Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Trio of Music Festivals

I'm in a stretch of a great three weeks, musically speaking. Every
Memorial Day weekend for the past 30+ years, I've spent a solid three
days at the Seattle Folklife Festival, and if the program has gotten
more into world music, there's still plenty of bluegrass, string bands,
jug bands, and hundred-year-old syncopated stuff, enough to let me prove
once again that my bad taste in music knows no bounds. This group of
banjo, trombone (mostly hidden), clarinet, sax, and bass was terrific.
And this year's multiethnic menu contained plenty of pleasant
surprises, such as a huge, complicated Irish pipes instrument, with keys
like any woodwind instrument and a bladder to be pumped by each arm.
Much more mellow than the usual bagpipes.
Speaking of menus, there was the customary dazzling array of food
vendors. One doesn't want to listen to music on an empty stomach, and
not many ones at Folklife do.
As always, the Seattle Folklife Festival was over far too soon,
with a long year ahead till the next one. But there are two more to go
in this year's trio. Tune in next week for the report on the Scott
Joplin Ragtime Festival.

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