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Arts & Entertainment

Friday Cheers Release 2022 Artists

It’s rainy and grey but here’s a ray of sunshine for your musical heart. This year’s Friday Cheers is out and you have something to look forward to this spring.

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Presented by Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, Friday Cheers celebrates its 37th anniversary as the longest-running concert series in Richmond. The 2022 Friday Cheers season will showcase some of the nation’s hottest touring bands and all-time regional favorites like Japanese Breakfast, Cory Wong, Matthew E. White and many more! You’ve got two options for tickets, the season pass for $50 which you can get here. It’s a bargain but if you only want to catch a couple of acts buy individual tickets for $10 in advance here. The price will be $15 at the door.

May 6th – Japanese Breakfast with Abby Huston

Japanese Breakfast

A solo moniker for Philadelphia musician Michelle Zauner, Japanese Breakfast is known for her artfully experimental, deeply intimate brand of indie pop. Taking a break from her band Little Big League, she debuted in 2013 with the melodically lo-fi cassette release June. Along with further work with Little Big League, she has continued to expand her sonic palette, weaving in atmospheric synths, electric guitars, and electronics on 2016’s Psychopomp and 2017’s Soft Sounds from Another Planet. In 2021, Zauner hit number two on the New York Times nonfiction best-seller list with her memoir, Crying in H Mart, which found her exploring her Korean heritage in the wake of her mother’s death from cancer. On the heels of her memoir, Japanese Breakfast released a companion album, Jubilee. Also that year, she supplied the score to the video game Sable. – Matt Collar

Songs to Check Out: Be Sweet

​If you like Talking Heads, Arcade Fire, St. Vincent, you’ll like Japanese Breakfast

Abby Huston

Abby Huston is an interdisciplinary artist based in Richmond, VA. They began playing the Richmond circuit when they were 19, debuting songs from what became the collaborative album Rich, which featured different instrumentalists from their favorite local bands on each track. Since their first release in 2018, they have been honored to open for acts like SALES, Crumb and Kate Bollinger. They are deeply pulled and moved by vocalists of all kinds, and as of 2020 has been an in-studio writer for some of their favorite local vocalists. In 2021, they were signed to Egghunt Records, original label of local legend Lucy Dacus. That year they released their first record to vinyl, the album AH HA, featuring the latest and greatest Richmond legend, and fellow Friday Cheers artist, Benét and their producer Not Kevin.

Songs to Check Out: L Train

​If you like Crumb, Raveena, Corrine Bailey Rae, you’ll like Abby Huston

May 13th – Cory Wong with Pharaoh Sistare

Cory Wong

Recognized for his high-speed improvisational skills, fun-loving performance spirit, and a flexible right wrist, guitarist Cory Wong had a multifaceted music career in his base of Minneapolis, Minnesota before becoming better known for regular guest spots as rhythm guitarist for Ann Arbor R&B/funk outfit Vulfpeck in the mid-2010s. Often incorporating intricate, percussive picking into his rhythm playing, his style merges acoustic and electric techniques gleaned from years invested in both. Wong’s second solo LP, a set of lighthearted jazz-funk titled The Optimist, debuted in the Top 20 of the Billboard Jazz Albums chart upon its release in 2018. He picked up a Grammy-nomination for his 2020 collaboration with Jon Batiste, Meditations, and returned in 2021 with another collaboration, Golden Hour, with saxophonist Dave Koz. – Marcy Donelson

