Butte Folk Festival 2010

Bluegrass at the 2010 Butte Folk Festival will be

Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper

Whitetop Mountain Band – Old time

This article just came out in the Montana Standard

Folk Fest names complete performers’ list

 The National Folk Festival organizers are pleased to announce nine new additions to the previously released list of performers for the 72nd National Folk Festival in Butte, Montana July 9-11, 2010. This completes the line-up for the festival’s six music performance stages that run continuously throughout the weekend. Admission to all three days of the festival is free.

“We’ve held a few surprises until the end,” said Julia Olin, Executive Director of the National Council for the Traditional Arts, “With the addition of Moroccan Gnawa legend Hassan Hakmoun, the superb Mexican trio Los Tres Reyes, and the “Blues Legends & Legacies” sessions featuring three masters of southern blues, the 72nd National Folk Festival in Butte is shaping up to be the fitting culmination of a magical three year run in Montana. Not only is the lineup completely fresh, but 13 of the featured musical genres this year are new – different from any presented over the past two years. ”

The final group of performers now confirmed for the 72nd National Folk Festival includes:

Hassan Hakmoun

Moroccan Gnawa

New York, New York

The Gnawa people of Morocco are descendants of sub-Saharan Africans originally brought to Morocco as slaves in the 16th century. In their devotional music of the same name, pre-Islamic African traditions mix with mystical Sufism; hypnotic call-and-response rhythms entwine with the sinuous vocals of Islamic devotional chant. In the spell of Moroccan musical legend Hassan Hakmoun, listeners are transported to the square in Marrakech. Incorporating jazz and rock as he takes lyrical as well as literal leaps, Hakmoun responds with acrobatic dancing to the pulsing, soaring trance music that is Gnawa.

The Legendary Singing Stars


Brooklyn, New York and Bamberg, South Carolina

The American gospel music tradition is endlessly rich. Among its many treasures are astonishingly talented groups not often heard outside the gospel circuit. For over 40 years, the gospel music road-warriors the Legendary Singing Stars have been bringing their unique blend

of tight vocal harmonies, blazing guitars, and classic soul-style choreographed stage moves to congregations around the country. Just as they did numerous times at Harlem’s Apollo Theatre in the 1960s, they will surely bring the house down at the 72nd National Folk Festival.

Elizabeth LaPrelle

Appalachian ballads and songs

Rural Retreat, Virginia

Representing the next generation of powerful ballad singers from Southwest, Virginia, this young singer is exceptional in her devotion to, and mastery of, this deep Appalachian tradition. As Virginia State Folklorist Jon Lohman says, “One gets the feeling… that she is accessing those aspects of these songs that transcend place and historical time and speak directly to the heart.”

Los Tres Reyes

Mexican trío romántico

San Antonio, Texas

With its poetic themes of unrequited love and gorgeous vocal harmonies, layered over dazzling work on guitar and requinto (small classical guitar), the trío romántico style took Mexico by storm starting in the 1940s. Today, it remains one of the most popular of Latin American ensembles. Formed in 1957, with the brothers Gilberto and Raul Puente at its core, Los Tres Reyes rose to prominence during the genre’s heyday, a stunning trio that has honed this beautiful style to near perfection.

Bakaari Wilder & Theo Hill

African American tap dance

District Heights, Maryland

An astounding young practitioner of the uniquely American tradition of improvisational tap dance, Baakari Wilder is no stranger to the stage. Opening for tap legends Sandman Sims, Brenda Bufalino and Harold Nicholas at age 12, he went on to replace Savion Glover in the Broadway production of Bring in Da’ Noise, Bring in Da’ Funk, touring nationally and making numerous television appearances. At this year’s festival Wilder teams with jazz pianist Theo Hill, a classic hoofer duo that is sure to amaze.

Lammam Ensemble


Castro Valley, California

From the lush microtones of Arabic maqams to the wild improvisations the music inspires, this accomplished quartet showcases the seductive artistry and diversity of traditional Arabic music. The ensemble is led by Middle Eastern accordionist Elias Lammam, whose virtuosity

has brought the Oriental-style quartertone accordion, customized to handle the microtonal scales of Arabic melody, from the back of the orchestra to the front of the concert stage.

