National Folk Festival announces final line up for 2021

SALISBURY, Md. – In just one month, the National Folk Festival will be taking over downtown Salisbury. Organizers say they are working on the final touches. “Now that the full performance schedule is available for everyone to see, we are overcome with enthusiasm, reverence, and pride knowing the scope of this year’s program represents the best of our country,” said executive director of the National Council for the Traditional Arts Lora Bottinelli.

Tuesday, the full performer line up was announced, including the U.S. Army Blues. They’re a military ensemble that plays classic big band jazz. Organizers for the festival say that the U.S. Army Blues carry on the American big band tradition. They say it’s a legacy that started with the Army Dance Band during World War II. “We’re very lucky to have them, especially on the day that they’ll be performing, which is the 20th anniversary of 9/11. We also have our mayor who is from the armed forces. So, there were a lot of connections, and we thought that would be a really incredible opportunity to have them here,” said local manager for the National Folk Festival Caroline O’Hare.

This year marks the 80th year for the festival, and the third year that Salisbury has hosted it. This year, blues, rockabilly, gospel, jazz, polka, tamburitza, cowboy, bluegrass, klezmer, and R&B will be featured. Old-time, Cajun, rhythm and blues, mariachi, beatbox, breakin’, western swing, honky-tonk, and zydeco, as well as traditional music will also be taking center stage. Dance from Native American, Celtic, Acadian, Middle Eastern, Caribbean, Asian, Appalachian, Latino, Eastern European, African, and Pacific Island cultures are also included in the line up.

The Folk Festival is also teaming up with the Maryland State Arts Council, which is supporting the festival through Maryland Traditions Program. This year, there’s a special focus on folk art specifically from Maryland. Organizers say they wanted to highlight the diverse cultures found throughout Maryland, and celebrate the state’s history.

O’Hare says they can always use more hands on deck. To find out how you can volunteer at the festival, click here.

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