KinFolk

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:

Devereaux Nash and Jordan Lee of The ACOBE (A Celebration of Black Excellence) Festival

When we think of folk music we think of sounds and rhythms that evoke emotion; a story that we understand in the soul; a sound that makes us dance; a croon that draws us in and transports us to a time when song and word were the only modes of communication. 

 

This mode of transmission is deeply embedded in the souls of BIPOC Folks. Our rhythms change and evolve as time passes on; but within each specific genre of folk music there runs a deep, unmistakable, indescribable thread. It’s something that we can recognize almost immediately; subliminally— spiritually, even. 

 

In America, Folk music as a genre is stereotyped, calling on certain narratives of glory days that weren’t always glorious for everyone; and its face and target audience has been stereotyped as white. 

 

But folk music, as with all music, transcends time-periods, geographic location, race, gender expression, religions, and/or the national boundaries that it was created within. One may not even understand what it is they are hearing, or the gravity of the story being told. But to experience the magic that is the essence of Folk music, all it takes is for the listener to let go of their perception of “folk” and be transported. 

Devereaux - SIDE A

SIDE A charts a journey through some of the transatlantic movements of black and brown people, and the sounds they carried with them. These themes eventually permeate American music culture and influence much of what we hear in popular music today.

Jordan - SIDE B

SIDE B is eclectic by nature but is a representation of how our folk have evolved the sounds that they inherited from their musical ancestors. Not all artists on SIDE B and BIPOC, but their sound couldn’t exist without the elders represented on SIDE A. These playlists could be endless, but here are a quick 69 tracks.

Jordan Lee,

ACOBE Founder, Restorative Social Justice Educator & Culture Network Curator

 

Mr. Jordan Lee is a C.M.A. Awarded & GRAMMY nominated vocal music educator in Guilford county (Greensboro, NC) that is dedicated to cultivating honest and open-minded people through the medium of music making. He started his career as GCS Rookie Teacher of the Year in 2018-2019 and now partnering with the national organization Notes for Notes, as an Entertainment Technology Curator & Educational Specialist, to pioneer a brand-new arts magnet program that provides the entire county with free state-of-the-art music recording and production opportunities for youth all over Guilford County!

 

He received an undergraduate degree in Music Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and his Masters in Adult Education from North Carolina A&T State University. Outside of his studies, Jordan runs his own private music education vocal production studio and is continuously engaging in opportunities to provide the communities he serves with his vision of love and understanding through the celebration of diversity.

 

Jordan Lee states, “One of the greatest challenge’s educators face is helping students understand what it means to be human and express their talents and creativity in ways that honor the humanity in others.”

 

Mr. Jordan Lee created “A Celebration of Black Excellence,” as an invitation to all to experience what genuine love looks like through the appreciation and expression of Black art and culture.

 

 

Devereaux Nash,

ACOBE Artistic Director and Producer, Restorative Social Justice Educator & Writer

 

Devereaux has always had a passion for utilizing art culture to serve the world around her. An alumna of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, she perused her Bachelor of Political Science while simultaneously directing an all-female A Capella group— winning awards for creativity and excellence in choreography, musical arrangement, and performance. After college, she continued to nurture her passion for the arts through professional ensembles; collaboration with some of the Triad area’s most promising up-and-coming artists; and offering her A Capella experience to high school ensembles in Guilford and Forsyth Counties. She continues to serve the community through political activism and education; and uses her platform and creative vision to elevate awareness of struggles in BIPOC communities. Devereaux invokes the spirit of unity, love, and genuine compassion toward others in everything that she does.

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Bucket Brigade volunteers pose for a photograph.
Bucket Brigade volunteers get ready to collection donations at the 2018 NC Folk Festival.
📷 Photo by Lynn Donovan.

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