THE 43RD KENT STATE FOLK FESTIVAL FILLS NE OHIO WITH MUSIC
Wednesday October 7, 2009
The 43rd Kent State Folk Festival continues a tradition of bringing together legends of folk and roots music with innovative artists breaking on to the scene. Festival events run from Nov. 5 through 14 and all mainstage shows will again take place at the Kent Stage in downtown Kent. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Kent Stage, Woodsy’s Music and Spin-More Records, by phone at (330) 677-5005 and online at www.KentStage.org. The free workshops will be held in the Kent State University Student Center.
This year promises riveting moments of sound, heart-touching introspection, cultural expansion, fun and excitement. The Kent Stage in downtown Kent is nationally known for bringing the top names in folk to Northeast Ohio. Its intimate auditorium gives every audience member a chance to fully engage with the concert experience. Tickets for this year’s roots music celebration are priced affordably to encourage patrons of all ages to attend multiple events.
Drawing on the success of last year’s performance by the Korean National University of Arts Music Ensemble, the 43rd KSFF kicks off with Puerto Rican musical treasure Edwin Colón Zayas. In September of this year, Colón (a virtuoso on the tiple and cuatro) was awarded a prestigious National Heritage Fellowship, the country’s highest honor in folk and traditional arts. He will be joined on Nov. 5 by members of his Puerto Rican ensemble, Rondalla Puerto Rico from Dayton and Cleveland’s Isla del Encanto Folkloric Dance Troupe.
Singer/songwriter Greg Brown and guitar master Jorma Kaukonen represent two generations of roots music. Kaukonen, an original member of Rock Hall inductee Jefferson Airplane, was inspired in his youth by early 20th century jug bands and he revisited early Americana when he formed his band Hot Tuna. He now owns and operates a guitar camp in Southern Ohio. Brown took early appearances on “A Prairie Home Companion” and established himself as a strong voice of the American Midwest. Kaukonen and Brown share a bill on Nov. 6.
One of the true masters of bluegrass, Grammy Award-winner Del McCoury is now finding new fans for his traditional approach with appearances at events like the Newport Folk Festival and topical CDs that include 2008’s “Moneyland.” McCoury added his high lonesome sound to Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys before striking out on his own. The current award-winning band that takes the Kent Stage on Nov. 7 includes sons Rob and Ronnie (eight-time IBMA winner for mandolin), Alan Bartram and Jason Carter (three-time IBMA fiddle winner). Their many prizes from the International Bluegrass Music Association include being named Entertainer of the Year nine times.
Old Crow Medicine Show blends the infectious energy of a jam band with the old-time instrumentation of bluegrass on Nov. 11. Since coming together in 1998, the band’s trajectory has been nothing but up, drawing huge numbers of fans who love their music – including fellow artists Emmylou Harris and Norah Jones. Along with making regular stops on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion,” Old Crow Medicine Show tours regularly with appearances at festivals including MerleFest, Bonnaroo, Telluride Bluegrass Festival and more.
Anyone who regularly listens to “All Songs Considered” from NPR Music should be familiar with Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros (NPR’s Stephen Thompson said from SXSW, “You will fall in love with this band.”). A band that was created for live performance, the 10-person ensemble is a raucous celebration of musical exploration. Formed when frontman Alex Ebert met Jade Castrinos in Los Angeles, the group has at its heart a hippie-infused, joyful spirit. Everyone is invited to share the love explosion on Nov. 12.
What is quickly becoming a regional favorite, Folk Alley ‘Round Town turns all of Kent into a roots music showcase. A variety of styles and artists come together to present free concerts at more than 30 venues throughout the day on Nov. 13. This year’s highlights include Woodstock veteran Country Joe McDonald at Water Street Tavern.
The 43rd Kent State Folk Festival concludes on Nov. 14 with the traditional free workshops and a mainstage performance of Banjo Dance. More of a music event than a concert, Rhythm in Shoes’ production of Banjo Dance seamlessly melds together traditional Appalachian dance styles and music featuring the banjo and other roots music instruments. The up-tempo celebration in song and dance tells the story of immigrants from the British Isles and Africa who used their music to express their personal and emotional journeys – from joy to sorrow – after starting new lives in Southern Appalachia. Banjo Dance is a perfect musical experience for the entire family.
Tickets for all concerts presented during the 43rd Kent State Folk Festival are now on sale through the Kent Stage – (330) 677-5005 or KentStage.org – or in person at Woodsy’s Music and Spin-More in Kent. Band bios, ticket information, links and more are available online at www.WKSU.org. The Kent State Folk Festival has a fan page on Facebook and can be followed on Twitter @KentFolkFest.
The line-up for the 43rd Kent State Folk Festival (all concerts at the Kent Stage unless otherwise noted):
Thursday, Nov. 5 at 8 p.m.: Masters of Puerto Rican Roots Music featuring Edwin Colón Zayas & Friends with Grupo Isla del Encanto folkloric dance troupe – $10 general admission tickets, free for students with valid ID.
Friday, Nov. 6 at 8 p.m.: Greg Brown and Jorma Kaukonen – $25 reserved, $45 gold circle.
Saturday, Nov. 7 at 8 p.m.: The Del McCoury Band with Sarah Jarosz – $30 reserved, $50 gold circle.
Wednesday, Nov. 11 at 8 p.m.: Old Crow Medicine Show – $30 general admission ($35 day of show).
Thursday, Nov. 12 at 8 p.m.: Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros with Family of the Year – $12 general admission.
Friday, Nov. 13 (various times): Folk Alley ‘Round Town (35+ venues throughout Kent) featuring a special appearance by Country Joe McDonald – FREE
Saturday, Nov. 14, noon-5 p.m.: Workshops (KSU Student Center) – FREE
Saturday, Nov. 14, 5 to 6 p.m.: Talent Contest (KSU KIVA) – FREE
Saturday, Nov. 14 at 8 p.m.: Rhythm in Shoes presents Banjo Dance with Dala – $20 reserved, WKSU members 50% off with member card, $5 for students with valid ID.
Festival support is provided by Kent State University, the City of Kent, Cascade Auto Group, Dominion East Ohio, Marc’s and Kashi, Great Lakes Brewing Co., Lehman’s, Continental Airlines, PARTA, Audio Technica, and Omnova Solutions.
WKSU broadcasts NPR & Classical Music at 89.7 FM, and is a service of Kent State University. WKSU programming is also heard on WKRW 89.3 FM in Wooster, WKRJ 91.5 FM in Dover/New Philadelphia, WKSV 89.1 FM in Thompson, WNRK 90.7 in Norwalk, W298BA 107.5 FM in Boardman, and W239AZ 95.7 FM in Ashland. The station broadcasts three HD Radio channels – adding WKSU-2 Folk Alley and WKSU-3 The Classical Channel to the analog broadcast schedule. The Classical Channel can also be heard in Cleveland at 107.3 HD-3. The WKSU web site is www.wksu.org.
PR09.18 ### 10/7/09
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