A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.
Topic: Folklife 2013
You’ve found all of The Seattle Times’ coverage of Folklife 2013. Welcome, and read away.
May 27, 2013 at 8:53 PM
Note: This is an overview of Folklife 2013. Go here for detailed daily coverage and photos.
With alternately soggy and sunny days over Memorial Day weekend, the Northwest Folklife Festival drew slightly fewer folks to Seattle Center than Executive Director Robert Townsend would have liked.
But on Monday, based on counts from the first three days, Townsend estimated that the sprawling, ever-popular, free spree still would bring in 220,000-230,000 people.
“We’ll have some work to do before the end of the year,” Townsend said of his $1.2 million organization, “but we’re not in debt.”
Attendance was light Friday, strong Saturday and Sunday, when the sun made an appearance, and slow on Monday, as a light rain persisted.
Still, the crowds came out, some with umbrellas, some braving the drizzle in stoic Seattle style.
May 26, 2013 at 5:13 PM
I had a lovely, if a little moist morning emceeing the Fountain Lawn stage Sunday, reconnecting with old Folklife friends, being reminded of what a truly community event Folklife is, and hearing some terrific new players. Thanks to the legacy of the late Dumi Maraire, Seattle’s one of America’s hotspots for Zimbabwean marimba music, but I had never seen the Chiroto Marimba Ensemble. That’s probably because they’re based in Idaho, and their leader, Tendai Muparutsa, lives in Massachusetts, where he teaches African music at Williams College.
You could see your breath in the air at 11 a.m. when the band started, entertaining a faithful crowd that gathered for their thundering vibrations and soon everyone in the vicinity was feeling the warmth.
Volunteers tend to come back to Folklife year after year after year. I was lucky enough to be working with Tom DiStefano, who has volunteer stage managed at Folklife for 27 years. It was great catching up with Tom — he said business is finally picking up at his West Seattle wine shop now that the Great Recession moves closer to the center of the rear view mirror — and it was good to have someone in charge who really knows what he’s doing. Tom kept me hopping.
Most folks who come to the festival have no idea what really goes into making it happen, but there are hundreds of volunteers like Tom, as well as staff production people who are hired and Seattle Center stage hands and sound engineers. It’s quite an array and a great crew.
Performers play for free at Folklife, but if you’re a country fan you may have already paid a cover charge to hear Jessica Lynne at the Little Red Hen or the Tractor. I had never seen Lynne before, but I was glad I did. What a great voice and terrific stage presence. “You’re not my cowboy,” she informed the man on the receiving end of one of her songs, as she strummed her guitar and belted out the lyrics with honky tonk attitude. Lynne is from Denmark of all places, but you can’t hear a trace of a Danish accent (one of her parents was American). Her family was out in the crowd, cheering her on. She’s been in Seattle two years and has several gigs coming up around town. Check her out. She’s got an album : “Spiritual Cowgirl.” (more…)
May 25, 2013 at 4:02 PM
The sun banished the clouds Saturday afternoon at Folklife 2013 as the quintet Song Sparrow Research spread its slow, mellow vocals — cello, bass, guitar, tinker bell keyboards and drums — over the comfy crowd on the Fountain Lawn.
Walking across the grounds was like spinning the radio dial, as a marimba duo plinked and plonked out Duke Ellington’s “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” jazz saxophones sliced through air, drum circles percolated from under the trees and children screamed as they ran in and out of the Seattle Center fountain spray.
Inside Sky Church, at EMP, a mischievous Baby Gramps declaimed Bob Dylan’s “Hey, Crawl Out Your Window” with his signature vaudeville shake, then launched into a scary version of “House of the Rising Sun.”
On Fisher Green, Juan Barco (guitar) and Paul Anastasio (violin) took the crowd south of the border with the classic lover’s refrain of “Volver, volver, volver (come back, come back, come back!).”
And so it went. Another Northwest Folklife Festival has gotten into full swing.
May 24, 2013 at 7:31 PM
Despite its 2013 cultural focus on the labor history of Washington State, the 42nd annual Northwest Folklife Festival was not about work but mostly about play on opening day.
Taking advantage of lighter crowds and mostly sunny weather Friday, festival-goers celebrated the first day of the four-day festival at Seattle Center by browsing arts and crafts booths, sampling ethnic foods, listening to live music and dancing to contra tunes at Warren’s Roadhouse at Fisher Pavilion. (View a photo gallery here.)
May 24, 2013 at 6:36 PM
The NW Folklife Festival got off to a mellow start Friday afternoon with mostly clear skies and light crowds. Ukulele players happily co-existed with brass bands; belly dancers with Irish cloggers. Here, the LoveBomb Go-Go Marching Band of Portland Oregon stopped near the Fisher Green Stage to entertain onlookers. Folklife continues through Monday night at Seattle Center; look here for highlights.
May 24, 2013 at 2:41 PM
What’s the easy way? Depends on where you’re coming from.
Folklife has put together a really great web page detailing all possible options: Driving and parking; public transportation; and biking.
