National Folk Festival Adds Six Artists to Lineup; 29 Performers Announced to Date

Free Festival runs in downtown
Greensboro from Sept. 9 – 11, 2016

Greensboro, N.C., June 30, 2016 — Today the National Folk Festival announced six additional artists who will perform in downtown Greensboro from Sept.9 – 11, 2016. The 76th National Folk Festival in 2016 marks the event’s second year of its three-year residency in Greensboro.

Last fall, the 75th National Folk Festival attracted more than 102,000 attendees to downtown Greensboro for the FREE, three-day weekend. Based on survey data, organizers expect attendance to grow substantially in 2016—by as much as 30% or more.

Approximately 300 artists—musicians, dancers, storytellers, and craftspeople—will take part in the National Folk Festival, with more than 30 different musical groups performing on as many as seven outdoor performance venues throughout downtown Greensboro. The four artists announced today are:

·      Alberti Flea Circus – Flea Circus: Third-generation flea circus impresario Jim Alberti and his talented troupe of charismatic performers have been entertaining audiences with their astonishing acrobatic feats for nearly 30 years. Based in Winston-Salem, N.C., the Alberti Flea Circus was brought to the United States in the 1880s by Jim’s great-great uncle, but the tradition is much older, first documented in 16th-century Europe. Jim delights in introducing this age-old art to new generations of children, who cheer for the fleas, help with their props, and even provide musical cues for their incredible feats.

·      Bouncing Bulldogs – Precision Jump Rope: Be inspired by the boundless creativity and intense athleticism of North Carolina’s own Bouncing Bulldogs, who have been crowned the top international jump rope team for the past five consecutive years at the World Jump Rope Championships! Founded by Coach Ray Fredrick in 1986 and based in Chapel Hill and Durham, the Bouncing Bulldogs field a competitive team of 140 girls and boy ages 7-19, with 200 other jumpers ages 4 and older participating in a club program. Fresh off defending their title at the 2016 World Championships in Portugal in July, 15 jumpers will perform at the National Folk Festival, amazing audiences with their skills in Double Dutch, speed jumping, and freestyle.

·      Chico Simões – Brazilian Mamulengo: “I don’t speak Portuguese, I don’t speak English; I speak puppet,” says mamulengueiro Chico Simões, who began studying this Brazilian puppet tradition in 1981. Since founding his own puppet theater in 1985, Simões has become an international ambassador for this Brazilian tradition, which has connections to the English Punch and Judy shows, the Italian pulcinella, and the French guignol—all rooted in the Italian 16th-century commedia dell’arte. Simões has performed thousands of puppet plays around the world, from street corners to prestigious puppetry festivals, using his performances—many featuring trickster Benedito the Vaquiero, a cowboy, who bests a series of mythological and human opponents—to “hold up a mirror to the public.” His raucous performances delight children and adults alike.

·      Dancing On Air Crew – B-boying: Gravity-defying head spins, twirling windmills, and rapid-fire footwork are hallmarks of breaking, an urban dance style that—along with graffiti, MC-ing, and DJ-ing—is the expressive core of hip-hop culture. Dancers are called breakers, b-boys, or b-girls, and they prefer the terms “breaking” or “b-boying” to “breakdancing.” The members of the Dancing On Air Crew (DOA) live in Charleston, S.C., where they have been friends since middle school. Inspired by popular movies and the moves of older b-boys, they formed DOA in 2010. DOA’s current roster of eight b-boys, ages 17-26, travels to competitions around the Southeast and beyond, dazzling crowds, sharing a message of “hope, perseverance, and teamwork,” and inspiring the next generation of b-boys and b-girls.

·      Joe Bruchac – Abenaki Storytelling: With a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, Joe Bruchac is an award-winning author of more than 120 fictional and non-fictional works, most featuring Native American protagonists, history, and values. Descended on his mother’s side from the Abenaki, an Algonquian-speaking Native people living in New England and Eastern Canada, Bruchac has dedicated himself to partnering with Native elders to collect stories from Abenaki and other Native cultures. “When a good story is told, it goes into a person’s heart, and it remains there,” Bruchac says. His stories inspire audiences to appreciate and protect the earth and all who dwell upon it.

·      Mangum & Company – Gospel Brass “Shout Band”: The United House of Prayer for All People congregations take to heart these words from Psalm 150:3-6: “Praise him with the sound of the trumpet…Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord.” Mangum & Company, a group of outstanding musicians representing many United House of Prayer congregations from Charlotte, N.C., brings the unique African American sacred “shout band” tradition to the National Folk Festival. Charlotte-based shout trombonist Cedric Mangum joined his congregation’s band at age 7, learning to play all the shout instruments before becoming lead trombonist of the Charlotte Mother House’s legendary Bailey Clouds of Heaven at age 13, a position he continues to hold today at age 55. “Our music feeds the soul,” Mangum says. “…That’s what draws the people.”
These outstanding artists join the following performers, who have already been announced:

·      The Alt – Irih
·      Bahamas Junkanoo Revue ­– Bahamian Parade
·      Balsam Range – Bluegrass
·      Bill Kirchen  – Master of the Telecaster
·      Chaksam-pa – Tibetan Opera, Folk Song, and Dance
·      The Chankas of Peru – Andean Danza de las Tijeras (Scissors Dance):
·      DJ Grandmaster Flash – Hip Hop
·      Grupo Rebolú – Afro-Colombian
·      Hula Halau ‘O Lilinoe – Hawai’ian Hula
·      The Jerry Grcevich Tamburitza Orchestra Tamburitza
·      Joshua Nelson ­­– Kosher Gospel
·      Leonardo Sandoval – Tap
·      Le Vent du NordQuébécois
·      Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati CanoMariachi
·      Paperhand Puppet Intervention – Giant Puppet Pageants and Parades
·      Nathalie Pires – Portuguese Fado
·      The Quebe Sisters – Texas Fiddling & Western Swing
·      Sahba Motallebi – Persian Tar
·      Samba Mapangala & Orchestra Virunga – East African Rumba, Soukous, and Benga
·      Super Chikan & the Fighting Cocks – Delta Blues
·      Dr. Michael White & the Original Liberty Jazz Band ­– New Orleans Jazz

To learn more about all these artists, their traditions, and their stories, please visit Throughout the summer, the National Folk Festival will feature individual artists on its Facebook page ( and on social media:
·      #NCFolkFest  #WeAreFolk
·      Twitter: @NtlFolkFestNC
·      Instagram: NationalFolkFestNC
·      YouTube: National Folk Festival NC

More performers will be announced as they are confirmed."

- A Press Release

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