Special program segments at the National Folk Festival bring together, onstage, a number of festival artists from diverse cultural traditions. The organizing principle might be an instrument, a musical idea, or specific cultural activity (such as a wedding). These are informal, spontaneous sessions ostensibly guided by a moderator. They offer festival-goers the opportunity for a more in-depth exploration of a subject as well as a more intimate look at some of the festival artists. Generally the musicians involved have never shared a stage before and are perhaps even meeting for the first time. So there are always surprises as they swap tunes, talk about music, demonstrate techniques and have fun with each other and the audience. Six such sessions are scheduled during the festival weekend.
Guitar Traditions – Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Dale Watson, Warner Williams, Scott Fore, Fredy Mfumu
Vocal Traditions – Karan Casey, Wylie Gustafson, Wawali Bonane, Steve Mgondo, Linda Lay, Steve Gulley, Lorin Sklamberg
Stringed Instruments of the World – Alan Bardezbanian, Tamara Volskaya, Mamadou Diabate, Yang Wei, Adam Steffey
Accordion Traditions – Beth Borgerhoff, Niall Valleley, Chris Stafford, Gustavo Nieto, Anatoliy Trofimov
Fiddle Traditions – Louise Arsenault, Albert Arsenault, Chris Segura, Betty Xiang, Jim Van Cleve, Lisa Gutkin, Rickie Simpkins
Mariachi Traditions – Nati Cano and members of Los Camperos