One of America's most versatile and successful songwriters, Steve Seskin performed some of his favorites at the 1999 Annual San Francisco Free Folk Festival. Seskin has written songs that have been performed by artists ranging from Peter Frampton to country star John Michael Montgomery. He also is a popular performer at acoustic venues and festivals throughout the US and Canada.

The Dunsmuir Scottish Dancers are one of the demonstration dance teams of the San Francisco chapter of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society. Frequent participants in the San Francisco Free Folk Festival, the group will both perform on the main stage and lead a workshop. They are delightful to watch and dance with, communicating the combination of elegance and power unique to Scottish Country Dance.

The World Harmony Chorus performs choral music from African, South American, European, and American Gospel traditions, and is an outgrowth of a new choral program at the Mountain View-based Community School of Music and Arts (CSMA). Daniel Steinberg, the founder and director, has been a teaching and performing musician with many Bay Area folk ensembles, including the Hillbillies from Mars, for over twenty years. With the establishment of this chooir, he has brought to fruition his vision of community building through music. Members come from the South Bay, East Bay, Peninsula and San Francisco. The choir is open to everyone, with no prior singing experience required.

Going out on a musical limb is common for the group Four Shillings Short. With an ever-increasing array of instruments (over 20 at last count), including hammered dulcimer, mandola & mandolin, tin whistle & woodwinds, sitar, banjo, percussion and vocals, their music is always varied and captivating.

In a single night, Four Shillings Short perform Traditional Irish tunes and airs, Indian Ragas, Folk Ballads, Old-Time songs, Medieval & Renaissance instrumentals and a cappella numbers as well as contemporary folk and original compositions. Their sound has been described as "wondrously diverse", "truly refreshing" and "alternative neo-Celtic folk of the first order".

Amazing violin and guitar soloist and vocalist, Tony Marcus is well known from his performances with the Cheap Suit Serenaders and Cats & Jammers. Patrice Haan is a Canadian with a beautiful, haunting voice who now lives in the Bay Area. Together they apply their artful talents to the great songs of the first half of the 20th century -- the golden age of American song.

The McBride Irish Step Dancers will both perform on the main stage and lead a workshop. For over thirty years, they have been promoting Irish culture through its exciting dance of soft shoe reels and jigs and hard shoe stepping in the Bay Area. Their colorful costumes and flashing feet always produce an eye-catching show.

Known for his solo singing accompanied by violin and guitar, Ray Bierl has been a staple on the American Folk scene since the late ‘60s. Focusing on southern musical styles including country and old-time, in recent years he formed the Hillbillies From Mars and The Earls - his bluegrass dance bands which can be seen at gigs here in the Bay Area. A versatile talent, he also calls Contra dances.

San Francisco based Brassworks is a sextet comprised of five brass players on tuba, trombone/euphonium, french horn, and two trumpets, (doubling on cornet, flugelhorn and piccolo trumpet) and a drummer. They perform a wide range of musical styles from renaissance and classical to folk tunes and marches, blues and rock, Motown and Latin, even Broadway show tunes! The Band's specialty is period ballroom music from 18th and 19th century Europe and America.

Dogwatch was formed in 1978 and recreates a mid-19th century sailor band. Large sailing ships often had a number of musicians within the crew and during a long voyage, they would entertain the crew and any passengers that might be aboard. The music would range from the chanteys/shanty’s (work songs) and foc'sl songs to hymns and popular music hall numbers. The group performed for 6 years at the Dickens Christmas Fair and immediately found that there were further opportunities for making traditional maritime music available to everyone through performances and workshops.

The Juan L. Sánchez Ensemble features the verse and passionate voice of Juan L. Sánchez, a charismatic modern-day troubadour who has transcended his roots to create a unique musical universe.

From Lorca's poetry, laced with melodies powered by the bold virtuosity of Paul Contos on flutes and saxophones (who has accompanied the likes of Dizzy Gillespie), to the sensual rhythm of bossa novas and rumbas carried by the Hinojosa-Uccello tandem on Latin percussion and double-bass, and the undaunted genius of Dayan Kai on zampoña, piano, guitar, and mandolin, “We consciously aim to be cosmopolitan by incorporating the poetry and music of European, African, Asian and American cultural traditions, while continuing to embrace the beauty of the Spanish language and our rich Latino cultural heritage ...”

… are an a capella singing group who draw their repertoire primarily from English Traditional music. They also sing British Music Hall, American Folk, Scottish Folk, Irish Folk, TV Jingles and Babylonian Beer Hymns. In fact, the only thing a capella they don't sing is Barbershop. At least, not yet...!

Jubilee American Dance Theatre is a truly unique performance ensemble bringing to life the dances, music, songs and stories of the folks that made America. From Appalachia to the Swing Era to Cajun Country, the New England Whalers, Baja California, America's immigrants and more, Jubilee transports you to another time and place through its rich weaving of stories, songs, dance and music.

Sylvia Herold, formerly of Cats & Jammers, and Chuck Ervin of the Wakefield Jazz Quartet will present a mix of vintage country, swing and folk music. Their vocal duets will feature Sylvia on guitar and Chuck on acoustic bass.

The Roundup performs an entertaining mix of honky tonk, bluegrass, and old-time on acoustic instruments. Their shows are presented with one big mike, and they entertain the audience through music, humor, and showmanship. They look for great songs, with an emphasis on the country classic era from the 1930s through the 1960s, specializing in country duets and honky tonk songs. Jeanie’s powerful lead vocals highlight the rich emotion of classic country music. Be it the duets of George & Tammy or Charlie and Bill, they play country classics with humor and respect.

SFFFF 2003: