Welcome to the 29th Annual Anchorage Folk Festival!
With more than 140 local acts here at the Wendy, our new Dance Hall & Open Mic Nights, 40 workshops, Folk Week, 2 late-night jams, and our famous Banjo Contest, there’s something for everyone at this year’s Festival. This wonderful opportunity allows folks of all ages to listen, experience, and participate in live music through performing, volunteering, hosting a workshop, or participating in the many jams that echo through the Lobby or around town. Whether at the Festival on campus or around town, you’ll find plenty of friends, old & new, sharing their talents and warming our winter evenings.
With our 30th year right around the corner, we wanted to shake it up a little, and we’re thrilled to announce this year’s fabulous Guest Artists The Seamus Egan Project and The Gonzalo Bergara Quintet!
It’s hard to think of an artist in traditional Irish music more influential than Seamus Egan. From his beginnings as a teen prodigy, to his groundbreaking solo work with Shanachie Records, to his founding of Irish-American powerhouse band Solas, to his current work as one of the leading composers and interpreters of the tradition, Egan has inspired multiple generations of musicians and helped define the sound of Irish music today. I first met Seamus when on tour with my former band, Bearfoot. We opened for “Solas,” Seamus’ former band, for three weeks in the fall of 2009, and then again for Celtic Connections in early 2010. I remember thinking, “Huh, a bluegrass band opening for an Irish band? That sounds weird!” But it worked out beautifully, and it was a wonderful eye opening experience for us to see a whole new culture and genre of music! They were an amazing group of musicians, and they always showed a tremendous connection with the crowds. The AFF Board is very excited to see what Seamus and the Project have in store for us as Guests Artists for weekend #1 at this Folk Festival!
And now for something completely different! Weekend #2’s Guests Artists are The Gonzalo Bergara Quintet, who play a modern-variant of 1930s Django Reinhardt-inspired gypsy jazz! Composer and lead guitarist Gonzalo Bergara mixes a cascade of arpeggios with the sounds of Paris and his native Argentina. His first CD, Porteña Soledad, was Editor’s Pick in Guitar Player Magazine, and Vintage Guitar Magazine called it a “masterpiece.” Their newest CD was picked best CD of the year by Acoustic Guitar Magazine. The music is heavily influenced by Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club of France, as well as the traditional jazz and music of Bergara’s true home, Buenos Aires. We know you’ll enjoy them, too!
We especially want to thank our Major Sponsor – BP ALASKA – for its continued support! And to all of our other Commercial Contributors who have supported us with ads in this program, thank you, too! Most of all, to YOU, the folks who become members of the Anchorage Folk Festival, who attend, and who volunteer time to help out backstage, in the lobby, and putting on the Festival. None of this would be possible without your generous contributions. THANK YOU!!
It’s easy to join our wonderful Festival community online, or at our table in the lobby. Then, come to our Annual Business Meeting, Saturday, January 27, 2018, at 5:00 pm in PSB 166. All members are welcome. See you there, and enjoy the 29th Annual Anchorage Folk Festival!
~ Kate Hamre, AFF President
Main Stage Performers
New This Year!
Dance Hall. 49th State Brewing Company hosts a dance with rockin’ tunes from some of your favorite bands. Friday, January 19, 6:30 pm.
Instrument Swap. Got an instrument to sell? Or looking to purchase? Here’s your chance. January 28, 2:30 – 3:45 pm in Room 148 of the Professional Studies Building adjacent to Wendy Williamson.
Open Mics. Friday, January 26 is your chance to shine! Williwaw hosts our Over 21 Open Mic from 9-10:30 pm (sign up at 8 pm), and Middle Way Cafe, in conjunction with the Anchorage Music Co-op, hosts the Under 21 Open Mic for the younger set from 5:30-7:30 pm.
Show up and Jam! Every Saturday and Sunday from 2:30 – 3:45 in Room 101 of the Sally Monserud Building to the east of the Wendy Williamson. Start your own jam, or just show up and see who is there and have some fun. All are welcome!
Social Media Sharing. Help create a buzz – post to Facebook (@anchoragefolkfest) and Instagram (@anchoragefolkfestival) with #anchoragefolkfestival
Master Schedule. So you don’t miss a thing!