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- Tickets ARE still available for all concerts!! On-line sales end 24 hours prior to each concert. Call the box office to purchase tickets!!! 773-702-7300
- Concerts are held at Mandel Hall in Reynolds Club, 1131 E. 57th St. Chicago
- Saturday and Sunday workshops are held at Ida Noyes Hall, 1212 E. 59th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
- Seating is reserved. Best available seats assigned upon receipt of order
- Tickets will be held at will call office in Mandel Hall. Will call opens 1 hour prior to each concert.
- If you are attending with a group and want to sit together, it is best to place one order for the entire group. You may also email us with the names of all the persons in your group.
- Please bring a copy of your receipt with you when you pick up your tickets
- Visit uofcfolk.org for more information including parking suggestions.
- Free music and dance workshops all day Saturday and Sunday. Visit uofcfolk.org for details.
- All ages show
- No refunds or exchanges
- On-line ticket sales end 24 hours prior to each concert. If you need additional tickets, please call or stop by the box office.
- Please note the on-line ticketing service is not affliated with the University of Chicago. The University will not accept liability for any issues incurred in the use of this service. Any disputes must be handled through EventBrite and the credit card company.
- Questions? Call the box office 773-702-7300. Hours 10am-4pm weekdays starting January 30th, or email email@example.com.
Elmore James Jr.
Elmore James Jr. is the son of the late, and renowned post-war blues artist Elmore James, from whom he first learned to play the guitar (later he would also learn from guitarist Knugg Brooks). Born in 1939 in Mississippi, James Jr. would later move to Chicago in 1965. Prior to this move, he lived in Jackson, and played drums with Johnny Temple (a popular pre-war bluesman who achieved popularity in Chicago in the 30’s) and Willie Nix. Later he would also play the drums in his father’s band. James would also later meet Willie Dixon, who advised him to change his stage name from Mr. Soul to Elmore James Jr.
James recorded a number of tracks, but would later leave the music scene and work a day job in the 70’s as the Blues scene declined in favor of more popular music. However, he reentered the music scene after his music was re-discovered on a re-release of the album Genuine Mississippi Blues in 1999. James began touring again, in the U.S. and internationally.
This duo of fine old time musicians, composed of Kirk Sutphin on banjo and fiddle, and Betram Levy on concertina, and also banjo, has been described as "one of the finest and certainly the most unique old time duos performing today".
Both musicians are deeply grounded in the roots of old time music. Kirk Sutphin fell in love with the music at a young age, and learned both the instrument and style of fiddler Tommy Jarrell. He is also a fine banjo player with a style like that of Fred Cockerham and Charlie Poole.
While also an accomplished and respected banjo player, his first instrument, Bertram Levy also plays an instrument seldom seen in old time music, the concertina. While his style has been influenced by some time spent in Ireland, and a long time in the South, Levy’s style is all his own, and he is described by Concertina Magazine as "the Maestro". Levy has recorded numerous albums and collaborations on banjo and concertina with the likes of Peter Ostroushko, Alan Jabbour, and Henry Reed.
Danny Paisley and Southern Grass represent the heart of traditional bluegrass today. Paisley grew up on the music of his father, whose favorites included such bluegrass stalwarts as Red Allen, Mac Martin, and Bill Monroe. As a singer, he lists as major influences George Jones and Vern Gosdin. Alison Krauss has described Paisley as one of her favorite singers. The rest of the group is comprised of Ryan Paisley (mandolin), Mark Delaney (banjo), Doug Meek (fiddle), and Eric Troutman (bass) all of whom boast long histories in the tradition through family and love of the music. The group’s music is described as "powerful, unadorned, and intense traditional bluegrass. There is no hybrid or genre-bending music here".
James Kelly (fiddle) and Dáithí Sproule (guitar, voice) are an acclaimed duo of Irish musicians that have played together on multiple projects (some of which also included Paddy O’Brien on accordion) over the course of their long and illustrious careers.
