Sights & Sounds

Richmond Folk Festival Bolivian Parade: A Feast for the Senses

The 2015 Richmond Folk Festival was nothing short of glorious: great weather, enthusiastic crowds, and excellent music, food, and crafts. A highlight of the festival was the parade of Bolivian …

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

Remembering Norman Amos: Master Carver

The Virginia Folklife Program was saddened to hear of the passing of Norman Amos, of Callands, Virginia, just shy of his ninetieth birthday. We first got acquainted with Norman through …

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 …

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

Jim Bordwine and Baron Bordwine

Nestled in the southern Appalachian Mountains, Saltville is named for its unusually high number of salt marshes, or, as locals call them, salt licks. Saltville’s natural salt deposits have influenced …

Sights & Sounds

Rick Green and Jon Butler

Blacksmithing was among the first craft trades Europeans brought to the New World; in fact, a blacksmith was among the original group of 104 settlers that the Virginia Company of …

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 …

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. …

Sights & Sounds

Remembering Maggie Ingram

It is with great sadness that we share the news that evangelist Maggie Ingram passed away yesterday, June 23, 2015. While she will be missed beyond words, she passed peacefully surrounded …

Sights & Sounds

Remembering Joe Wilson

It is with deep sadness that we relay the news that Joe Wilson, tireless advocate for the traditional arts both here and abroad, passed away at the age of 77. …

Sights & Sounds

HoustonFest Recap: Listen to Doyle Lawson, Jesse McReynolds, and Chuck Wagon Gang Workshop

The Virginia Folklife Program sponsored and participated in the fifth annual HoustonFest in Galax, Virginia, on May 1 and 2. HoustonFest commemorates the life of Houston Caldwell, a bluegrass banjo …

Apply for an Apprenticeship

Virginia Folklife Apprenticeships will begin on May 1, 2020 and run through May 1, 2021. The application deadline for this cycle is January 31, 2020.