Monday, August 14, 2017

World Music a focus at 2017 Edmonton Folk Music Festival

The Edmonton Folk Music Festival took place August 10-13 at Gallagher Park. Known for its diverse selection of musical artists, this year in particular there was an eclectic assortment of acts from different countries and cultures.

On the first night of the festival, things got kicked off with Solo. The name was ironic: the band was composed of numerous members of two of Quebec's most well-known traditional groups, Le Vent Du Nord and De Temps Antan. Their performance was exciting, with the sound heavy on fiddles and stomping.


Next up was Lakou Mizik, a collective of musicians from Haiti from different generations. The group formed in the wake of the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti. Consisting of vocalists, rare horns, guitars, accordion, and percussion, the music and stage performance (which was very physical) captivated the Thursday night audience.

Lakou Mizik

Lakou Mizik

Lakou Mizik

Lakou Mizik

Unfortunately, the evening had to be called to a conclusion early, as a sudden and severe windstorm resulted in the last two performances being cancelled, and the park evacuated. Shakey Graves and The Decemberists have been invited back to perform at the 2018 festival.

The Thursday evening sky.
With their traditional instruments made by the band itself, and captivating throat singing, Huun Huur Tu's sound was mesmerizing. The band is from Tuva, a very small country on the Mongolia-Russia border.

Huun Huur Tu
Edmonton's Mohsin Zaman, originally from Pakistan, has become a driving force in the local music scene and was named the Folk Fest's first Artist in Residence.

Mohsin Zaman

A number of Indigenous acts appeared at this year's Folk Fest. From the Treaty 6 land upon which the Folk Fest takes place was the Logan Alexis Singers and friends, presenting a variety of singing, drumming, and dance styles. During their concert performance on Sunday, they had the audience up on their feet for a round dance.

Logan Alexis Singers

Logan Alexis Singers

Round Dancing

William Prince is a folk/country singer/songwriter from Manitoba whose First Nations roots are very evident in his lyrics. 
William Prince

The Jerry Cans, from Nunavut, had Stage One in a dancing frenzy during their Saturday evening concert. Inuit throat-singing and traditional language of Inuktituk mixed with their roots-rock sound.

The Jerry Cans
Taking the afternoon main stage on Sunday was Amadou & Mariam, a couple from Mali who met at a school for the blind. Mariam's vocals and Amadou's incredible guitar work soared through bluesy, danceable songs.

Amadou & Mariam

Like every year, the Edmonton Folk Music Festival featured a food court that also seemed to have a world influence, including Asian, East Indian, Native American, and western choices, as well as a lot of vegetarian/vegan items. There was also a craft/artisan market and merchandise tent where fans could get t-shirts and CDs.


Ruang Musik said...

Love this post!

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