Originally from County Derry, Sproule now lives in St. Paul, MN, where he teaches and performs. Over the years he has played in a number of legendary groups, such as Trian, with Liz Carroll and Billy McComiskey. He also currently tours with the longstanding Irish group Altan. Steve Winick, of theAll Music Guide calls Sproule, "One of Irish music’s greatest guitar accompanists".
James Kelly is another native son of Ireland, from County Clare, who is now based in Miami Springs, FL. He is a veteran of many seminal groups in Irish traditional music, including Planxty, Patrick Street, and multiple collaborations with The Chieftains. In 2006, Kelly was named the TG4 Irish traditional musician of the year in recognition of his outstanding musicianship and contributions to Irish music. Fiddler Magazinecalls Kelly, "one of the most respected fiddlers playing traditional Irish music today".
The Rounders are a veteran group of many a past Folk Festival, and have been found to be a favorite of our audience. Comprised of Betty Vornbrock (fiddle, voice), Billy Cornette (guitar, voice), Kirk Sutphin (fiddle, banjo) who will also be playing in the Old-time solo category this year, and Hilary Dirlam (bass, banjo), the Rounders are a venerable group of tradition bearers, expert in many styles of the South and Appalachia region.
The Old Time Herald, says of the Rounders technique, "they combine it with skill and taste to produce excellent, straightforward, no nonsense music equally suitable for dancing as well as for comfortable, enjoyable listening."
Attendees of last year’s Festival may remember Brian Miller as the guitar and bouzouki player of the Irish group Bua. This year he comes to us with Randy Gosa (on guitar, mandolin, and tenor banjo) as part of another project, presenting Irish music from the lumberjack camps of the North Woods of Minnesota. As a native of Bemidji, Minnesota, and a lover of Irish music, Miller developed a strong interest in the Scotch-Irish music tradition of immigrants to Minnesota’s northern reaches. Through thorough research, Miller and Gosa bring us a truly unique act this year. The ensemble has received much critical acclaim for the project. Erik Carlson, of the radio program "A Feast of Irish Folk" wrote that they were "...the most fun thing at [the Milwaukee] Irish Fest this year", high praise given the scope of the talent always present at the Milwaukee Fair.
Evening Light Brothers
The Evening Light Brothers formed in 2002, inspired by the old black quartet style of such groups as the Soul Stirrers, Spirit of Memphis, and Pilgrim Travelers. The group's leader, founder and director is Joseph Hall. The ELB have sung on various radio programs, including WFMU.org's Sinners Crossroads, hosted by black gospel expert Kevin Nutt in Montgomery, Alabama, and can be heard performing regularly at services and events at the Drexel Church of God, located in Chicago's South Side.
The Evening Light Brothers feature Joseph Hall, tenor; Less Flowers, tenor; Hayes "Woody" Ingram, baritone; Jesse Brown, tenor/utility/bass; and Corey Adams, tenor. The group sometimes also includes: Gino Milton, tenor and Kenny Boyd, bass. The group has released two previous CD's, with a third CD in the works presently, all exclusively available at Drexel Church of God
Sheryl Cormier & Family
Accordionist and vocalist, Sheryl Cormier is one of the first women to break through the sexist restrictions of Louisiana's Cajun music. She was the former leader of an all-woman Cajun band and later the leader of Cajun Sounds. The oldest of four children, Cormier grew up surrounded by Cajun music. Her father was the leader of the Sunset Playboys, a band that included her mother on drums. Learning to play the Cajun accordion at age seven, Cormier performed with her parents' group throughout her teens. assembled a group that featured her husband, Russell, on vocals and son, Russell, Jr., on drums, and recorded an album, Queen of Cajun Music (La Reine de Musique Cadjine), and will be playing with them at this year’s festival.
As is customary at every Folk Festival concert, we will begin each act with a short set of traditional bagpipe music. Chicago bagpiper Terry Oldfield will return this year to pipe in the 53rd Folk Festival.
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