Nov 1, 2008

Our Fair City

The Richmond Folk Festival took place just three weeks ago, on a perfect Virginia weekend just like this one. While we had weather that dipped into the 30's this past week, today is 72 degrees without a cloud in the sky. Richmond is a great place to live, most of the year. And it is like Iceland, in that the weather changes before you have a chance to get tired of it! (Well, for 9 months of the year anyway. Summers aren't as changeable as I would like.)

Back to the festival... Richmond hosted the National Folk Festival in '05, '06 and '07. The National Folk Festival began in 1934 and is "the oldest multicultural festival in the nation.. .each National Folk Festival host city celebrates its own regional traditions and heritage [with] folklife demonstrations and exhibits"--and lots of music. Richmond chose to continue the festival, as have a number of previous host cities. This year the National Festival moved to Butte, Montana, but in Richmond we had another free Folk Festival that was just as fabulous as its predecessors.

Grupo Cimarrón

For one thing, we have the perfect location for a large festival of this kind. On the waterfront along the James River, right in downtown Richmond, is a area that is used for concerts throughout much of the year. Brown's Island, the historic Tredegar Iron Works (dating from the Civil War), and large, grassy areas with scattered trees all offer lovely views of the river and the city skyline.

We spent just one afternoon at the festival, which runs for two and a half days, with two evenings of performances as well. In the short time we were there we enjoyed performances by Nukariik (Inuit throat-singing sisters), Grupo Cimarrón (joropo music from Colombia), Ledward Kaapana and Mike Kaawa (Hawaiian guitar masters), Plena Libre (bomba y plena dance music from Puerto Rico), and Husnu Aydogdu & the Turkish Music Ensemble.

Ledward Kaapana and Mike Kaawa

What better way to spend the afternoon? We hope to see YOU in Richmond, October 9-11, 2009!


Professor Batty said...

... Off topic, but my copy of The Great Weaver From Kashmir just shipped...

Rose said...

Mine too! Is there any other topic?

Jon said...

The other topic. Led Kaapana came to Richmond?? WOW!

Rose said...

Yes, Hawaiian music is like a refrain in our little blog group, isn't it?