Performers A to Z

A
Argentine Tango Presented by Nora's Dance Group
Argentine Tango Dance
B
The Barbary Ghosts
In a very short time, The Barbary Ghosts have leapt to the forefront of the national shanty song scene. Now, thanks to their new album of classic and originals that sound like classics, they are winning fans from all over the musical map. As one admiring fan puts it: "These guys sound kind of like a chantey band transplanted to Appalachia or something."
Garrin Benfield
Garrin Benfield achieves an impact way beyond the constraints of the average solo singer songwriter performance. His guitar improvisations dazzle even the pickiest of aficionados. His 5th recording, The Wave Organ Song, is a breakthrough recording that establishes him as one of the best songwriters in the country that most people have never heard of.
Blind Lemon Pledge
With influences from Muddy Waters to 20's jazz to The Rolling Stones, Blind Lemon Pledge, a local blues root quartet formed by blues aficionado James Byfield, create a bluesy ambience that will make you smile.
Don Burnham & The Bolos
Though Don Burnham is best known as the leader of one of foremost modern western swing bands, Lost Weekend, it is with his smaller combo, the Bolos, that showcases Don as wry storyteller and song spinner. He's sure to charm you with his well-crafted songs about mysterious caves, cowboy romances, and outlaws of the Old West and corporate boardrooms.
Emily Bonn & The Vivants
Driving, accordion and fiddle driven Americana originals. There's a little Cajun flavor, Western Swing stomp, and a spicy Mission District vibe.
Broceliande
Broceliande is a trio that plays Celtic music from the British Isles, interweaving 3 part vocals with the lyrical music of the Celtic harp, octave mandolin, cello, 12-string guitar and more.
Brough Brothers
Zach from Jugtown Pirates joins with his brother Josh from Poor Man's Whiskey in order to play the stripped down folksy roots music they love the most. You'll love their smooth harmonies, upbeat rhythms, and goodtime originals.
C
Calaveras
Kickoff the Sunday festival with an hour of music with singer-songwriters Greg Beattie and Victoria Blythe and instrumentalist Dave Decker.
Dennis Campagna & Friends
Dennis has an understated, cool, droll style that he wraps around a collection of wonderful, funny, long-lost jazz, swing, and novelty songs that he's collected over the many years.
Morgan "Saw Man" Cowin and the Cut Ups
You may know him for his famed saw workshops or for being president of the International Musical Saw Association. Here you can catch him accompanying a bunch of musical pals on some of his favorite songs.
D
Danse Maghreb
Danse Maghreb presents an Andalusian/Moroccan Suite, including elegant court dances from the Golden Age of Islamic Spain, and Schikkat, lively dances performed at celebratory gatherings in Morocco.
Pete Devine's Jug Band
There are a lot of bands playing jug and pre-war jazz and blues these days. Very few can handle the most difficult of the original transcriptions. Devine's Jug Band plays some of the finest, most authentic ragtime and pre-war jazz you'll ever hear.
Dirty Cello
There will be gypsy. There will be rock. There will be wailing blues and more. All played on cello by the brilliant Rebecca Roudman and her talented band. Think BB King meets Yo Yo Ma. Winner of the American River Music Festival Songwriter Showcase.
Dogwatch Nautical
Their aim is to recreate the experience of an 19th Century ship's band. For 30 year's they've produced some of the finest seafaring folk you'll ever hear.
Carey Dubbert
Hearing Carey play either hammer dulcimer or autoharp, no matter how much or little you know about such instruments, you are immediately aware that you are in the presence of a master musician. See all those admirers in the front row with their mouths agape? They're other dulcimer & autoharp players wondering how the heck he does that. Winner of the California Autoharp Gathering Lifetime Achievement Award. You will be mezmerised and transported and feel pretty good about it too.
Dunsmuir Scottish Dancers
A company dedicated to keeping alive the spirit and form of Scottish dances, old and new.
E
Aireene Espiritu
Aireene's songs are mostly originals. They just sound like songs Alan Lomax might have collected during one of his cross country recording jaunts. They carry both historic sweep and personal nuance. The melodies are full of bluesy longing, fingerpicked delicately on her tenor ukulele.
F
Jane Fallon
An award-winning East Coast singer-songwriter, Jane Fallon has a dynamic voice full of character and emotional twang. Some of her songs are humorous bites of life. Others are wistful and full of longing. All display an affection for careful word choice and fluid prose. No accident given that Jane has a degree in literature and is soon to be a published writer.
Fret Not
This is a band that loves the Christian life and the old time roots of gospel music. They play some serious foot stomping country gospel music, but you're not going to hear about them playing the usual music venues. They only do a few dozen shows a year and most of them are in prisons and special benefits. Find out why the Chaplin of San Quentin calls them the inmate's all time favorite performers.
