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Brooklyn Folk Festival: 2017 lineup, schedule & tickets


The 9th annual Brooklyn Folk Festival takes place April 28 – 30 at St. Ann’s Church. There will be 40+ performances across two stages and this year’s lineup includes The Last Poets, Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton, Willie Watson, Jim Kweskin, Anna & Elizabeth, Rev. Billy And The Stop Shopping Choir, Peter Stampfel, Thunderbird American Indian Dancers and more.

Special events this year include: a 50th anniversary celebration of the book Hard Hitting Songs for Hard Hit People by Woody Guthrie, Alan Lomax and Pete Seeger; the premiere of documentary Shake ‘Em Down, which is about blues legend Fred McDowell; a ballad singing art installation and more.

Three-day passes and single day tickets are on sale now. You can check out the full schedule of 2017 Brookyn Folk Festival events, and listen to a playlist of this year’s performers, below.


Friday April 28th
Main Stage
8pm – Anne Waldman – Acclaimed poet will open the festival.
8:25pm – Ukrainian Village Voices – Rural Ukrainian vocal music
9pm – Jim Kweskin – Jug band, blues and folk songs
9:45pm – Thunderbird American Indian Dancers – Songs and dances from the Mohawk, Hopi, Winnebago and other traditions.
10:20pm – Anna & Elizabeth – Old time songs and ballads
11pm – Feral Foster – Original and folk songs
11:45pm – Tennessee Stiff Legs – Western swing band, from Tennessee! First time in NY!

Parish Hall Stage
8:45pm – Ethan Leinwand – Barrelhouse blues piano from St. Louis, MO
9:30pm – Cole Quest & the City Pickers – Bluegrass songs and tunes
10:15pm – The Freakniks – Original and traditional music, from LA, CA!
11pm – Skalopy – Jalopy’s in-house ska band!

Saturday April 29th
Afternoon Concerts
Main Stage
Noon – Jalopy Jr. Recital
12:45pm – Fada – Traditional French music from the Occitan region
1:30pm – Martha Burns – Old time songs and ballads, from the mountains and range!
2:15pm – Brotherhood of the Jug Band Blues – Original and traditional jug band music!
3pm – Spitzer Space Telescope – original and traditional old-time fiddle tunes, English/Irish ballads and sea shanties.
3:45pm – Peter Stampfel & the Ether Frolic Mob – “Paleo Hillbilly Rock meets Great American Songbook and does dirty things together”
4:30 – Clarence Ashley: Jalopy Records Album Release & Tribute with Various Artists
5:15pm – Bill & the Belles – Oldtime, early Country and popular songs and tunes!
6pm – Amythyst Kiah – Traditional and original blues and folk songs from Johnson City, TN, first NY appearance!

Parish Hall Stage
Noon – Old Time Slow Jam
1:30pm – Ethan Leinwand – Barrelhouse blues piano from St. Louis, MO
2:15pm – The Hayrollers – Bluegrass songs and tunes!
3pm – Little Nora Brown and Friends (Highlighting the work of The Shlomo Foundation)
3:45 – Poorboy Krill – Blues and folk singer
4:45 – “Hard Hitting Songs for Hard Hit People” with Mat Callahan & Yvonne Moore – Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the publication or Lomax, Seeger and Guthrie influential and classic book!
5:30 – Ethan Leinwand – Barrelhouse blues piano from St. Louis, MO
6pm – Harmonica Contest – Who is the best harp player in NYC!?!? – Trip Henderson – Judge!

Workshop Room
1pm – Book Reading & Discussion: I Got A Song: A History of The Newport Folk Festival – The first-ever history of the Newport Folk Festival, the book documents the trajectory of an American musical cornerstone over its 58 years – with author Rick Massimo.
2pm – DIY Instrument building with Zeke Leonard. Build your own homemade instruments! Kid friendly.
3pm – Book Reading & Discussion: The Explosion of Deferred Dreams: Musical Renaissance and Social Revolution in San Francisco, 1965–1975, a critical re-examination of the interwoven political and musical happenings in the Sixties – with author Mat Callahan.
4pm – FILM: The Mountain Music Project – Exploring similarities between Southern Appalachians music and that of the Nepali musician caste in the Himalayas, includes Q&A with filmmaker Tara Linhart.
5:30pm – Old time banjo workshop with Hilary Hawke – teaching the banjo music on the seminal album “High Atmosphere.”
6:30pm – Puppet show! with The Boxcutter Collective… presenting: “The Revolt of the Beavers,” a work-in-progress puppet show which received a 2017 Jim Henson Foundation Workshop Grant.

Evening Concerts
Main Stage
7:15pm – The Calamity Janes – Old time string band!
8pm – Jerron “Blindboy” Paxton – Blues, old time and folk songs on guitar, banjo and fiddle
8:45pm – Willie Watson – Folk songs and ballads on guitar and banjo
9:30pm – Rev. Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir – Wild anti-consumerist gospel choir and Earth loving evangelist sermonizing!
10:45pm – The Big Dixie Swingers – Western Swing, all the way from New Orleans! First NYC performance!
11:30 – Jackson Lynch – Blues, old time songs and fiddle music!

Parish Hall Stage
7pm – Main Squeeze Orchestra – All female accordion orchestra!
10:15pm – Salsa Dance with Willie Martinez and the NYC Salsa All Stars
Sunday April 30th
Afternoon Concerts
Main Stage
1:45pm – The Jalopy Family Sing-A-Long with Emily Eagen and Friends
2:30pm – Deedle Deedle Dees – Fun kids music, with themes from history!!
3:15pm – Preachin’ in the Wilderness – Blues and folk songs
4pm – The Down Hill Strugglers with John Cohen – Old time string band
4:45pm – Meredith Axelrod – Blues and folk songs
5:30pm – Queen Esther – Traditional and original songs
6:15pm – Locust Honey String Band – String band, all the way from Tennessee!

Parish Hall Stage
2pm – Old Time Jam Session with Hilary Hawke
3:15pm – Gotham Jazzmen – Traditional Jazz
4:45pm – The Jalopy Choir – Singing Balkan vocal music!
5:30pm – Square Dance with the 5-Mile String Band – Alex Kramer calling!
6:30pm – TBA

Workshop Room
2pm – “Sing Like the Carter Family” – Learn to sing songs in 3-part harmony the way the original Carter Family did. Taught by Martha Burns.
3pm – Topical and Protest Songs performance and workshop with Jan Bell
4pm – FILM: Shake ‘Em On Down – Documentary film about legendary blues musician Mississippi Fred McDowell, includes Q&A with filmmaker Scott Baretta.
5:30pm – 10pm – Special art installation and performance with Anna Roberts-Gevalt, Elizabeth LaPrelle and Tim Eriksen.
1PM SPECIAL EVENT: THE BANJO TOSS – Banjo Throwing Contest! (This event is held off-site)

Evening Concerts
Main Stage
7:15pm – Jay Gandhi – Indian classical and folk music
8pm – The Last Poets – Radical poetry with music, the roots of rap from NYC
8:45pm – Eva Salina & Peter Stan – Balkan music
9:30pm – Pat Conte – Blues, gospel and old time songs and tunes
10:15pm – Papa Vega’s Dream Shadows Orchestra

Parish Hall Stage
7:15pm – The Cat’s Meow – Irish fiddle and accordion music
8pm – The Horse-Eyed Men – Original and traditional songs
Workshop Room
5:30pm – 10pm – Special art installation and performance with Anna Roberts-Gevalt, Elizabeth LaPrelle and Tim Eriksen.

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