2021 Not Your Average Folk Contest finalists JAZZ XPRESSION FEAT. Lydia Salett Dudley (top left), Lorena Guillén Tango Ensemble (top right), Dreamroot (lower left), and Grand Shores (lower right).

Greensboro, N.C., July 6, 2021 — The North Carolina Folk Festival announced today four finalists selected to advance to the online public voting phase of the new Not Your Average Folk Contest presented by Cone Health.


The four finalists are:

  • Dreamroot, from Durham, N.C.
  • Grand Shores, from Pittsboro, N.C.
  • JAZZ XPRESSION FEAT. Lydia Salett Dudley, from Youngsville, N.C.
  • The Lorena Guillén Tango Ensemble, from Greensboro, N.C.

The four finalists were selected from a competitive pool of 53 North Carolina-based musicians whose applications were reviewed in June by a panel of music experts from the Greensboro community who rated contest submissions on four criteria: appeal of performance, incorporation of folk and traditional elements, musicianship, and the uniqueness of work performed.

“For this inaugural Not Your Average Folk Contest we are honored to be able to highlight the homegrown talent of these four impeccable North Carolina performers,” said Amy Grossmann, president & CEO of the North Carolina Folk Festival. “We can’t wait to see which finalist the public chooses as the grand prize winner who will perform at this year’s NC Folk Fest!”


Online Public Voting Open Now! 

The Not Your Average Folk Contest invites participation from the public to select the grand prize winner who will be awarded a spot to perform live at the 2021 NC Folk Festival, and an 8-hour professional studio recording session provided by Black Rabbit Audio in Greensboro.  The public may view videos of each finalist and vote for their favorite performer online at www.ncfolkfestival.com/vote through 11:59pm (EST) on Wednesday, July 28, 2021.  The finalist receiving the most online votes will be awarded the grand prize.

“We are grateful for Cone Health’s support of this new contest and look forward to jointly showcasing our inaugural winner at this year’s NC Folk Festival in downtown Greensboro,” said Amy Grossmann.

Not Your Average Folk Contest Timeline


  • Online Voting Closes Wednesday, July 28, 2021 / 11:59pm (EST)
  • Contest Winner Announced Thursday August 12, 2021

About the North Carolina Folk Festival: The NC Folk Festival is a 501c3 non profit organization dedicated to the presentation of music, dance, crafts, and other arts representing cultural traditions from across America and the world through its flagship annual event each September in downtown Greensboro, NC.  The North Carolina Folk Festival, co-produced by the City of Greensboro, is one of the fastest-growing destination events in the Southeast, attracting over 156,000 people from across the U.S. to downtown Greensboro. 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 North Carolina Folklife Area featuring ongoing demonstrations, an interactive Family Area, 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 Cone Health: Cone Health is a not-for-profit health care network serving people in Alamance, Forsyth, Guilford, Randolph, Rockingham and surrounding counties. Our brand promise – We Are Right Here With You – is shared by our more than 13,000 employees, 1,800 physician partners, and 1,000 volunteers.  Additional information is available at www.conehealth.com.