Is Kaj Litch the next Mark O’Connor?
He sure could be. Wow, these two brothers from Orcas Island, who were busking Saturday afternoon in front of SIFF Cinema, were amazing, Kaj is 9; Tashi is 11. Look for them tomorrow if you come by Folklife.
Busking and crowd participation were a big part of the fun today. Out on the Exhibition Hall lawn, while the Nyamuziwa Marimba Band kicked up a lovely ruckus, two young women hula hooped in time to the infectious rhythms of the music. Over at the Northwest Court, an impromptu sea chantey sing-along erupted in the beer garden.
And holy hokum! Out by Center House, Hot Damn Scandal was kickin’ it for an avid circle of admirers.
On a more serious note, and in keeping with this year’s theme, “Washington Works,” the festival presented a fascinating panel about the prints of Richard Correll, which included a segment by his daughter, Leslie Correll, who came up from Oakland, Calif.. Listeners discovered that Correll, whose dramatic black and white linoleum cuts and wood block prints are exhibited in the Lopez Room, grew up on a berry farm in the Williamette Valley, where he began doing illustrations for the Communist newspaper Voice of Action. He then moved to Seattle, where he was employed by the WPA, then to New York, where he worked, albeit uncomfortably, as an ad man, to support his family.
Correll’s prints depict an emotional pageant of various causes, from racial justice and the California grape strike to dock strikes and a mythical series about Paul Bunyan.
Also on the panel was UW history prof James N. Gregory, whose Labor and Civil Rights Project has links to Correll’s work for the Voice of Action.