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2005 Homegrown Concerts

Online Archive of Past Homegrown Concerts

All of the materials from the Homegrown Concert Series are available to visitors in the Folklife Reading Room. Selected materials will be made available online as digital versions are available.

The event flyers on this page are presented in Adobe Acrobat PDF format and require Adobe Reader software available for free on the Adobe Web site.

December 7, 2005
Coolidge Auditorium
Jefferson Building

Image: Birmingham SunlightsBirmingham Sunlights -- African American Gospel
quartet from Alabama

Read the event flyer essay PDF 2 pages, 1121kb

View the webcast of this presentation Time 1:01:14

The dynamic Birmingham Sunlights are dedicated to carrying on the art of unaccompanied gospel harmony singing that has an especially brilliant heritage in their home place Jefferson County, Alabama. Formed in 1979 by music director James Alex Taylor, the quartet originally included James' brothers Steve and Barry, and Ricky Speights and Wayne Williams; Williams has since been replaced by Bill Graves. Upon becoming aware of the rich Jefferson County gospel quartet tradition they sought training from a senior quartet, the Sterling Jubilees, to learn songs traditional to the area. For over twenty years since then, the Sunlights have carried their joyful message all over the United States and the world. They have appeared at numerous festivals across the nation, performed in France as ambassadors of Alabama traditional culture, toured five countries in Africa and performed extensively in the Caribbean and Australia under the auspices of the United States Department of Information and the United States State Department.

November 16, 2005
Coolidge Auditorium, Jefferson building

Image: Dineh Tah Navajo DancersDineh Tah Navajo Dancers

Read the event flyer essay PDF 2 pages, 734kb

View the webcast of this presentation Time 1:09:16

Founded in 1993, the Dineh Tah Navajo Dancers promote the understanding of the rich cultural traditions of the Navajo "Dineh" people. Their performances include dances and songs such as the Corn Grinding Act, the Basket Dance, the Bow and Arrow Dance and the Social Song and Dance. The group is made up of young dancers from throughout the Four Corners region of the Southwest that comprises the Navajo nation. Cosponsored with the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian.

October 12, 2005 at Noon
Coolidge Auditorium, Jefferson

Image: Negrura Peruana

Negrura Peruana -- Afro Peruvian music and dance from Connecticut

Read the event flyer essay PDF 2 pages, 662kb

View the webcast of this presentation Time 48:12

Negrura Peruana performs the music and dance of Peru's African and criollo population from the coastal region just to the south of Lima, the nation's capital. Group members emigrated from Lima to the Hartford area of Connecticut about ten years ago and formed Negrura Peruana in 2002. Group members learned their music, dances and songs in their neighborhoods in Peru, where music was an important part of celebrations, gatherings, and informal competitions. Since its founding Negrura Peruana has become a popular attraction at events held by the growing Peruvian community in Connecticut.

September 20, 2005 at noon
Coolidge Auditorium
, Jefferson Building

Janette Carter with AutoharpCarter Family Tribute -- Old Time Music from Virginia
NEA National Heritage Fellow Concert

Read the event flyer essay PDF 2 pages, 907kb

View the webcast of this presentation Time 1:03:01

The Original Carter Family was the most influential group in early country music, recording dozens of hit songs between 1927 and 1941. Made up of A. P. Carter, his wife Sara Carter, and her cousin Maybelle Carter (who got the Carter surname by marrying A. P.’s brother Ezra), the group established many of the conventions of the genre, including styles of guitar playing and vocal harmony that remained standard for years. The Carters also collected and arranged many folk songs from both white and black traditions, bringing folk ballads, lyric songs and blues firmly into popular Country music.

This year [2005], one of the recipients of the National Heritage Fellowship Award is country singer and autoharp player Janette Carter, one of A. P. and Sara’s daughters. Janette has labored for years to preserve the legacy of the Carter Family, and in 1979 founded the Hiltons, Virginia music venue The Carter Family Fold. In honor of Janette’s achievement as a performer and an organizer, the American Folklife Center presented a Carter Family Tribute Concert, featuring prominent country and old-time musicians, hosted by Joe Wilson, former director of the National Council for Traditional Arts.

