Mavis Staples took us to church. Dale Watson invited us to his honky-tonk. Aurelio welcomed us an an ambassador of Garifuna culture. Grand Master Seiichi Tanaka & the San Francisco Taiko Dojo let us know that if we gave them our energy, they would return it to us beyond our expectations. Marquise Knox proved that the blues has no age. Baba Ken Okulolo transported Greensboro to a West African highlife party.
That was Day 2 of the National Folk Festival, in which downtown Greensboro was transformed into a movable feast of every conceivable type of folk music. Representing regional music across the United States, the performing artists humbly and generously shared their culture with an audience that was both affirmed and enlightened based on each person’s respective life experience.
The National Folk Festival, which finishes out its inaugural run today; the festival will also be held in Greensboro in 2016 and 2017, before it moves on to a new city. See our editor’s guide to Sunday afternoon.