Upcoming Northwest Folklife Events
Mark your calendars for our upcoming 2020 events!
Crossroads Cultural Arts Series: Peter Ali Native – Indigenous Flutist
January 18 | 6:30 - 8:30 PM | Crossroads Bellevue Market Stage
Songs of the Heart
Native American flutist Peter Ali, shares stories about his music as well as his rich ethnic heritage intermixed with performances of his original songs. Listen to the sounds of eagles running river nature and spirit in the flute’s song. Peter Ali a talented and self-taught Native flutist creating his music not from notes but from spirit within so each performance is unique and special. He plays a variety of native flutes and shares their stories as well as stories of his rich ethnic heritage.
Movin’ Around the World: Winter
February 15-21 | 11 AM - 2:30 PM | Seattle Center Armory
Our Big Neighborhood provides a unique space for artists, family, and friends to celebrate our diverse traditions. Experience the cultures of our Pacific Northwest neighbors at Movin' Around the World: Winter! Held during Seattle Public Schools’ mid-winter break, this weeklong celebration geared for kids 10 and under highlights a different theme each day to encourage learning through song, dance, and art.
Crossroads Cultural Arts Series: Orkestyr Farfeleh
February 15 | 6:30 - 8:30 PM | Crossroads Bellevue Market Stage
Not your Bubbe’s Klezmer!
A radiologist, a music theorist, and a spiritual philosopher walk into a bar… and play klezmer. Orkestyr Farfeleh, the winsome concoction of Harvey Niebulski, Marianne Tatom, and Thaddeus Spae, is a portable feast for lovers of Jewish music, replete with frelachs, Eastern European folk tunes, Yiddishkayt and hats of overwhelming personality. Performing on accordion, clarinet, trombone, guitarron, and vocals, they present their diverse material with sharp ears, quick fingers, and irrepressible humor, in a program sure to delight young and old alike.
Crossroads Cultural Arts Series: Japanese Koto Club & Japanese Dance World
March 21 | 6:30 - 8:30 PM | Crossroads Bellevue Market Stage
Japanese Koto Music & Dance
Mirei is a Japanese koto player. She started learning koto at age 5 and has studied in Japan and Seattle. She plays locally at company events, schools, nursing homes, wedding receptions, memorial services and private parties. Playing the koto is her passion and she does not charge to perform at schools and nursing homes. She also sings blues and soul and has a blues band in Japan. Nathaniel is a professional guitar player who tours with various band a couple of times a year.
Kazuko Kaya Yamazaki, Ph.D. is founder and director of Japanese Dance World in Bremerton, Washington. She is a recipient of the 2008 Artist Trust/Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship in the traditional/folk category. Yamazaki began training in Traditional Japanese Dance (Nihon Buyo) at age four in her birth city of Tokyo, Japan. She holds a natori (master dancer license) awarded by the Hanayagi School of Japanese Dance, the largest of such in Japan. She had performed professionally over 10 years in Japan before arriving in the USA in 1987.
Movin’ Around the World: Spring
April 13-19 | 11 AM - 2:30 PM | Seattle Center Armory
Our Big Neighborhood provides a unique space for artists, family, and friends to celebrate our diverse traditions. Experience the cultures of our Pacific Northwest neighbors at Movin' Around the World: Spring! Held during Seattle Public Schools’ spring break, this weeklong celebration geared for kids 10 and under highlights a different theme each day to encourage learning through song, dance, and art.
Crossroads Cultural Arts Series: Eduardo Mendonça
April 18 | 6:30 - 8:30 PM | Crossroads Bellevue Market Stage
Eduardo Mendonça is a guitarist, percussionist, singer, composer, and director of ‘Show Brazil!’ ‘Show Brazil!’ Productions is led by Brazilian-American first generation immigrants Eduardo and Ana Paula Mendonça. Ana Paula as a woman and immigrant, and Eduardo as an African-American man and immigrant representing in Seattle, a minority working hard and surpassing challenges to keep alive the diversity of Brazilian culture in the Pacific Northwest. He has played, composed, and directed various genres of Brazilian popular music in the US, Canada, Nepal and Brazil since 1974. Eduardo Mendonça brings a wealth of experience to his wide-ranging musical endeavors.
Crossroads Cultural Arts Series: Folk Voice Band
May 16 | 6:30 - 8:30 PM | Crossroads Bellevue Market Stage
International Folk Dance Music
Duo, Trio or Ensemble Scandinavian, Continental, Balkan or International. We are as versatile with our music as we are with our instrumentation! Folk Voice Band can provide anything from a listening program, to a full dance band sound. Instruments include but are not limited to Accordion, Piano, Concertina, Button Box, Mandolin, Guitar, Recorder, Flute, Fiddle, Viola, and Bass. Weddings, Family and Office Gatherings, Picnics and other special occasions, we add color and variety to any event. From background music, to ceremonial music to a full dance band, we can provide music to fit your special occasion.
49th Annual Northwest Folklife Festival
May 22-25 | Seattle Center
Presenting more than 5,000 performers, the Festival draws from the 100+ cultural communities that Northwest Folklife collaborates with year-round. The festival is more than a celebration of the diversity of the Pacific Northwest, it’s a chance to engage directly with the many communities that make up our region. The Northwest Folklife Festival is our key annual event bringing up to 250,000 people over four days to the Seattle Center.
