Adelaide International Folk DancersAdelaide International Folk Dancers was formed in 1974 and members gather on a weekly basis to enjoy dancing to exotic music, both live and recorded, from a wide variety of countries. Most of the dances are done in lines and circles, so no partner is required. The most popular dance styles are from the Balkan region where unusual time signatures seldom found in north western Europe are common.
Adelaide Scottish Fiddle ClubPerforming a varied program of contemporary and traditional music, the Adelaide Scottish Fiddle Club is excited to be launching their long-awaited debut CD. Join this vibrant community group for toe-tapping jigs and reels, and haunting slow airs taking you on a journey from Scotland and Ireland to Nova Scotia, Scandinavia and even Australia! A stage full of fiddles joined by cellos, guitar, double bass, piano and harp is surely a sight and sound to behold!
Afro Moses (GHA/AUS)Afro Moses is an award-winning artist from Ghana, West Africa. His illustrious career features such accomplishments as being voted twice as Ghana’s Best International Music Ambassador and sharing the stage with highly renowned artists such as Ziggy Marley and Youssou N’Dour. Afro Moses delivers a high-energy show containing positive messages of unity and individual beauty. His music spans countless styles including African, reggae, funk and pop. He'll have you jumping and wanting more.
Aidan Connolly (IRE)Aidan Connolly is a master young fiddle player from Dublin and is considered one of the leading Irish musicians of his generation. His debut album, 'Be Off', was released in 2016 to critical acclaim and is considered one of the best fiddle albums of recent years. He has toured extensively in the USA and Japan and has performed in Sweden, France, Spain, the UK and Australia. Aidan is celebrated for his unique style of playing.
Alan Downes (NZL)Performing only his own original work, Alan Downes sings lyrical ballads about the good times we need to remember and how the bad times can give you the best yarns. They are (mostly) true stories of people and places told with careful observation, a good dollop of humour and a little nostalgia.
Alana WilkinsonDescribed as equal parts vulnerable folk singer and vitriolic poet, the shining beam of sunlight that is Alana Wilkinson has turned heads recently with stellar performances across major festivals such as Blue Mountains, Queenscliff, Woodford and Nannup. Combining delicate melodies with disarmingly insightful vignettes about the human condition, Wilkinson is a smiling assassin who leaves audiences feeling like they’re sitting in her living room, chatting about life over a steaming cuppa.
Alaska String Band (USA)The Alaska String Band brings the best of Americana. Winners of the Fame Awards – Bluegrass Band of the Year, this group is polished, with riveting harmonies that are totally off the charts. Groove along while this captivating four-member family band offers up American roots favourites … swing, jazz, rock, original, pop, folk and Bluegrass.
All Strings AttachedBlending elements of high energy Celtic punk, unpredictable gypsy strings, pirate shanty folk rock and a circus sideshow extravaganza, the genres used to describe All Strings Attached are endless. With soaring Eastern-European inspired violin melodies fused with hip-shaking rhythms, driving guitar riffs and layered vocals, they may be hard to describe but they are sure to leave you satisfied.
Allegra DunningAllegra Dunning is the Junior Folk Federation NSW Young Folk Artist of 2019 – at 11 years of age! Allegra performs a mix of rearranged covers and her stunning originals. She writes songs about experiences emotions and things we fear with a distinctive Americana/ blues/ folk feel. She performs with her trusty guitar yet is a multi-instrumentalist and plays drums, piano and ukulele. Her music will move you.
Amazing Drumming MonkeysAustralia’s favourite family puppet show is coming back to the NFF with a new character – “Kiiko” and her funky little drum kit! The Amazing Drumming Monkeys have been wowing audiences around Australia and overseas for the past 16 years with a clever combination of puppetry, live music comedy and heartwarming themes resulting in a funny and engaging show suitable for the whole family.
"*****Our favourite concert" (Rolling Music – Shanghai China)
Australian Colonial & Folk DancersThe Australian Colonial & Folk Dancers is a highly experienced and creative dance group. The group comprises qualified dance teachers, experienced callers and award-winning dance writers, as well as enthusiastic and dedicated dancers. They perform choreographed routines based on traditional and contemporary folk dances. Dances are often performed with unusual numbers or formations and may involve a perfect imbalance, where each man has two partners, allowing for optimal creativity.
AvaraAvara presents the passion, intricacy and excitement of music sourced from the Alevi and Turkish folk traditions. Avara is Paul Koerbin (Sirocco, The Renaissance Players), Philip Griffin (The Balkanics), Phil Carroll (Yalla! ) and Andy Busuttil (The Bridge Project). Avara blends the musical backgrounds of each of its players into a dance and audio performance experience that will leave the audience enthralled and energised.
Avocado SmashA delicious musical show of original toe-tapping hits for kids! Come bounce around to the Brekkie Rap and throw your arms in the air to the Chilli Song. Winners of the San Diego Fringe Tour Ready Award 2019 and the Inner West Council EDGE Development Award 2019 - this show is a must-see! Perfect for children aged 0 - 7 years!
Barkers Vale Brothers, The"Combining the ancient traditional sounds of bluegrass and old-time music with laconic, provocative songwriting and dry banter, these two brothers from northern NSW are slowly but surely developing a cult following on the Australian folk festival circuit.
Sharing a member with their sister act The Pitts Family Circus means Gareth and Vaughan will put on a show that you won’t forget.
Caution: Some tunes may contain partial nudity, inverted banjo playing and pyrotechnics."
Barleyshakes, TheThat the Barleyshakes manage to be at the forefront of traditional Irish music in Australia while breathing it new life is remarkable. Intense energy, beautiful harmony, and irresistible dance rhythms are what make them tick. Members contributed to the Lord of the Rings award-winning soundtrack; they also won the Queensland Music Award for world music.
Barren Spinsters, TheThey look like a two-piece, sound like a five-piece, and move like a hair piece. Frontman Brendon Houlahan plays guitar with his hands, bass with his feet, and sings with his face. Matt Tennant belts the drums really hard, sings a little bit, and wears really dumb shirts while doing it. Together, The Barren Spinsters deliver 70s blues rock with a modern thrashy twist. Much the same way that Wolfmother doesn’t.
Big Sky MountainWith a sound that's a cross between the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac and Kasey Musgraves, Big Sky Mountain are seven women and a whole lotta jaw dropping harmonies. With shows that include Tamworth Country Music, Perisher Peak and Girakool Festival ,these ladies will have you up on your feet or crying into your laps with their beautiful songwriting and captivating show.
