PHOTO: Scene from a past Shawano Folk Music Festival concert in Mielke Arts Center.
The event is a broad mix of music, dance and activities.
Fine artists and crafters line the
The phrase "folk music" encompasses so much that the festival organizers take a stab at a definition that goes like this:
" 'Folk music' is as hard to define as other kinds of music.
We define it as music that comes directly from the culture and experiences of
people, rather than coming from or through commercial interests. It includes
much of the music we all know - but we can't quite say where we learned it. It
tends to be acoustic - but not always. It can involve a lot of audience
participation - but not always. It can be very old music (decades and centuries
old) - but not always (it could be music that was written last week). It's old
favorites, sing-alongs, blues, bluegrass, jazz, children's music, ballads,
dance tunes and silly songs. It's music that comes out of the culture of
Appalachia, the American West, American cities, the
Friday and Saturday evening concerts are held inside air-conditioned center, with four or five acts each night.
Saturday and Sunday daytime programs include music, dance,
children's programs, craft demos, sing-alongs, and instruction on four outdoor
stages in Shawano's
The event goes on rain or shine.
The festival is sponsored by the Shawano County Arts Council and is produced by volunteers.
The concert schedule:
Friday, Aug. 9
- Emcee: Matt Watroba, the 2013 honorary co-director, www.mattwatroba.com
- Lou & Peter Berryman, often comical songs of
- Mike Mangione & the Union, folk-rock, gospel and blues
- Joe Crookston, from
- Caravan Gypsy Swing Ensemble, swing, peppered with jazz, standards and originals, www.gypsyswing.com
Saturday, Aug. 10
- Emcees: Lou & Peter Berryman
- Matt Watroba
- Frogwater, John and Susan Nicholson with music that spans styles from Celtic to Delta blues, classical to pop, www.frogwater.us
- Tonantzin Mexican Dance Company, dances and colorful
costumes from the Aztec empire and
- Stas Venglevski and Mischa Litvin, Russian folk tunes, classical music and more, played on the bayan and domra, www.stasv.com
Also appearing at the festival are, Clinton Miller, guitarist, composer, singer and visual artist, www.clintonjmiller.com; John Doxtator, country, bluegrass, folk and old-time music from Gresham; Kay Kuester-Doran, teacher of folk dances from the Americas and around the world; Cliff Ellertson, a familiar voice in Shawano folk music, with his twist on country and folk; 50% Folk, singing old favorites.
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