by Robert Rodriquez

A ballad is a song that tells a story. In this workshop, a good story is the key, whether the ballad be traditional, literary or original. Attendees will be invited to share their ballads with the group. Robert will briefly mention some general facts about ballad genres such as Child and broadsides, and will leave some time for anyone to ask questions should they wish to do so. A handout listing sources of ballads on CD and in books will be provided to those interested.

Robert Rodriquez has been performing traditional folk music and storytelling professionally since the mid-1970s. Fascinated by the cross-cultural aspects of shared music and stories in various cultures since an early age, Robert has incorporated various aspects of folk lore and music into his curriculum as a high school teacher, has performed at various events throughout the country, and enthusiastically shares his songs and stories with audiences of all ages. Intrigued by traditions and rituals from around the world, he finds vocal and verbal performance arts to be an entertaining way to pass them on to other people, while at the same time demonstrating the inter-relationship between music, oral narrative, and the social and cultural histories of different cultures.

He has performed at folk festivals, storytelling festivals, schools (elementary to college-level), libraries, coffee houses, hospital and nursing homes, museums, bookstores, and parks. His singing is acappella (unaccompanied by instrumentation) -- from ballads to shanties, drinking songs to chorus songs, historical songs (especially of the civil war and the old west), and children's material. He welcomes the the inevitable questions from the audiences that arise when he introduces, presents, and explains his songs and stories, and will often let the audience's interests dictate the ongoing course of the workshop.


SFFFF 2006: