With the American Folk Festival less than one month away, the time to plan your weekend is upon us. We are fortunate to have a spectacular array of musical styles on the Bangor Waterfront again this year, and there will be no shortage of arts, culture, and dance to go along with the music. The latest eight performers are all newcomers to the Festival and we can’t wait to show them exactly what Maine and the American Folk Festival are all about.
Here’s a bit of information about the final group of artists we will be welcoming to the Waterfront, including links to where you can find some of their performances.
De Temps Antan incorporates accordion, harmonica, guitar, fiddle and bouzouki into their Quebecois music to create a toe tapping joyous presence for their audience. The trio shares a passion for incorporating contemporary styles into the traditional music of their roots. Their performances commonly spur laughter and dancing in the aisles.
Kasi Aysola describes himself as “just an Indian boy living the American life.” Kasi graces the American Folk Festival posters this year, and is a Bharata Natyam dancer who has performed across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and India. Bharata Natyam is one of the oldest dance styles of India and has been performed in courts there since ancient times. It has become an extremely popular dance form due to the ease with which it is mixed with experimental choreography. Kasi has performed with the Shakti Dance Company in the U.S. and has recently co-founded Prakriti Dance Company in Los Angeles.
Mitch Frohman and the Bronx Horns pride themselves on breaking new ground in the Latin music field, creating a blend of mambo, cha-cha, salsa, and Latin Jazz. They are considered to be one of the best performance groups of their field present in the world today. Mitch has been featured in recordings with numerous veteran musicians over the years, including Cyndi Lauper, Blood, Sweat ,and Tears, Paul Simon, The Talking Heads, and La Lupe.
Kinan Idnawi performs around the world on the ancestor of the guitar, the oud. He trained with Azerbijani expert Askar Ali Akbar and graduated from the High Music Institute in Damascus, Syria in 2009. In December 2010 he performed with Bryan Adams at a concert there. He currently resides in the United States .
Sleepy LaBeef has shared stages with Elvis Presley, George Jones, Roy Orbison, Wanda Jackson and more, and his band has included many famous talents. He has performed Rockabilly for fifty years and has seen consistent success on the charts between 1960 and 2000. Live performances are extremely important to Sleepy and he performs more than 200 shows a year. Lucky for us, this year those include the American Folk Festival.
The Asociacion Carnavalesca de Massachusetts will delight young and old alike with their bright colored, elaborate costumes and masks. The traveling Dominican Carnival celebrates year round with dance and music that energizes. You will notice the “limping devils” (diablos cojuelos) in this parade – these spirits are told to have been banished to Earth because of their hijinks and were injured in the fall. The 75 performers in Stelvyn Mirabal’s company have been performing for fifteen years.
The Red Trouser Show is the work of David Graham and Tobin Renwick, who met in first grade and decided that they wanted to learn how to juggle and unicycle. They went to a “circus camp” (a thing my mother often threatened me with) and learned more about circus arts and performing. After high school they went on to create their own show, complete with acrobatics, juggling, comedy, and of course the red pants that give the show its name. The two friends have crisscrossed the globe, performing in events, festivals and in the streets wherever they go.
Andre Veloz creates a soulful stage presence and commands attention with the amount of feeling she displays in her music. This talented Bachata singer/songwriter began in a garage rock band (which I’d absolutely love to see). As a teenager growing up in New York City, she reconnected to her roots and began singing the romantic music that is associated with Bachata. She describes it as Dominican Blues with a guitar backbone, often telling stories of poverty and hope for political change.
The eight performers listed here join the eight previously announced performers for a full slate of 16 performers, all congregating on the Bangor Waterfront at the end of the month. Find details about those other performers here and here.
Look for more information on these and the full cast of performers at the 2015 American Folk Festival soon at www.americanfolkfestival.com.