Music and dance stages are sponsored by the City of East Lansing, with more than 50 performances throughout the weekend. Here’s a look at the preliminary music line-up:
o Beyond the Pale, Klezmer — Toronto, Ontario, Canada
o Eddie Bo, Blues Piano – New Orleans, Louisiana
o The Cottars, Celtic — Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada
o Nadim Dlaikan Ensemble, Middle Eastern — Dearborn, Michigan
o Feufollet, Cajun — Lafayette, Louisiana
o Wayne Hancock, Juke Joint Swing — Austin, Texas
o Peter Hedlund, Swedish Nyckelharpa– Vallsta, Sweden
o Hellenic 5, Greek — Chicago, Illinois
o Ron Likovic, Slovenian Polka — Cleveland, Ohio
o Lil’ Nathan & the Zydeco Big-Timers, Zydeco — Lafayette, Louisiana
o Los Texmaniacs, Tejano — San Antonio, Texas
o Lovell Sisters, Bluegrass — Calhoun, Georgia
o Phava, African-American Gospel — Chicago, Illinois
o Roots Vibration, Caribbean — Detroit, Michigan
o Samite, Ugandan — New York, New York
o Aditya Verma, Indian Sarod — Montreal, Quebec, Canada
o Cedric Watson, Creole Fiddle — Lafayette, Louisiana
Eddie Bo, Blues Piano – New Orleans, Louisiana
Music program notes:
-A Louisiana-themed music block includes Cajun, Creole and Zydeco together at the event for the first time — celebrating the perserverance of the musical heritage of Louisiana. GLFF truly showcases tradition: Lil’ Nathan is the son of Nathan Williams of Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas who performed at the 2002 event. Feufollet, a high-energy Cajun group and crowd favorite from 2002, makes a return visit to East Lansing.
-Abdul Karim Bader, oud (lute) player with the Nadim Dlaikan Ensemble, is the recipient of a 2006 Michigan Heritage Award, the state’s highest award for artists who continue traditions with excellence. Bader will receive the MHA at a special program during the festival weekend.
-Roots Vibration returns for more. Due to another out-of-town engagement last year, the group was only able to perform one slot at the 2005 festival and they will bring more Caribbean sounds to the festival weekend this year.
-A new "Meet the Artist" slot has been added at the Legacy Stage, giving the audience a chance to hear artists in a more intimate setting from the bigger stage venues across the half-mile site.
-See the festival web site (http://www.greatlakesfolkfest.net) for sound clips and bios and background on these artists representing diverse musical traditions and cultural roots from Michigan, the Great Lakes and beyond.
Additional program notes:
-GLFF planners from the MSU Museum are also working with City of East Lansing officials on a couple of modifications to the site. With a construction project at the west end of Valley Court Park, the Children’s Folk Activities Area will be moved to a more centrally located spot in the downtown site.
-The City Hall Stage will be shifted from the city hall parking lot into Abbott Road, allowing for additional seating and overflow area, and anchoring the north end of the site.
-Traditional games and demonstrations feature hands-on fun: backgammon, cards, cribbage, dominoes, mah jong and more.
-Area craft guilds join the Folk Arts Marketplace — quilting, weaving, knitting, spinning, basket-making and more hand-made goods.
-The Children’s Folk Activities Area features "Outdoors Unplugged," with rousing fresh-air fun for children and their adult companions — encouraging physical activity, creativity and inquisitiveness.
This award-winning event is recognized as one of the state’s premiere arts programs and a summer-time high point. – and is expected to draw more than 80,000 visitors throughout the weekend. The festival is a one-of-a-kind fusion of arts fair, music festival, county fair, hands-on activity workshops, living museum exhibitions, and celebration of multi-ethnic heritage.
"At the heart of the festival experience – interwoven through the diverse music, foodways and hand-made arts — are living traditions," notes Marsha MacDowell, founding director of GLFF and MSU Museum curator of folk arts. "The performances and programs resonate with visitors’ own experiences and expand awareness of our global community."
Admission to the Great Lakes Folk Festival is free. Festival hours are: Friday, Aug. 11, 6 – 10:30 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 12, 12 noon – 10:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Aug. 13, 12 noon – 6 p.m.
Primary financial support for GLFF comes from the City of East Lansing, Michigan State University Office of the Provost and University Outreach and Engagement, and Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. Nearly 100 corporations, foundations and organizations also support GLFF annually, as well as individual donors, "Great Friends."
The Great Lakes Folk Festival is a celebration of culture, tradition and community produced by the Michigan State University Museum, the state’s first Smithsonian Institution affiliate. The event attracts an audience estimated at 80,000+ throughout its three-day run in downtown East Lansing. GLFF was named the state’s top public humanities program 1974-2004 by the Michigan Humanities Council, from among more than 1,500 humanities projects MHC funded during its first 30 years.