Blackberry JamBlackberry Jam have performed for the delight of people all ages for the past 25 years! Be ready for an abundance of energy, expertise and fun as they take to the stage at this year's NFF. On stage, at a dance, or at the KidzFest, you’ll be tapping your toes to some of Australia’s finest bush music.
Brandragon Morris"Founded in 2001, Brandragon Morris is Melbourne’s only North West Morris Side. We dance traditional English dancing from North West England and beyond. We also perform English
clogging routines, all to live music. We wear heavy clogs just like those which were worn in the factories of England during the time of the Industrial Revolution. Although the dancing steps are relatively simple, the dancers create interesting visual patterns which come from hours of practise."
Brisbane Girls Grammar School Celtic EnsembleThrough unique partnerships, performance and competition, Brisbane Girls Grammar seeks to challenge girls technically and personally imbuing them with a love for music and creative self-expression. Celtic Ensemble explores an eclectic mix of English, Irish and Scottish folk music, film scores and other pop-folk crossover genres.
Brisbane Girls Grammar School Gypsy BandThe Brisbane Girls Grammar provides girls the opportunity for creative self-awarenss while developing technical skills and a love for music. Gypsy Band with its exploration of folk and gypsy music from Eastern Europe is part of the school's rich musical offerings
Bruce Cameron’s Broadcasters’ ForumThe Broadcasters' Forum is an opportunity for radio presenters, artists and listeners to get together to talk about the folk music we hear on radio. The Broadcasters' Forum is facilitated by Bruce Cameron, producer and presenter of 'Come All Ye' on 2MCE-FM community radio since 1976.
Bruce WatsonNot just another Singer/songwriter! Bruce’s music is joyful, thought provoking, with totally engaging original songs from one of Australia's folk icons. Bruce is a master storyteller in song. His music reflects life in all its beautiful, funny, tragic and messy glory, often with a twist and a quirky sense of humour. “An Australian folk hero!” (The Boite). “The best songwriter I have seen in a long time.” (Eric Bogle)
Bush GothicPerforming at some of the world's most happening festivals including Mona Foma, Festival # 6 (Wales) and R.I.F.F (India), Bush Gothic have developed a cult following amongst those who like their pop intelligent and their folk dark. Using tales from Australian history as their source material, their musical influences range from minimalist electro to experimental breakbeat. Best Music Weekly Award – Adelaide Fringe. BBC Music Magazine – 5 STARS.
Bush Music ClubIn 2020 the Bush Music Club celebrates the centenary of the birth of one of its founders, folklorist John Meredith AM, whose extensive collections are in the National Library. Since 1954 BMC has actively promoted Australian folk traditions though collecting and publishing all forms of folklore. The oldest folk club in Australia, BMC holds regular dance and music workshops, bush dances, concerts and colonial balls and offers a Saplings program for young musicians.
Bush Music Club Youth Bush BandIn 2020 the Bush Music Club (BMC) celebrates the centenary of the birth of one of its founders, folklorist John Meredith AM, whose extensive collections are in the National Library. Since 1954 the BMC has actively promoted Australian folk traditions through collecting and publishing all forms of folklore. The oldest folk club in Australia, BMC holds regular dance and music workshops, bush dances, concerts and colonial balls and offers a Saplings program for young musicians.
Bush Traditions Settler SessionsThese sessions are led by musicians with many years of experience playing Australia's traditional dance music. The sessions feature music of Australia's settlers and their descendants presented in an informal and approachable way. Bring an instrument and play along or just sit and listen.
Cameron Corner Bush BandThe musicians of the Cameron Corner Bush Band play dance music for Australian bush and colonial dances. Together with callers from the Melbourne Colonial Dancers they will present an evening program of dances to welcome you to the National Folk Festival 2020.
Canberra Shanty ClubShanty Singers of Australia represent leading Shanty Clubs and community choruses from around the country.
With an emphasis on sea shanties and traditional chorus songs, Shanty Singers offer an easy path for new singers to discover the revelry and celebration of group singing.
ChaikaARIA nominated ensemble melding the earthiness of folk with the dexterity of jazz and craft of classical, Chaika’s vast influences create superb genre-blending vocal and instrumental music that transcends labels. “Like a gust of wind ushering in a new season of possibilities” (What’s on Sydney) they are steadily forging a new direction in Australian music.
Chipolatas, TheThe Chipolatas first performed at the National Folk Festival in 1996, returning in 1998 and 2000. After a 20-year break they are very pleased to return to Canberra! Combining mindful circus artistry with dynamic roots music, break-beats, ballads and spoken word they are ‘evolving’ tradition with contemporary stylings. The Chipolatas are a highly-acclaimed live arts performance company who have become a trusted brand and mainstay of festivals around the world.
Chloe and Jason Roweth with Matt Nightingale
Chloe and Jason Roweth with Matt NightingaleDrawing their inspiration from the warmth of old-style bush entertainment and folklore, the Roweths work with vibrant arrangements of new and old traditional Australian ballads and work songs, early country music, original music, poetry, yarns, and dance tunes, weaving together and carrying forward diverse threads of the Australian tradition. Integral to the sound is the formidable and expressive double bass of Matt Nightingale.
Chris Duncan, Catherine Strutt, Jennifer StruttDancers' favourites, Chris Duncan, Catherine Strutt and Jennifer Strutt will have you up on the dance floor with their infectious and rhythmic dance music. Celebrating 30 years of playing dance music, these expert musicians will share the stage with equally brilliant dance instructors Robert Davidson and Michael Darby ensuring dancers, old and new, a brilliant night of Scottish music and dance!
CLOUDSTREETBringing fresh life to the best of the tradition, Nicole Murray, John Thompson and Emma Nixon have carved themselves a niche internationally as outstanding performers of acoustic folk music. They deliver a powerful and moving musical experience based on entrancing musicality stunning use of vocal harmony and above all a compelling sense of fun. cloudstreet will sing and play their way into your hearts.
Colum Sands (IRE)Colum Sands is a universal storyteller who draws on a long Irish tradition of poetic musicality to weave songs for the world. With experience of countless performances and studio and broadcast work with young musicians and veterans like Joan Baez and Pete Seeger, Sands uses humour and sharp observation to celebrate what unites rather than what separates. His new album 'Song Bridge' includes songs written for his extensive environmental campaigning over the past two years.
Concertina ConvergenceThe Concertina Convergence provides opportunities for concertina players at all levels and of all keyboard systems to network with other players and to participate in structured sessions and workshops led by some of Australia's finest exponents on the instrument.
