The Brooklyn Folk Festival, May 18-20

There’s a terrific music festival coming up in downtown Brooklyn this weekend, the Brooklyn Folk Festival, and I’m planning to take in some of the festivities with my wife and son. Highlights include a special observance on Friday night marking the 100th birthday of Woody Guthrie; workshops on singing, banjo and mandolin; and performances by Peter Stampfel (ex- of the Holy Modal Rounders) and the Ether Frolic Mob, and by the Wretched Refuse String Band. It takes place Friday night, and begins at noon on Saturday and Sunday, stretching late into the nights. These two videos, with performances by Jerron Paxton and Clifton Hicks are highlights from last year’s program. This is going to be the fourth rendition of the festival, and every year they’ve had stellar line-ups. This year festival director Eli Smith has arranged for more than thirty acts over the three days, plus film screenings and appearances by authors of such books as Gone to the Country: The New Lost City Ramblers and the Folk Music Revival. I hope to see you there.

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  1. […] Once the film ended, Mona’s Hot Four took the stage, with clarinetist Lichtman introducing his band mates: Gordon Webster (piano), Jared Engel (bass), and Nick Russo (guitar). Their playing is a joy to hear with clear melodic lines on standards like “My Blue Heaven,” tasty licks on “Sugar Blues,” and fluent ensemble work on “Up a Lazy River.” Though Rockwood is not the Hot Four’s usual venue, many additional players showed up to supplement the quartet. In the set that followed the documentary, they were joined on stage by a caravan of players on trombone, trumpet, banjo, snare drum, and a number of talented vocalists. Among this retinue was singer the aforementioned Molly Ryan and banjo player and vocalist Jerron Paxton. […]

  2. […] I posted on this blog a couple days ago, Eli Smith directs the festival, now in its fourth year, in coordination with a Brooklyn cultural […]

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