Archives: Bios – Main stage

Los Tres Reyes

With its poetic themes of unrequited love and gorgeous vocal harmonies, layered over dazzling work on guitar and requinto (small classical guitar), the trío romántico style took Mexico by storm in the 1940s. It remains one of the most popular live music ensembles for social/celebratory occasions in Mexican communities. Formed in 1957, with the twin brothers Gilberto and Raul Puente at its core, Los Tres Reyes rose to prominence during the genre’s heyday They prevail as a stunning trio that has honed this beautifulstyle to near perfection.

Tony Ellis and the Musicians of Braeburn

Touring as one of Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys by age 20, Tony Ellis has over the years moved beyond bluegrass, developing his own deeply introspective and highly melodic style that perfectly complements his beautiful banjo compositions. At the Festival he will be joined by his son William Lee on guitar, wife Louise on pump organ, and friend Larry Nager on bass.

Winograd’s Nue Tanhoyz Kepele

Led by clarinetist Michael Winograd, this klezmer dance supergroup plays the rousing music of Jewish American musical legends David Tarras, Naftule Brandwein, German Goldenshtyn and others, with all of the joy and abandon characteristic of klezmer tradition.

Tibetan Monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery

Cultural and spiritual ambassadors from their monastery-in-exile, eleven Tibetan lamas perform compelling ritual music, dance and chant from their occupied homeland. Performances will feature the monks’ unique multiphonic singing, together with traditional temple instruments such as cymbals, bells, drums, long horn trumpets, and high horns and masked dances including the Dance of the Celestial Travelers and the Dance of the Sacred Snow Lion.

S.H. Thompson Memorial Choir

Fifty singers strong, the S.H. Thompson Memorial Choir is one of the most highly regarded choirs in a region known for the excellence of its gospel music. Founded in 1954 and the largest of the many choirs at St. Peter Baptist Church, this powerful ensemble will “bless” the Richmond Folk Festival with its uplifting music.

Redd Volkaert Band with Cindy Cashdollar

Telecaster guru Volkaert is no household name, but in the world of “twang” guitar, Merle Haggard’s former lead guitarist is a cult figure. Joining forces with the “First Lady of the steel guitar,” Cindy Cashdollar, these two virtuosos move effortlessly between country, jazz, blues, and Western swing in a way that will leave other players shaking their heads and thinking to themselves, “I should practice more.”

Qi Shu Fang Peking Opera

Blending song, dance, acrobatics and martial arts, this highly popular form of traditional Chinese theater arose in the late 18th century. NEA National Heritage Fellow Qi Shu Fang is a true master of this art form, a living legend who has been at the center of the movement to break down a gender barrier that had existed for centuries and open the tradition up to female performers. Since relocating to New York in 1988, she has led her own company, the foremost Peking Opera company in the U.S.

Pedrito Martinez Group

“Cuban music is very cosmopolitan,” declares Havana native Pablo “Pedrito” Martinez. Percussionist and vocalist Martinez is an innovator who incorporates sounds from jazz to funk. But what makes his ensemble notable is its grounding in the fundamentals of Afro-Cuban music: Yoruba chanting and the rhythms of the batá drum, both of which came to Cuba with enslaved Africans. By honoring this tradition, Martinez makes even the most modern song into pure Afro-Cuban expression.

Original P

Formed in the 1950s as a New Jersey doo-wop group, P-Funk, as it came to be called, became an African American soul/funk/rock collective that ruled the charts in the 1970s and 80s, and has now attained cult status. Led by original members and children of original members at the core of the Parliament-Funkadelic band, Original P delivers some serious funk.

Old Bay Ceili Band

Baltimore is home to a vibrant traditional Irish music scene that boasts some of the finest players in the world. In 2008 and 2009, “Old Bay” represented the United States in the senior ceili band competition at the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, the world competition of Irish Traditional music. At home, the band regularly plays at local ceilis where Irish set dances (similar to square or contra dances) are led by a caller. In addition to their performance sets at the Festival, Old Bay will play for called dances.