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Arts & Entertainment

Richmond Folk Festival Release Full Schedule

With the release it’s time to start plotting your Folk Festival plans to see as many acts as possible from October 7th through the 9th.

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The Richmond Folk Festival returns Friday-Sunday, October 7-9, and celebrates its 18th anniversary, having become one of Virginia’s largest and most beloved events. The festival draws attendees each year to downtown Richmond’s riverfront to celebrate the roots, richness and variety of American culture through music, dance, traditional crafts, storytelling and food.

The free, three-day event hosts 200,000 people over the weekend and is produced by Venture Richmond Events in partnership with the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA), the Virginia Folklife Program of Virginia Humanities, the Center for Cultural Vibrancy, Children’s Museum, and the City of Richmond.

Featuring six stages and showcasing music and dance from more than 30 performing groups from around Virginia, the nation and the world, the Richmond Folk Festival today announces the full performance schedule as well as the Virginia Folklife Area and Stage and the Family Area. Once again featuring a new artistic program and the nation’s finest traditional artists, this year’s festival offers something for everyone.

Full Performance Schedule

Read all about the performers at each stage, and see the full weekend event schedule.
Read all about each artist performing, plus audio and video samples.
Virginia Folklife Area and Stage

For the first time, the Virginia Folklife Area is produced as a partnership between the Virginia Folklife Program of Virginia Humanities and the newly formed Center for Cultural Vibrancy. Along with this newly formed partnership, this year provides many reasons to celebrate. 2022 marks the twentieth anniversary of the founding of the Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program, which supports the continuation of living traditions by giving direct support and a public platform to artists.

In addition to an interactive exhibit to celebrate this milestone, there will be an Instrument Makers Workshop spotlighting several current and previous apprenticeship artists. Eleven luthiers who build and repair guitars, banjos, mandolins, violins, dulcimers and more will travel from across the state to showcase the many skills required to build stringed instruments. In addition to their craft demonstrations, there will be an
Instrument Makers Jam on the Virginia Folklife Stage along with a special one-time-only performance uniting Tata Cepeda, one of Puerto Rico’s finest bomba dancers, with the Fredericksburg non-profit Semilla Cultural, led by Isha M Renta Lopez. Lopez and Cepeda are current Virginia Folklife Program apprenticeship artists.

The Traditional Crafts Area is produced by the Virginia Folklife Program at Virginia Humanities, the state center for the documentation, presentation, support and celebration of Virginia’s rich cultural heritage. For more than thirty years, the program has documented the Commonwealth’s music and material traditions and shared those histories through hands-on workshops, performances, exhibitions, audio and video recordings, and apprenticeships across Virginia.

Read all about the artists of the Virginia Folklife Area and Stage.

Family Area, Produced by the Children’s Museum
Super Heroes of all sizes will enjoy themed zones from iconic bag hats, hand painting and balloon artists, to the Creation zone where everyone can contribute to a joint art project recognizing our own community “super heroes.” Kids can test their super powers in the obstacle course or show off other amazing skills in the Activity zone. Guests can visit each zone and complete a passport for a prize! The City Singers and The Autism Society of Virginia will bring added “Super” dimension to the Family Area with instruments and sensory exploration. It’s a POWERFUL experience for the whole family!

The Family Area is in its new location this year just up the hill in the grassy field at 2nd Street and Brown’s Island Way.

Festival Hours
Friday, October 7 — 6:30pm – 10:00pm
Saturday, October 8 — 12:00pm – 9:30pm
Sunday, October 9 — 12:00pm – 6:00pm

Friends of the Festival

Become a Friend of the Festival to help sustain the Richmond Folk Festival for many years to come! Gifts from our Friends ensure the consistency and future of the performances and programs that we all enjoy the most. Your support is invaluable as we work to sustain the largest artistic and cultural gathering in Richmond. Benefits include: weekend parking passes, name mentioned on festival banners and website, a commemorative Richmond Folk Festival Friend of the Festival enameled lapel pin and a limited-edition, screen printed, hand signed and numbered poster by the 2022 official poster artist.

Learn more here! https://www.richmondfolkfestival.org/donations
For more information about the Richmond Folk Festival, visit www.richmondfolkfestival.org.
#RVAFolkFest – Text to Give! Text FOLK to 44321

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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.

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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.

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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