Coral Eden & the Melbourne Colonial DancersThe Melbourne Colonial Dancers formed in 1974 to preserve collected Australian heritage dances and dance tunes since European settlement. They have performed at many festivals; run bush dances, dance workshops, dance displays, and birthday dances; and performed in aged care facilities. Coral has been running beginner dance classes since 1993 and is committed to helping people to learn and enjoy dancing.
Crystal RobinsCrystal Robins is a Darwin based musician and songwriter who has been performing from a young age. Notable performances include Vivid Live Sydney, Melbourne Cabaret Festival, Illawarra Folk Festival, and singing with the support act for Boney M and The Pointer Sisters on their Australian tours. Crystal’s songs showcase an eclectic mix of folk, alternative and pop melodies, drawing on her diverse musical experiences, and her skills as a multi-instrumentalist and captivating vocalist.
Curtis Eller’s American Circus (USA)Curtis Eller is a banjo player, songwriter and rock & roll singer. Eller is a show business veteran who started his career at the age of seven as a juggler and acrobat. The American Circus has developed a devoted international following based on dynamic stage performances that incorporate a dreamlike view of American history and silent film style, physical comedy. The iconoclastic troubadour has spent a decade relentlessly touring the clubs, theatres and festivals of North America and Europe. The Band will be touring Australia in support of their latest, critically acclaimed album “A Poison Melody”.
Dan BakerWith an emphasis on strong lyrical foundations, Dan Baker weaves intricate finger style folk harmonies around thoughtful and powerfully delivered melodies. Dynamic manipulation and vivid imagery persuade audiences to follow the singer through difficult subjects, while honest vocal tones maintain reassurance of safe passage.
Dance KaleidoscopeWhy Kaleidoscope? Kaleidoscope relates to the changing patterns of the dancers as they dance, as well as the variety of dance styles performed by the group. We dance for enjoyment, motivation to improve our dancing style and have an excuse to dress in period costumes. Sounds Austen, a classical ensemble in disguise, play lively lifting music. We perform to share our love of the dance and to keep these elegant delightful old dances alive.
Daoiri Farrell TrioA former electrician who decided to become a musician after seeing Christy Moore perform on Irish TV, Dublin-born traditional singer and bouzouki player Daoirí (pronounced ‘Derry’) Farrell has been described by some of the biggest names in Irish folk music as one of most important singers to come out of Ireland in recent years.
David SpryCarefully crafted lyrics set to a mix of cinematic and raw, stripped-back compositions are the hallmark of David Spry's music. His style moves from gritty and intimate songs to free-spirited, fun tracks. David strongly identifies with his Indigenous Maranunggu/Marrithiyel heritage which has informed not just his songwriting but his take on life and how to live it as a conscientious human, leaving a legacy and being mindful of his place in the world.
Deline BriscoeDeline Briscoe’s live vocal delivery has the ability to change the weather, interweaving Wungabadi (Yalanji song) with folk/jazz/roots/soul infusion. She has toured with some of Australia's best vocalists like Archie Roach, Lou Bennett, Paul Kelly, Shane Howard, Emma Donovan, and Tiddas and collaborated with composers Iain Grandage and Andrea Keller. Deline has also toured worldwide with ensembles Black Arm Band (2008–2016) and Mission Songs Project (2017–2019) and is currently touring with her 2018 album 'Wawu'. The trio includes Airileke (drums) and Stephen Maxwell (keys/bass).
Dividing Range DancersThe Dividing Range Dancers are a group of dancers from the NSW and the ACT who share a common interest in traditional and lively forms of social dance. Coming from a range of dance backgrounds, they enjoy a repertoire of couple dances, set dances and quadrilles from the past 200 years, particularly those of relevance to Australia.
Dru YogaDiscover why Dru Yoga is so effective as a tool for great wellbeing. Start your Folk Festival mornings in tune with Dru’s fun activating and soothing movement work. Then stretch and energise through uplifting yoga poses and sequences that will increase your health and enthusiasm. Top it off with a rejuvenating relaxation that will set you up for the greatest day in a perfect world.
Elephant Sessions (SCOT)Creating a progressive blend of intricate tunes engulfing guitars with a bass and drum-heavy backline, Elephant Session' music combines the very best of trad funk and electronica resulting in a new and exciting sound. Gigging extensively around the UK they swiftly built a fan base and went on to release their debut album 'The Elusive Highland Beauty' in 2014 to critical acclaim.
Emily CrockerEmily Crocker writes and performs poetry. You might have seen her at BAD!SLAM!NO!BISCUIT!, Noted Festival, Sydney Fringe, Sydney Writers Festival, Word in Hand, or Wollongong Writers Festival. Her debut chapbook Girls and Buoyant was published by Subbed In in 2017. She is formerly of the team that brings you Enough Said Poetry Slam in Wollongong, where she became known for writing audience-inspired poems on the spot.
EquusEquus is a Mongolian/ world/ roots music infusion combining traditional Mongolian folk, Mediterranean strings and original grooves with contemporary fusion jazz and blues. Equus has been described as "Genre-defying genius! ... Deep trance grooves with a plethora of rapidly shifting musical styles ... Incredible throat singing ... Moments of improvised sonic rapture". From epic ballads and atmospheric soundscapes to rollicking horse gallops through bluegrass, blues, Middle-Eastern and swing, you’ll be taken places you’ve never imagined.
Fay Hield (UK)Fay Hield’s choice of English folk material and the delivery of it, reflect a rare sensitivity and appreciation of the tradition whilst remaining naturalistic and highly distinctive.
She has released three solo albums on Topic Records and been nominated for the Horizon Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Fay is also a founding member of the English folk super-group The Full English. "Unadorned and quite exquisite" * * * * – Uncut Magazine
Festival Bush OrchestraMusicians from all around the country are welcome to play in the Festival Bush Orchestra rehearsing four-part arrangements of some of our beaut Australian collected tunes. Under the baton/ stockwhip of Dave Johnson you will be surprised at the magic, the warmth, the sheer fun and the ultimate concert sound. The music, chosen and arranged by Dave, is provided in easier and harder parts so sight reading competence is recommended.
Festival Fiddle RallyTrish Barker has conducted the Festival Fiddle Rally for many years, was leader of the Sydney Scottish Fiddlers for 20 years and played for Celtic based dances, balls and private functions. Her musical interests now include French/ Occitane music and dance from the Auvergne region of France. Please copy and paste the following link into your browser to access the Fiddle Rally sheet music for 2020:
Fiddle Chicks, TheThe Fiddle Chicks are Dee Trewartha (The Cow Patsys) and Emma Luker (Eric Bogle Band), who perform using only fiddles, voices and stomp boxes to create their unique sound and original tunes and songs. After six albums and nearly twenty years on the music scene they still have a passion for performing. Let them take you on a musical voyage through daily life and love, with a few laughs thrown in!