Songs to Check Out: Golden

​If you like Vulfpeck, Snarky Puppy, Dave Koz, you’ll like Cory Wong

Pharaoh Sistare

Pharaoh Sistare grew up in Richmond, Virginia, surrounded by influences that would directly impact his sound. You can feel the power of the greats like Michael Jackson, Prince, and James Brown in his vintage laced songs, but his love of Golden Age movies and dancers like Fred Astaire and Bob Fosse brings another dimension to his music and style. Sistare took to music production fast, but after spending his time creating beats for other artists, he stepped into his own path. The stellar production on his songs instantly hooks you. While you can quickly sense the nostalgic inspiration, there’s so much going on in each track. His music transports you to a specific place and time, whether that’s a beach party in the 60s, a disco dance floor, or an enchanted forest. Sistare says, “I like taking myself to such places in my imagination when I make beats or hear music from artists like Esquivel. He’s a big inspiration in that area.” He creates worlds around each song. At the core of each track is that danceable element. He says, “I think people should dance more. I want to make music that makes you want to dance and feel good.” With only four singles out yet, he’s amassed over 30k streams on Spotify. Sistare is showing off his prowess as a young artist, only going up from here. He plans on releasing a video for “Strobe Light” in April before releasing his debut EP “Once Upon a Groove.” – EARMILK

Songs to Check Out: Strobe Light

​If you like Michael Jackson, Prince, James Brown, you’ll like Pharaoh Sistare

May 27th – RVA Music Night with Matthew E. White, Benét and The Last Real Circus

Matthew E. White

Drawing from a deep well of regional influences like Randy Newman, Allen Toussaint, and Alan Lomax, Richmond, Virginia-based singer/songwriter/arranger Matthew E. White specializes in a meticulously crafted blend of reggae-infused folk-gospel, Tropicalia, swirling indie pop, and Stax-era R&B. The founder of the Spacebomb label and management group, White has collaborated with like-minded artists such as Megafaun, Sharon Van Etten, the Mountain Goats, Ken Vandermark, and Justin Vernon, as well as toured and recorded as the leader of avant-garde jazz band Fight the Big Bull. He made his solo debut with the innovative Big Inner in 2012 and saw U.K. chart success with 2015’s Fresh Blood. He issued his third solo effort, the reliably eclectic K Bay, in 2021, and has released full-lengths with Flo Morrissey (2017’s Gentlewoman, Ruby Man) and Lonnie Holley (2021’s Broken Mirror: A Selfie Reflection). – James Christopher Monger

Songs to Check Out: Look at What the Light Did Now

​If you like Sly & the Family Stone, Carol King, King Tubby, you’ll like Matthew E. White

Benét

From a young age, Benét was drawn to creative means of expression, immersing themselves in their local scene and dipping their toes in mediums across the board. Fast forward to 21 years old, Benét is acutely aware of the ways their upbringing, both in Virginia and on the Internet have impacted their music. Social media has not only informed the way they create, but who they create with. Connecting with artists online has allowed them to expand their musical bounds, and make friends along the way. Previous releases from Benét include “Stan Account” a double single released last year with Richmond-imprint Citrus City.

Songs to Check Out: Funny

​If you like Cautious Clay, Omar Apollo, Faye Webster, you’ll like Benét

The Last Real Circus

The Last Real Circus are an Indie rock band based out of Richmond, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Members include: Jason Farlow (Lead Vocals, Guitar) Ian Atchison (Piano & Synthesizer/Sound Engineer, Kevin Vorhis (Drums & Percussion/Sound Engineer), John Liebenthal (Bass), Michael Lamp (Lead Guitar). The band has quickly gained a big following with loyal fans from all over, with their soulful heartbeat singles, “Chaplin’s Life,” and “Nottoway.” With the addition of their new originals “Diana (Ooh La La)”, “Hard Times“ and “Stoned (On A Different Kind of Love)” to the set list, The Last Real Circus are coming into their own as an act! Currently, The Last Real Circus are coming off of last year’s tour, along with adding some additional members to the band during the break. They are known for their energetic stage presence, storytelling and overall musicianship.

