Looking Back on Our 2018 and 2019 Artist Lineups

Nathan Williams plays piano accordian on stage.

Nathan Williams of Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas performed at the 2018 North Carolina Folk Festival. ? Photo Credit: Joe Del Tufo. Compiled by: [field “compiled_by”] I graduated from high school in the spring of 2017 and that fall I moved from my hometown of Greensboro into a tiny dorm room in Chapel Hill. […]

Everything Dance Party

Old-time band The Hushpuppies performing in our 2018 Dance Pavilion. ? Credit: Bob Powell. Compiled by: [field “compiled_by”] I have noticed that many people will find a genre they like and stick to it. After all, we are comfortable with what’s familiar to us, whether that’s the songs we heard growing up, the rhythms we […]


Sona Jobarteh, the first female Kora virtuoso to come from a prestigious west African Griot family, performing at the 2018 NC Folk Festival. ? Credit: Dan Routh Compiled by: [field “compiled_by”] When we think of folk music we think of sounds and rhythms that evoke emotion; a story that we understand in the soul; a […]

The Forgotten Coast, Music of The North Carolina Piedmont

Compiled by: [field “compiled_by”] I moved to North Carolina for the music, no lie. More specifically as a working musician, I thought I was moving to Asheville for the music. Instead, I moved to Asheboro. There is a big difference between Asheville and Asheboro. No worries, I figured I’d stay in the Piedmont long enough […]

Musical Meanderings Through Southeast Asia

Tibetian opera, folksong, and dance group “Chaksam-pa” performing at the 2016 Festival. Photo courtesy of Alex Forsyth Compiled by: [field “compiled_by”] Dangdut, kebyar, hsaing waing, sape, saung, nhạc tài tử, mahori, kulintang, morlam, degung, gender wayang, sandaya, kecak, rindik… on and on.  The varieties of music and dance found in Southeast Asia are endless. I […]

The Farmer is the Man who Feeds Us All

Don Flemons plays the pipes and banjo before a microphone.

Dom Flemons, member of the old-time string band The Carolina Chocolate Drops, preforming at the 2018 NC Folk Festival. ? Photo by Unknown. Compiled by: [field “compiled_by”] At the height of the Covid-19 crisis in March and April, the news was rife with stories about potential food shortages and troubles in our food distribution pipeline. […]

34th Annual Carolina Blues Festival: Women of the Blues

Jackson plays guitar on a deck in the forest. Behind her is a portrait of an African American woman.

Piedmont Blues Preservation Society Performer Veronika Jackson plays at the Guilford College Underground Railroad Tree as part of the North Carolina Folk Festival’s 2020 Virtual Concert Series. ? Photo Credit: Brendan McLean. Compiled by: [field “compiled_by”]Our playlist for the 34th Annual Carolina Blues Festival is designed to showcase artists from our original lineup as well […]

Splendid Isolation – Fiddle Tunes from Ireland, Scotland, and North America

Lúnasa members with their instruments (a guitar, bass, bodhran, fiddle, and uilleann pipes) stand in front of a bar.

World-renowned Irish band Lúnasa performed at the 2019 NC Folk Festival. ? Photo by Unknown. Compiled by: [field “compiled_by”] County Armagh-born fiddler Brendan McGlinchey’ reel Splendid Isolation opens and closes this collection of fiddle tunes from Ireland, Scotland, and North America. The opening setting, by NEA National Heritage Fellow Kevin Burke (born in London to […]

Chicanx / Mexican-American

Three members of Mariachi Los Camperos preform on a festival stage in traditional mariachi attire.

Mariachi Los Camperos at the 2016 National Folk Festival in Greensboro, NC. ? Photo by Lynn Donovan. Compiled by: [field “compiled_by”] For six months in the mid-2000s I lived in Los Angeles. I had just left my job in Washington, D.C., taking only what fit in my car as I drove 3,000 miles cross country […]

Fusion in Folk

Cover photo of Kiran Ahluwalia holding a tanpura.

Indian singer, songwriter Kiran Ahluwalia. ? Photo by George Whiteside. Compiled by: [field “compiled_by”] When I attended the 2015 National Folk Festival here in Greensboro, NC, I remember being amazed at the sheer breadth of musical traditions represented and that there could be so many ways to express our experience of the human condition. Growing […]