Crossroads Cultural Arts Series: Anjali Joshi & Ensemble
June 20 | 6:30 - 8:30 PM | Crossroads Bellevue Market Stage
Indian Instrumental Orchestral Music
Anjali Music School was founded in 2007 by Anjali Joshi, who is well known in the Seattle area as a solo Santoor artist and teaches different instruments to adults and children. Anjali has been teaching music since 2002 and has given numerous workshops on music theme; worked as a judge on musical competitions and has published her album series “Instrumental Melodies”. Anjali Joshi is a software engineer by profession, but music will always remain her passion.
Crossroads Cultural Arts Series: Jim Page
July 18 | 6:30 - 8:30 PM | Crossroads Bellevue Market Stage
Folk Music with Teeth
Jim Page was named by Seattle Metropolitan Magazine as “One Of The 50 Most Influential Musicians In Seattle History.” He has recorded 23 albums over the course of a 50-plus year career and written a mountain of songs. He has toured in 13 countries including the US, Canada, Ireland, the UK, and Taiwan. Lyricist Robert Hunter said, “If Jim Page ain’t the bastard son of Woody Guthrie I’m T-Bone Walker.” Bonnie Raitt says, “I’m a longtime admirer.” The late Utah Phillips said it best: “If you’re ever going to get the message, this is the messenger to get it from.”
August 1, 8, & 15 | 2 PM - 5 PM | Seattle Center Artists at Play
Global Playground is where cultural connectivity meets outdoor fun! Located at Artists at Play, the city’s most unique gathering space, local bands, DJs, and dancers will keep the party going with the sights and sounds of our young creative community. Geared for youth 13 and under, this event takes place on the first three Saturdays of August.
Crossroads Cultural Arts Series: The Rouge & Noir Tango Orchestra
Crossroads Cultural Arts Series: Saeed Abbas & GyeNyamé Music
September 19 | 6:30 - 8:30 PM | Crossroads Bellevue Market Stage
Traditional Ghanaian Dance Music
Saeed Abbas has performed and taught traditional West African percussion since he was 16. After acceptance into Ghana’s prestigious National Dance Ensemble, he performed the rich indigenous rhythms of his county in many parts of the world. He was invited to the US to teach at a disabled school in 2002 and decided to stay performing on both coasts. His credits include Berklee College of Music, Dartmouth and the Kennedy Center. Saeed was selected to be one of 5 teaching artists for the WSAC roster 2018-2019, which you can find more information on his website in the TA roster page.
Crossroads Cultural Arts Series: Quarteto SuperSones
October 17 | 6:30 - 8:30 PM | Crossroads Bellevue Market Stage
Cuban Son Music
SuperSones play the sublime music known as Son – the acoustic dance music of the Cuban countryside that inspired modern Salsa. Son is a unique blend of Spanish guitars and harmony, Afro-Cuban percussion and swing, call-and-response singing, and trumpet improvisation. Since 2001, SuperSones have performed for a wide range of audiences. In Seattle, public performances have included the following venues: The Triple Door, The Royal Room, Northwest Folklife Festival, Tractor Tavern, Nectar, Seattle Folklore Society, Seattle City Hall, and Seattle Art Museum.
Seattle Children’s Festival
October 24-25 | Center Armory & Fisher Pavilion
Seattle Children’s Festival is a weekend celebration where families learn directly from our neighbors who pass on the songs, dances, and stories of their cultures. The event passport acts as a guide to travel the world through 2 main stages, 3 interactive workshop spaces, 2 Discovery Zones full of activities, and a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) Lab. Designed for kids 12 and under, there’s plenty to experience, ranging from hip-hop and folklórico dance to robots.
Crossroads Cultural Arts Series: Carolyn Cruso
November 21 | 6:30 - 8:30 PM | Crossroads Bellevue Market Stage
Adventurous Dulcimer with Story Songs
Cruso will regale you with the intricacies of the fascinating hammered dulcimer; an ancient instrument that originated in Persia over 2000 years ago. She plays both traditional Celtic tunes and her own world inspired contemporary compositions. She is also a singer/songwriter, accompanying herself often on alternately tuned guitars. Her lyrics explore such characters as bards, outliers and divine strangers. She explores topics of love, sensuality, loss and redemption, creating a rich weaving of rhythm, melody, and intelligent lyrics.
Crossroads Cultural Arts Series: Pacific Northwest Sacred Harp Singers
December 21 | 6:30 - 8:30 PM | Crossroads Bellevue Market Stage
Join in and sing with us from The American Christmas Harp, a collection of carols, hymns, psalms, and fuguing tunes from 18th and 19th century rural, non-denominational American songbooks.
First and foremost, we are not a choir. We sing for ourselves and for each other with no director, no rehearsals and we don’t try to sound pretty! The tradition of shape note singing is as old as the United States itself. There has been a shape note singing group in some form or other in Seattle since the mid- 1970’s. The American Christmas Harp is a collection of songs compiled by a local woman that we sing from every December. The stage performance is not so much a performance as it is a singing demonstration, so please come join us!