The 77th National Folk Festival Announces Complete List of Artists

(Last Updated On: June 28, 2017)

The Polka Towners_courtesy of artistRepresenting a myriad of cultural traditions, 24 groups will be showcased on seven outdoor stages during the National Folk Festival, September 8-10, 2017

 Greensboro, N.C., June 28, 2017 — The National Folk Festival today announced four additional artists to complete the event’s list of performers, including trick ropers and musicians representing cultural traditions from Mexico to Bulgaria. The twenty-four artists will perform in downtown Greensboro from September 8-10, 2017, for the free event’s third historic year in North Carolina.

The 2016 National Folk Festival attracted more than 138,000 attendees to downtown Greensboro for the FREE, three-day weekend. Based on the success of the National Folk Festival, key stakeholders last week announced that a legacy North Carolina Folk Festival will begin in September 2018.

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

  1. Brice & Grace Chapman – trick roping: One of the finest trick ropers alive today, this native Texan and his daughter bring their working menagerie—four horses, six ducks, and a rabbit—to the National to demonstrate hundreds of classic and newly invented roping tricks.
  2. José Gutierrez & Los Hermanos Ochoa—son jarocho: This preeminent trio is known throughout Mexico as performers of son jarocho, the signature regional genre from the state of Veracruz on Mexico’s Gulf Coast.
  3. Pan Franek, Zosia & the Polka Towners—polka: Beloved by fans of traditional polka music nationwide, this family band plays a vast repertoire of polka classics, with infectious enthusiasm for their Polish heritage and distinctive twin fiddles.
  4. Yuri Yunakov Ensemble—Bulgarian wedding music: This saxophone virtuoso is an undisputed star of Bulgarian wedding music, the dazzling style that emerged in the 1970s when Bulgarian Gypsy artists combined traditional sounds with western jazz and rock.

These outstanding artists join the following performers, who have already been announced:

·         Alash – Tuvan throat singing

·         Ann Yao Trio – Chinese string ensemble

·         Bruce Daigrepont Cajun Band – Cajun

·         Dale Ann Bradley – bluegrass

·         Egyptian Celebration – Egyptian dance and music

·         Feedel Band – Ethiojazz

·         Innov Gnawa – Moroccan Gnawa

·         Kelsey Waldon – classic country

·         Los Texmaniacsconjunto Tejano

·         Lurrie Bell’s Chicago Blues Band – Chicago blues

·         Marshall Ford Swing Band – Western swing

·         Mary Jane Lamond & Wendy MacIsaac – Cape Breton singing and fiddling

·         Ongwehoñwe Singers & DancersHaudenosaunee song and dance

·         Orquesta SCC – salsa dura

·         Riley Baugus – Appalachian songs and ballads

·         Sri Lankan Dance Academy of NY – traditional Sri Lankan dance

·         Sun Ra Arkestra – big band free jazz

·         The Beat[box] Goes On – beatboxing

·         The Fairfield Four – African American gospel quartet singing

·         Tremé Brass Band – New Orleans brass band

 To learn more about these artists and their stories, please visit The National Folk Festival will feature individual artists on its Facebook page (, Twitter (, and Instagram ( throughout the rest of March.

More performers will be announced as they are confirmed.


About the 2017 National Folk Festival: Co-produced by the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) and ArtsGreensboro, the National Folk Festival is celebrating the third year of its three-year residency in downtown Greensboro in 2017. The FREE, three-day event is America’s longest-running festival of traditional arts. The National Folk Festival is supported by contributions and sponsorship from corporations, foundations, and individuals. Principal stakeholders and supporters include the City of Greensboro, Greensboro Convention & Visitors Bureau, Guilford County, North Carolina Arts Council, Downtown Greensboro, and Action Greensboro. See complete list and details at

 About the National Folk Festival: Since it was first presented in St. Louis in 1934, the National Folk Festival has celebrated the roots, richness, and variety of American culture. Championed in its early years by Eleanor Roosevelt, it was the first event of national stature to present the arts of many nations, races, and languages on equal footing. An exuberant traveling festival that embraces the diverse cultural expressions of the American people in the 21st century, the National Folk Festival is FREE to the public, and is produced by the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) in partnership with communities around the country.

About the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA): The National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) is one of the nation’s premier non-profit cultural organizations dedicated to the presentation and documentation of folk, tribal, and ethnic arts in the United States. Founded in 1933, it is the nation’s oldest producing and presenting organization with such a focus. Its programs celebrate and honor deeply rooted cultural expressions—music, crafts, stories, and dance passed on through time by families and communities as well as by tribal, ethnic, and occupational groups. The NCTA stresses excellence and authenticity in presenting artists to the public in festivals, tours, concerts, media programs, exhibitions, recordings, and other activities, and works in partnership with communities across American to establish new, sustainable traditional arts events that bring lasting social, cultural, and economic benefits.

About ArtsGreensboro: With an annual budget of approximately $3.5 million, ArtsGreensboro is a catalyst for innovation to build recognition and support for the arts. Through its ArtsFund-supported grant programs, the 17DAYS Arts & Culture Festival, the Levitt AMP Greensboro Music Series, and other opportunities including the National Folk Festival, ArtsGreensboro is driving the health and vitality of our community by supporting arts education, celebrating the diversity of Greensboro, and driving economic impact through excellence in arts programming.