls in the class appeared intimidated by technology. She recognized the need for a non-competitive all-girl learning environment so girls could share their ideas, build confidence, and master technology. The Reel Grrls’ mission is to empower young women from diverse communities to realize their power, talent and influence through media production, as well as cultivating a voice and leadership skills in girls at a vulnerable age in their development. Reel Grrls is the premier year-round media-training program for girls ages 9 – 21 to learn production skills through hands-on workshops and classes taught by female media professionals and educators. Reel Grrls is a unique after-school media & technology training program to critique media images and to gain media production skills in a safe, open environment, mentored by a network of multi-cultural women media professionals. During that first program, Reel Grrls served 15 teenaged girls. Since then, Reel Grrls has offered engaging, skill-based media training, accessible after-school programming, and summer camps to more than a thousand girls in the Puget Sound region and beyond. Since 2001, over 1000 students have participated in Reel Grrls programs and Reel Grrls media have been honored in more than 90 film festivals globally.

SIFF’s Crash CinemaSIFF

Sunday 6:00PM

SIFF Crash Cinema is a non-competitive movie production challenge, taking participants ages 9 -19 from concept to screening in one day. It is about having fun, making a movie and seeing it on the big screen. The script is developed on the spot by your Crash team, usually 3-6 people, and you design your story based on your team’s resources. Crash Cinema is free and engages local schools, youth, and families with a meaningful approach to cinema production. Participants receive hands-on experience with filmmaking in less than 24 hours. Young people arrive in the morning, are assigned teams, and are given basic materials and instructions for their films. Then the teams scatter to script, shoot, and edit their productions. At the end of the day, the new films are screened for the first time at the SIFF Crash Cinema world premiere and wrap party. Crash Cinema is a bi-monthly and non-competitive challenge.




Winter Fireside Party Schedule

We’re counting down the days until our Winter Fireside Party; a benefit for Northwest Folklife on January 25, 2014 at the Vera Project on Seattle Center grounds. We’ll be featuring some of your favorite Northwest performers on three stages! Doors open at 1:30PM, programming starts at 2PM…and will continue until 11:00PM.

Let the excitement begin…

Main Stage –  Featuring Square Dancing, Northwest Fiddle Showcase and Full Bands

Square Dance with The Onlies! Main Stage, 2:00pm

2:00pm – Square Dancing with The Onlies and Caller Gabe Strand

4:00pm – The Northwest Fiddle Showcase at 4pm highlights a varied line-up of some of the best fiddlers in the Northwest such as Phil & Vivian Williams, Ben Hunter (of Renegade Stringband), Karen England & Jim Newberry, The Onlies, and Paul Anastasio.

5:45pm Jason Dodson & Kevin Barrans of The Maldives

The Sojourners, Main Stage, 7:00pm

7:00pm The Sojourners
8:15pm Ravenna Woods
9:30pm The Shivas

Gallery StageSpecial acoustic performances in the Vera Gallery include:

2:30pm Juliana & PAVA
3:30pm Orville Johnson
4:30pm Vikesh Kapoor
5:30pm Baby Gramps

And don’t miss the Folklife Fireside Tent presented by KEXP: a cozy, outdoor heated and fire-lit space for jams and conversation with musicians:

2:15pm Phil and Vivian Williams
3:15pm Swing Jam with Paul Anastasio
4:15pm Les Pamplemousses
5:45pm Old Time Fiddle Jam with Tony Mates
6:45pm Blues Jam and Q+A with Orville Johnson
7:45pm Cajun Jam with Whozyamama
9:00pm Balkan Jam with Marchette DuBois

Join the Balkan jam hosted by Marchette DuBois in the KEXP Fireside Tent, 9:00pm

(Food and drink available in the venue.)

Purchase a ticket today for a full day of music, dancing, food, and friends.

Already have plans on January 25th? Consider making a donation of $25 or more to Folklife and support the largest community supported Festival in the nation.

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

– 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.

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.

What to See at Folklife #125: American Standard Time Showcase

Some of the best names in roots music (and gospel!) will be hitting the stage during the Indie Roots American Standard Time Show, hosted by KEXP’s Roadhouse radio host Greg VandyThe Slide Brothers, The Sumner Brothers, Crow Quill Night Owls and The Sojourners! The show takes place Monday, May 27th on the Fisher Green Stage, from 4:00-7:00pm.

Tune in tonight (Wednesday, April 24) to hear The Sumner Brothers live on Greg’s show, The Roadhouse, on 90.3FM in the Seattle area.

Then come see The Sumner Brothers, Country Lips, and Ole Tinder on Friday, April 26 at the Pre-Festival Party at the Tractor Tavern in Ballard!

Country Lips and Ole Tinder will join Ganges River Band and Annie Ford Band at the Festival on Sunday, May 26th on  the Fountain Lawn Stage from 6:30 – 9:00 PM as part of the Giddy Up! Country Roots Showcase.

The Sumner Brothers

The American Standard Time showcase is sponsored by alt-county authority No Depression. The complete Indie Roots lineup is brought to you by BECU.