Note that there’s a special Folklife shuttle operating Saturday, Sunday and Monday from Northgate and from Renton to Seattle Center. The fare is $2.50.
The page also has an interactive map to help you chart your course.
See you there!
May 24, 2013 at 11:00 AM
The clouds are parting, if only intermittently, and summer is at least a possibility. That means it’s time to listen to music in a big crowd outdoors. And we’ll be there for it all, at the Gorge for Sasquatch! (complete coverage here) and Seattle Center for the Folklife festival (here). Check back with us for updates and photos all weekend long, both on SoundPosts and on Twitter @SoundPosts. See you there.
May 23, 2013 at 2:52 PM
The Northwest Folklife Festival can be overwhelming — though part of the fun is stumbling on a great act you’ve never heard of — but if you’re looking for some suggestions, here’s a day-by-day list. The festival runs Friday through Monday at Seattle Center. I’ll be emceeing the Fountain Lawn stage from 11 a.m. — 1 p.m. Sunday. See you there!
- Eckstein Middle School Sr. Jazz Band — 4 p.m. Armory
- Molly & Dan Tenenbaum — 4:20 p.m. Alki Court
- Garfield Jazz Ensemble — 5 p.m. Armory
- Andre Feriante & the Bohemian Entourage –5:50 p.m. Folklife Cafe
- Fin Records Showcase (Lure, Low Hums, Davidson Hart Kingsbery and Red Jacket Mine) — 6 p.m. Fountain Lawn
- The Onlies — 7:20 p.m. Northwest Court
- Hank Bradley and Cathie Whitesides — 8:20 p.m. Alki Court
- Eric Barber’s MetriLodic — 8:50 p.m. Center Theatre
- The Tallboys — 9 p.m. Armory
- Jefferson Rose Band with Alex Kitchen — 9:30 p.m Mural Amphitheatre
- Toothless Jake (formerly Artis the Spoonman) — 11 a.m. Alki Court Stage
- “History of Radicalism & Organizing in the Pacific Northwest” — 11 a.m. SIFF Cinema
- Woody Guthrie Sing Along for Kids — Noon Intiman Courtyard
- Wu Jiying (Chinese zither) — 1 p.m. Center Theatre
- “Life and Music of Jimi Hendrix” (Baby Gramps, Jefferson Rose, The Onlies, others) — 1 p.m. EMP Museum Sky Church
- Paul Anastasio and Juan Barco (Mexican violin and guitar) — 1:40 p.m. Fisher Green Stage
- Arab Show, with Maurice Rouman — 3 p.m. Exhibition Hall
- Paul Cheoketen Wagner (Coast Salish stories and flute) — 3:35 p.m. Folklife Café
- Anzanga Marimba Ensemble — 5 p.m. Mural Amphitheatre
- Sampada Bhalerao (sitar) — 6:10 p.m. Center Theatre
- Vela Luka Croatian Dance Ensemble — 7 p.m. Exhibition Hall
- Chiroto Marimba Ensemble — 11 a.m. Fountain Lawn
- Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band — 11 a.m. Mural Amphitheatre
- Vivian and Phil Williams (Northwest style fiddling from the festival founders) — 12:20 p.m. Fisher Green Stage
- Folk, Redefined, with Adam Foly and the Overtones, The Local Strangers, The Washover Fans and Grand Hallway — 12:45 p.m. Mural Amphitheatre
- “Rosie the Riveter” panel — 2 p.m. Lopez Room
- Gaelic Crankie Show (storytelling on felt scroll) — 3 p.m. Center Theatre
- Liars Contest — 4 p.m. Olympic Room
- Baby Gramps — 4:30 p.m. Fisher Green Stage
- Jim Page — 4:40 p.m. Northwest Court
- Led to Sea — 5:10 p.m. Alki Court
- Woody Guthrie Sing Along — 6 p.m. Intiman Courtyard
- Seattle Cello Experiment — 6:40 p.m. Center Theatre
- Bill Horist — 7:05 p.m. Folklife Café
- Ole Tinder — 8:30 p.m. Fountain Lawn
- Kindiependent Show, with The Harmonica Pocket, The Not-Its!, Recess Monkey, Johnny Gregar and the Country Dawgs and Cat Doorman — 11 a.m. Fountain Lawn
- Yang Xu (Chinese traditional music) — 11:05 p.m. Folklife Café
- En Canto (Brazilian forró) — 1:15 p.m. Armory
- K Records and Olympia All Ages Project Showcase — 2 p.m. The Vera Project
- Boulevard Park — 3 p.m. Fisher Green Stage
- American Standard Time Show, with The Crow Quill Night Owls, The Sumner Brothers, The Slide Brother, The Sojourners — 3:30 p.m. Fountain Lawn
- Paul Anastasio’s Swing Jam — 4:10 p.m. Armory
- IWW “Little Red Songbook” program — 5 p.m. SIFF Cinema
- Kermit Apio (Hawaiian slack key guitar) — 5:05 p.m. Alki Court
- Tingstad and Rumbel — 6 p.m. Folklife Café
- The Children’s Songs of Woody Guthrie — 6:30 p.m. Center Theatre
Trending with readers