Published April 23, 2018

The Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Showcase at James Monroe’s Highland on May 6 from 12:00 to 5:00pm will welcome Virginia’s 73rd Governor, Ralph Northam, to celebrate the masters and apprentices carrying on the traditions of the Commonwealth. We also will host two stages: the performance stage will highlight the work of teams of musicians while the crafts area stage will give the material culture artists an opportunity to speak about their work. Apprenticeship teams performing include Nate Leath and Eli and Aila Wilidman (bluegrass and old-time), Danny Knicely and Bert Carlson (swing and jazz guitar), Nader Majd and Ali Analouei (Persian classical music), Susan Gaeta and Gina Sobel (Sepahrdic ballads), and Cora Harvey Armstrong and Samantha Willis (gospel), among others.

Performance Stage Schedule

12:00: Twin Creeks Stringband
12:40: Welcome by Jon Lohman, State Folklorist
12:55: Sephardic ballads with Susan Gaeta and Gina Sobel
1:25: Remarks by Ralph Northam, 73rd Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia
1:35: Mongolian contortion with apprentices Emma and Ella Chuluumbat
1:45: Jazz and swing guitar with Bert Carlson and Danny Knicely
2:15: Recognition of crafters and food masters
2:30: Mongolian contortion with master Mandkhai Erdembat
2:45: Galax dulcimer with Phyllis Gaskins and Anna Stockdale
3:10: Vietnamese Dan Bau with Nam Phuong Nguyen and Anh Dien Nguyen
3:35: Bluegrass Fiddling with Nate Leath, Eli Wildman, and guests
4:05: Persian classical music with Nader Majd and Ali Analouei
4:30: Gospel singing with Cora Armstrong and Samantha Willis

Crafts Area Schedule

12:30: Logsmithing with Gary and Tommy Horton
1:00: Soul food cooking with Tina Ingram-Murphy and Cheryl Yancey
1:30: Banjo making with Greg Galbreath and Peter Keller
2:00: Baklava making with Sondus Asad Moussa and Sanaa Abdul Jalil
2:30: Hot Rods with Jeff and Jeremy Bennett
3:00: Moonshine making with Chris Prillaman and Tanner Talley
3:30: Decoy carving with Grayson Chesser, P.G. Ross, Mark Ross, Drew Sturgis, and Andy Dunton
4:00: Heirloom Apples with Clyde Jenkins
4:30: Bolivian mesa ceremony with Julia Garcia and Gloria Encinas

Twin Creeks Stringband

We also will welcome special gusts Twin Creeks Stringband of Franklin County who will kick off the Showcase with old-time string tunes. In the late 1970s, a group of neighbors and friends got together to play the music that had been passed down in the Dry Hill and Ferrum areas of Franklin County. Some of the musicians were falling behind on their timing one day while playing and having some fun, and one spectator commented that he was going to call the group the Dry Hill Draggers. Banjo player Jimmy Boyd and his brother Billy Boyd started the official Dry Hill Draggers band in 1981. The group flourished, and more than thirty years later, some of the Dry Hill Draggers members formed Twin Creeks Stringband, including Jared Boyd, grandson of Jimmy Boyd, a third generation claw-hammer banjo player; his dad Stacy Boyd on upright bass; Jason Hambrick on guitar and vocals; and Chris Prillaman on fiddle. Twin Creeks stringband has a particularly driving old-time beat that is irresistible to dancers, and they are popular performers at the Blue Ridge Folklife Festival, as well as at the Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention.

We thank our sponsors and partners: