All main stage performances are FREE for everyone and located at the Wendy Williamson auditorium.
Thursday Evening, January 19th, 7 pm
emcees: Mike Childers & Steve hinds
Guido’s Paddleboat Jam
Bluesy Folk Jam!
Matt Mahan & Shenandoah
Matt Mahan is new to the area, but you may have seen him solo busking with banjo and vocals. He won the 3-finger banjo contest earlier this year and will perform with Mark Hornan, Ryan McLaughlin, Charlie Overby, and Jeff Walker.
Robbie Beebe & Friends
Robbie Beebe is joined by Ken Brown, Judy Jacobs, Sandy Haag for some bluesy folk.
Blayde Boyd, Linda Sandstrum, Joan Unger, and Tristan Nutt join together on guitar, mandolin and tambourine for some classics.
Betty J. Arnett
Betty Arnett returns to the Folk Festival stage with another story.
Steve performs professionally in and around Talkeetna, and offers up his own songs about Alaska and Alaskan life.
Five (almost) life-long Alaskans known for their hot instrumentals and sweet harmonies: Rose Hanson, Ryan McLaughlin, Miles Allen, Ian Wahl, David Devlin. They met attending Mary Schallert’s Alaska City Folk Arts Camp, and you can find them teaching at that same camp most summers.
String of Lights
This Anchorage-based band features Heather Stewart, Charles Earnshaw, Jamie Whiteman, Arkadi Futerman, Natasha Price, and Kat Moore, who perform a genre-blending collection of contemporary folk songs with influences ranging from classical to jazz to indie rock. The songs are lyrical and melodic, supported by lush, mostly-acoustic soundscapes.
Singer-songwriter doing what he loves.
Red Cap & the Squirrely Dogs
After barely surviving mutiny last year, Red Cap and his squirrely sidekicks take the stage. The Richardson Family Band (Mike, Ben, Chris, and Mike Jr.), in current disarray, struggles to compromise on every composition, but will be sure to entertain.
Traditional bluegrass the way it was meant to be played, with Kelly Leseman, Jeff Walker, Nichole Campanale, Bob Fairchild, and Matt Mahan.
Friday Evening, January 20, 7 pm
emcee: Todd Grebe
From lonesome love to rowdy outlaws, these old-time aficionados have got a tune for you: Lauralee Honkola, Peter Johnson, George Sleichter, Scott Norris, and Jedediah Cobb.
Is it indie? Not really. Is it pop music? Certainly not. So clearly, it must be…co-dependent and unpopular! Is that a bad thing?
Mary Schallert and Friends
Mary Schallert, friends & family offer a tribute to Bill Allen, Mary’s husband, who is serving 2 years in the Peace Corps
The Hot Club of Nunaka
Inspired by the 1930s acoustic swing music of Django Reinhardt, Stephane Grapelli and the Hot Club of France, Anchorage’s finest Gypsy Jazz septet (Adam Bartlett, Derek Christianson, Eric Rodgers, Hans Arnet, Karl Pasch, Nathan Levine) will perform a selection of Gypsy and old jazz songs.
Steve Hinds and Mike Childers perform funny originals and folk music with a bit of an adult spin.
Acoustiacs is a folk trio comprised of three buddies: Randy Pasley, Silas Hoffman, and Forest Wilson. They play original tunes as well as orchestrated and improvised folk music.
Andy King, Mandy King, Greg Booth, Dan Booth, and Amanda Kerr with acoustic honkytonk tunes for dancing.
Guest Artists: The Travelin’ McCourys
No other band today has the same credentials for playing traditional and progressive music. As the sons of bluegrass legend Del McCoury, Ronnie McCoury on mandolin and Rob McCoury on banjo continue their father’s work—a lifelong dedication to the power of bluegrass music to bring joy into people’s lives. See page 7 for band bio and appearances.
Saturday Afternoon, January 21, 1 pm
The “Man of Gravity” wows with juggling feats.
Residents and neighbors of Chugiak-Eagle River Senior Center, led by Linda Shepard and Betty Burke, take the stage for some short and sweet songs.
Alaska Jumping Fleas
This local group is on a mission to show people the fun and versatility of the ukulele. You are all invited to sing along. Also, check out their Intro to Ukulele workshop! (Details p. 20 & 37).
Four friends from Seward picking on friendly tunes, some original, some familiar. With Jim Pfeiffenberger, Liesl Davenport-Wheeler, Bill Lawrence, and Ed Slavich.
Acoustic White Out
Typically seen in Valdez with Acoustic Avalanche, Marianne and Kelsey Prax are joined by Laurie Prax for a set at this year’s Folk Fest.
Snow River String Band
These young Seward bluegrassers keep on pickin’ and pluckin’. See if you can get ’em to smile! With Neil Lindquist, Lucy Hankins, Max Pfeiffenberger, Karl Pfeiffenberger, and Lydia Jacoby.
Anchorage Mandolin Orchestra
AMO is beginning its third year, comprised of about 15 musicians playing mandolin family instruments. Current members are Marty Beckwith, Ken Brown, Harry Bruhn, John Gillis, Yvonne Goldsmith, Jim Kerr, George Lehtinen, Ingrid Lindberg, Kathy Means, Hannah Smith, Joan Unger, Rich von Kennen, Karl Wilhelmi, and Pam McCarl. AMO is looking for mandola, mandocello, octave mandolin and bass mandolin players. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Mary and Angela Oudean
Mary and Angela Oudean, a mother-daughter duo, sing again for you.
Alaska Main Squeeze
Jill Williams, John McCleary, Joyce Haugstad, and Bob Kaiser squeeze ’em all, from polka to country.
Isaac Woods, Sam Engebretson and Lydia Jacoby are three Alaskan teens enjoying the Jam.
Two Girls, One Guitar, and a Bass
Lois Fedele and Stephanie Bissland sing rock, country, folk, and bluegrass.
AllGood Family Band
Ezzy, Ry, Lilly, and Michael play toe-tapping original songs with a humorous family edge.
Rose Fitch, Gary Fitch, and Graham Dugdale play some old-time string band music and, more likely than not, sing a song or two.
Harp Daddy and The Back Country Mojo, featuring Mudd Puddle
HarpDaddy, Tom Bargelski, Joe Craig, Dan Galanti, Michael Sentner, and Mudd Puddle perform originals and a blues standard.
Guest Artists: The Travelin’ McCourys
AFF guest artists Ronnie McCoury, Robbie McCoury, Jason Carter, Alan Bartram and Cody Kilby offer a short set, that will make you want to return for their final full set on Sunday night! See page 7 for band bio and other appearances.
Saturday Evening, January 21, 7 pm
emcee: Robin Hopper
Alaska Button Box Gang
Button Box accordion music across the world, including originals written by members of the Gang: Bob Szewc, May Lu Harle, Nancy Baum, Flo Pearson, Ida Johnston, Eddie Johnston, Theresa Pajot, Trudy Knudsen, Mike Pajot, and Mary Lou Catron.
Russell Ariel – a voluptuous bearded gentleman singing the best songs ever written.
Becky is an Alaska singer-songwriter whose all-original folk songs feature captivating, picturesque lyrics paired with vibrant and melodious tones on acoustic guitar.
Capturing a variety of genres on her life soundtrack, Jenny highlights her father’s Vietnam-era influence, her mother’s Spanish and Welsh culture and, what remains of her teen angst, grunge, and punk love.
Originally formed to play for the 2016 Folk Fest, this group from Valdez has added two guys who bring the rhythm up a notch. Laurie Prax, Sean Wisner, Julie Linnell, and Iam Cabitac are pleased to be performing three original songs this year.
Marianne See, Mary Oudean, Jessi Cotter, and L.J. Leach are bluegrass gals bringing you more of their favorites.
Midnight Sun Zombies
Todd Kelsey, Bill Yeagle, Nino Muniz, Skip Repetto, and Brett Jokela bring you something new from out of the Crypt: Music to shamble by.
Denise Martin on hammered dulcimer accompanied by Jim Kerr on guitar.
The Twangabillies storm the stage with a completely irresponsible set of rock and country standards. With Wendell Wright, Wade Hampton Miller, Wayne Campbell, Bob Curtis-Johnson, Ed Gagnon, and Pat Owens.
Blackwater Railroad Company
Tyson Davis, Matt Brenna, Isaac London, Matt Faubion, and Forest offer whiskey drinkin’, boot stompin’, music.
Megan Anna Kemp
A girl and her guitar.
Midnight Sons Chorus
The Midnight Sons is a men’s a cappella choral group that sings 4-part harmony in the ”barbershop style.“ They sing various types, from Broadway to Jazz, Americana to Rock and Roll, to just about any music that rings chords!
Original songs that reflect experiences and lessons learned while growing up in the Pacific Northwest and during summers spent in Alaska.
Rogues & Wenches
Erin Wells, Elena Gonzales, Lucia Woofter, Hunter Woofter, Robert Woofter, and Kyle Lindsey are ”Irish Pub Balladeers,“ a band of six Anchorage musicians, who play acoustic instruments and sing traditional Irish and Scottish songs, sea shanties, and pirate fare, whose lyrics often have a wry, humorous and sometimes bawdy twist.
Sunday Afternoon, January 22, 1 pm
Irish Dance Academy of Alaska
Founded in 1997 as a non-profit youth organization to foster the love of Irish dance, culture, and tradition. It is a performance and competitive school made up of dancers 5-18 years old.
Meg & Her Married Men
Meg Anderson, Tom Torvie, Michael Faubion, and John Will play a pleasing blend of country folk, including tunes from their CDs, on sale in the lobby.
Phil Cannon, Kate Cannon, Mark Woelber, Jonathan Hanson, and Elise Gelbart play regularly in worship at First Covenant church and put together a group purely for the fun of being a part of the Folk Festival.
Isabel Lukes and Holly Hill perform favorite folk tunes, including songs by Patty Griffin and The Dixie Chicks.
Lindianne writes songs and composes music for films. She has created three CDs, one which was composed for the video documentary Arctic Son.
Amanda Kerr’s Suzuki Violin & Fiddle Studio
Amanda Kerr’s fiddle students will play and sing a few of their favorite folk songs and fiddle tunes. Lucca Duke, Jenna Gardiner, Lucy Hankins, Svea Harvey, Harriet Hinks, Eliyah Jay, Mariah McCormick, Annika Nilsson, Vida Petter, Annamaria Pustina, Kaia Reeg, Malia Reeg, and Rachael Vassar, along with accompanists Dan Booth and Lauralee Honkola.
The Casey Jonesers
Jeremy Cohen, Rebecca Bard, Mike Loso, and Karen Loso play some of Jeremy’s original tunes, backed by vocal chords, wood, and wires. This crew has been playing together for years in various incarnations in McCarthy and is now pleased to be a part of the Anchorage Folkfest.
The Cold Duck Complex: Eric Rodgers, Silas Hoffman, Forrest Wilson
They have a fever, and the only cure is more swing. Listening to this trio sends you spiraling into a night in Paris, with Django and Stephan serenading you into the mystique of the city.
The St. Mary’s Praise Singers
The Praise Singers sing every Sunday at the 11:30 service at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. Wade Hampton Miller, Karl Wilhelmi, Mathew Olson, Lyn Frank, Alex Cruver, Chris Cooke, Christy Favorite, Stephen Thorpe, Elsa Aegerter, and Megan Kamp offer an uplifting mixture of traditional and original music, with an emphasis on singability and memorable melodies.
Whimsical original songs deliver innocently sweet melodies with a stark, lo-fi punk flare. This up-and-coming local artist performs regularly at Organic Oasis, Snowgoose’s Nerd Nites, and at Anchorage Community Works events.
McCabe and Ostrand
Sarah McCabe and Bill Ostrand perform 3 old country blues songs written by Lightnin Hopkins, Geeshie Wiley, and Memphis Minnie.
Heavens to Betsy
Betsy performs songs written during her rambling decade, hitching, busking, and hopping trains from Venice Beach to New Orleans and back again. She revisits these songs after a long sabbatical reconsidering them from her new, rooted perspective. Wtih Fiona Rose.
The Sturm Troupers march in with entertaining takes on old (and new favorites). This family group uses the force for musical good. With Harrison Sturm and Chris Sturm.
Greg and Dan Booth concoct a tasty mixture of dobro and bass.
This group is composed of choir singers from various churches throughout Anchorage.
Recently heard at So. Anch Farmers Market and Williwaw, these students of Kevin Cassity blend their talents to offer a tasty musical treat. The Kornmesser brothers, Wyatt (12) and Milo (10), are joined by Harrison Sturm (14) and Greta Helgeson (11).
Alaska City Folk Arts
Under the direction of Mary Schallert, there are a multitude of youth musicians on the stage. Alaska City Folk Arts is June 12-16 2017. We look forward to playing music with you.
Sunday Evening, January 22, 7 pm
emcee: Patty Hamre
Midnight Sun Cloggers, and the New York City Boys
Dynamic & sensational all-female percussive dance team: Katrina, Tiffany, Marjie, Lyn, Robin, Kim, Dixine, Bri, Kari, Miranda, Shannon & Marcy…with marvelous melodies performed by the New York City Boys! Simply splendiferous!
Solar Flair Adult Jazz Ensemble
A group of adult professionals from Anchorage and Wasilla exploring the Creative Art of Jazz Improvisation with Instructor John Damberg. With Craig Condie, Jan Conitz, Paul Paslay, Pete Schaab, Sandy Ford, and John Damberg.
Adam Stewart and Friends
Adam Stewart, Harrison Jennings, and Ryan McLaughlin, a quirky group of musicians playing Adam’s original fiddle tunes.
Hannah Yoter and Silas Hoffman perform Americana originals.
Todd Grebe and Cold Country
Todd Grebe, Angela Oudean, Conor McManamin, Nate May, and Andy King remind you that authentic country music is alive and well in the hearts of those who would never let it die, and would play it until 2 a.m. even if nobody’s listening.
Award winning songwriter from Chugiak.
Guest Artists: The Travelin’ McCourys
This band is steeped in traditional bluegrass tunes, but expect some progressive sounds too. They’ve been known to offer smokin’ covers of the Dire Straits, Grateful Dead – even Passenger. Enjoy the pure entertainment of The Travelin McCourys’ final AFF performance. See band bio, page 7.