Songs to Check Out: Nottoway

​If you like The Lumineers, Shovels and Rope, Kings of Leon, you’ll like The Last Real Circus

June 3rd – Bombino with Pachyman

Bombino

Meditative and earthy, Niger-based musician Bombino conjures the expansiveness of the Sahara landscape with his dazzling guitar work and entrancing vocals. Championed by the Rolling Stones before he’d even released an album, he embraced the nomadic nature of his Tuareg roots and throughout the 2010s recorded a series of critically lauded albums in various locations around the world including Nashville, Niger, New York, and Morocco. Infusing his mesmeric desert blues with hints of psychedelia and American traditions, Bombino continued to build his reputation with albums like Nomad and Deran, the latter of which earned him a 2019 Grammy nomination. He released his first live outing in 2020. – Chrysta Cherrie

Songs to Check Out: Tamiditine

​If you like Tinariwen, Songoy Blues, Mdou Moctar, you’ll like Bombino

Pachyman

Under the name Pachyman, Puerto Rican singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Pachy García crafts rugged, old-school dub, dancehall, and roots reggae in the tradition of pioneers like Scientist and Lee “Scratch” Perry. Based in Los Angeles, Pachyman issued a pair of independent records in 2019 and 2020 before signing with ATO Records, which released The Return of Pachyman the following year. – Timothy Monger

Songs to Check Out: Guy Goodwin

​If you like Scientist, Sly & Robbie, King Tubby, you’ll like Pachyman

June 10th – Goth Babe with Kenneka Cook

Goth Babe

Goth Babe is Griff Washburn enjoying himself. Originally from Tennessee, Griff currently lives in a Tiny House with his pup Sadie in the mountains of Washington. When not on the road touring, Griff and Sadie are off enjoying the outdoors in the great Pacific Northwest. Snow, surf, and trails are plenty to occupy them in their offseason. Griff has seemed to have picked up on the brighter parts of life. Parting ways with social status and relevance, he’s discovered how wonderful living day by day is. Making music to Griff is less a climb to the top, as it is a form of free thinking and enjoyment.

Songs to Check Out: Weekend Friend

​If you like Hippo Campus, MGMT, Louis the Child, you’ll like Goth Babe

Kenneka Cook

Growing up in Richmond, VA, she was obsessed with the moon, staring out her window at the night sky in awe of its mystery. Her debut record Moonchild (2018 on American Paradox) is both a product of her intense connection with the cosmos, as well as a tribute to the embracing of celestial feminine energy. Musically, Cook bridges the gap between beat-driven sonics and melodic jazz in a brazenly colorful debut album. Cook’s early training took place in church choir and school chorus. Her tastes eventually shifted towards heavyweights like Billie Holiday, Erykah Badu, and The Cardigans, informing her confidently playful, harmony-heavy, atmospheric style. Initially she was making acapella songs with a microphone and laptop in college out of necessity, describing her voice as “the only instrument I truly had access to” at the time. She discovered live looping through Reggie Watts and honed her looping skills by arranging old jazz standards. From there, she began to fully explore writing and creating music, welcoming a variety of live players into the fold to flush out and widen her solo arrangements. Moonchild is a glimpse through Cook’s lens, exhibiting heartfelt lyrics and melodic themes on spirituality, technology, and social interaction.

Songs to Check Out: Don’t Ask Me

​If you like Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Moses Sumney, you’ll like Kenneka Cook

June 17th – Cory Henry with Shormey

Cory Henry

Brooklyn born Cory Henry is a R&B/soul artist, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, songwriter and producer who, as a child prodigy, began playing the piano and organ at the age of 2. At the age of 6, her made his debut at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York. In 2012, he joined the experimental jazz and funk ensemble Snarky Puppy, with whom he won a 2014 Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance and a 2015 Grammy for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album. He left the group in 2018 to pursue his solo career; his debut independent album, Art of Love, was released that same year, followed by his sophomore effort Something to Say in October 2020.

Songs to Check Out: Happy Days

​If you like Snarky Puppy, Tank & the Bangas, Jacob Collier, you’ll like Cory Henry

Shormey

Shormey is the recording project of Virginia native Shormey Adumuah. She frequently draws inspiration from the sonic influences of 70’s disco, soul, and psychedelic music. It’s all exemplified in The Boogie Tape Vol. 1, Shormey’s first cassette project released via Citrus City Records. Staying true to the relaxed and carefree vibes of the tape, Shormey recorded the entire project within the confines of her bedroom. This tape is a testament to her desire to create music that doesn’t put any pressure on the listener to feel any one particular feeling, but to just enjoy it as an upbeat experience.

