Fiddles and Oyster Shucking 

Don't Miss These!

click to enlarge benedicte_maurseth_300.jpg

“I'm excited about some events we are doing this year that are unique to the festival,” says Josh Kohn of the National Council for the Traditional Arts. “We have some things coming up that are a roll of the dice but I think they will be magical.”

One of these unique events will be “Fiddle Journeys: 400 Years of Tune Migrations,” where four masters of the instrument from different regions and communities will meet to swap stories and songs. The stringed summit meeting will be a first for the instrumentalists in question — Brendan Mulvihill, Lester McCumbers, Charlie “Possum” Walden and Jim “Texas Shorty” Chancellor. “The performance will show how fiddle music has evolved in American hands and on American soil,” Kohn says. “This won't just be a one-time workshop but a performance that will occur three times and change and evolve over the course of the festival.”

As if “Tune Migrations” weren't enough fiddling about, the festival also will spotlight one of today's premier fiddle prodigies, Benedicte Maurseth. The Norwegian musician plays the Hardanger, a very special kind of violin with two sets of strings that is unique to Maurseth's home region of western Norway.

Three other musical acts are helping to keep alive their cultural traditions. Sibirskaya Vechora, a quartet of Siberian musicians and musicologists led by Vladimir Dudinsky, will make its United States debut at the festival, performing traditional Russian and Siberian folk songs as varied as wedding ballads and war anthems. The group prides itself on involving the audience in its performances.

Otrov, a young band of Croatian-American musicians from Pittsburgh, is helping to preserve — and rejuvenate — the unique Balkan string band music known as tamburiza. Think of it as bluegrass music as played by traveling gypsies and you almost have it.

Andes Manta is four talented brothers from Hudson Valley, N. Y., who perform the energetic, transformative dance rhythms of the Andes Mountains. Fernando, Louis, Bolivar and Jorge Lopez can play more than 35 instruments, including the 6-foot-long Ecuadorian pan pipe known as the ronador.

Die-hard music lovers and seekers of the curious know by now that the festival's folk-life tents are where the action is. Curated by Jon Lohman of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, the Virginia Folklife Program plans a series of workshops on the CenterStage Folklife stage called “From Maritime to Mountain Time: the Coast to the Coal Fields.”

"There will be three workshops over the course of the weekend," Lohman says. "One focusing on songs and stories from the coalfields, on youth in mountain music, and the other looking at various approaches to Appalachian Song, with Dale Jett, Frank Newsome and Peter Rowan." A host of indigenous musicians will be on hand, including the Northern Neck Chantey Singers, Scott and Mike Mullins, clawhammer banjo specialist Matthew Bright, blues guitarist Nat Reese and harmonica player Phil Wiggins ("playing music learned from the coal camps," Lohman says), ballad singer Molly Slemp, Todd Meade and the Twin Springs Bluegrass Band, songster Ron Short, the Rev. Frank Newsome (a winner of the Virginia Heritage Award) and Dale Jett, the grandson of A.P. and Sara Carter from Virginia's own Carter Family.

What Lohman calls the material-culture portion will feature working traditions of the Chesapeake Bay and the Eastern Shore, including sail making, boat building, menhaden-net mending, crab-trap building, Nansemond canoe building, muskrat trapping, decoy carving and, yes, an appearance by Deborah Pratt, the amazing Delmarva oyster shucker.

“Fiddle Journeys”

Saturday
2-2:45 pm
Martin's/Union First Market Stage

Saturday
4:30-5:15 pm
MWV Stage

Sunday
3:15-4 pm
MWV Stage


Benedicte Maurseth

Saturday
1-1:45 pm
Genworth Family Area

Saturday
7:15-8 pm
MWV Stage

Sunday
1:15-2 pm
Dominion Stage

Sunday
3:15-4 pm
Altria Stage


Sibirskaya Vechora

Saturday
1-1:45 pm
Martin's/Union First Market Stage

Sunday
12:15-1 pm
Dominion Stage

Sunday
2:45-3:30 pm
Martin's/Union First Market Stage


Ortov

Friday:
8-8:45 pm
Altria Stage

Saturday
2:15-3 pm
Dominion Stage

Sunday
1:15-2 pm
Altria Stage

Sunday
3:15-4 pm
Dominion Stage


Andes Manta

Saturday
12-12:45 pm
Altria Stage

Saturday
3-3:45 pm
Martin's/Union First Market Stage

Sunday
1-1:45 pm
MWV Stage

Sunday
2:30-3:15 pm
Genworth Family Area: Make and Play Pan Pipes.


“From the Coast to Coal”

Saturday
12-5:45 pm
CenterStage Folklife Stage

Sunday
12-5:45 pm
CenterStage Folklife Stage

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

  • Re: The Bar List

    • Looking for the best bar with cheap pitchers and games. Foosball, darts, big buck, shuffleboard…

    • on September 9, 2016
  • More »
  • Latest in Richmond Folk Festival

    More by Don Harrison

    • Off the Charts

      For 50 years, Richmond's Tony Booth has been inside the music and behind the microphone.
      • Jul 10, 2012
    • Foul Play

      "The economic development that was supposed to follow CenterStage’s opening hasn’t happened, and won’t happen anytime soon."
      • Jul 3, 2012
    • Eight Inspired Ideas

      Their plans could fizzle out fast or turn into gold mines. But for Richmond business dreamers, the creativity is flowing.
      • Jun 19, 2012
    • More »

    Copyright © 2016 Style Weekly
    Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
    All rights reserved
    Powered by Foundation