Evening Concerts at the 44th Annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival
The 44th annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival will feature a series of evening concerts. All performances are free. The 10-day Festival, held outdoors on the National Mall between Seventh and 14th streets, takes place from Thursday, June 24, through Monday, June 28, and Thursday, July 1, through Monday, July 5. Festival hours are from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day, with special events extending into most evenings. The event is co-sponsored by the National Park Service.
"Asian Pacific Americans: Local Lives, Global Ties"
On Thursday, June 24, the concert “Bhangra and Giddha: Folk Dances of Punjab” will celebrate two of India’s traditional dance styles. Bhangra, which is primarily preformed by men, is a form of dance and music that originates from the Punjab region of India. It is a mix of singing accompanied by music and the beat of a single drum called a dhol. In giddha, women dance to the rhythm of claps and enact verses called bolis, which represent folk poetry at its best. The concert will take place on the Asian Fusions stage from 6 to 8 p.m.
On Friday, June 25, the FIL-AM Heritage Dance Ensemble (Migrant Heritage Commission’s cultural arm) will present a variety of traditional dances reflecting the diverse culture of the Philippines. The dancers will be accompanied by the Northern Virginia Rondalla. The concert will take place on the Asian Fusions stage from 6 to 8 p.m.
On Sunday, June 27, Halau Ho’omau, the Hakka Association and the Hakka TungFa Chorus of Greater Washington, D.C., will perform on the Asian Fusions stage from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The Halau Ho’omau, a Hawaiian cultural school from Alexandria, Va., will perform traditional Hawaiian songs, chant and dances. The Hakka Association and the Hakka TungFa Chorus of Greater Washington, D.C. will perform traditional songs and dances. The Hakka people are an ethnic group of Han Chinese who originally lived in Northern China, but gradually migrated south and then overseas.
The Festival will celebrate the music and dance of Fiji with a concert Monday, June 28, from 6 to 8 p.m. on the Asian Fusions stage. The concert will feature performances by the Veiyasana Dance Troupe, a local Fijian women’s dance group, which will perform a combination of Fijian and Indian dances representing the multiracial character of the nations of Fiji. The concert also will feature the Fijian Seranaders, a local Fijian singing duo, which will perform island songs.
On Friday, July 2, Dana Tai Soon Burgess & Co. will perform on the Asian Fusions stage from 6 to 8 p.m. The company is known for its Asian-inspired works and visual clarity.
On Saturday, July 3, Sulu DC will perform on the La Fonda stage from 6 to 8 p.m. Sulu DC is a grassroots network of Asian American and Pacific Islander American artists in the Washington D.C., area. The group fosters artists in music, spoken word, video and multidisciplinary performances.
On Friday, June 25, El Salón de México will come alive with the sounds of Mariachi Tradicional Los Tíos, Hamac Caziim and Grupo de Fandango de Artesa Los Quilamos. Mariachi Tradicional Los Tíos, from the village of El Manguito in the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains of Jalisco, boast a son repertoire that is distinctive to the region, where mariachi music has flourished for more than 150 years. The group Hamac Caziim, from the Comcáac community on the Gulf of California, was formed to perform rock music with traditional lyrics and language. Grupo de Fandango de Artesa Los Quilamos, a group from Oaxaca, combines indigenous, African and Spanish elements in their music and dance. The concert will take place from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
On Friday, July 2, Los Cardencheros de Sapioriz, Chinelos de Atlatlahucan and Los Verdaderos Caporales de Apatzingán will perform on El Salón de México from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Los Cardencheros de Sapioriz performs an a cappella singing tradition to the plains of the Comarca Lagunera region in the states of Coahuila and Durango. The Chinelos de Atlatlahucan is a carnivalesque dance troupe from the state of Morelos that performs dramas and masquerades drawing from European and Indian traditions. Los Verdaderos Caporales de Apatzingán, a group from the heart of Tierra Caliente, performs conjunto de arpa grande.
Smithsonian Inside Out
The Smithsonian Folkways Recordings concert will take place Sunday, June 27, from 6 to 8 p.m. on El Salón de México. The concert will feature Chanchona Los Hermanos Lovo, a Northern Virginia group that performs cumbias and rancheras, and Los Reyes de Albuquerque, which performs mariachi and New Mexican folk music.
The Ralph Rinzler Memorial Concert
This year’s Ralph Rinzler Memorial Concert will take place Saturday, July 3, at 6 p.m. on the Asian Fusions stage. This concert series, held each year during the Festival, pays tribute to the founding Festival director by honoring his colleagues, like-minded advocates and the tradition bearers they have supported. This year the concert series will honor Moses Asch (1905-1986), the founder of Folkways Records.
The concert will feature performances by several artists who recorded for Asch during his lifetime, including Bernice Johnson Reagon, Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard.
Reagon—a singer, song leader, civil rights activist and scholar—is a profound contributor to African American culture. She recorded her first solo album, Folk Songs: The South, with Folkways Recording in 1965. Reagon will be performing with the Freedom Singers, made up of Charles Neblett, Betty Mae Fikes, Marshall Jones, Bill Perlman and Jamila Jones.
Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard were pioneers in the male-dominated field of bluegrass music. Their widely admired performances made them role models for future generations of women in the genre. In the mid-1960s, they recorded 26 tracks with Asch that were re-mastered in 1996 for the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings release Pioneering Women of Bluegrass.
A Tribute to Haiti
On Saturday, June 26, the Festival will present a special concert for Haiti featuring Boukman Eksperyans with special guest Tines Salvant. The concert will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on the Asian Fusions stage.
Boukman Eksperyans is known for its worldly high-energy sound, which fuses traditional Haitian and Caribbean rhythms with rock and reggae. The group’s debut album, Vodou Adjae, ushered in a musical revolution and earned the group a Grammy nomination, while making them honorary spokespeople for the Haitian people. Since their emergence on the world scene, the group has continued to release critically acclaimed albums and delight audiences around the world.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture
The National Museum of African American History and Culture will host “Crackin’ Wise: George Wallace Remembers the Apollo,” a discussion with the legendary comedian. The event will take place Thursday, July 1, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on the Asian Fusions stage. It will be moderated by Mel Watkins, the author of On the Real Side: A History of African American Comedy. The museum’s exhibition “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment” is on view at the National Museum of American History through Aug. 29.
Can’t make it to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival this year? Visit the Festival website, www.festival.si.edu, from anywhere in the world to watch Folklife Festival performances stream live from the National Mall. All webcasts are archived for later viewing. Visit the website for a complete schedule.
About the Festival
The Smithsonian Folklife Festival, inaugurated in 1967, honors tradition bearers from across the United States and around the world. With approximately 1 million visitors each year, the Festival unites visitors and performers in the nation’s capital to celebrate the diversity of cultural traditions. It is produced by the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. The Festival’s website is www.festival.si.edu.
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