The 61st University of Chicago Folk Festival Goes Online, Feb 12-13, 2021

THE 61ST ANNUAL UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO FOLK FESTIVAL will be 100% online! You can expect the same high-quality traditional folk music that you know and love brought right to the comfort of your own home. We will offer two full nights of streaming concerts on the evenings of Friday, 12 February and Saturday, 13 February, plus our customary day of workshops on Saturday, 13 February.

· BRÌGHDE CHAIMBEUL – Winner of the 2019 BBC Radio 2 Horizon Award, and 2016 BBC Radio 2 Young Folk award, Brìghde is making her mark on the global stage. A native Gaelic speaker, her style is rooted in her native language and culture but draws inspiration from a variety of global piping traditions such as from Cape Breton, Eastern Europe and Ireland. Growing up in a musical family in Sleat on the Isle of Skye, she was no stranger to the sound of the pipes, and indeed the sound of music at home.

Hearing octogenarian Rona Lightfoot play gave Brìghde her initial inspiration to take up piping when she was just four years old (she began studying the instrument three years later). Brìghde has devised a completely new way of arranging for pipe music that emphasizes the rich textural drones of the smallpipes; the constancy of sound that creates a trance-like quality in the tunes.

· GERMAINE – Germaine mixes traditional singing, step dancing, foot-tapping, fiddle and bodhran. Old-time songs from Quebec are remastered into arrangements that focus on rhythm with the use of traditional percussion. The band takes a new look at a feminine and feminist repertoire while exploring the richness of traditional texts. Germaine reclaims the strength of character and resilience of women of the past, whose voices still resonate in today’s context. The group is comprised of Myrianne Cardin-Houde (voice, foot-tapping), Marie-Laurence Lamothe-Hétu (voice), Florence Mailhot-Léonard (voice, step dancing, foot-tapping), Mélina Mauger-Lavigne (voice, step dancing, bodhran), Patricia Ho-Yi Wang (voice, fiddle, foot-tapping).

· CEDRIC WATSON QUARTET – Cedric is a four-time Grammy-nominated fiddler, singer, accordionist, and songwriter and one of the brightest young talents to emerge in Cajun, Creole, and Zydeco (Louisiana French) music over the last decade. Originally from San Felipe, TX, Cedric made his first appearance at the age of 19 at the Zydeco Jam at The Big Easy in Houston. Just two years later, he moved to south Louisiana, quickly immersing himself in French music and language.

Over the next several years, Cedric performed French music in 17 countries and on 7 full-length albums with various groups, including the Pine Leaf Boys, Corey Ledet, Les Amis Creole, and with his own group, Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole. For our Folk Festival, Cedric will be playing the accordion and fiddle with his quartet including Chris Stafford (guitar), Serge Billeaudeaux (bass), and Adam Cormier (drums).

· BRUCE GREENE – Known worldwide for preserving and playing old-time Kentucky fiddle music, Bruce is also a skilled old-time banjo player, singer, and collector of traditional Appalachian music and culture. He has lived and worked among the people of Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina for more than 40 years, bringing to his playing the intimacy and dignity he absorbed through his apprenticeships with musicians born as far back as the 1880s.

· DAVID DAVIS & THE WARRIOR RIVER BOYS – David Davis is an Alabama native and member of the Alabama Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame. He has fronted the band since 1984. David is recognized as one of the foremost practitioners of the Monroe mandolin technique.

His interest in old-time and bluegrass music grew organically from a musical family; his uncle, Cleo Davis, was an original Blue Grass Boy. The members of the Warrior River Boys include Robert Montgomery (banjo), Marty Hays (bass), Stan Willemon (guitar), and Phillip James (fiddle, guitar, mandolin, and bass).

· KEVIN HENDERSON – Kevin is a fiddler who draws on the rich fiddle music tradition of his native Shetland (a group of islands located off the northern coast of Scotland) and his experience with leading bands including Boys of the Lough, Fiddlers’ Bid, Session A9 and The Nordic Fiddler’s Bloc to create an expressive and adventurously individual musical style.

· DROMENO – A traditional ensemble presenting regional folk music from the Greek mainland and beyond, Dromeno overlaps into the surrounding regions and finds the musical legacy that connects the traditions of the Balkans. Featuring clarinet and voices, the instrumentation includes accordion, saxophone, violin, oud, bouzouki, zourna, guitar, laouto, kanun, and percussion, and enables the group to span the sounds of Greek music, from western Macedonia and Epirus, through Thessaly, Thrace, and Asia minor.

The band includes Christos Govetas, Ruth Hunter, Eleni Govetas, Bobby Govetas, and Nikos Maroussis.

· GORRIÓN SERRANO – This three-generation family band based in Mexico City consists of Alejandro Montaño on guitarrón (bass), Jesús Camacho on jarana huasteca (small tenor guitar), and Alex Montaño Moreno on violin.

They play son huasteca music, originating from eastern Mexico, which is also commonly known in the region as huapango, a northeastern Mexican folk dance and music style. “Huapango” likely derives from the Nahuatl word “cuauhpanco” which means “on top of the wood,” alluding to a wooden platform on which dancers perform zapateado (heel-tapping) dance steps. Son huasteco is played by a trio of musicians with the two guitarists singing coplas, or short poetry stanzas, alternating verses between them. Gorrión Serrano also performs music from northern Mexico, Oaxaca, Tierra Caliente, and Chiapas.

· HUBBY JENKINS – Hubby is a talented multi-instrumentalist who endeavors to share his love and knowledge of old-time American music. Born and raised in Brooklyn he delved into his Southern roots, following the thread of African American history that wove itself through country blues, ragtime, fiddle and banjo, and traditional jazz.

Hubby got his higher musical education started as a busker, developing his guitar and vocal craft on the sidewalks and subway platforms of New York City, performing material by those venerable artists whose work he was quickly absorbing. An ambitiously itinerant musician, he took his show on the road, playing the streets, coffee shops, bars, and house parties of cities around the U.S.

He was an integral part of the Grammy award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops (2010-2016), as well as a member of Rhiannon Giddens’ band. Today, he spreads his knowledge and love of old-time American music and history through his dynamic solo performances.

Artists subject to change.

Free workshops and dance instruction will be offered online on Saturday, 13 February, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM. Please watch our website,, and our Facebook page,, for details.

All concerts and workshops are free in 2021. The Folklore Society will provide online opportunities for generous fans to donate to help cover this year’s costs and support future Folk Festivals.

Concert Information (may not reflect order of the shows)

The Friday and Saturday evening concerts will begin at 7:00 PM Central Time. Additional information and links will be provided in advance of the concerts and workshops via internet.

Friday, 12 February 2020, 7:00 PM

Cedric Watson Quartet


Bruce Greene

Gorrión Serrano

Saturday, 13 February 2020, 7:00 PM

Brìghde Chaimbeul


Hubby Jenkins

Kevin Henderson

David Davis & the Warrior River Boys

Live sets are shown in italics.

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