Songs to Check Out: Boogie Island

​If you like Toro y Moi, Crumb, Washed Out, you’ll like Shormey

June 24th – 49 Winchester with Cassidy Snider & The Wranglers

49 Winchester

Alt-country soul from the heart of Appalachia in Russell County, VA. 49 Winchester delivers the poetically straightforward songs of singer/guitarist Isaac Gibson in a soulful electric live show. Rock & roll with roots planted firmly in the traditions of mountain music. “Gibson and his compatriots have made it a point to keep to the basics, be it a blazing combination of drive and defiance, or tears-in-their-beers balladry flush with seething emotion. That’s especially true on the band’s latest outing III, a confident collection that gives voice to the band’s pure, unfettered intents.” – American Songwriter

Songs to Check Out: Everlasting Lover

​If you like Tyler Childers, Sturgil Simpson, Margo Price, you’ll like 49 Winchester

Cassidy Snider & The Wranglers

Cassidy Snider & The Wranglers is a band with roots firmly planted in the riverbank soil of Richmond, Virginia. Led by the traveling troubadour, Cassidy Snider, this folk outlet is a grassy assortment of her wanderlust-filled soul with sounds of the New Orleans bayou, the blue ridge mountains, and every accent between. From dive bar corners to venue bright lights, each song kicks dirt off the dance floor with story-filled twang. Blending genres, yet always tinged in Cassidy’s blues, they have developed a unique sound that morphs the musical styles of the American past with a voicing that can only be sung by this band’s bright future.

Songs to Check Out: Devil Tracks

​If you like JJ Cale, Wanda Jackson, Etta James, you’ll like Cassidy Snider & The Wranglers

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

Arts & Entertainment

VMFA announces Richmond Sessions ’22–’23 Recording Artists

The series spotlighting revered guitarists will kick off on October 12th on YouTube.

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The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) announced today that its Richmond Sessions ’22–’23 series, featuring recorded studio sessions by more than a dozen recognized guitarists, will launch online October 12, 2022. In conjunction with the museum’s highly anticipated exhibition Storied Strings: The Guitar in American Art, a new recording will be released every other week through March 2023. Richmond Sessions ’22–’23 videos will be hosted on VMFA’s YouTube channel and linked on the museum’s website.

On view at VMFA from October 8, 2022, to March 19, 2023, Storied Strings: The Guitar in American Art will explore the guitar as a visual subject, enduring symbol and storyteller’s companion. Strummed everywhere from parlors and front porches to protest rallies and rock arenas, the guitar also appears far and wide in American art. Its depictions enable artists and their human subjects to address topics that otherwise go untold or under-told.

“Inspired by the famous Bristol Sessions of 1927, which are regarded as the origins of commercial country music, Richmond Sessions ’22–’23 will be a unique extension of the museum’s exhibition,” said Dr. Leo G. Mazow, VMFA’s Louise B. and J. Harwood Cochrane Curator of American Art and exhibition organizer. “With such multifaceted and expressive possibilities, a guitar is as meaningful to see and hear as it is fun to play.”

Taped in an impressive, fully functioning recording studio constructed within VMFA’s Storied Strings exhibition, Richmond Sessions ’22–’23 will feature an eclectic roster of musicians, some with Virginia ties, representing a variety of genres including folk, jazz, blues, country and rock, played on acoustic and electric guitars.

The first Richmond Sessions ’22–’23 recording, featuring folk musician Lucy Kaplansky, will drop on October 12. Musicians slated to appear in future sessions include Wilco guitarist Nels Cline; guitarist, singer and songwriter Cat Dail and guitarist Felicia Collins (Late Show with David Letterman); internationally renowned guitarist Tommy Emmanuel; blues and roots guitarist Corey Harris; jazz guitarist Joel Harrison and multi-genre guitarist Anthony Pirog; The Long Ryders’ Stephen McCarthy (who has also toured and recorded with The Jayhawks) and The Bitter Liberals’ Charles Arthur; Retrosphere’s Seamus McDaniel; folk and blues guitarist Elizabeth Wise; and acoustic guitarist Yasmin Williams.

