Wednesday, February 6, 2013

February Folk Music Festivals

Guest Blog: By Cecilie Wrye

Folk music consists of some of the very first music ever to be played.  The term ‘folk music’ is derived from the German term Volk, meaning “the people as a whole.”  Folk music includes the traditional music that was first played as well as the music genre that came to life in the 20th century.  There is no set time period to when this musical genre first began since traditional folk music is reported to have come from the uneducated, lower class which did not have classical training.

The music has been passed down through word of mouth and has most of the composers are now unknown as records were not kept (lyrics were not copyrighted, either).

Folk music reflects the customs and cultures of past generations and folk festivals which feature this kind of music keep those traditions alive today.  In recent decades there has been a sharp increase in the number of folk festivals that are offered each year around the world.

Here are a few of them:

+ San Francisco Bluegrass and Old-TimeFestival: This 14th annual festival is a 10-day festival offering 25 different shows (concerts, dances, children shows and workshops)  and 30+ different performers in 18 clubs and live music venues around the Bay Area. The festival honors old-time bluegrass music of the past as well as the rising stars.Date: February 7 – 17

+ Virginia Key Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance: Beginning in 1990 as way to  support the fight against AIDS, the Grassroots Festival has grown into an annual four-day music event. The festival offers a wide variety of musical genres that touch upon various elements of folk culture. Along with music, there are healing arts workshops,  yoga, crafts, dance, and a buffet of food choices. It all takes place in Miami, FL at the Virginia Key Beach Park. Date: February 21– 24

+ Cobargo Folk Festival: Even the land down under  (Australia)  celebrates the folk music culture. Known as “the best little folk festival in the country” this small town festival offers poetry and comedy shows featuring 200+ performers through out the weekend. It is located in the village of Cobargo on the far south coast of New South Wales in Australia. Date: February 22- 24

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