Fiona Ross & Shane O’MaraShortlisted for Scots Singer of the Year in Scotland’s 2019 Trad Music Awards, Fiona Ross has established her reputation as a leading interpreter of Scots song. Her earthy singing style, grounded delivery and diverse repertoire showcase the richness of the Scots song tradition. ARIA Award winner Shane O'Mara is one of the nation's most respected guitarists. These two highly accomplished artists combine to deliver a set of Scottish songs and tunes that is both steeped in tradition and imbued with contemporary flair.
Flamenco Centre CanberraTomás Dietz has been teaching pure Flamenco dance in Canberra for nearly 20 years. Most of his students start with no dance experience, but their diligence in this austere discipline brings them to appreciate the depth of this stunning expression of the human condition. His students will share their achievements in the intimate, up close and intense 'tablao' style show.
Freewheeler, TheIt's all the about the flow. The simple magic of The Freewheeler is to set the music loose, the tunes flying and the rhythm humming. The trio brings together Ado Barker (fiddle), Dougal Adams (flute) and Ben Stephenson (guitar), musicians who have been at the heart of Irish trad in Australia for a generation. This sound taps the music at its core, lifting and rolling with a rare freedom – not to be missed!
Gabrielle Journey JonesGabrielle Journey Jones is a poet and percussionist born on sovereign Gadigal Land Sydney. She shares Maori and African bloodlines and lives on Yuin Country Far South Coast NSW with her family. Gabrielle has read her poetry on open mics and as a featured performer at local national and international events for over 20 years. Her collection, Spoken Medicine ,was published by Ginninderra Press in 2017. Gabrielle is wholeheartedly inspired by and contributes to her diverse creative communities.
Georgia State LineHonest, and refreshingly self-assured, Georgia State Line’s unique brand of country-infused melancholy yields music that’s equal parts heartsick and hopeful. Combining some of Melbourne's best – Tom Brooks, Patrick Wilson and Laura Baxter – and fronted by lauded songwriter Georgia Delves, the band melds both vintage and contemporary sounds to craft songs steeped in Tennessee sunsets. Delves’ voice is effortlessly colourful and textural with a depth and grace to rival even the most revered of talents.
Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse – KoorlangkaKoorlangka (Children), a performance of rare Noongar language with strings has crystallised a project which connects one of the world’s oldest languages with our youngest generations. Koorlangka is a suite of children's songs and lullabies in Noongar language. Multi-award-winning duo Singer/songwriter and Balladong (Noongar) daughter, Gina Williams, and guitarist Guy Ghouse have created a suite of songs which incorporate both their current catalogue and some new pieces each highlighting the breathtaking beauty of Noongar language.
Good Girl Song Project, TheThe Good Girl Song Project anchors itself in great storytelling and original songwriting and features Penny Larkins, Penelope Swales, Helen Begley and Jamie Molloy. They present their stunning folk song cycles “Settlement” and "Voyage" which follow the experiences of new female immigrants to colonial Australia of the 1830s. The struggles and triumphs of new immigrants in an old world are brought to life with finely wrought folk arrangements and tightly scripted stories
Graham Seal and Rob WillisGraham Seal and Rob Willis have been collecting and performing Australian folklore for many years. Drawing on their own archives and the collections of the National Library, they bring these traditions to life in radio, books, their Verandah Music blog and through engaging performances for audiences around the country.
Gregory NorthWith lots of hats and voices, he’s a wonder to behold, a writer and performer – three-times champion, we’re told. Bush poetry performance makes him come alive, you see; it’s dinkum Aussie culture that will fill you full of glee. So come along, experience his characters in rhyme, come climb the slime and grime, no crime, it’s prime – a time sublime!
Hat Fitz and CaraHigh-energy duo Hat Fitz and Cara are among Australia’s most talented roots music artists. The husband and wife team have clocked up 10 years of worldwide touring festival performances and album releases from their home base in the hinterland of South East Queensland's Sunshine Coast. They are showing no signs of slowing down, bringing their own mix of Blues and Gospel-infused roots. Their festival touring circuit takes in Australia, the UK and North America.
Hello Tut Tut
Hello Tut TutHello Tut Tut takes its audience on a high energy, stimulating musical safari shaped by the aesthetics of cultures from around the world. With members of Australian, Hungarian, Jewish, Polish, Czech and Swiss descent, the seven-piece draws upon sounds of klezmer, gypsy, Balkan and Latin musical traditions to craft original music that is contemporary, entertaining and highly danceable.
Henry WagonsHenry Wagons is a true renaissance man with a unique swagger reminiscent of a day when front men gave back bucket loads of charm and were shrouded in enigmatic mystery. Unanimously lauded as one of one of Australia’s great entertainers a Henry Wagons show is a true sight to behold.
Heritage Ensemble, TheThe Heritage Ensemble is an assembly of many fine experienced dance musicians as well as a training ground for younger musicians. Under musical director, David Johnson, and with callers, Heather Clarke, Don Richmond and Cath Richmond, the Heritage Ensemble delivers a ball program that extends from colonial times through bush dancing classics to modem innovations; all danced to arranged published works, collected treasures and new tunes.
Hillbilly GoatsFestival faves and Bluegrass Golden Guitar finalists, The Hillbilly Goats are a “show” featuring stories and song combined with hard fiddle, fast harmonica, clogging bones and big harmonies… Drawing influence from trad folk tunes, their passion lies in the history and they love to seek out stories of songs almost forgotten and bring them back to life with boundless energy. Kicke yer shows off! These Goats are FUN and not to be missed!
Honey Dewdrops, The (USA)Americana duo The Honey Dewdrops – Laura Wortman and Kagey Parrish – have long felt the push-and-pull between their original roots in the Appalachian mountains and their current home in urban Baltimore. You’ll hear it in their harmony-soaked songs and the mastery of their instruments’ acoustic tones, but also in their songwriting, which reflects the hard realities of today.
Jellyman’s Daughter (SCOT) TrioScottish duo The Jellyman's Daughter lands squarely in the middle of an intriguing crossroads between bluegrass post-rock folk and soul. Mixing their unique vocal harmonies with wild and visceral cello driving guitar and sweet mandolin Emily and Graham write their songs together with a focus on doing something new. In 2018 The Jellyman’s Daughter released their new album ‘Dead Reckoning’.
with inclusion in Popmatters’ ‘The 20 Best Folk Albums
Jenny MitchellJenny Mitchell is New Zealand’s brightest rising star, blending country, folk and Americana. With a NZ Gold Guitar under her hat and the 2019 NZ Tui Award for Best Country Artist, Jenny’s love for storytelling is at the core of her craft. She is a seasoned performer who's already played to audiences in Sweden, Ireland, Australia and her homeland of New Zealand. "The voice of a lioness, the soul of a sage" Luka Bloom.
