With summer around the corner, where will you find Virginia Folklife Director Jon Lohman?
Try visiting any one of these traditional music and cultural festivals across Virginia…
May 25: Art & Music on the Farm, Machipongo, VA
The Barrier Islands Center on Virginia’s beautiful and culturally rich Eastern Shore will be hosting its third annual Arts and Music on the Farm Festival. This year’s event showcases fine local crafts and will feature performances by the Galax old-time string band New Ballard’s Branch Bogtrotters, blues master Gaye Adegbalola, Richmond’s gospel queen Maggie Ingram, along with her Ingramettes, and Mexican Corridos. Lohman helped produced the music stage, will emcee the performances, and host artist workshops.
June 15: Wayne C. Henderson Festival and Guitar Competition, Mouth of Wilson
Always the third Saturday in June in beautiful Grayson Highlands State Park, this festival is one not to miss. A National Heritage Fellow and dear friend of the Folklife Program, Henderson is known and loved worldwide for his masterful guitar building and playing, and even more so for being such a wonderful guy. This year’s festival features Rosanne Cash, along with a strong lineup that includes the Crooked Road Ramblers, the Quebe Sisters, the Harris Brothers, and Henderson and his friends. The centerpiece of the day is the annual Wayne Henderson guitar competition, where the hottest pickers from far and wide compete to own one of Henderson’s coveted guitars. As they say, you can either wait nine years for your Wayne Henderson Guitar, or you can win one in three minutes.
July 12–14: Red Wing Roots, Natural Chimneys Park near Staunton
This is a new festival, in beautiful Natural Chimneys State Park, and the organizers are coming out of the gate with an impressive lineup of bluegrass and roots music. Featured acts include Del McCoury, Sam Bush, Tim O’ Brien, Scott Miller, Larry Keel, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Robin and Linda Williams, and many others.
July 25–28: FloydFest, near Floyd
The Virginia Folklife Program will once again host the Workshop Porch at Floydfest. For the past eight years, Lohman has worked closely with Across the Way Productions to host the finest in traditional music styles from across Virginia, using the intimate stage to engage in causal “musical conversations.”
This year’s lineup on the Porch includes Jim Lauderdale, the Whitetop Mountain Band, the Reverend Frank Newsome, Chieck Hamala Diabate, Furnace Mountain, Doug and Telisha, Hot Tuna, Railroad Earth, and many others.
August 5-10: Galax Old Fiddler’s Convention, Galax
This is the granddaddy of them all! Now in its seventy-eighth year, the country’s oldest and largest fiddlers convention returns to Felts Park in Galax. Come for the day or the whole week. Hundreds of musicians will compete for prizes in old-time and bluegrass fiddle and banjo, as well as guitar, mandolin, dulcimer, and flatfoot dancer. But the real action will be in the park itself, which will be transformed into a small city of RVs and tents, all eager to host some of the most incredible jam sessions you will see in your life. There’s no better way to see and hear music than this.
September 15: Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Showcase, Charlottesville
The Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Showcase celebrates incoming and graduating participants in our Folklife Apprenticeship Program with a free, day-long festival that features the finest in traditional music, food, and crafts. The Folklife Apprenticeship Program pairs masters of traditional art forms with apprentices for nine months, in order to help pass these cherished traditions along. Current master artists who will be performing and demonstrating this year include guitarist and luthier Wayne Henderson, blues master Gaye Adegbalola, master gunsmith Wallace Gusler, Chickahominy Indian dancer Jessica Stewart, and many others. And stay tuned for the announcement of the 2013–2014 apprenticeship teams!
September 21: Flory Jagoda – The Celebration Concert, Library of Congress, Coolidge Auditorium, Washington DC
Jon Lohman will emcee this concert which celebrates Flory Jagoda’s internationally recognized career as singer, composer, and teacher of Sephardic song, and will honor her role as “keeper of the flame” for preserving, perpetuating, and expanding this venerable Jewish cultural tradition. Musical colleagues from the Washington DC area and beyond will join Jagoda to perform the songs that she has taught them in her quest to transmit her family’s musical heritage and keep it vibrantly alive. The concert will be documented by JEMGLO, an award-winning documentary film company, and will serve as a central element in a film about Flory’s life and music. JEMGLO’s work focuses on Jewish culture in its many global and historical manifestations.
This event is sponsored in part by the Flory Jagoda Fund based at Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.
September 26-28: Watermelon Park Fest, Berryville, VA
This family-friendly music festival is located on the Shenandoah River just outside of Berryville. Festivities include concerts, dances, workshops, band and pickin’ contests, open jams, and a stellar lineup : Del McCoury, Larry Keel, The Quebe Sisters, and Furnace Mountain, among others. Lohman will host a workshop with the “Legends of Bluegrass”: Del McCoury, Bobby Osborne, J.D. Crowe, Bobby Hicks, and Jerry McCoury.
October 11–13: Richmond Folk Festival, Richmond
Since its inception as the National Folk Festival in 2005, the Virginia Folklife Program has produced the Virginia Folklife Area at the Richmond Folk Festival. The free festival along Richmond’s historic waterfront is one of the largest and most successful folk festivals in the country, attracting more than 200,000 people in 2012.
Each year, the Virginia Folklife Area explores a different aspect of Virginia’s rich, diverse folk tradition. In past years, the Folklife Area has presented such themes as “New Neighbors” (the arts of Virginia’s immigrant communities), “Fertile Ground” (Virginia’s agricultural traditions), Virginia’s instrument makers, Virginia’s National Heritage Fellowship recipients, and many others. What will this year’s theme be? You’ll have to stay tuned!
October 26: Blue Ridge Folklife Festival, Ferrum
This is without question one of the nation’s finest Folklife festivals. With three music stages, two dozen country foods, more than fifty craftspeople, vintage farm tractors, hundreds of custom cars, draft horse and coon dog contests, sheepherding demos, and old-time children’s games, Ferrum College’s Blue Ridge Folklife Festival celebrates western Virginia’s folkways and rural life. This is the real thing.