G
Gaucho
Expertly played, deeply felt, Gypsy jazz from one of the consistently best bands in the state.
H
Hali Hammer Band
When she's not busy thinking up song parodies to sing to sing with her Occupy Wall Street music group Occupella, she's singing folk and oldies (say it with me, won't you. Folk and oldies!) for her many fans with her band.
Amelia Hogan
Amelia has spent her young life dedicated to preserving and capturing the depth and subtle beauty of traditional Irish ballads. She will joined by the exceptional Ray Frank and Caith Threefires.
HopHead
HopHead is Kim Richards, Jim Tepperman, and Peter Tracy. They play folk rock versions of a lot of familiar classics, as well as tasteful appealing originals.
Rita Hosking & Cousin Jack
Rita is the great-grand-daughter of a Grass Valley miner. She sings and writes songs about her family, miner's lives, and her family's Cornish roots. Her latest recording, Burn, was named top 10 "Young Female Artist releases for 2011" by No Depression magazine.
Brooks Hunnicutt
In her many decades of performing, Brooks has lent her deep soulful vocals to recordings by Steve Stills, Helen Reddy, John Prine, Kris Kristofferson and more. She's coming all the way out from Shady Grove, Ga to play for the fest.
J
Jazz Gitan
Django Reinhardt lovers rejoice. Jazz Gitan achieves Gypsy Jazz lift off and sends it into the stratosphere. One of California's best Jazz Hot combos, traveling all the way from Sacramento.
Jeanie & Chuck
Jeanie Poling has one of those grand Sweetheart of the Rodeo voices that country singers die for. You know, the kind where you stop in your tracks and say: "Gee, why the heck are you not famous?" Chuck Poling grew up playing music in a black gospel church and has the rock solid mandolin chops to prove it. Their monthly jam at the Plough and Stars has nurtured a whole new generation of local pickers and grinners.
KC Jiang
KC Jiang ruined his early dreams of being an itinerant street musician by becoming an engineer. Lately he makes up for lost time by playing classical music, Chinese melodies, Irish, Scottish and other Celtic songs, American folk songs and his original melodies on Harmonica and Irish whistle.
Jug or Nots
More jaunty jug joviality with The Jug or Nots, one of Los Angeles' best. Lots of familiar jug classics and lively foot-stomping originals played on cigar box guitar, kazoo, and many of your favorite kitchen utensils.
K
Keyan Keihani
A young singer-songwriter from the East Bay. He's more of a heart on his sleeve modern rhythm and blues romantic than a grizzled folk troubadour. But he sings in a smooth emotional style, underscored by a lot of power and range, that will hook in from the git go.
The Keller Sisters
Sheryl and Kerry Keller are newcomers to the SF Free Folk Fest scene. This is what I know: They've performed music all their lives, they have the sister harmony thing going on, and they've formed a duo act after many years of singing in a blues rock band in San Mateo called Blue Tuesday. Lately they've returned to the kinds of songs they grew up singing together: Simon & Garfunkel influenced folk with a pop edge.
Robert Kent, Jean Anne Chapman, & Brooks Hunnicutt
A classic folk Americana troubadour traveling here all the way from Oklahoma City. Robert's music always reflects a passion for living, travel, romance and love that lives in the songs that he sings.
Kunkel & Harris
Bruce Kunkel was one of the founders of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band back in the days when Jackson Browne was in the band. Nowadays Bruce is joined by Sonoma County buddy, Rob Harris. The duo specializes in driving harmonies and California folk rock originals. Think the Everly Brothers meet Jackson Browne.
L
Vicky Lee & Russ Whitehead
Vikki & Russ have rambled all over lately as lead ins to the legendary Ramblin' Jack Elliott. They bring a smile to your lips, a laugh to your belly, and a tap to your toes.
Leftover Dreams
Peel back the years to the first half of the twentieth century with the vocal harmonies and sparse but memorable accompaniment of Leftover Dreams.
Mark Lemaire and Twilight
Complex, sophisticated song arrangements. His guitar playing his so good, it might distract you from his compelling, engaging melodies and sharp songwriting in the vein of Simon & Garfunkel. But only for a second.
Mark Levy
Mark Levy is a singer and lecturer who specializes in older Judaic folk music in Yiddish, Hebrew, and Ladino, Klezmer history and theory, and Jewish music history in general. He also performs union and labor songs and has several albums of satirical songs.
Laura Lind
California-based autoharpist and award-winning performer of traditional American folk classics and original songs of romance and environmental concerns.
Lowiczanie Polish Folk Dance Ensemble
Lowiczanie Polish Folk Ensemble, presents Polish traditional music, song and dance from many of Poland's 38 regions and sub-regions for a variety of audiences and events. Dressed in exquisite costumes the Ensemble has created programs in many States as well as in Poland, showcasing dances and music of the countryside, village and town as well as of the nobility. Today's performance includes traditions of the Zywiec mountain highlanders, the landed gentry and the peasants of eastern Poland.
