October 11, 2011 News & Features » Cover Story

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The (Unofficial) 2011 Richmond Folk Festival Guide 

From Chicago blues to Tibetan chants, we're going exotic places yet again.

Page 7 of 10

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Magic Slim and the Teardrops with Sarah Streeter
Juke-Joint Rendezvous

It wouldn't be a Richmond Folk Fest without some house-rocking blues, and guitarist Magic Slim is one of the few remaining Chicago originals. That is to say, he's lived the blues: native Mississippian from a sharecropper family? Check. Lost his finger in a cotton-gin accident? Check. First guitar was a broomstick with wires? Check.

The 74-year-old, award-winning guitarist — the recipient of six W.C. Handy Awards — will team with fellow Mississippi native and powerful Chicago blues singer "Big Time" Sarah Streeter — which should be a moving live treat for blues fans. — Brent Baldwin

Magic Slim and the Teardrops

Friday

9 p.m.
Altria Stage

Saturday

3 p.m.
Altria Stage

7 p.m.
Dominion Dance Pavilion

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Imamyar Hasanov and Pejman Hadadi
Hypnotized by the Kamacha

Often the most mesmerizing Folk Festival performances come from Middle Eastern performers with instruments that sound like nothing else on earth.

American audiences may be unfamiliar with the kamacha, or spiked fiddle, an Azerbaijani instrument played with a bow that's an ancestor of the violin. But Imamyar Hasanov, who lives right up the road in Alexandria, will change that. He began playing it in Azerbaijan's National Music Instruments Orchestra when he was 7 (the country is at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe). "He is international virtuoso of this instrument," says Julia Olin, executive director for the National Council for the Traditional Arts. "Not only steeped in tradition, but an innovator."

Hasanov will be accompanied by spectacular Iranian percussionist Pejman Hadadi on the tombak, the goblet drum, and the daf, a frame drum, playing music that weds Azerbaijani folk with classical poetry and improvisational modes.

Both performers have immigrated to the United States, and YouTube videos display their concerts as beautifully trance-inducing and clearly spiritual. — Brent Baldwin

Imamyar Hasanov and Pejman Hadadi

Saturday

1:30 p.m.
Martin's/Union First Market Bank Family Stage

Sunday

1:15 p.m.
MWV Stage

3 p.m.
Martin's/Union First Stage

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