August 17, 2005 at Noon
Madison Hall, 1st floor Madison Building

Image: Benton FlippenBenton Flippen and the Smokey Valley Boys -- Old Time music from North Carolina

Read the event flyer essay PDF 2 pages, 928kb

View the webcast of this presentation Time 1:01:41

Benton Flippen, one of the icons of old-time fiddling in America, was born and raised in a musical family in Surry County, North Carolina. Born in 1920, Flippen comes from a generation of great players at the epicenter of Southern mountain music. Among his contemporaries were Tommy Jarrell, Fred Cockerham, Kyle Creed and Earnest East, musicians who have influenced countless students of Old Time music. Flippen has been similarly influential, and he received the 1990 North Carolina Folk Heritage Award for being the innovator of a distinctive style of old-time string music. He has served as a mentor for several wonderful musicians, notably NPR newscaster, music producer, and banjo player Paul Brown, who will be playing with Flippen at this concert. Benton Flippen is still an active musician, playing at fiddle contests and square dances throughout his home region. The Smokey Valley Boys consist of Paul Brown on banjo, Verlen Clifton on mandolin, and Frank Bodie on guitar.

July 20, 2005 at Noon
Coolidge Auditorium, Jefferson Building

Image: D.W. GroetheD. W. Groethe -- Cowboy songs and poetry from Montana

Read the event flyer essay PDF 2 pages, 731kb

View the webcast of this presentation Time 58:30

D. W. Groethe is the genuine article, a working cowboy who writes and sings about the everyday life of a rancher on the northern Great Plains. The descendent of Norwegian immigrants who homesteaded in Williams County, North Dakota, Groethe has a deep respect for and knowledge of those who came before him, Native and immigrant alike. He draws on the long-standing and vigorous traditions of cowboy songs and poetry, which continue to thrive in the American west. Chris Billings, writing in the Billings Gazette, summed up Groethe's art succinctly: "When he sings, you hear bawling calves, smell the fire at branding time and shiver at the chill of a skin-stripping prairie wind. You ache at the contradiction of ranch life, starving to death to do the thing you love."

June 21, 2005 at Noon
Coolidge Auditorium Jefferson Building

Image: Margaret MacArthurMargaret MacArthur -- Ballads and songs from Vermont

Read the event flyer essay PDF 2 pages, 876kb

View the webcast of this presentation Time 1:03:33

Since settling in Vermont in 1948, Margaret MacArthur has traveled through the state and throughout northern New England, recording old songs that have been passed down through generations and giving them new life through her own performances. Margaret is a marvelous singer and a serious scholar and collector of the traditional songs of New England. She has been honored by both the state of Vermont and the New England Council on the Arts for her role in preserving the traditional arts of the region. Of a previous MacArthur appearance, Mike Joyce of The Washington Post said: "She's a champion of simpler times and rural places as well as a collector of heartfelt poems and curious tales...but whatever their source or subject matter, MacArthur imbued them with warmth.

Margaret MacArthur passed away May 23, 2006 at her home after a short illness. Visit The Vermont Folklife Center's Web pages on Margaret MacArthur which includes audio recordings and an obituary.

May 18, 2005 at Noon
Coolidge Auditorium Jefferson Building

Image: Chu Shan Chinese OperaChu Shan -- Chinese Opera Institute from Maryland

Read the event flyer essay (PDF 2 pages, 783kb)

(video unavailable online)

The Chu Shan Chinese Opera Institute was founded in 1991 by Zhu Chu Shan, a Chinese opera director, and Judy Huang, an actress, to provide skilled leadership in directing, acting, teaching, and presenting Chinese opera in the Baltimore-Washington area. They have staged performances of all sizes, and have trained students of all ages, in both large and small groups, in the arts of Chinese opera. More than just a musical style, Chinese Opera is a performance system whose ancient origins have been tempered by five thousand years of development. The discipline demands several skills from performers. The basic elements are summed up by the phrase chang, zuo, nian, da --- singing, acting, reciting, and martial arts fighting. Actors' movements are guided by the predominant aesthetic principle of xieyi, or, literally, "freehand brushstroke," a metaphor borrowed from traditional Chinese painting that refers to the highly stylized, symbolic representation of action on the operatic stage. Visit the Washington Chu Shan Chinese Opera Institute Web site to learn about their workshops and upcoming productions.

April 21, 2005 at Noon
Coolidge Auditorium, Jefferson Building

Image: Liz Carroll and John DoyleLiz Carroll with John Doyle -- Irish American fiddling from Illinois.

Read the event flyer essay PDF 863kb

(video unavailable online)

Liz Carroll is universally recognized as one of the greatest Irish fiddlers playing today. Born in Chicago of Irish immigrant parents, Liz astounded the Irish music world in 1975 when she won the senior All-Ireland fiddling championship at the age of eighteen. In a genre noted for its virtuosic musicians, she is widely admired for her diverse repertoire, her dazzling original compositions and her unique and carefully crafted playing style. Liz has recorded numerous albums and performed all over the United States and Europe. In 1994 she was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts for her contributions to traditional Irish music in America. John Doyle, originally from Dublin, spent several years with the group Solas, and is now one of the most sought-after accompanists in Irish music. Also an accomplished singer, Doyle currently lives in Asheville, North Carolina.

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