Sep 3, 2021
Meet some of the artists and musicians who will be at the National Folk Festival—one of America’s largest, most prestigious and longest-running celebrations of arts, culture, and heritage. A Great American Festival (celebrating it’s 80th year) Comes to Maryland’s Historic Eastern Shore. A free, large-scale three-day outdoor event, the National Folk Festival celebrates the roots, richness and variety of American culture. It features over 350 of the nation’s finest traditional musicians, dancers, craftspeople and other keepers of culture in performances, workshops, and demonstrations. Our first guest Sylvia Stephens, is a fourth-generation quilter in a family of celebrated quilters. Her mother, Mozell Benson was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship for quilting in 2001, the nation’s highest honor for traditional artists. Despite an interest from childhood in sewing, Sylvia was not inspired to take up quilting until her mother’s recognition. Through Alabama’s Folk Arts Apprenticeship Program, Sylvia was able to learn from her mother while also documenting and preserving her quilting techniques. She has taught others through workshops across Alabama and her participation as a master artist in the Maryland Traditions Apprenticeship Program. Next Guest, Grupo Rebolú are the preeminent Afro-Colombian ensemble in the United States, playing the rich, rhythmic, and undeniably danceable music of Colombia’s Caribbean coast. Founded by singer, composer, and gaitero Ronald Polo together with master percussionist Morris Cañate, the ensemble weaves indigenous and contemporary instruments into a vibrant expression of Afro-Colombian culture.