Acclaimed Global Roots Artists at 32nd Annual Vancouver Folk Music Festival

Väsen and Mike Marshall - Photo by Angel Romero
Väsen and Mike Marshall – Photo by Angel Romero
Over 60 artists from 14 countries will take the stage at the 2009 Vancouver Folk Music Festival, which will be held  July 17, 18 & 19 of 2009 Jericho Beach Park, Vancouver. The sixty plus artists and groups performing this year represent a truly remarkable range of music styles, traditions and cultures. The artists and groups performing cover significant musical ground: from folk, world and roots/blues to every combination in between and beyond. There’s traditional and cutting edge, acoustic and wired, music rooted in a single heritage or that merges myriad influences. They are coming from around the world and down the block. They’re coming to make the 32nd Annual Vancouver Folk Music Festival a weekend to remember.

The 2009 Festival roster features artists both familiar and new. In addition to the artists noted above, the lineup includes: the pan-Polynesian sounds of Hawaii’s HAPA; the potent Afro-Blues collaboration from Justin Adams & Juldeh Camara; virtuoso instrumentalists Darol Anger & Mike Marshall with Sweden’s Väsen; the Norteño music of Los Misioneros del Norte; the outspoken vocals of Flint, Michigan’s Lisa Garza; the thrilling voices and rhythms of Umalali from Belize (featured as the festival’s image); Bellowhead – the UK’s “best live band”; the African/world/reggae of Idy Oulu; the American string band tradition in The Ebony Hillbillies; the rebel dub poetry of Jamaica’s Mutabaruka, and; the classic voice of B.C.’s own Roy Forbes. Now you know just about one-third of the lineup!

The Festival also offers: delicious food and refreshing beverage areas on-site, a Little Folks Village, Art Market, CD Tent & Festival Boutique and other fun and informative activities and entertainment in the park.

Vancouver Folk Music Festival – List of 2009 Artists and Groups:

