What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Greensboro National Folk Festival announces 4 new performers

Posted June 16, 2016

— The National Folk Festival announced this week four artists who will perform with an already impressive line-up in downtown Greensboro from September 9 – 11, 2016.

National Folk Festival

Co-produced by the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) and ArtsGreensboro, the event is America's longest-running festival of traditional arts.

This year, the three-day event will take place in downtown Greensboro for the third time, making it a convenient event for Triangle residents. With free admission, food and craft vendors, and incredible performances that are downright funky (or shall I say folky), this is an event you won't want to miss.


The 76-year-old festival was first presented in St. Louis in 1934 to celebrate the roots, richness and variety of American culture. Championed in its early years by Eleanor Roosevelt, it was the first event of national stature to present the arts of many nations, races, and languages.

New artists

The National Folk Festival added four new artists to its line-up this week:

Bahamas Junkanoo Revue ­– Bahamian Parade - The Bahamianjunkanoo parade, featuring vibrant percussive music and finely crafted costumes, is one of the most exciting parade traditions in the Americas, and Miami’s Bahamas Junkanoo Revue is one of its leading practitioners. Junkanoo began among enslaved Africans in the British colonies of the Caribbean. Given a few days of rest at Christmas, the slaves created their own festivities, likely drawing on Igbo masking traditions. Parades often take two hours to pass a single spot, as the groups march, sing, and dance their way through cheering crowds.

National Folk Festival

Bill Kirchen – Bill Kirchen is one of America’s living guitar legends. Growing up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in the 1950s and ‘60s, Kirchen began playing the trombone, but quickly found a musical home as a guitarist and banjo player in the folk music scene, although, as he says, he tends to play “too loud and too fast.” He calls his truck-driving music “dieselbilly” and lives up to his billing as “a one-man living history museum of the coolest guitar licks ever performed.”

National Folk Festival

Paperhand Puppet Intervention - Giant Puppet Pageants and Parades - Hailing from Saxapahaw in North Carolina’s Alamance County, Paperhand Puppet Intervention is known for its mythical, magical, giant puppets, which hearken back to medieval passion plays. Paperhand members perform, parade, and mask in these iconic constructions, which range from giant babies and enormous owls, to green goddesses. The characters reflect the group’s purpose of celebrating humanity and “shifting the paradigm to more compassion and justice, so people and the creatures we share the planet with can survive.” Paperhand’s magical creations will take over the streets of downtown Greensboro during the National Folk Festival’s opening parade, when they will invite audience members to pick up a puppet or put on a mask and join the revelry.

The Chankas of Peru – Andean Danza de las Tijeras (Scissors Dance): The Chankas of Peru carry on the legendary scissors dance, an ancient, highly acrobatic indigenous ritual dance from the southern Andes of Peru. Recognized by UNESCO in 2010 as an expression of the “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity,” the name “scissors dance” refers to a pair of polished iron rods resembling scissor blades that are held in the dancer’s right hand and provide a percussive accompaniment to the intricate steps. The dancers’ traditional role was to bring balance to their community by mediating between the human, natural, and spiritual worlds.

National Folk Festival

Other performers, information

These distinct performers will join more than 20 other artists featuring blues, reggae and even "Hawaiian Hula" music. Additional performers will be added as the event nears.

Admission to the September festival is completely free. You can explore the three-day schedule or learn more about the event on the National Folk Festival website.


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