Jim & Ingrid Rehle-WilliamsJim and Ingrid have been sharing their knowledge of Bavarian dancing for nearly 20 years. Jim lived in Munich for nine years and Ingrid was born and first started dancing in a small town near the alps in Bavaria. They make dancing accessible to all levels of dancers with their clear and fun instruction. They are accompanied by some fine musicians making for an enjoyable dance experience.
Joe Man MurphyJoe Man Murphy is an Irish born folk/ roots artist who now calls Australia home. A true singer/songwriter and storyteller, Joe Man draws on 20 years of performing and touring the world in his must-see stage shows. He has recently released his third album ‘Happy Days’ with a national tour in 2018. A multi-instrumentalist, Joe Man has captured the hearts of audiences through his warmth, honesty and stories from a life well lived.
John PeelJohn Peel is an award winning performer of Australian bush poetry. John’s repertoire covers a broad range, from fencing duels to fishing, Elvis and many subjects in between. From traditional bush ballads to his own humorous originals, you are bound to be entertained.
Jon Boden (UK)Jon Boden, best known as the lead singer of the progressive folk juggernaut Bellowhead, launched his solo career in 2016. Presenting self-penned songs from the albums 'Painted Lady' and 'Songs From The Floodplain' and his latest album 'Afterglow', material from Bellowhead, Spiers & Boden and his 'A Folk Song A Day' project, his critically acclaimed and enthusiastically received solo shows have confirmed him as one of the foremost names in English folk music.
JuggleHubJuggleHub are a community focused Juggling Club based in Canberra. Running weekly meet ups every Wednesday since mid 2018, JuggleHub has rapidly become Canberra's number one place for all things juggling! JuggleHub organises the majority of International Juggling Combat competitions (Fight Night) in Australia.
Keith McKenryA leading member of Australia's small clan of folklorists, Keith doubles as a slightly crazy performance poet, the only person to have recited 'The Spirit of the People' in the Australian High Court, 'A Study in Linguistics' in the Sydney Opera House, and 'McArthur's Fart at the United Nations in New York. His acclaimed solo tour de force, 'Yet More Lies that Made Australia' is a hilarious thought-provoking entertainment simply not to be missed.
Keith Wood and Pastrami on RyebuckPastrami on Ryebuck is the Contra version of Ryebuck Bush Band and has been playing for many years at Contra sessions, bush dances, and English Country dances around the country. Keith Wood is a prize-winning dance composer and calls Contra, English, and his own dances in Sydney. Together they'll get you up and dancing!
Kim Yangsinger/songwriter Kim Yang presents a haunting and hypnotic slice of magic. With Kim's ethereal blend of sounds, she creates music that balances delicately between vulnerability and power. Born in Taiwan, Kim started her Australian music journey in 2016 with a ukulele and a guitar in the streets and cafes of Canberra where she won the hearts of many. Kim performs original songs speaking from her lived experiences with mixed genres of folk and blues.
Kutcha EdwardsPerforming original compositions including songs from his forthcoming album ‘Circling Time’, Kutcha Edwards explores new ways of celebrating both his artistry and his Aboriginal ancestry. Kutcha’s beautiful voice and poignant songwriting with backing from his tightly knit three-piece band is a concert that actively engages the audience with music and stories highlighting both modern issues and ancient lore. Kutcha maintains his life’s work as a traditional Songman in this modern era. His Songline continues its evolution.
KyshonaKyshona was named one of NPR's Indie Discoveries of 2017. "Kyshona Armstrong has been called upon to represent for soul and gospel in roots rock and folk lineups and to bring singer-songwriter sensibilities to R&B bills. But wherever she plants her feet she does so with righteous conviction and a strong sense of her own voice."- Jewly Hight/NPR Music
Lady ValiantFounded in the United States and based in Far North Queensland, Lady Valiant are a genre bending mix of blues, folk and rock. Weaving dirty slide guitar and searing lead fiddle with powerhouse soulful vocals and topped off with a heavy foundation of solid drums it's sure to be a show you haven’t experienced before. The groove is coming for you.
Little QuirksSisters Abbey and Mia Toole joined their cousin Jaymi Toole in 2015 to form Little Quirks, a band in which they simply wanted to “write and play music that was fun to sing”. From busking at farmers' markets, the band quickly leap frogged onto stages supporting the likes of Tim Rogers, All Our Exes Live in Texas, Alex the Astronaut, Jack River, Busby Marou, and Xavier Rudd.
Littmus Steampunk BandLittmus Steampunk Band is a ragtag bunch of time travelers from the great Victorian Age of Exploration and Invention spreading the word about the joys of steam-powered machines made of wood, brass and clockwork gears. A mix of acoustic folk, pop, cabaret and tunes from the Age of Airships are all delivered by adventurers impeccably dressed in the grand style of 19th century London.
Liz Frencham Trio2018 Troubadour Award Winner and perennial festival presence Liz Frencham is stepping back into centre stage supported by virtuoso multi-instrumentalists Pete Fidler and Josh Bennett. She has a BRAND new album and a swag of new songs along with favourites from her 'Jigzag', 'Jimmy The Fish' and duet album days. Come and be warmed by that cheeky grin and cradled by her luminous, generous presence.
Lloyd SpiegelLloyd Spiegel is a trailblazer at the forefront of modern blues and one of Australia’s most recognised guitarists recently being named in Australian Guitar Magazine’s list of the top 50 Australian guitarists of all time. His show blends jaw-dropping guitar expertise with a commanding voice powerful songwriting and storytelling to deliver a concert experience launching him onto theatres and festivals around the globe.
Lucy SugermanThe inaugural National Folk Festival Youth Ambassador Lucy Sugerman, cut her teeth performing around Canberra from the age of nine. Her earliest performances were busking and blackboards growing up at the National Folk Festival, and later went on to be crowned an Australian National Busking Champion for two years running in 2015 and 2016.Now nineteen Lucy already has a remarkable list of musical achievements including: Young Canberra Citizen of the Year for Arts and Multimedia; equal third place in the grand final of ‘The Voice Australia’; deals with Universal Music Australia; and performances alongside renowned musicians at a range of cultural events.