Blues Legends & Legacies with Reverend John Wilkins, Phil Wiggins, and Henry Gray

Country blues guitar, harmonica and piano

Como, Mississippi, Takoma Park, Maryland, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana

This multi-generational exploration of southern blues, one that will span both the geographical and musical roots of the genre, brings together three exceptional American bluesmen: legendary boogie-woogie piano and blues pioneer Henry Gray; Reverend John Wilkins, who continues the

blues-based gospel guitar tradition of his father, pre-war blues legend Reverend Robert Wilkins,

and harmonica wizard Phil Wiggins, who is rooted in the Piedmont blues tradition. A once-in-a-lifetime chance to see these three greats on stage together, as they delve deep into American blues.

Aditya Prakash Ensemble

Carnatic music of South India

Los Angeles, California

At the age of eight, this young singer began studying the art of Carnatic singing, and quickly excelled at learning the compositions and improvisations long revered in this classical Hindu tradition. Along his journey, he has become a young star in the genre, and has performed with many masters of Indian classical music, including Pandit Ravi Shankar, Anoushka Shankar and Karsh Kale.

Apsáalooke Dancers with the Nighthawk Singers

Apsáalooke (Crow) dance and drum

Ashland, Montana

In the early 20th century, when Indian dancing was outlawed, the ancestors of these amazing Crow dancers and singers would travel into remote foothills of the Big Horn Mountains, where thrilling dances were held far from the view of authorities. Today, with elaborate regalia, champion dancers, and Northern Plains drum and song, this multi-generational group honors its ancestors with passion and dedication. The group’s name “Apsáalooke,” which means “children of the large-beaked bird,” is the original tribal name, long ago mistranslated into English as “Crow.” Many of its members live on the Crow Reservation in south central Montana, home to over 70 percent of the enrolled Crow tribal members.

Previously-announced groups to perform at the 72nd National Folk Festival in 2010:

La Excelencia – salsa dura

Genticorum РQu̩b̩cois

Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper – bluegrass

Dale Watson – honky-tonk/country

Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie – zydeco

Super Chikan – Delta blues

Benedicte Maurseth – Norwegian Hardanger fiddle & song

Alte Kameraden – community brass band

Bua – Irish

Tony Ballog & Roma Nota – Hungarian Gypsy

Stanky & The Coalminers – Eastern-style polka

Whitetop Mountain Band – old-time

Hector Del Curto’s Eternal Tango Quartet – Argentine tango

In addition, festival-goers can polish their moves right before the dancing begins with salsa lessons from expert dance instructor Eileen Torres, and square dance and flatfoot dance instruction with West Virginia dance master Lou Maiuri.

Rounding out the 2010 festival program are a number of performers in the Family Area and Montana Folklife Area, which will be announced in the coming weeks.

About The National Folk Festival

Since 1934, the National Folk Festival has celebrated the roots, richness and variety of American culture through music, dance, traditional craft, storytelling and food. It is the oldest celebration of traditional arts in the country. This “moveable feast of deeply traditional folk arts” has been held in 26 communities around the country, and in 2008, began a three-year tenure in Butte, Montana.

The FREE 72nd National Folk Festival in Butte, Montana July 9-11, 2010 will feature 250 performers and craftspeople with music and dance performances on six stages, workshops, children’s activities, folklife demonstrations, a festival marketplace and ethnic and regional foods. For more details about what to expect at the National Folk Festival, visit http://www.nationalfolkfestival.com/.

The 70th, 71st, and 72nd National Folk Festivals in Butte, Montana, 2008-2010, are produced in partnership by the National Council for the Traditional Arts, Mainstreet Uptown Butte, Butte-Silver Bow County and Imagine Butte in cooperation with Travel Montana of the Montana Department of Commerce, Gold West Country, Butte Convention and Visitors Bureau, Grant-Kohrs National Historic Site and the National Park Service.

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