Greensboro, N.C., July 22, 2021 — Today the North Carolina Folk Festival announced five performers who will appear at the 2021 North Carolina Folk Festival in downtown Greensboro September 10, 11, and 12, 2021. The performers announced today include Shamarr Allen, the Hot Club of Cowtown, Alsarah & The Nubatones, Dewey & Leslie Brown and the Carolina Gentlemen, and Molly Tuttle who replaces the previously announced Del McCoury Band who had to cancel due to a scheduling conflict. The NC Folk Festival is working to reschedule the Del McCoury Band for a spot in the 2022 lineup.
“We are excited to welcome these talented artists to Greensboro to mark the NC Folk Festival’s return to a live, in-person celebration of folk and global roots music,” said Amy Grossmann, President & CEO of the North Carolina Folk Festival.
The artists announced today include:
- Molly Tuttle (Bluegrass/Americana) – From Nashville, TN
Since moving to Nashville in 2015, this native Californian has been welcomed into the Americana, folk and bluegrass communities, winning “Instrumentalist of the Year” at the 2018 Americana Music Awards. Her debut, the Ryan Hewitt-produced WHEN YOU’RE READY, stretched the boundaries of those genres and introduced her to a wider audience both here and abroad. Tuttle has continued to accumulate accolades, winning Folk Alliance International’s honor for Song of the Year for “You Didn’t Call My Name” and taking home consecutive trophies for the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Guitar Player of the Year (the first woman in the history of the IBMA to win that honor).
- Shamarr Allen (New Orleans Funk & Hip Hop) – From New Orleans, LA
Shamarr Allen is the definition of New Orleans! Hailing from the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans, Allen has influences in jazz, hip-hop, rock, funk rhythms, blues and country. He is the lead vocalist and trumpeter of his band “Shamarr Allen & The Underdawgs.” In addition to performing with his band, Allen has collaborated with many renowned artists around the world such as Willie Nelson, Patti LaBelle, Galactic, Harrick Connick Jr, and Lenny Kravitz, to name a few. He is a sought after artist for festivals and venues around the world. In addition to displaying his skills on the front-line as a lead performer, Allen is also a music composer, writer, and producer. With a scintillating and unique sound, look, and exemplary talents, Shamarr Allen transcends musical boundaries. He is the True Orleans experience!
The presentation of Shamarr Allen is funded, in part, by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council.
- Hot Club of Cowtown (Western Swing) – From Austin, TX
Since its beginnings in the late 1990s, the Hot Club of Cowtown’s star has continued to rise as its reputation for jaw-dropping virtuosity and unforgettable live shows has become the band’s global brand. Lauded for its “down-home melodies and exuberant improvisation” (The Times, London), the Hot Club has always woven a combination of seemingly disparate styles together to its own magical effect, setting up camp “at that crossroads where country meets jazz and chases the blues away” (The Independent), remaining “conscious always that above all else, the music is for dancing and an old-fashioned good time” (New York Times). The band’s musical alchemy has been described as “another breathless journey in the Texas tardis” (The Times, London), while American Songwriter observed that “the excellent three players of this band could be doing anything but have chosen to honor the greats of jazz and swing with their sound.”
- Alsarah & The Nubatones ( East-African Retro-Pop) – From Brooklyn, NYC
Alsarah is a singer, songwriter, bandleader and a somewhat reluctant ethnomusicologist. Born in Khartoum, Sudan, she relocated to Yemen with her family before abruptly moving to the USA, finally feeling most at home in Brooklyn, NY where she has been residing since 2004. Working on various projects, she has toured both nationally and internationally. Alsarah & the Nubatones were born out of many dinner conversations between Alsarah and Rami El-Aasser about Nubian ‘songs of return’, modern migration patterns and the cultural exchanges between Sudan and Egypt. A common love for the richness of pentatonic sounds, and shared migration experiences, expanded the conversation to include Armenian-American oud player, Haig Manoukian and french born togo raised bass player Mawuena Kodjovi. Under the leadership of Alsarah, the Brooklyn based group’s sound grew into what they have dubbed as ‘East–African Retro-Pop’.
- Dewey & Leslie Brown and the Carolina Gentlemen (NC Bluegrass) – From Burlington, NC
Burlington, North Carolina’s Dewey and Leslie Brown are a power couple with bluegrass talent who bring together the sounds of Ralph Stanley mixed with Hazel Dickens. Dewey played fiddle as a Clinch Mountain Boy for Dr. Stanley for 11 years, until he died in 2016. Moreover, Dewey released CD, “Traditional Fiddle,” featuring Ralph Stanley and The Clinch Mountain Boys. Leslie is an authentic coal miner’s daughter raised by her grandparents in the Appalachian Mountains of Vansant, Virginia. Her upbringing in those mountains has played a significant role in her songwriting, dancing, and singing. Leslie is about the most authentic mountain girl you will ever meet. Together, their music is powerful and genuine to bluegrass tradition. Dewey and Leslie currently own The Liberty Showcase Theater in Liberty, North Carolina. They also run two festivals, “Deweyfest” and “Gospelfest.” They are releasing a new CD called “Jealousy” with their band, The Carolina Gentlemen, this coming Winter of 2020. Their music continues to be a favorite amongst Bluegrass Radio programmers and listeners.
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.