The recording studio will be fitted with quality equipment loaned by Digital Video Group and Ear Trumpet Labs, and premium microphones and monitors loaned by Sennheiser and Neumann. In partnership with VMFA, the award-winning Richmond-based recording studios In Your Ear will produce Richmond Sessions ’22–’23.

“In Your Ear is proud to partner with VMFA on this innovative and thoughtful project, and we’re excited to work with such accomplished musicians in the recording studio,” said Paul Bruski, Chief Engineer/Sound Designer at In Your Ear Studios. “We look forward to sharing Richmond Sessions ’22–’23 with museum visitors and listeners near and far.”

Special guitars by Virginia makers on display in the recording studio include a “Virginia Guitar” crafted from wood gathered throughout the Commonwealth by Wayne Henderson and two guitars from Huss & Dalton and Rockbridge Guitar Company.

To learn more about the Richmond Sessions ’22–’23 roster of musicians and upcoming recording release dates, visit www.VMFA.museum.

Will you help support independent, local journalism?

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Arts & Entertainment

Five Must See Richmond Folk Festival Acts

The goal is obviously to see them all but these are the ones we’re most excited to see.

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It’s my favorite weekend in Richmond. Performers throughout the world descend on Richmond for the Richmond Folk Festival and give us three days of free music. Every year I discover new sounds or styles I’ve never heard of and that discovery is great and I’m sure will happen again. This list is of bands that I know for sure I’ll be catching unless of course one of those surprises sucks me in. Fortunately, four of the five picks play multiple times.

Also, check out this Spotify list made by a friend of the Richmond Folk Festival that has most of the bands.

Son Rompe Pera – Punk Marimba and Cumbia

What happens when you take a punk band and set them in front of some traditional Mexican instruments? The answer is Son Rompe Pera.

NPR has a great article on their history.

After all, its members first cut their teeth as musicians in the streets, alongside neighbors and friends. They began performing nearly 20 years ago as a traditional marimba band led by their father José Gama Sr., who enlisted sons Kacho, Mongo and Kilos to flesh out the ensemble. Son Rompe Pera would frequently perform at weddings and private parties, running through cumbia, danzón and cha-cha-chá classics, and even a few pop-rock favorites by Timbiriche and El Tri.

As they grew up, the boys veered off into rock ‘n’ roll, playing in punk bands around Mexico City and Mexico State’s gritty underground. They continued performing with their father, but also got into skateboarding and psych music, soaking up experiences that expanded their worldview to reframe rock and cumbia as allied genres instead of foes. Tradition and modernity coexist peacefully within Son Rompe Pera, and cumbia is still very much its backbone. Even as the brothers’ love of punk and rockabilly began poking through their crisp guayaberas with colorful tattoos and coiffed, greaser hair, cumbia has always guided them back home.

Richmond Folk Festival Bio

Led by marimberos Kacho and Mongo Gama, who play the melody and bass parts, respectively, the group also features Kilos Gama on auxiliary percussion, Richi López on drums, and Raul Albarrán on bass guitar. Together, they bring a powerfully cathartic, playful energy to the stage, which is met with frenetic, ecstatic dancing—pulling everyone from cumbia dancers to metalheads onto the same dancefloor. “I always try to transform myself and be what I am, says Kacho. “I always try to get that across to the people.” The way Mongo sees it, “it’s all about sweat, energy, and cumbia.”

Saturday

  • 5:30 Dominion Energy Dance Pavilion
  • 8:30 Altria Stage

Sunday

  • 5:00 Altria Stage

 

 

79rs Gang – Black Masking Carnival Music

I love nearly anything out of New Orleans. When you combine dramatic costumes with a rich history and New Orleans funk, hip hop, and R&B you can’t go wrong.

