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  


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

What to See at Folklife #197: A Little Louisiana in the Great Northwest

(Thanks to guest blogger MaryLee Lykes for this post! You can see the full schedule for the 2013 Northwest Folklife Festival online at beginning May 1.) 

Swamp Soul

Cajun & Zydeco of the Pacific Northwesst

Seattle is home to strong and vibrant Cajun and Zydeco communities that regularly gather to dance, play music and celebrate Louisiana culture.

Cajun and Zydeco music and dance originated in Southwest Louisiana and are popular there still, in addition to having an enthusiastic following throughout the U.S.

Cajun was introduced to the Seattle area by Dewey Balfa while performing at Port Townsend’s Fiddle Tunes. Local musicians Dave Lang, Karen England and Mike Bristow heard Dewey and his band and fell in love with Cajun music, soon after forming our first area Cajun band, “How’s Bayou,”  in 1978. Today there are some eight Cajun bands playing throughout the Seattle Area.

Zydeco hit the Northwest scene around 1985 when Laura Taylor and Richard Smallwood and Living Traditions began teaching Zydeco dance and bringing Louisiana bands to Seattle. Seattle’s first local Zydeco band was “Captain Leroy & the Culture Pirates” (later “Captain Leroy & the Zydeco Locals”).

Opportunities abound in Seattle for participating in Cajun and Zydeco dance classes, dances, music jams. Many celebratory gatherings feature Louisiana music, dancing, and food.

Our community is excited to have 3 shows at Folklife 2013:
Friday Roadhouse 8:00-10:00pm with Whozyamama & Swamp Soul; Sunday Roadhouse 3:00-5:00pm with Troupeau Acadien & Folichon; Monday Armory 11:00am-1:00pm with New Iberians & Richard Allen and the Louisiana Experience. Mini Dance Lesson between sets in Zydeco & Cajun taught by MaryLee Lykes.

There will be a Zydeco dance workshop in Rainier Room on Saturday from 12:00-12:50pm taught by MaryLee Lykes.

This year we are pleased to also have a Cajun Jam Session on the Boeing Green on Saturday, May 25, 4:00pm to 5:00pm.


Marylee Lykes is the owner/director of Lykes To Dance.

MaryLee began teaching dance in Seattle 17 years ago and hasn’t stopped since! Her dancing expertise includes: Swing, Waltz, Ballroom Foxtrot, One Step, Blues, Zydeco, Cajun, and Western Swing and Two Step.

MaryLee co-founded the Swing and Lindy Hop dance instruction organization Swing Girls with Hallie Kupperman in 1992, taught for Living Traditions, and founded her own dance instruction business, Lykes to Dance, in 1998. She teaches extensively on a local, national, and international level. She offers both group and individual instruction for those with or without dance partners.