Winnipeg Folk Festival Celebrates 31 Years

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This year marks the 31st anniversary of the legendary Winnipeg Folk Festival, widely considered the granddaddy of North American folk festivals with a reputation for pushing the boundaries of “folk music.” Twenty-two Manitoba artists will join in the annual celebration at a musical gathering that has an established tradition of supporting and developing the best in local talent.

The Festival also continues its tradition of inviting some of the most respected and innovative artists in a variety of genres. This year’s festivities include such artists as Cuban world music supergroup Buena Vista Social Club, singer/songwriter Sarah Harmer, English folk legend Martin Carthy, American instrumentalist David Lindley, Blues great Taj Mahal, bluegrass icon Earl Scruggs, celtic genre-benders Shooglenifty, and contemporary folksters Andy Stochansky, Holland’s The Nits, and Spirit of the West. Over 250 artists will take over six workshop stages, children’s area and Main Stage in three days and four nights of incredible music.

The list of local artists has as much variety as the international list. From the bluegrass of Dry River Boys and House of Doc to the contemporary traditional sounds of The Duhks and Granger et Dugas to the singer/songwriters Greg MacPherson, Dan Frechette, Brandy Zdan & Dave Quanbury and folk darlings The Wailin’ Jennys, audiences will witness some incredible musical moments. Guitarist Art Turner will make his third appearance while the children’s area will be overrun by the likes of jj the juggling fool, Small Rooms, Kanicosa, Damien Lussier, and LuLu and the TomCat. Metis performer Ted Longbottom returns to workshop stage while blues trio The Perpetrators will make their debut performance this year.

With performances running concurrently with Main Stage, The Firefly Palace promises to offer some unique programming for those whose taste runs a little edgier. Crumbs Improv, DJ Hunnicutt, Greg MacPherson, Ted Longbottom, Toronto’s Ember Swift, and Australia’s Xavier Rudd will offer a different take on folk festival music and short films and animation from the Winnipeg Film Group and the National Film Board will provide a new experience for festival goers on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

Committed to fostering new talent, the Festival presents the fifth year of the Great-West Life Young Performers Program. After taking master classes with performers from this year’s Festival, musicians between the ages of 14 and 20 will showcase their talents on a daytime stage Friday of the Festival, sharing their skills with receptive audiences eager to see new artists.

2004 Winnipeg Folk Festival Manitoba Performers:
Crumbs Improv
Dry River Boys
The Duhks
Dan Frechette
Granger et Dugas
House of Doc
DJ Hunnicutt
Indian Pearl Productions
Dean Jenkinson
jj the juggling fool
Kanicosa
Winnipeg International Childrens Festival
Ted Longbottom
LuLu and the TomCat
Damien Lussier
Greg MacPherson
Rick McNair
PapHijo
The Perpetrators
Small Rooms
Art Turner
The Wailin’ Jennys
Brandy Zdan & Dave Quanbury

Find out about ticket prices, performers’ schedules, and more at: www.winnipegfolkfestival.com.

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