Shortis and Simpson
John Shortis is a songwriter with a passion for politics and history. Moya Simpson is a singer who uses her considerable vocal range and comic flair to bring Shortis’ songs and scripts to life. Together they are Shortis and Simpson, Canberra-based performers of original shows that are always humorous, poignant, and informative.
Spooky Men’s Chorale, The
The Spooky Men's Chorale is a vast, rumbling, steam powered and black clad behemoth, seemingly accidentally capable of rendering audiences moist eyed with mute appreciation or haplessly gurgling with merriment. They seek to commentate on the absurdity and grandeur of the modern male, armed only with their voices, a sly collection of hats and facial hair, and a twinkle in the eye.
Squeezebox Trio, The
Armed with a thirty-year old accordion, violin and acoustic gitane The Squeezebox Trio will get you up and swinging with their energetic performances. The boys bring a unique flavour to the gypsy swing tradition of the 1930s forged by the two remaining fingers of legendary guitarist Django Reinhardt. They haven't played the National since 2015 and are thrilled to be releasing their debut album.
The 2018 Folk Alliance Australia 'Young Artist of the Year', soulful and honest multilingual singer/songwriter STAV. (@soundofstav), continues her story of migration with soaring melodies and bursts of rhythmic fire. She released her debut album 'The Horizon Line' with an east-coast tour and shows in Barcelona and France. Her newest single was premiered on Triple J in 2018. "She has this sense of wonder" – Triple J. "Definitely stands out from the crowd" – MAV.
String Contingent, The
Renowned acoustic chamber-folk trio The String Contingent have a unique sound that confidently walks the line between folk, classical jazz, and bluegrass. In 2018, Australians Chris Stone (violin) and Holly Downes (double bass) with Scotsman Graham McLeod (guitar) took a road less traveled along the Savannah Way from Cairns (Qld) to Broome (WA) to deepen their experience of Australia and form the basis of their sixth album, which is being launched at thE Festival.
Award winning guitarist Stu Tyrrell plays acoustic metal, Celtic roots and original Australian folk. Breathing new life into traditional English and Celtic folksongs, Stu re-imagines them into stomping, roots-infused arrangements interwoven with acoustic heavy metal to deliver something completely original. Stu has played the Australian Celtic Festival, Beechworth Celtic Festival, Granny Smith Festival, and National Celtic Festival. He also won the 2016 Gulgong Folk Festival Guitar Competition with his instrumental arrangement 'Celtic Medley'.
A trailblazer in alt-country, Taylor Pfeiffer is a singer/songwriter banjoist, guitarist and yodeller. At 19, Taylor has gained airplay on Triple J, featured on national shows Spicks & Specks, Weekend Sunrise, The Voice, and Nashville’s Music City Roots, and performed with Lee Kernaghan, Troy Cassar-Daley, Beccy Cole, Kasey Chambers. In 2018, Taylor travelled to the US, attending an advanced banjo course presented by Béla Fleck and performing at the American Banjo Festival and Nashville’s iconic Bluebird Café.
Telenn Trii brings driving rhythms combined with the delicate sound of the harp, fiery fiddle and punchy accordion, to 'soothing the soul' and infectious dance music of the Celts. Featuring harp, piano accordion, Irish bouzouki, guitar and Scottish fiddle, Telenn Tri perform music from deep in the heart of Brittany, up to the Scottish highlands to give you a true taste of what Celtic music can be.
The story of The Once is one of growth, propelled by the rare chemistry that comes from a decade of writing and touring together. Their songs have been placed in international film and television, they have YouTube videos with millions of hits, and there's a trail of trophy nominations and wins from the East Coast Music Awards, the Canadian Folk Awards, and the JUNO Awards in their wake.
Award winning songwriter Tiffany Eckhardt has been adopted by the folk/roots and festival scene in Australia as a firm favourite. She is excited to be returning to the National this year with a new album, joined on stage by husband and guitarist Dave Steel, Bass player Greame Beer and fiddle player Ross Smithard. Her music is inspired by nature and the human spirit, and will transport you through joy and tears, this is a feast for the soul.
Trioc is a collective of young Victorian instrumentalists performing Irish traditional music. They received the 2018 Peter J Daly Memorial Award in recognition of their previous National Folk Festival appearances.. Their repertoire includes jigs, reels, hornpipes and slow airs in inventive and sensitive arrangements. Trioc’s sound is at once earthy and ethereal, reflecting the band members’ respect for the torchbearers of the Irish musical tradition as well as their own unique musical vision.
Truman Smith Band
Truman Smith loves writing a good old-fashioned pop song, and he and his band know just how to deliver one. From vibin' tunes to sombre songs, his writing blends a love of classic melody-driven pop with fresh and folky flavour of production. Since teaming up with his band, Truman Smith's shows have been energetic and boisterous, which is balanced by the depth and colour of his new material.
Ukulele Republic of Canberra
The Ukulele Republic of Canberra is Canberra’s largest and longest-lived community music ukulele group. They meet three times a month and have an active performing group that has led the Ukulele Muster at the National Folk Festival for the past four years. They have more than a hundred active members and over the last decade have entertained audiences all over Australia, celebrating the beautiful little uke and its magic.
Vila Navio (Port)
Vila Navio, the name of the artistic work of André Coelho Rodrigues presents the second album of original songs 'Ancoradouro' published in 2016. The album was reviewed by Songlines Magazine "Vila Navio has originality in mind and their quest for a different sound has been a successfull one". Musically this project is defined by the modernisation of the Portuguese traditional music involving elements of popular music with modern sonorities.
Whoa Mule brings you old time country ballads, original songs, and driving triple fiddle dance tunes. Inspired by the rapid weather changes of the Blue Mountains and the bustle of Sydney streets, these musicians deliver a performance characterised by both space and energy. With rich experience earned in bands such as Catgut and Golden Whistler, Whoa Mule puts a kick into old-time music.
Xenos and friends – Balkan music, song and dance spectacular
Xenos is internationally renowned for playing the evocative and electrifying music of the Balkans and the Balkan Roma (Gypsies). The singers and dancers of Sydney-based Saint Sava Serbian Folkloric Ensemble and leading teacher/choreographer of Balkan dance, Gary Dawson, join Xenos to present thrilling, high spirited, energetic and fun music, song and dance performances. Be captivated by the atmosphere of a Balkan 'sred selo' when the whole community dances in the middle of the village.
Hot stepping out from their local Canberra speakeasy Zackerbilks, are spreading their love of trad-dixieland jazz to the world. Join them on a high-energy musical journey that travels from the turn of the century to the 1940s. Dressed to impress this dapper eight-piece group will have your toes tapping as they play a mix of trad to modern with a vintage twist.