Lucy Wise & Stephen TabernerLucy Wise and Stephen Taberner are both purveyors and afficionados of songs that mean something to them. Improbably, they are also capable of rendering them with the kind of perfect musical humanity that gives rise, in them and others, to what could be called a near life experience. They explore a bunch of highly necessary conversations: between the bass and the uke, between the resonance and the groove, between grand stupidity and grace.
Maggie Carty Band, TheMaggie Carty, banjo player and singer from the West of Ireland moved to Australia in 2017 and has been performing festivals around the region, including Port Fairy Folk Festival, National, Ceol Aneas, New Zealand, National Celtic Festival, Illawarra Folk Festival and venues across Vic and NSW. Now Melbourne based she has joined forces with Máirtín Staunton (flute/vocals), Ado Barker (fiddle), Gerry McKeague (guitar/vocals) and Thomas Botting (double bass) to form the Maggie Carty band. The group performs a mix of traditional Irish tunes and folk songs with three-part harmonies and jazz undertones. On stage the group has a natural ease and their enjoyment and sense of fun is palpable and infectious!
Māmā Mihirangi & the Māreikura (NZ)
Māmā Mihirangi & the Māreikura (NZ)“A powerful show of stunning contemporary Māori music, dance, instruments, language, stories and costumes. The queen of live loops is back in force and this new show is her best yet”. Songlines Magazine UK, 2019. This is a fierce all-female Māori world-roots production showcasing the virtues of Indigenous feminine power and inspiring cultural identity. With ancient chants, intricate harmonies, traditional and contemporary instruments featuring women’s dance, haka, weaponry and martial arts the group delivers an inclusive, informative and inspiring cultural performance.
Mammals, The (USA)The Mammals are an Americana/folk/rock band fronted by husband-and-wife songwriting duo, Mike Merenda and Ruth Ungar, the daughter of fiddle legend, Jay Ungar. The Mammals joke that they’re “too folk for the rock show” and “too rock for the folk show”, but in reality they hit the critical emotional and sonic touchstones of both. Their performances are propelled by just the right amount of guitar grit, soothing harmony, barn-burning fiddle, retro grooves, and storytelling savvy.
Margaret & Bill WinnettMargaret & Bill Winnett have danced together for well over fifty years, travelling to Ireland on twenty-four occasions to collect and research the traditional Irish dances they teach during their workshops. They have the ability to teach dancing in a fun way yet have everyone dancing to an exacting standard and enjoying the experience.
Mark MoldreMark Moldre's new album 'Fever Dreams' contains some genre-hopping sonic bedlam, fractured Americana-hued ballads, jazz-tinged standards, folk, old-school Jungle Book style reggae and ramshackle/rollicking noir blues. An album that captures magic and mayhem woven into a loose rock ’n’ roll aesthetic. The fingerprints of Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and Chet Baker are buried deep in the DNA of 'Fever Dreams'. It is an exciting stage act fresh from a recent tour of France.
Marlee MorrisMarlee Morris, a mixed Cotswold/ Border Morris side, is a relative newcomer to the Australian Morris scene but individual members have a wealth of dancing experience with their energetic and precise interpretation of traditional Morris dancing. Marlee is the local indigenous word for the Black Swan, the emblem of Western Australia where the group is based. The Border kit depicts the black feathers of the Swan.
Maypole with MollyMaypole with Molly and her lively accordion will have kids dancing and creating intricate ribbon patterns or playing percussion. Emphasis is on fun audience participation where adults are invited to join in. Erika Cleaver (Molly), an experienced early childhood teacher and her helpers enjoy sharing music and dance with kids.
Megan RowethMegan began performing poetry when she was just 6 years old, and has loved doing so ever since. Now, aged 13, she has won multiple awards for her reciting, and recorded her first album of poetry. "Megan Roweth’s delivery of this collection of classic Australian poetry is brimming with wit and a depth of perception beyond her years.” - Kim Kelly, Writer
Melinda SmithMelinda Smith is the author of six books of poetry, most recently 'Goodbye Cruel' (Pitt St Poetry 2017). She won the 2014 Prime Minister's Literary Award for 'Drag down to unlock or place an emergency call' and her work has been widely anthologised and translated into multiple languages. She's performed her work across Australia and in Italy, NZ and Japan. She's based in the ACT and is a former poetry editor of the Canberra Times.
Mighty Murray Bush BandThe musicians of the Mighty Murray Bush Band play dance music for Australian bush and colonial dances in Victoria, NSW, and Tasmania and come together at the National, with Norm Ellis of the Traditional Social Dance Association of Victoria, to present an afternoon of fun dancing for all.
Mike McClellan"With songs like 'Song and Danceman', 'The One I Love', 'Saturday Dance', and 'I Wonder Who You're Waiting For', Mike McClellan has earned an honoured place within the history of Australian music.
Mike's career spanned the late 70's and early 80's, and brought chart-topping songs and gold albums – plus his own ABC TV show.
In 2011 Mike made a long-awaited return to performing and recording, and has since released 3 highly-acclaimed new albums."
Moishe’s BagelThrillingly original cutting-edge klezmer and world music, this act is an intoxicating, life-affirming mix of Eastern European dance music, Middle Eastern rhythms and virtuoso performances. Formed in Edinburgh in 2003, Moishe’s Bagel combines the energy and passion of world folk with the excitement and soul of improvisation. Boasting some of Scotland’s best instrumentalists (Grit Orchestra, Salsa Celtica, Scottish National Jazz Orchestra), the band will draw you in, turn you inside out, and leave you smiling uncontrollably – all in the space of one tune. “This fearless 5-piece emphatically puts the ‘class’ into ‘unclassifiable’” (Scotsman).
Mosaic Tribal Bellydance ShowcaseDazzling swords, swirling skirts, colourful shawls, finger cymbals and more – Mosaic Tribal brings together dancers from NSW and Canberra to entertain audiences with a captivating display of tribal bellydance. Music is from around the world including Spain, India and live Middle Eastern drumming. The extravagant costumes reflect this global mix. Dancers present a blend of choreographed and improvised pieces, performing with personality and attitude to ensure the audience has as much fun as the dancers.
Muddy WolfeMuddy Wolfe is a new band on the Canberra music scene. Their debut album (released March 2019) was well received among blues fans and got airplay on Triple J with their song 'Life of a Working Man'. But it doesn't stop with the blues! Muddy Wolfe crosses over into the realms of folk, jazz and rock with vocal harmonies and a band full of young talent with musical sensibilities beyond their years.
