Arts & Culture

Folk festival aims to recreate the magic

By
Staff Writer
Thursday, April 29, 2010

The sounds of acoustic guitars, harmonicas and soft melodies will fill the air by Lincoln Field on Saturday. Featuring 16 performers, including both bands and solo artists, the second annual Brown Folk Festival is bound to be a day of good music on College Hill.

“We’re excited for a day of live music,” said Avi Kenny ’11, one of the festival co-coordinators. “A lot of different styles will be featured in the festival.”

The day’s activities will include several instructional workshops encouraging the audience to have a more personal experience with folk music and dances, according to a press release from Kenny. The day will end with a three-hour contra-dance performance in Sayles Hall.

“We hope people get really into it,” Kenny said. “It will be interesting to see how the different musical communities interact with each other.”

Associate Dean of Biological Sciences Marjorie Thompson, a renowned finger-style guitarist, will perform an acoustic guitar set and said she is looking forward to playing for students.

“They are used to hearing me lecture about kidneys and other stuff,” said Thompson, who has played in dozens of shows across the country. “This will be a nice change for them.”

Thompson said Saturday’s festival will be the first time she has been invited to play on campus. “I’m very glad to be recognized at my home, Brown University,” she said. 

“Most of the time I play for people my age,” she said. “I hope that students will be able to relate to my songs about death and dying.”

Joshua Garcia ’11, winner of the festival’s student band competition, will play guitar and harmonica and sing his own pieces. “I’m really excited,” Garcia said. “It will be pretty cool to play around campus.”

The piece that won Garcia his place among the 15 other performers is called “A Pocket Full of Gold,” which he said is about money and “buying things.”

“Providence has some sort of home-like feel to it,” Garcia said. “It is very conducive to writing folk music.”

Pirate-themed a cappella group ARRR!!! and student band Last Good Tooth, one of the opening acts for Spring Weekend, will also be performing.

The concert will start at 11 a.m. and last for 10 hours. “We hope this is the beginning of a long Brown tradition that becomes bigger and grows over the years,” Kenny said.