Richmond Folk Festival Bio

“Masking” in New Orleans refers to “Black Masking Indians” or “Mardi Gras Indians” ceremonially stepping into the streets in their hand-sewn, three-dimensional feathered and beaded suits. Though exact origins are hard to pinpoint, since at least the 19th century Black New Orleanians have paid homage to Native Americans who assisted their enslaved ancestors on Mardi Gras—the final day of Carnival. Through a spectacular display of Afrocentric visual, musical, and theatrical arts, they represent their neighborhoods—moving through and confronting one another in city streets with tambourines and cowbells, and performing a shared canon of call-and-response chants that, over generations, has influenced virtually all of the city’s signature music traditions. The Wild Magnolias, a famous Black masking gang, made history in 1970 when Big Chiefs Bo Dollis and Monk Boudreaux added funk musicians on several game-changing records. Fifty years later in 2020, 79rs Gang changed the game again—releasing Expect the Unexpected, a groundbreaking record incorporating electronic elements and hip hop.

Saturday

  • 3:00 Altria Stage
  • 7:00 Dominion Energy Dance Pavilion

Sunday

  • 5:00 Dominion Energy Dance Pavilion

 

This one seems appropriate with the recent hurricane Ida that hit Florida so hard.

Scott Miller – Roots-rock Singer-songwriter

If I ever move out of Virginia, Scott Miller will be the one I turn to remind me of Virginia.  His skill as a songwriter manages to bring laughs, introspection, and more during a single set. He loves the history of Virginia but doesn’t glorify the lost cause.

Richmond Folk Festival Bio

Recently inducted to the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame, fiery roots-rock singer-songwriter Scott Miller returned to his native Virginia to tend the family farm while continuing to release and perform new music informed by that rural area, history, and Appalachia. The Staunton native first made a name for himself in the 1990s as guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter with the superb pop rock band the V-Roys before establishing himself as a gifted and eclectic solo artist, first with his ad hoc group the Commonwealth and later on his own. Miller is one of Virginia’s most vivid, storytelling songwriters known for his ability to explore the complexities that are often entangled with everyday emotions, sometimes spurred on by the troubles, travails and complexities of today’s world.

Saturday

  • 3:15 Center for Cultural Vibrancy Virginia Folklife Stage

 

Jesse Daniel – Honky Tonk

This will make you feel like you’re sitting in a bar in Texas sipping Lone Star and working up the nerve to dance with that lovely across the bar. Bring your cowboy boots and a well worn hat.

NPR featured Jesse for one of their Live Sessions

 Daniel’s time in the Golden State wasn’t always so inspirational. A punk-rock kid who cut his teeth in the dive bars and local clubs that dot the San Lorenzo Valley, he developed a taste not only for the road, but also for the substances that sometimes come with a life spent onstage. As times got harder, so did the vices. What followed was a period of addiction, arrests, jail time, and rehabilitation centers. Years later, after reclaiming his life by kicking those habits to the curb, Daniel shines a light on his darker days with Rollin’ On’s autobiographical songs. “Champion,” with its Mariachi influences and Tex-Mex twang, tells the story of an old drug-dealing acquaintance of Daniel’s, while “Old at Heart” contrasts his youthful appearance with a history of hard living. Elsewhere, Daniel contrasts the bright boot-scootin’ bounce, pedal steel guitar, and fiddle riffs that fill “Only Money, Honey” with a frank account of a working musician’s financial struggles, then recounts his hometown hell-raising during the lovely, waltzing “Son of the San Lorenzo.” Don’t mistake Rollin’ On for an album that glorifies Jesse Daniel’s outlaw-worthy past, though. Jail time isn’t street cred. Instead, Rollin’ On finds its frontman reveling in his newfound health and happiness, reflecting on the roadblocks of his past to show just how far he’s come. Playing a crucial role in that forward momentum is his musical and romantic partner Jodi Lyford, who co-wrote much of the album’s material and sings harmonies throughout.

