New Bedford Folk
The New Bedford Folk Festival is a one-of-a-kind event. One of the reasons for this reputation is the emphasis on the two dozen festival “workshops” scheduled over the two day event.
All performers present a concert over the weekend but workshops are the heart and soul of the New Bedford Folk Festival and most performers at the festival appear in one or more workshops. There is nothing dry or academic about a festival workshop. They are not teaching or “how to” or “learn to play” sessions. Rather, each workshop is a gathering of musicians who seldom, if ever, share the same stage. All perform their music with a focus on a common theme. Examples are “The Maid on the Shore: Songs of the Battle of the Sexes,” “Her Bright Smile Still Haunts Me: Songs of Love,” and “As I Rode Out One Summer’s Day: Songs of Adventure and Courage.” Sometimes the theme is as simple as”Red Hot Music!”
By combining contemporary singer-songwriters with traditional musicians, blues players, Celtic performers and other folk genres, the music made in these workshops moves, inspires and excites the audience and the musicians in ways not experienced at other music events. The musicians begin to collaborate and they even may perform music that they seldom, if ever, perform on stage in front of an audience. As a result, each workshop is a show that you’ve never seen before and will never see again. As one writer said “This is a rare opportunity to experience the raw talent and creativity of these musicians.”
If the chemistry is just right, the resulting show is unlike anything you have ever seen or heard at a music event. These are the magical moments at the New Bedford Folk Festival and they are remembered long after the festival is over.
New Bedford Folk