2021 NC Folk Festival jazz trombonist Wycliffe Gordon

Greensboro, N.C., July 30, 2021 — Today the North Carolina Folk Festival announced the addition of seven performers that will join the 2021 lineup in downtown Greensboro September 10, 11, and 12, 2021. The performers announced today include Caique Vidal & Batuque / Oxente Brazilian Drumming, Conjunto Guantanamo, Javier Montano, Hard Drive, Mari Black, the Malpass Brothers, and acclaimed jazz trombonist Wycliffe Gordon. 


Representing musical traditions from Cuba, Brazil, Mexico, and Scotland and the sounds of jazz, country, and old-time, the performers announced today reflect the fabric of cultural diversity and expression that emanates from communities across the U.S. that are honored and celebrated through the North Carolina Folk Festival.


The North Carolina Folk Festival also announced today that Kontoor Brands will be returning as the sponsor of the Lee Wrangler Stage, where thousands of attendees can enjoy free performances by the festival’s talented lineup day and night for the three day festival.


“We’re thrilled to once again offer the Lee-Wrangler Stage as part of the 2021 NC Folk Festival, an important community event that celebrates American culture and arts,” said Scott Baxter, President and CEO, Kontoor Brands. “Throughout the weekend, attendees will be treated to wonderful, world-class performances at the Lee Wrangler stage, right here in our hometown of Greensboro, North Carolina.”


The artists announced today include:


  • Wycliffe Gordon (Jazz) – From Waynesboro, GA

Wycliffe Gordon experiences an impressive career touring the world performing to great acclaim from audiences and critics alike. Jazz Journalists Association named him 2021 “Trombonist of the Year” for the record breaking 14th time, and he topped Downbeat Critics Poll for “Best Trombone” again for an unprecedented six times (2020, 2018, 2016, 2014, 2013 & 2012).   Last year he was the recipient of the “Louie Award”, the International Trombone Award and the Satchmo Award, among others.  Wycliffe is a prolific recording artist and is extremely popular for his unmatched signature sound, plunger technique and unique vocals.  He can be heard on hundreds of recordings, soundtracks, live DVD’s and documentaries.  Wycliffe will cap off evening performances on Saturday, September 11th on the Lee Wrangler Stage.


  • Caique Vidal & Batuque / Oxente Brazilian Drumming (Afro-Brazilian) – From Salvador, Bahia by way of Greensboro, NC

Caique Vidal and Batuque is a unique band that brings  infectious energy and riveting dance grooves to the stage.  “Batuque” (pronounced ba-TOO-kee) means to drum. The  band delivers an explosive performance integrating the sounds  of Afro-Brazilian percussion with keyboards, bass, guitar and  horns to produce an innovative version of samba, reggae, salsa,  bachata, pop, rock and Bossa Nova. Vidal and Batuque just  released their debut EP titled TYSM (Thank You So Much). TYSM  exemplifies the diversity of rhythms and genres performed  by the band during their live shows. Vidal and Batuque have  performed in music festivals and universities across the nation  providing an insight to Afro-Brazilian music and culture. Caique Vidal and Batuque’s live performance is pure passion  and energy!


  • Conjunto Guantanamo (Cuban) – From New York City

Cuban musicians draw from a sonic landscape rich with varied influences, including folk and popular, religious and secular, and Spanish and African-derived sounds. New York City’s Conjunto Guantanamo weaves these diverse threads together. Mingling traditional Afro-Cuban rhythms, like son montuno, cha-cha-cha, mambo, and rumba, with the energy of New York City’s Latin music scene, Conjunto Guantanamo celebrates Cuban folklore as the spirit breathing life into its sound.


  • Javier Montano (Norteño/Banda) – From Walstonburg, NC

Javier Montano is a 22-year-old singer/songwriter, born and raised in North Carolina, with Mexican parents (Monterrey, Nuevo Leon and Chiapas Mexico) representing regional Mexican music. He has been involved in the music world since he was 14 years old and he continues to fight to be able to leave a mark in the heart of his public.


  • Hard Drive (Old Time and Bluegrass) – From Durham, NC

Hard Drive is a hard-driving aural modern traditional old time authentic millennial bluegrass collective made up of Tatiana Hargreaves, Aaron Tacke, Sonya Badigian, and Nokosee Fields. From brother duets to raging fiddle tunes, Hard Drive brings a sense of deep intuition and silliness to the world that encompasses old-time, country, and bluegrass. The Bluegrass Situation describes the band as “a delightful subversion of our expectations of what traditional bluegrass is supposed to be.” Hard Drive serves up a “high-octane bluegrass-old-time style, delivered with deep intuitive insight, manic exploratory zeal and seriously powerhouse instrumental (and vocal) chops but also, importantly, with an abundant and overwhelming sense of fun.” [Folk Radio UK].


  • Malpass Brothers (Country) – From Goldsboro, NC

The Malpass Brothers promote the work and music of classic country artists they treasure while creating new music and making their own mark in the lineage of a rich American cultural heritage. With sincerity, honesty and an utter ease on stage that belies their years, their smooth vocal blend and skillful musicianship layer infectiously into the deep respect they pay to legends who have paved the way. Add the funny, off-the-cuff quips between the two big-haired siblings, and the engaging concert becomes a magnetic time-traveling journey to when a calmer rhythm resigned supreme for all of us.


  • Mari Black (Scottish) – From Boston, MA

Called “one of the brightest fiddlers around today” (Brian O’Donovan, WGBH radio’s A Celtic Sojourn), multistyle violinist and champion fiddler MARI BLACK delights audiences around the world with her energetic playing, sparkling stage presence, and dazzlingly virtuosic fiddling. Mari’s dynamic performances are infused with her sense playfulness and deep love of the history behind the music, as she weaves together driving dance tunes with beloved stories that bring the music to life. Walk into any of her shows, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to see people out of their seats and dancing in the aisles!


To learn more about these artists and their stories, please visit ncfolkfestival.com/lineup.

About the North Carolina Folk Festival: The North Carolina Folk Festival is a 501c3 nonprofit whose mission is to honor, celebrate, and share the meaningful ways in which communities express their creativity and cultural traditions through music, dance, food, crafts and other folk arts to enhance appreciation of diverse traditions and contribute to community vibrancy and inclusivity.  Our signature event, the annual North Carolina Folk Festival, is co-produced by the City of Greensboro and is one of the fastest-growing destination events in the Southeast, attracting over 156,000 people from across the U.S. to downtown Greensboro each September. The festival is a FREE admission, three-day event that continues the legacy of the National Folk Festival, which was held in Greensboro from 2015–2017. In the tradition of “The National,” the North Carolina Folk Festival features performing groups representing a diverse array of cultural traditions from around the world on multiple stages, including continuous music and dance performances, a makers marketplace, regional and ethnic foods, festival merchandise and more. The 2021 North Carolina Folk Festival will take place in downtown Greensboro September 10 through 12. Additional information is available at www.ncfolkfestival.com.


About Kontoor Brands: Kontoor Brands, Inc. (NYSE: KTB) is a global lifestyle apparel company, with a portfolio led by two of the world’s most iconic consumer brands: Wrangler® and Lee®. Kontoor designs, manufactures and distributes superior high-quality products that look good and fit right, giving people around the world the freedom and confidence to express themselves. Kontoor Brands is a purpose-led organization focused on leveraging its global platform, strategic sourcing model and best-in-class supply chain to drive brand growth and deliver long-term value for its stakeholders. For more information about Kontoor Brands, please visit www.KontoorBrands.com.