Richmond Folk Festival Bio

Jesse Daniel has a story to tell, and there’s nothing quite like honky-tonk music for delivering tales about life, love, and hard times. At just 30 years old, he’s had a rocky journey and done a lot of living and learning, imbuing his music with a striking honesty and authenticity. With a strong foundation in the Bakersfield sound of his native California, Jesse writes classic country songs with heart and grit, marked with a rollicking, hard-driving sound all his own.

In the world of classic country, California has always been on the map. Dubbed “the Bakersfield sound,” the state’s signature style was developed in the 1950s in and around the city of Bakersfield, located about 100 miles north of Los Angeles. The area was the destination for many southern and midwestern Dust Bowl migrants, collectively known as “Okies,” who brought their country music with them. Partially a response to the more highly produced Nashville style of the ’50s, the Bakersfield sound combined early honky-tonk and western swing with elements of rock and roll. Popularized by artists like Buck Owens and Merle Haggard, it became one of the most influential country sounds of the 1960s, inspiring a honky-tonk revival and forming the basis for 1970s country rock and outlaw country.

Friday

  • 7:30 Dominion Energy Dance Pavilion

Saturday

  • 2:00 Altria Stage

Sunday

  • 2:30 Dominion Energy Dance Pavilion

Korean Performing Arts Institute of Chicago – Pungmul and Samulnori

This won’t be for everyone because the drums can be a little harsh sounding at first. Those that stick it out will be treated to a visual and sound feast. Ribbons and drums galore.

Richmond Folk Festival Bio

All the pageantry and vibrant energy of a harvest festival in rural Korea comes together in the flying footwork, brilliantly colored dress, and joyful percussion of pungmul, breathtakingly presented by the master artists of the Korean Performing Arts Institute of Chicago.

Pungmul has long been central to celebrations in Korean farming communities where traditional agriculture was a communal undertaking. In most towns, musicians encouraged farmers in the fields, blessed crops, and entertained at festivals. Combining percussion, singing, and dance, pungmul is known for celebratory, hours-long performances. Skilled musicians and dancers propel the event, playing complex rhythms, creating mesmerizing, multicolored circular patterns with the long single ribbon on their sangmo hats, and performing thrilling acrobatic feats—but pungmul also made space for all to participate by joining the dance or tapping on a hand-held sogo drum. Pungmul served these festive and ritual functions for generations, and even took on political overtones when pro-democracy movements embraced it in the 1960s and 1970s.

Saturday

  • 3:45 Street Performance at Tredegar Plaza
  • 6:30 Carmax Stage

You can check out all the artists’ bios here and the full schedule here. You can tell me how wrong my picks are at the Folk Festival I’ll be there from start to finish.

Make sure we can keep having this festival by donating in the buckets at the festival $5 or more at least. It’s a bargain don’t be one of those dollar droppers. Also, you can donate online.

Bring your dancing/walking shoes and I’ll see y’all at the Richmond Folk Festival.

Will you help support independent, local journalism?

We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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Arts & Entertainment

Craft + Design 2022 is Back and In-person this Year

Over 40 artists are new to Craft + Design this year and over half of the show’s artists are traveling from out of state.

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Richmond, VA (September 28, 2022) Craft + Design is back in person and this year, the Visual Arts Center of Richmond welcomes over 150 artists to Craft + Design 2022. The 58-year-old contemporary craft show takes place at Main Street Station’s train shed on the weekend of Oct. 14-16, 2022. All proceeds from Craft + Design go towards VisArts’ community and educational programs.

Over 40 artists are new to Craft + Design this year and over half of the show’s artists are traveling from out of state. A complete list of participating artists is available on the event website.

“It’s an honor to know that the very best artists travel from all over the country to exhibit their work at Craft + Design,” said Stefanie Fedor, executive director of the Visual Arts Center of Richmond. “We’re thrilled to be back in person at Main Street Station celebrating our 58th year of Craft + Design with so many talented makers from Richmond and beyond.”

