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Media Release

Published: 04/28/2008
CONTACT(s):
Erika Gerety, Albuquerque Folk Festival, 505-294-6909; Gary Libman, AFF, 505-867-8154; or Jane Blume, Desert Sky Communications, 505-294-1976

Albuquerque Folk Festival Celebrates 10th Year

Children’s Fiddle Contest, Main Stage Area Dance Floor, Dance Scramble Added
Albuquerque, NM. The Albuquerque Folk Festival celebrates its tenth year at EXPO New Mexico on Saturday, June 21, expecting to attract more than 3,000 music, dance and folk arts fans to participate and learn during a full day of 120+ non-stop performances, dancing and storytelling events, jam sessions, instrument and singing workshops, folk arts and crafts demonstrations, as well as three concurrent evening dances for the entire community, at 18 different venues throughout the grounds. Festivities begin at 10:00 a.m. (gates open at 9:30) and end at 11 p.m., with the three dances capping the day and starting at 7:30 p.m.
 
New attractions this year include:
•      A dance floor in the Main Stage area, allowing people to boogie to all performances at that venue.
•      The first-ever dance presentation on the Main Stage by a children’s group, Niños Flamencos (2 p.m.).
•      A “Dance Scramble,” which was added to enhance the Band Scramble that was introduced in 2007.
•      A first-ever children’s fiddle contest in the Li’l Folks tent. The winners in two age groups (up to 12 and 13-18) will perform on the Main Stage at 6:50 p.m., at the end of the Band Scramble contest.
 
   “We’ve hardly ever had a dance performance on the Main Stage, and these kids are wonderful!” says Festival Director Erika Gerety. “We wanted to include more young people in these featured performances, and we’re thrilled to have these talented child students from the National Institute of Flamenco’s National Conservatory of Flamenco Arts.”
      Co-Director Gary Libman says that Festival goers can look forward to Main Stage debuts by Autoharp Hall of Famer and master storyteller Bryan Bowers (performing at 3 p.m.), and The Wilders, who hearken back to the early formative years of recorded country music (onstage at 4 p.m.).
      For nearly three decades, Bryan Bowers has been to the autoharp what Earl Scruggs was to the five-string banjo. He combines instrumental virtuosity with personal warmth, eloquence, expression and professionalism. Performances by The Wilders consist of classic country favorites - heard in the early days of the Grand Ol’ Opry radio show - peppered with original country, bluegrass, hillbilly songs, and fiddle tunes. “This band has burned up concerts and festivals across the nation and beyond, leaving delighted and exhausted crowds in their wake,” Libman notes.
 
Also making their Festival Main Stage debuts will be:
•      Le Chat Lunatique from Albuquerque, who play a combination of Gypsy Swing, Western Swing and anything else they please (11 a.m.).
•      Los Primos, who won Albuquerque The Magazine’s 2006 “Best of the City” award in the Mariachi Band category. Their music, although it includes mariachi songs and instruments, transcends the mariachi genre with a unique melding of old and new musical styles, combining both traditional and non-traditional Latin music (Noon).
•      Native American folk stories and songs from Mike Lopez with traditional flute from Richard Hardy. Singer/songwriter Mike Lopez tells compelling stories through his original songs that reflect his life, family and surroundings. He was born and raised in Santa Barbara, California, and is part Chumash of the Kalawashaq Village. Richard Hardy, from Fraser, Colorado, who is part Cherokee, plays the Lakota Native American flute, alto and bamboo flute, and penny whistle (5 p.m.).
 
      Additionally, the Festival is bringing back The Jenny Vincent Trio to the Main Stage (1 p.m. appearance).  Jenny Wells Vincent has been a favorite in Northern New Mexico’s Spanish folk music scene since 1936, and was named a New Mexico “Living Treasure” for her music and cultural preservation work. Her recordings include Spanish American Children's Songs (solo), Musica para una Fiesta (Trio de Taos), and Spanish American Dance Tunes of New Mexico (Jenny Vincent Trio).
      The Main Stage performances close with a Band and Dance Scramble at 6 p.m., “which will give musicians and dancers of all levels a chance to be a Main Stage Performer,” says Libman. “The deal is you put your name and the instrument you play or the style you dance in the hat, and we’ll put together some randomly organized bands with dancers to accompany them. You’ll have about 45 minutes to put together two numbers and a band name, learn the tunes and be ready to perform them.”
      The three concurrent dances at 7:30 p.m. are a Barn Dance Under the Stars, hosted by the Albuquerque Swing and Country Dance Club and with music by South by Southwest; a FolkMADS Contra Dance with live music by the Albuquerque Megaband (introductory instruction for beginners at 7:30 p.m.); and an African dance.
 
Festival attendees can also look forward to:
•      Performances on two additional stages, featuring metro area Balkan, Scandinavian, Irish, gypsy, swing and bluegrass groups.
•      Showcases for intimate performances by local singer/songwriters.
•      Five workshop tents with topics ranging from song writing, throat singing and Klezmer music to harmonica and a special autoharp session with Bryan Bowers.
•      Two dance areas, with volunteers teaching both international (Hawaiian, Argentine Tango, Klezmer, Irish, Tango, Scandinavian, Scottish, African and Middle Eastern) and traditional American (contra, square, and country western swing).
•      Special areas for storytelling and other activities for “Li’l Folks,” including sing-alongs, dancing, fiddling and harp playing.
•      Jams of all sorts: Hosted jams, freeform jams and “Jam with the Band” – in addition to the Band Scramble contest.
•      Demonstrations and hands-on experiences with quilt and lace making, sewing, crocheting, beading, woodcarving and other folk crafts for both children and adults.
     
   The Festival has a special checkroom on site to allow players of any level to feel free to leave their instruments in a safe place while they enjoy other activities.
      Admission is $10 in advance for adults only; advance tickets can be purchased in Albuquerque at Baum’s Music, 292-0707; Encore Music, 888-0722; Apple Mountain Music and Harp Shop, 237-2048; Marc’s Guitar Center, 265-3315; Bally Dun Celtic Treasures, 881-0980; Grandma’s Music and Sound, 292-0341; Music Go Round, 875-0100; and Music Mart, 889-9777. The Rio Rancho ticket outlet is Baum’s Music, 994-1108. Santa Fe outlets are High Desert Guitars, 505-983-1908, and Santa Fe Music and Piano, 505-989-9163. Taos residents should contact Taos Sound Tape and CD, (575) 758-0323.
      Gate prices are $15 for adults, $5 for seniors 60+ and children 11-17. Children under the age of 11 will be admitted free of charge. Evening dance tickets only are $10 for the public and $7 for FolkMADS members. In-and-out parking passes may be purchased from EXPO’s parking lot attendants for $6.00.
      Detailed information is available from the website, www.abqfolkfest.org, by email at info@abqfolkfest.org, or by telephone, 505-255-6027.
      The Albuquerque Folk Festival is a non-profit, 501(c) (3) organization that began as part of the City of Albuquerque’s Arts in the Park program in 1999, and moved to Expo New Mexico in 2001. This year, the event has received financial support from New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts; the City of Albuquerque’s Urban Enhancement Trust Fund and Cultural Services Department; Mayor Martin Chavez; the Albuquerque Office of Economic Development, and the Folk Music and Dance Society (FolkMADS)
 
Note: Interviews, press packets, and photos are available upon request from Jane Blume, Desert Sky Communications, 294-1976, jblume@desertskycommunications.com.
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