  • Los de Abajo (Mexico) Multi-instrumental Latin ska, tropipunk & reggae rhythms fueled by a quest for social justice.
  • Justin Adams & Juldeh Camara (UK/Gambia) The deepest trance-blues this side of Timbuktu.
  • Matt Anderson (NB) Sprawling blues and a honey-tinged voice – a raw, rare and real rising talent.
  • Darol Anger, Mike Marshall w/ Väsen (US/Sweden) Eclectic new-acoustic folk from two continents – a five member virtuosic symphony.
  • Arrested Development (US) Grammy -winning alt Hip Hop pioneers mixup positive grooves and a social conscious into a pulsing celebration of life.
  • Bellowhead (UK) Rollicking, theatrical 11 piece world folk big-band and 3 time winners of BBC Radio’s “Best Live Band”.
  • Geoff Berner (BC) Folk, punk and klezmer with witty lyrics delivered with frenetic, contagious energy.
  • Mark Berube & the Patriotic Few (PQ) Sophisticated folk, savvy writing, stirring vocals and impeccable delivery.
  • The Blue VooDoo (BC) Intriguing blues with rootsy twists and turns delivered with soul, heart and a hint of magic.
  • Bop Ensemble (AB/BC) Folk maestros Bill Bourne and Wyckham Porteous link forces with up-and-coming singer-bassist ‘Jas’ Ohlhauser.
  • The Breakmen (BC) A potent blend of bluegrass, old-timey folk and vintage country.
  • Basia Bulat (ON) Melodic and poetic folk/pop – timeless, yet surprising and utterly original.
  • Canefire (ON) Afro-Caribbean traditions meet Trinidadian carnival and jazz on steel pan, piano, horns, bass and percussion.
  • Eliana Cuevas (ON) This Venezuelan-born vocalist and songwriter creates original world jazz, supported by a stellar band.
  • The Ebony Hillbillies (US) With banjos, fiddles and washboard, this quartet keeps the rich African-American string band tradition alive.
  • Jonathan Edwards (US) Since his 70’s hit “Sunshine”, Jonathan’s ear for a good story, strong melody and beautifully crafted song thrives on.
  • Joel Fafard (BC) This gifted slide fingerstyle guitar player writes stirring, melodic compositions painting vivid pictures.
  • Roy Forbes (BC) One of Canada’s national treasures, singer/songwriter/guitarist, Roy Forbes is blessed with a unique voice, part Hank, part Billie Holiday, part Robert Plant and startlingly soulful.
  • Fito Garcia (BC) Afro-Cuban beats performed live by four bass players, two percussionists and three vocalists.
  • Amos Garrett Acoustic Trio w/ Doug Cox (AB/BC) Among the planet’s finest guitarists, Garrett (and Co.) hook up with a dobro maestro.
  • Liza Garza (US) A poet/vocalist and activist whose words simultaneously whisper power and strength; peace and grace.
  • Dick Gaughan (UK) For over three decades, one of Scottish music’s best-loved performers, guitarists and raconteurs.
  • Great Lake Swimmers (ON) Haunting and heartfelt folk-pop featuring great instrumentals and Tony Dekker’s captivating voice.
  • HAPA (US) Song, chant, the sacred hula and inspired slack key guitar, Maui’s HAPA creates pan-Polynesian music for the 21st century.
  • Corey Harris (US) A globetrotting reggae/blues/roots alchemist who carries the African-influenced blues tradition forward.
  • Veda Hille (BC) Fierce, independent, an original – Veda writes and sings what amazes her, always amazing us in the process.
  • Iron and Wine (US) Sam Beam is a classic, lyrically-evocative American tunesmith for a whole new generation of folk music fans.
  • James Keelaghan (MB) This celebrated songwriter’s rich voice illuminates folk’s keystones of humour, lore, document and adventure.
  • Labess (PQ) Rich, festive melodies: Spanish flamenco and Cuban guaracha to the music of the Arabic/Berber world.
  • Patty Larkin (US) A constantly evolving yet fully-realized singer/songwriter at the height of her prodigious vocal, lyrical and instrumental powers.
  • Anne Loree (AB) Brave, insightful ballads and rockin’ politically-edged commentaries from the writer of Jann Arden’s hit “Insensitive”.
  • Dan Mangan (BC) With a uniquely rich voice and well composed melodies, his folkie template approaches alt-Canadiana.
  • Jorge Miguel Flamenco (ON) Full contact, glorious flamenco music, dance and song with original compositions true to Andalucian tradition.
  • Los Misioneros del Norte (Mexico) From accordion-driven Norteño dance music to storytelling “corridos” – viva la musica!
  • Tony McManus (Scotland/ON) “The world’s best Celtic guitarist” plucks new life from an ancient tradition.
  • Mr. Something Something (ON) Mashing-up compelling Afrobeat grooves, syncopated melodies and layered vocals with politically aware lyrics.
  • Mutabaruka (Jamaica) Acclaimed reggae dub resistance rebel and outspoken people’s poet whose righteous convictions have not mellowed with the years.
  • Idy Oulo (Cameroon/France) Performing on a garaya, a papaya with two strings, and electric guitar, Oulo’s music combines African, world music and reggae.
  • Pacifika (BC) Global pop, jazz-infused and Latin-tinged, that nods to diverse influences while forging a fresh new groove.
  • Steven Page (ON) Barenaked no more, Page goes solo with a mix of familiar BNL tunes and road-tests of new material.
  • The Paperboys (BC) No-holds-barred Celtic-laced global music served up with brilliant musicianship and passion.
  • The Proclaimers (Scotland) No havering – over 20 years on, the Reid twins deliver great folk/pop tunes, from love songs to outspoken political commentary.
  • Joe Pug (US) This talented folk troubadour carries on a venerable tradition with heartfelt ballads and new songs that matter.
  • Lester Quitzau (BC) From gutbucket blues to ballads to free improvisation – a mster guitarist, singer & songwriter.
  • Kate Reid (BC) A whip-smart wordsmith with a knack for candid songwriting charged with humour and social-political observation.
  • Sara Rénélik (PQ) This singer/dancer blends her Haitian roots with Afro & Franco-Caribbean worldbeat and forays into pop, folk-rock and soul.
  • Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band (US) Rural Indiana-based three-piece band delivers an energized sound steeped in classic blues tradition.
  • Rock Plaza Central (ON) Troubadour-pop, neo-chamber folk-rock relaxed in its own creative realm of humble origins and unbridled imagination.
  • Zal Idrissa Sissokho & Buntalo (PQ): A descendant of a Senegalese griot family, Zal energizes centuries-old Mandingo music traditions.
  • Mavis Staples (US) Legendary gospel, R&B and pop singer who infuses each song with a soul-quaking depth fired with dignity and faith.
  • Tarhana (Netherlands/Turkey) A tribe of Amsterdam music nomads blend Sufi sounds, Gypsy melodies and Afro-Anatolian grooves.
  • Shari Ulrich (BC) This singer/songsmith’s ever-vital music has touched countless hearts for three decades. Now there’s a new generation of fans in the wings.
  • Umalali (Belize) Women’s voices and potent rhythms – the stories, struggles and spirit of the Garifuna people of Central America.
  • Suzie Vinnick & Rick Fines (ON) Carving a new niche in the Canadian blues canon with great songs and a down-home style.
  • Vishtèn (PEI/PQ) New-Acadian traditional music powered by fiery fiddling, spicy step-dancing and sweet vocals.
  • VOC Soul Gospel Choir (BC) Mixing eclectic sounds into a positive and spirited world music chorus.
  • The Weakerthans (ON) Punk-inflected folk rock with literate, witty lyrics have rocketed them to the top of Canada’s music scene.
  • Cheryl Wheeler (US) A gifted songwriter with a gorgeous voice, and a fantastic storyteller with a razor-sharp wit.
  • Women in Docs (Australia) This duo’s down-to-earth humor, soaring harmonies and catchy tunes are bright as a midday Queensland sky.
  • Jamyang Yeshi (BC) Want Tibet? A talented artist from a nomadic family in Tibet’s Amdo region sings the songs of his people.
  • d’bi .young (ON) A celebrated young poet/artist and a passionate word-warrior whose originality and ingenuity matches her creative courage.

Dates: July 17, 18 & 19 2009
Location: Jericho Beach Park, Vancouver B.C. Canada
Tickets & Info: 604-602-9798
Festival Box Office: Street level – 415 Dunsmuir Street, Vancouver (Mon.-Sat.: 9am-5pm)
Outlets: Banyan Book & Sound, Highlife Records, Little Sister’s Bookstore, Neptoon Records & Zulu Records
Ticket prices for Advance weekend passes: $140.00 Adults; $85 Students; $63 Youth 13-18; $65 Elders 65+
Friday night, Saturday & Sunday tickets also available at all levels. Little Folks 12 & under Free.
See the website for full details. Ticket prices are higher at the gate.

Author: World Music Central News Department

World music news from the editors at World Music Central


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