VisArts selected Brooklyn-based fiber artist Sarah Djarnie-Brown as the featured artist this year. Djarnie-Brown’s vibrant and colorful heirloom dolls are handcrafted out of salvaged materials including wood, fabric, wool and various other recycled mixed materials.
Six 2019 Craft + Design award winners return to the show this year, including:
  • Nicario Jimenz (Elisabeth Scott Bocock Best in Show Award, Presented by McGuireWoods LLP
  • Stephen and Tamberlaine Zeh (Claris Financial Innovative Use of Traditional Craft Materials)
  • Daniel Rickey (Friends of the Wood Studio at VisArts Wood and Recycled Materials Award)
  • Melissa Schmidt (Priscilla Burbank and Mike Schewel Glass Award)
  • E. Douglas Wunder (Genworth Best Booth Design Award)
  • Robert Patterson (Troutman Sanders Contemporary Design Award)
Local Richmond notable includes Paul Hansbarger, owner of Lineage in Carytown who will host and a Local Maker booth at this year’s show.

VisArts also invited 20 Richmond artists who are instructors at the center. Accepted teachers include: Angie Bacskocky, Claire Berry, David Camden, Merenda Cecelia, Lauri Jenkins, Paul Klassett, Claire McCarty, Shawn Norian, Christine Orr, Stephen Palmer, Al Pellenberg, Julia Pfaff, Kourtenay Plummer, Debbie Quick, Tracy Shell, Danielle Stevens, Nastassja Swift, Ashley Tamber, Sarah Tector, and Kristi Totoritis. VisArts teachers Alicia Dietz and Alyssa Salomon were accepted into Craft + Design 2022 through our juried application process.

This year’s show was juried by VisArts Master Teaching Artist Jay Sharpe, Craft + Design Committee Chair Anna Powers, and local craft collectors and arts patrons Karen Kelly, Virginia Lewis and Maggie Smith.

Craft + Design is nationally recognized for its competitive admission rate. Additionally, artist feedback describes Craft + Design as an extremely hospitable show. The hosted housing program and artists’ dinner are just two of the perks that set Craft + Design apart from other shows of its caliber.

There will be several local maker booths at the show this year, featuring the work of Richmond-area craftspeople. Local brick-and-mortar retailers Dear Neighbor, Lineage, Na Nin and knifemaker Join or Die Knives will curate these special group booths.

Richmond Magazine has partnered with Richmond-based modern furniture retailer, LaDiff to bring an interior design showcase to Craft + Design 2022. The beautifully designed space will feature works of art from participating artists Ashley Chiang, Jorgelina Lopez & Marco Duenas, Daniel Rickey and Robert Patterson.

The McKinnon and Harris Patrons’ Preview Party, which takes place on Fri., Oct. 14 from 6 to 9 p.m., includes beer, wine, hors d’oeuvres and the chance to shop early. Tickets cost $60 for VisArts members and $65 for the general public.

The Rise + Shine Brunch, which pairs another early shopping opportunity with a light breakfast, bloody marys and mimosas, will run from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Sat., Oct. 15. Tickets are $35 for VisArts members and $40 for the general public. At this year’s brunch, Richmond magazine presents featured speaker, Susan Hable, the artist and designer behind Hable Construction Design Studio.

Regular shopping hours run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Sat., Oct. 15 and Sun., Oct. 16. General admission tickets cost $10.

The education wing presented by Richmond Family Magazine, located on the lower level of Main Street Station, is a free-to-the-public, art-making space where both adults and children can explore the media Craft + Design artists use to make their work.

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery is once again the exclusive beer sponsor of Craft + Design this year, serving beer throughout the weekend. The beer garden will be in the middle of Main Street Station’s event space beside the Claris Financial Demonstration Stage, which will showcase live demonstrations by VisArts teaching artists. During Saturday and Sunday’s regular shopping hours, Espresso-a-Go-Go, Goatocado, and Alamo BBQ will be serving food and refreshments on the lower level.

People who would like to attend multiple events over the course of the Craft + Design weekend should consider purchasing a weekend pass. Weekend passes are $85 for members and $90 for the general public and include a ticket to Patrons’ Preview (with complimentary valet parking), a ticket to Rise + Shine, and unlimited admission during regular shopping hours.

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