Neil Adam & Judy Turner BandFresh from their Edinburgh Fringe triumph, Neil Adam and Judy Turner have brought together some of Victoria's finest instrumentalists to present a dashing collection of their award winning songs and tunes. With Vince Bradley (trumpet) Gus Rigby (sax) Louise Godwin (cello) and Bec Rigby (vocals), Judy (fiddle) and Neil (guitar/vocals) will delight with a mix of Australian and Scottish inspired material, including timeless classics such as 'Pickers Train' 'Yellow Shoes' and 'Gates of Gold'.
New Graces, TheThe New Graces – Melanie Horsnell, Kate Burke and Robyn Martin – are seasoned identities in the Australian music scene who bring you guitar, fiddle, double bass and interwoven harmonies of three distinctly unique voices. Their lives have intersected through the magnetic musical pull of Candelo Village on the NSW far south coast. The three now join forces, weaving tales of farmers, hippies, mothers, sea farers, history, lovers, the ordinary and the mysterious. The New Graces are not to be missed.
NFF Percussion ExperienceOnce again the NFF Percussion Experience gives you the chance to release your inner drummer! The workshops are designed for first-timers, families, experienced musicians and everything in between! Join dynamic percussionist and music educator, Peter Vadiveloo, in a series of fun, intense and engaging workshops as he teaches a wonderful piece of percussion music that is planned to be performed at the Finale Concert.
Ngati Morris Dancers (NZL)Ngati Morris Morris is the traveling arm of the New Zealand Morris dance community. The word Ngati means tribe in the Maori language. They feature some of the best dancers and musicians from Auckland, Nelson, Wellington and New Plymouth. In their distinctive black Baldricks embroidered with silver ferns they are an eye-catching addition to any folk festival. In addition to the traditional dances they have also developed there own Kiwi repertoire.
NorskioskEccentrically and purposefully out-of-step with recent musical fashion Norskiosk create little yet epic compositions that hark back to the 70s lo-fi goodness. Using only two voices ukulele and double bass and sometimes a banjo or acoustic guitar, the compositions are dynamic harmonically rich and melodically complex. Bridging the less explored avenues between baroque, pop, old-timey music and post-Beatles influence, these dapper boys bring old world charm – together with indie musical sensibilities.
Old McDonald Farmers, TheThe Old McDonald Farmers, T-Roy and T-Dawg, are a couple of wanna be farmers who sing better than they sow and have a little show full of big hits. It’s a southern take on the classic kids songs and nursery rhymes from past and present, all brought to life with the sounds of banjo, guitar-bass and percussion. Knee slapping, toe tapping good times...and dad jokes aplenty!
One Sky Many StoriesTake a spellbinding journey to the far reaches of the galaxy with one of Australia’s most prolific Indigenous songwriters, Warren H Williams, and members of the acclaimed Griffyn Ensemble. Discover western and Indigenous astronomy through a synthesis of masterful storytelling, music and short film, and ask yourwelf – what do the stars mean to you?
PachamamaPachamama (‘Mother Earth’) is a new Latin American music ensemble that will inspire you with music both familiar and strange, speaking of love, longing and the fragile earth. Their music weaves the textures, colours and cultural richness of South America with four-part vocal harmonies and a colourful platter of exotic folk instruments: the charango, tres, guitar, flute, zampona, mandolin, bouzouki and percussion.
Pagoda Project (UK)Created by Paul Hutchinson (piano accordion) and Karen Wimhurst (clarinets), Pagoda Project brings together a unique blend of contemporary folk instrumentals with improvisation to create a warm, dynamic sound. Their originality, combined with a healthy dose of humour, leads to a fabulously entertaining concert. They come highly recommended, performing in festivals across the UK and the Czech Republic, earning them five star reviews from Songlines and FRoots. They've featured on the Songlines cd 'Top of the World'.
Paul McKenna Band, TheCalled “the best folk band to have come out of Scotland in the last twenty years” by the New York Times, award-winning Glasgow singer Paul McKenna is ranked among Scotland’s finest young songwriters, armed with a powerful yet intensely emotive voice and passionate social conscience. Alongside Conor Markey (banjo/ bouzouki/ guitars) and Ewan Baird (percussion), Paul McKenna draws on both Scottish and Irish roots in a dynamic full-bodied array of original and traditional material.
Peppercorns, TheThe Peppercorns are Craig Sinclair (guitar & vocals) and Lara Norman (violin, mandolin & vocals). Hailing from the south coast of WA, this duo bring together a wealth of musical influences on their bluegrass swing and old-timey inspired folk tunes. Using a traditional single microphone approach, their delicate string arrangements, soaring harmonies and timeless lyrics create a unique sound both intimate and powerful.
Pete Wild & the Only OnesHighly regarded as a performer and songwriter, Pete Wild and his band, the Only Ones, are touring their freshly pressed album 'Calm', an indie/ folk/ piano/ pop roller coaster ride that lurches from heartfelt comedy to deep melancholy. A survival manual for contemporary small town country Australia, caravan renovations, insomnia-inducing anxiety, romantic beginnings on South Coast beaches, losing your lover to the Mars 1 colonisation project ... you will love this collection of vibrant vignettes.
Phillip’s DogPhillip's Dog is the only band in the world specialising in early Australian colonial dance music.They have collaborated with internationally renowned dance bands to bring a unique sound to the Australian dance scene. Based on the research of dance historian and teacher, Dr Heather Blasdale Clarke, combined with the talents of lead musician, Roland Clarke, be prepared for an extraordinary adventure in music and dance.
Pitts Family Circus, TheExperience one of the last surviving family acrobatic troupes in Australia. Be entranced by spectacular acrobatics! Sword swallowing children! Baby balancing! Human Pyramids and more... With humble beginnings 15 years ago as a duo act doing a small street theatre show, The Pitts have now toured the world seven times and grown into a charming family circus. With their three young children their show is popular with crowds wherever they appear.
PNG Peroveta Singers of CanberraThe Canberra PNG Peroveta Singers present ancient tribal and gospel folk traditions (Peroveta). Peroveta convey Bible teachings, sung 'a cappella' with energetic exchanges of male and female melodies. This form was established in PNG by South Sea Islander missionaries in the 1880s. By contrast, the tribal forms are ancient chants that give buoyancy to their group dance formations, in traditional finery. Both styles are learned by ear and sung at important family and community events.
Raglins, TheThe Raglins play traditional Australian folk songs with a contemporary twist. With driving acoustic guitar, beautiful vocals and stunning harmonies, The Raglins sing songs worth remembering. Twice runners up in the Folk Alliance Youth Awards, they have performed across Australia at nearly every major Australian folk festival, including most recently at Woodford Folk Festival.
