LOWELL, MA – The Lowell Folk Festival has announced the latest batch of talented musicians from across the country who will grace four stages during the 2022 Lowell Folk Festival. Celebrating its 35th anniversary July 29-31, the 2022 Lowell Folk Festival promises to continue its rich history of presenting a diverse mix of musical styles from regions across the country. The eclectic group includes Grammy-winning Polka performers, masters of Memphis Soul and a Creole party that will have everyone dancing.
Additional artists include:
Carolyn Martin Swing Band (Fort Wayne, IN) Western Swing
From the Grand Ole Opry to Southern honky-tonks to European concert halls, fans have come to know Carolyn Martin as a singer with the soulful elegance that is the essence of Western swing music.
Balla Kouyaté & Famoro Dioubaté (Boston) Masters of Balafon
Balla Kouyaté from Mali and Famoro Dioubaté from Guinea are the masters of the West African balafon, the predecessor of the vibraphone and the xylophone. Each performance by the duo is a treat for audiences and performers alike, filled with the thrill of the unexpected as they explore the new heights they can reach when musical friendship, creative vision and virtuosity collide.
Christine Tassan and the Imposteures (Quebec) Gypsy Jazz and Swing
For more than 20 years, Christine Tassan has steered her boat with boundless enthusiasm and confidence. Endowed with a contagious dynamism, she is one of the rare female soloists on the gypsy jazz guitar; she is distinguished by her sensitive acting, her quiet strength and her irresistible audacity.
Don Bryant (Memphis) Memphis Soul
Don Bryant is a soul singing legend from Memphis. His career as a singer and songwriter spans over six decades and has earned him five Blues Music Award nominations. Bryant is joined at Lowell by an outstanding five-piece band made up of members of the Bo-Keys, an intergenerational ensemble that continues the classic Memphis sound today.
Lenny Gomulka and Chicago Push (Ludlow, MA) Polka
Lenny Gomulka originated the “Chicago Push” style of Polish polka, along with the legendary Eddie Blazonczyk, while playing in Blazonczyk’s band in the 1960s and 1970s. The “push” style is characterized by a propulsive rhythm, shaken by a bellows and driven by an accordion, replacing the slower, more laid-back Chicago style that preceded it. In 1980 Gomulka formed his own band, naming them Chicago Push, and they have since been one of the most popular and influential polka bands in the country, earning 12 Grammy nominations and several awards along the way. including the first ever Grammy polka in 1985.
Güera de Panfilo (San Antonio, Texas) Tejano Conjunto Fiddle
When Texas Folklife and the Festival of Texas Fiddling honored Belen Escobedo with the 2017 Texas Master Fiddler Award, they praised her for “keeping alive” the conjunto fiddling tradition, “a rare and beautiful style of Mexican-American fiddling. which has almost disappeared when it was once widespread in the border regions. Today, Belen Escobedo is the leading practitioner of this violin-driven art form that expresses the deep roots of Tejano (Texas-Mexican) culture.
Tremé Brass Band (New Orleans, LA) Brass Band of New Orleans
At the heart of New Orleans’ musical traditions are the African-American marching bands that play for traditional funerals and street parades. Among the most beloved of these is the Tremé Brass Band of the venerable and legendary neighborhood of Tremé. The band is fronted by a New Orleans institution, drummer Benny Jones, Sr., who has been marching for nearly 60 years.
Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole (Lafayette, LA) Creole music
Cedric Watson is one of the brightest stars in a constellation of vibrant musical traditions originating in southwest Louisiana. Four-time Grammy-nominated violinist, singer, accordionist and songwriter, Cédric boldly revives Louisiana Creole music, a unique violin-focused style sung primarily in French and born of a regional blend of Africa, from France, Spain and the Caribbean. , and Indigenous musical cultures. Watson’s music is a hybrid of traditional Creole and Cajun songs, zydeco, wider Caribbean influences and his own original compositions. It’s also an intrepid exploration of history and geography, digging deep into the musical roots shared by Afro-French Creole cultures across the Caribbean and beyond.
This group of talented musicians joins a 2022 lineup that also includes: Cherish the Ladies (Irish), Los Pleneros de la 21 (Bomba and Plena), Dale Ann Bradley (Bluegrass), Diunna Greenleaf & Blue Mercy (Blues), Nava Persian Trio (Persian Santour), The Pedro Giraudo Tango Ensemble (Argentine Tango).
Festival organizers are thrilled to bring back this must-see cultural event, marking a new chapter in the region’s post-pandemic recovery. The festival’s favorite non-profit ethnic food vendors will also be making a return this year. A dozen master craftsmen and local chefs will be honored in the Folk Craft & Foodways Space.
“Whether it’s blues, Celtic, Cajun, beatboxing, or the myriad other musical traditions of the world presented over the years, the Lowell Folk Festival has always featured the best performers in the world,” said Kevin Dwyer, executive director of the Lowell Festival. Foundation. “Downtown Lowell comes alive with 150,000 visitors over the weekend, hosting 20 performing groups representing a wide range of cultures, each sharing their unique musical traditions on stage, not to mention the incredible area folk crafts, wonderful ethnic food vendors, etc. much more.”
The Lowell Folk Festival is produced by the Lowell Festival Foundation, the Town of Lowell, the Lowell National Historic Park, the National Council of Traditional Arts, the Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce and the Lower Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau. Great Merrimack.
More details about the festival, including performers and additional times, can be found at LowellFolkFestival.org or the Lowell Folks Facebook page.