Artists on the faculty of Folk College lead workshops, coach the student bands, perform in the concerts and lead evening jam sessions. Some artists lead 3-hour intensive workshops on Friday: check out Intensives.
This year's staff features Guy Davis, Ari & Mia, our host band Simple Gifts and more to be announced.
Here is our list of artists for 2018.
Guy Davis, son of actor/activist parents Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, has spent his musical life carrying his message of the blues around the world, earning him the title “An Ambassador of the Blues”. His work as an actor, author, and music teacher earmark him as a renaissance man of the blues. Guy’s new album, Sonny & Brownie’s Last Train – A Look Back at Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry, is an homage to these two hugely influential artists, not only on Guy’s career, but to thousands of musicians around the world. Guy’s one-man play, The Adventures of Fishy Waters: In Bed With the Blues, premiered Off-Broadway in the ‘90s and has since been released as a double CD. He went on to star Off-‐Broadway as the legendary Robert Johnson in Robert Johnson: Trick The Devil, winning the Blues Foundation’s “Keeping the Blues Alive” award. Along the way he cut nine acclaimed albums for the Red House label and four for his own label, Smokeydoke Records; and was nominated for nearly a dozen Blues Awards.
“Strikingly beautiful, distinctive and exhilarating, with expressive vocals that will find a way into hearts and minds” (No Depression), sisters Ari & Mia Friedman reference the styles of Southern and Northeastern fiddle music and the early American songbook to create a realm where their own compositions cross paths with older traditions. Their stylish and sophisticated music honors the sounds of Appalachian cottages, rural dance floors, and urban concert halls. Combine this with their innovative approach to songwriting and the result is a captivating sound.
“Ari & Mia are not creating a new music; they are taking it to another level and exploring areas that have not been attempted in decades. Their all-acoustic, pure and honest approach has significance.
Folk College's host band, Simple Gifts, is three women (Linda Littleton, Karen Hirshon & Rachel Hall) playing twelve instruments, with styles that range from old time to Celtic to Klezmer and beyond. Karen Hirshon plays fiddle, mandolin, guitar, 6-string banjo, bowed psaltery, doumbek, and spoons. Linda Littleton plays fiddle, hammered dulcimer, recorders, and bowed psaltery, and she's starting to learn banjo. Rachel Hall is recognized as one of the leading English concertina players in the U.S., and she also performs on piano, accordion, and tabla. Based in State College and Philadelphia, PA, Simple Gifts members designed Folk College and work with the Huntingdon County Arts Council to make it a reality. They have a strong philosophy that everyone can play music, that music is best when shared, and that above all, music is about communication, not competition.
Check back soon.