Listen to two sets from Wytheville Community College’s Bluegrass and Old-Time Jamboree, and enjoy a tall tale by Thornton Spencer.
As a mentor artist in our Apprenticeship Program, B.J. Lark of Roanoke, Virginia, has spent the last year teaching 18-year-old Alanjha Harris the soul-stirring power of Gullah Geechee-style gospel singing.
Kazem Davoudian of Sterling, VA, is an experienced Ostad (master artist, in Farsi) of Iranian classical music. He is teaching Alexander Sabet of Washington, DC, how to play the tar, a traditional long-necked string instrument.
Elsa Howell, who is learning the art of Appalachian ballad singing through our Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program, reflects on the important role music plays in her culture and community.
For dancer Joshua Purnell and his apprentice Tom Norris, blues dancing is a means to build and maintain community in their hometown of Norfolk.
Founded in 1992, Bristol Raceway Ministries is a church-led effort to organize services for spectators at the Bristol Motor Speedway. “We get to experience every aspect of life here at the track,” says volunteer Bobby Branch.
Earlier this year, following International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a crowd gathered in Fairfax for an evening of Sephardic music from the Balkans, led by Trio Sefardi and the Elias Ladino Ensemble.
Old-time musician Tyler Hughes is now co-managing a new funding opportunity for traditional arts in and around Bristol. “People in the Appalachian region deserve to have the fullest life that they can achieve,” he says.
Pat Jarrett explores the legacies and changes in Sephardic music traditions by sharing recordings of Flory Jagoda, Susan Gaeta and Gina Sobel on their new work with Minnush, and an interview with Zack Youcha, organizer of the “Where Our Roots Meet” concert.
Elsa Howell first met Elizabeth LaPrelle, an accomplished ballad singer, banjo player, and crankie maker, as an eight-year-old.
Daniel Smith of Lynchburg is apprenticing Richard Maxham of Alexandria, a fifth-generation violinist, in violin making and repair.
Richard Maxham is apprenticing under Lynchburg violin maker Daniel Smith, though the Maxham name has been intimately involved with violin making and performance for five generations.
Pat Jarrett and Chris Boros discuss Virginia’s robust DIY Punk communities on this installment of Folklife Fieldnotes.