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 …

Sights & Sounds

Apprenticeship Spotlight: Sherman Holmes and Whitney Nelson

By Jon Lohman, Virginia State Folklorist One of my fondest memories of the 2014 Folklife Apprenticeship Showcase was the sight of members of participating master artists the Holmes Brothers sitting …

Sights & Sounds

Hot Pickers Workshop: Richmond Folk Festival

The Virginia Folklife Program has spent the last 25 years documenting Virginia’s rich cultural heritage. We even have our own YouTube channel featuring hundreds of performances by traditional artists. Did …

News

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 …

Sights & Sounds

Rev. Frank Newsome at home

On a recent field recording trip to southwest Virginia we stopped by and checked on Rev. Frank Newsome at his Haysi home. If you’ve never heard the Reverend’s voice, some …

Sights & Sounds

Old Recordings Found

Digging around in our archive recently we came across a trove of Betamax and U-matic video tapes from the early 90s. We dusted of the old tape deck and had …

News

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 …

News

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 …