Sights & Sounds

Herschel Sizemore and Mike Walker

Legendary Roanoke mandolin player and composer Herschel Sizemore returns as a 2016 master artist. When he was eight years old, Herschel’s parents took him to see Bill Monroe perform at …

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Announcing Scott Street Five String Banjo Finals at the Richmond Folk Festival

The Virginia Folklife Program has partnered with JAMinc to honor the memory of distinguished Richmond attorney and dedicated banjo player Scott Street, who passed away in February of this year …

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Bogtrotters and Bristol

Next weekend Bristol will be packed with concerts for Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion. From September 18th to 20th 130 artists will play all over the city on big stages …

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A new World Record at Galax

The Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention is the largest and oldest fiddlers’ convention in the world, so it’s no surprise that it’s been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records. …

Sights & Sounds

Andrei Saveliev and Aaron Mott

The balalaika, a traditional Russian stringed instrument with a triangular wooden body, is often referred to as “the Russian three-string guitar.” It was considered a folk instrument in Russia, and …

Sights & Sounds

Billy Baker and Jack Hinshelwood

Billy Baker, born in 1936 in Pound, Virginia, has lived his whole life surrounded by music. Encouraged by his parents, both banjo players, Baker proved to be a musical prodigy. …

Sights & Sounds

Dale Wise and Lori Sallade

The accordion, a box-shaped instrument first patented in Vienna in 1829, was a folk instrument played largely by commoners. At the turn of the twentieth century, European emigrants took the …

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National Folk Festival: September 11-13, Greensboro, NC

First held in 1934, the National Folk Festival is the oldest multicultural festival of traditional arts in the nation. It is a traveling festival produced in partnership with communities around …

Sights & Sounds

Danny Knicely and Jack Dunlap

Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley has long been fertile ground for the development of old-time and bluegrass music, and the Knicelys are one of its most prominent musical families. Multi-instrumentalist A. O. …

Sights & Sounds

Sherman Holmes and Whitney Nelson

The Holmes brothers, of Virginia’s Middle Peninsula, have been performing a joyous and moving blend of blues, gospel, soul, rhythm and blues, rock ‘n’ roll, and country for fifty years. …

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There’s Something Spiritual about Watermelon Park

The Virginia Folklife Program has forged a wonderful partnership with Watermelon Park Fest, September 24-27, in Berryville, Virginia. Home to one of the country’s first-ever bluegrass festivals, Watermelon Park is …

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Celebrating Youth “Tradition Bearers” and the Masters Who Taught Them at 2015 Richmond Folk Festival

Fans of the Richmond Folk Festival may notice a bit of a younger vibe at the Virginia Folklife Area this year. While the Virginia Folklife Program will continue to celebrate …