M
David Maloney
With 40 years of performing and composing under his belt, David Maloney -- also of Reilly and Maloney -- will surely please his audience.
Misner & Smith
Funny, Sam and Megan look perfectly sane. Yet most people would have thought them completely nuts 10 years ago, when they set out to make a living singing folk songs. A decade on, in the vanguard of a quiet, yet steady, revival of interest in authentic folk and Americana music, that's just what the 2 of them are doing. They return to Faith Petric Stage after too long a hiatus, and you'd be crazy to miss the lovely singing and comforting, indelible original songs of Misner & Smith as they close out a wonderful night of music at the SF Free Folk Festival.
P
Jonnie Pekelny
Jonnie sings lovely renditions of old Russian folk songs, which makes sense because she grew up singing the haunting, playful and soul filled melodies of the Russian countryside. Jonnie Pekelny brings a beautiful voice and special energy to every performance.
Faith Petric
Many people think Faith has been singing in public most of her life. It's just hard to imagine her not performing. But she's only been touring and playing full time since she retired in 1970. It also may surprise some to know that she hasn't written any of the hundreds of human, touching, rousing songs she performs. That's because she has that rare ability to fully inhabit a song with her personality. Or maybe it's that she has had so much time to find songs that perfectly suit her. In her 97th year on the planet, it just wouldn't be a SF Free Folk Festival without a performance by the one and only Faith Petric.
Melanie Phippard
It's been nearly a decade since the last time Melanie Phippard shared with us her classic brand of polished, sun-filled California folk pop.
Poor Man's Poison
A young folk Americana quartet from Hanford, California that is bursting at the seams with talent and a fresh, melodically mature sound. Spend a little time getting to know their polished, richly-textured original songs on YouTube. If you're going to catch only one new band at the fest this year, let this be the one.
R
Riggy Rackin
Riggy has been playing and singing for more than 40 years, mostly concentrating on Celtic, Scottish and British traditional folk. Lately he has been playing a folk-centric form of background music for several years, taking the melodies of sea chanteys and forebitters, and setting them in folk chamber music arrangements. This "Sweet Music of the Salt Sea" ends up to be quite pleasant AND easy for both musician and listener.
Valerie Rose Band
Valerie is vocalist and fiddler specializing in the kind of Celtic revivalism championed by bands like Clannad and Altan. You may know her for her work with Thornhill Road, Four Shillings Short and Mollie's Revenge. Here she will sing and play with the four other band mates collectively known as the Valerie Rose Band.
S
Sausan Egyptian Dance
Sausan Egyptian Dance
The Shook Twins
Laurie and Katelyn are twin sisters from Portland who play backporch folk music, if the porch were located somewhere in the middle of the Andromeda Galaxy. They blend twin harmonies, banjo, beat-boxing and percussion in a way that is oddly familiar and wholly fresh. Their music simultaneously soothes, amazes, and transports you to a place you've never been before yet crave more of.
Some Good Music
Susan Giba and Tatiana Tilley are Some Good Music. Two great voices with amazing harmonies, some guitar and a little percussion. They call their style folksy Americana, and they've been making quite a hit at the every other Friday meetings of the SF Folk Music Club.
Stanford Ceili
Stanford Ceili shows off how much fun casual Irish dance can be! A long set of reels and jigs -- come watch us ... or dance with us!
T
The Tarantulas Jug Band
10 piece Bay Area band playing ragtime, Delta blues, and happy party music from the 1920s-1950s, and you will actually witness jugs in musical action.
V
Craig Ventresco & Meredith Axelrod
Think of Ventresco and Axelrod as a 2 person rescue crew salvaging ragtime, blues, and pre-jazz gems from old cylinders, dusty 78s, and long-forgotten sheet music. These songs are the obscurest of the obscure, known to only the most avid of collectors. V & A play them with such rhythmic confidence, melodic devotion, and strength of feeling that I don't think it's an overstatement to say each song they play is revealed as the ultimate expression of what it can be. You won't hear them played better. This isn't just good music; it is a remarkable service they are providing. We in the Bay Area are lucky to have them in our midst.
W
Melody Walker & Jacob Groopman
Melody Walker has a powerful voice, an engaging stage presence, and an ambitious, imaginative songwriting gift.
World Dance Fusion
World Dance Fusion - creates a unique assortment of more than 20 cultural dance forms from Brazil, Central Asia, Middle East, Haiti and so much more. Come enjoy this chance see them perform and see where you go!
World Harmony Chorus
Dive deep into the melodious 4 part harmonies of this 20+ member chorus that sings songs from the Balkans, Africa and who knows where else.