Presenting the 44th Kent State Folk Festival
From Nov. 17 through 20, Kent returns to its roots culturally and musically when the 44th Kent State Folk Festival presents four days of concerts and workshops in a celebration of traditional and contemporary folk music. The festival begins with an evening of Brazilian music and dance at The Kent Stage on Wednesday, Nov. 17, followed by hometown hero Jessica Lea Mayfield (Kent Stage, Nov. 18), singer/songwriters Shawn Colvin and Loudon Wainwright III (Kent Stage, Nov. 19), favorites Eddie From Ohio with Vienna Teng and the recent add of Secret Sisters (Kent Stage, Nov. 20). Nov. 20 event with the Cave Singers HAS BEEN CANCELED, EFFECTIVE NOV. 17. More about the artists and complete schedules will be posted at www.KentStateFolkFestival.org.
Most mainstage concerts will be held at The Kent Stage, located at 175 E. Main St. in downtown Kent. Tickets can be purchased in person at The Kent Stage, Woodsy’s Music and Spin-More Records, by phone at 330-677-5005 and online at www.KentStage.org. The free workshops on Nov. 20 will again be held at the Kent Student Center.
The line-up for the 44th Kent State Folk Festival (all concerts at The Kent Stage unless otherwise noted):
- Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m.: An Evening of Brazilian Music and Dance featuring Luca Mundaca, the Moises Borges Trio, Samba Joia and Capoeira with Ismail Douglas & Group – $10 general admission.
- Thursday, Nov. 18 at 8 p.m.: Jessica Lea Mayfield with Tim Easton and Frontier Ruckus – $20 general admission.
- Friday, Nov. 19 at 8 p.m.: Shawn Colvin and Loudon Wainwright III – $40 reserved, $65 gold circle.
- Friday, Nov. 19 (various times): Folk Alley ‘Round Town (35 venues throughout Kent) – FREE.
- Saturday, Nov. 20, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.: Workshops (KSU Student Center) – FREE.
- Saturday, Nov. 20, 5 to 6 p.m.: Talent Contest (KSU KIVA) – FREE.
- Saturday, Nov. 20 at 8 p.m.: Eddie from Ohio with Vienna Teng and Secret Sisters – $25 reserved, $35 gold circle.
- Saturday, Nov. 20 at 7:30 p.m.: CANCELED, EFFECTIVE NOV. 17: The Cave Singers and local jamband favorites, the Dreadlock Dave and John Welton Duo. MOVED TO DIFFERENT VENUE ON SATURDAY (SEE ABOVE): the Secret Sisters.
The 44th Kent State Folk Festival begins on Nov. 17 with Brazilian music at The Kent Stage featuring Luca Mundaca. A self-taught musician, Mundaca specializes in samba and bossa nova and has had her work in movies and TV shows. Also on the program, Brazilian guitarist Moises Borges, the drumming group Samba Joia and capoeira (a combination of dance and martial arts) with a group led by Cleveland’s Ismail Douglas.
On Thursday, Nov. 18, singer/songwriter Jessica Lea Mayfield returns to her hometown as the evening’s headliner. Now an international touring artist known for songs filled with honest emotion, Mayfield has her roots in the Northeast Ohio folk scene. Kent is also a familiar stop for former street musician Tim Easton. The Akron native and Firestone High School grad now calls Joshua Tree, Calif., home. Michigan-based Frontier Ruckus opens.
Nov. 19 will be a busy day in downtown Kent as Folk Alley ‘Round Town fills 35 venues with free music throughout the city. Performances begin at 11:30 a.m. and are scheduled to continue until 1 a.m. Participating artists include Ryan Humbert & Emily Bates at 157 Lounge, Lisa & Heather Malyuk at Anthony’s Cakes, Hey Mavis at The Black Squirrel Gallery, Jon Mosey at Franklin Square Deli, the Kidney Brothers at the Venice, the TwistOffs at Water Street Tavern, Hal Walker at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Kent and many others.
Friday’s schedule also includes a special mainstage show at The Kent Stage. Grammy winners Shawn Colvin and Loudon Wainwright III share the bill for an evening of insightful and entertaining music. Pop hit-maker Colvin has returned to her singer/songwriter roots, aligning herself with, among others, Americana artists Emmylou Harris and Buddy Miller. Wainwright has peppered his storied career with clever and humorous music that can turn heart wrenching in a moment. His latest projects include last year’s Grammy-winning Charlie Poole project and collaborating on music for the film Knocked Up.
The 44th Kent State Folk Festival concludes on Saturday, Nov. 20, with 34 free workshops and two mainstage concerts. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Kent Student Center, workshops bring the world of folk to life as the best regional artists share their skill and knowledge about a variety of musical techniques. The day begins with open lessons. Scheduled topics focus on banjo, fiddle, guitar, ukulele, hula, old-time music, bawdy songs, contradance, clogging, shape note singing and more. At 5 p.m., the Kent Student Center Kiva plays host to the annual talent contest. Entries are still being accepted, email David Fuente at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
The festival concludes with a Saturday evening concert at the Kent Stage. Eddie from Ohio will showcase their unique blend of harmonies and acoustic instrumentation. Singer-songwriter Vienna Teng will open, along with just-added special guests the Secret Sisters.
The Saturday concert featuring the Cave Singers scheduled for the Kent Student Center ballroom has been canceled.
Festival support is provided by Kent State University, Dominion East Ohio, Cascade Auto Group, Marc’s and Kashi, Audio Technica, Seagrams Escape, the City of Kent, PARTA and Great Lakes Brewing Company with media support by Scene.
WKSU-FM broadcasts NPR & Classical Music at 89.7 FM, and is a service of Kent State University. WKSU-FM programming is also heard on WKRW 89.3 FM in Wooster, WKRJ 91.5 FM in Dover/New Philadelphia, WKSV 89.1 FM in Thompson, WNRK 90.7 in Norwalk, W298BA 107.5 FM in Boardman, and W239AZ 95.7 FM in Ashland. The station broadcasts four HD Radio channels – adding WKSU-2 Folk Alley, WKSU-3 The Classical Channel and WKSU-4 The News Channel to the analog broadcast schedule. The Classical Channel can also be heard in Cleveland at 107.3 HD-3. The WKSU-FM website is www.wksu.org.