Red Raven MorrisYou hear the accordions first, then the sticks clashing, bells jingling and spontaneous whooping from the dancers. You head towards the crowd of bemused on lookers and realise you're in for a visual and acoustic delight. It’s Red Raven Morris from Melbourne who have been perfecting their Border and Cotswold style over the last 20 years.
Rob Barratt (UK)Rob Barratt is a brain-tickling word-mangling comic poet humourist and singer from England who has appeared at venues and festivals all over the UK and in Ireland and Australia. He combines clever word play verse and song with satire parody and audience participation. He deals with such important topics as squid Neanderthal politics, the weather in Scotland, and distressed furniture. “This is not only clever but I think it’s very funny” (Mike Harding).
Roger Holmes and his Beautiful AssistantsRoger has been involved in folk song and dance for nearly sixty years, during which time he has accumulated an eclectic knowledge of many aspects of folk song. He has been involved with his beautiful assistants in presenting the hymn singing session since 1994. It is an institution at the National, and many say this is appropriate, as they think Roger should be in an institution.
RONDANIHANThe Rondanihan traditional Filipino plucked string orchestra in Rondalla tradition commenced in 2002 in Canberra and has performed in the Philippines, Qld, NSW and the ACT, with regular performances in Canberra and surrounding regions. Based in Canberra, the group performs at major cultural events festivals, diplomatic and public receptions. The repertoire combines traditional and popular music from the Philippines along with classical and popular tunes arranged for plucked stings. Performances are often accompanied by dancers.
Rosier (formerly Les Poules à Colin)Folk music reminds us of where we came from and informs us about where we’re going – or at least that’s the bracing ethos of Montreal-based band Rosier. Formerly known as Les Poules à Colin, Rosier are reclaiming and interpreting the romantic traditions of Québécois folk. Having spent their formative years wrapped in rich, untouched musical traditions, Rosier injects exuberant colour into familiar folk sounds. “Breathtakingly forlorn lyricism” – Toronto Music Report.
Royal High Jinx, TheA mesmerising contemporary world music inspired band, The Royal High Jinx have burst onto Australian festival stages with originality virtuosity and theatricality. Their songs tunes are inspired by European traditions peppered with gypsy, jazz, Balkan and swing grooves with a pinch of folk and cabaret. In 2018 the band excitedan ignited European audiences on their 'Gone Gone Gone' Germany Tour. They'll be aunching their brand new album at this year’s festival so come sing along with and dance to this much loved colourful festival band.
Ruth Hazleton & DaisywheelDaisywheel is a lyrical voyage from the past through to the uneasy times in which we live. It’s also the much anticipated first solo project from multi award-winning traditional folk singer and songwriter, Ruth Hazleton. A stunning new sound brimming with originality and something to say, Ruth is joined on stage by a full electric band (guitars, banjos, drums, bass, mandolin, oud & yayli tambur).
SaijeSaije is a multi-instrumental folk duo whose soulful harmonies, dynamic guitar-lines and percussive breakdowns breathe life into heartfelt stories. They invite you on a journey from the depths of ancient forests to bustling French markets, weaving Celtic and French-gypsy flavours into their songs along the way. Their songwriting typically encourages connection to self, the Earth and each other. They are the Folk Alliance Australia ‘Young Artist of the Year 2019–2020’.
Saplings Sessions Bush Music ClubA daily session just for young musicians (about 8 to 16 yrs). Bring your own instrument and come and have some fun learning Australian songs and tunes or join in with percussion (some provided). Expert tutors from the Bush Music Club will be there to help you no matter what level you play at. Music available or play by ear. There will also be an opportunity to play what you have learned on stage!
Sarah TemporalSarah Temporal is a dynamic performance poet, combining traditional tales with the immediacy of slam poetry. In 2018 she won the Nimbin Performance Poetry World Cup and Lismore Poetry Cup, and she has featured at Storyfest '18 and the Sydney Writers Festival. She is the convenor of Poets Out Loud in the Tweed Valley region and enjoys helping people of all ages fall in love with poetry.
Savoy DanceSavoy Dance celebrates the joy and energy of the diverse 1930's and 40's Swing Dance traditions and music. We teach, dance and perform Lindy Hop, Charleston and Solo Jazz dances from the African-American traditions of Harlem New York, Balboa from the west coast Los Angeles tradition and Blues dances originating in the American south. For us Swing Dance is about the joy of the music and the improvisation of social dancing.
Scary Family Band, The – NLA guests for 2020Since 1992 the National Library of Australia has brought people interviewed in the field to record in their studios and perform at the National Folk Festival. Performers (both farmers and the famous) have come from many musical genres including, traditional, Indigenous, multicultural, blues and country. In 2020, the 28th year, the NLA's guests are Fred Pribac, Rachael Gates and their children Minna and Reuben, collectively known as The Scary Family Band.
ScrogginTrue to their namesake, Scroggin play an eclectic, high-energy mix of delightful morsels both savoury and sweet. Well-rooted in bluegrass standards, they also branch into celtic folk, Australiana, and western swing, with a sprinkling of country songs for more sombre moments. Scroggin embrace the contradictions of traditional music in the new age, playing country music for city folk, and old fashioned songs for the modern world.
SeanchasSeanchas (pronounced Shenehass) is the Gaelic for "folklore old tales ancient history tradition". Australian celtic folk at its best, this is a super-group of outstanding musicians – Rosie McDonald (guitar, Irish bouzouki and vocals), Fiona McVicar (vocals and fiddle), Ken O’Neil (Irish bouzouki and guitar) and Anthony Woolcott (vocals and bodhran). Exquisite instrumentation and multi-layered vocal harmonies bring a range of traditional/ celtic tunes and songs to life with the Seanchas touch.
Shaking the Tree Choir"Shaking the Tree is more than just a choir... It’s a movement" – (Enda Kenny.) Shaking the Tree is one of Melbourne's most vibrant and enduring choirs and a festival favourite. Celebrating their 20th year together with the release of a third album 'Roots Grown Deep' this brilliant choir sings the best of contemporary and world music in performances that will inspire and uplift audiences. The choir is accompanied on guitar, accordion, mandolin and percussion, and directed by Bronwyn Calcutt.
Shelley’s Murder BoysShelley’s Murder Boys take you through the depths of Sydney to the hills of Appalachia. Playing energetic old-time favourites, dark folk classics and originals inspired by the trials and tribulations of our time, SMB will be sure to take you on an old-timey adventure.
So You Think You Can SingSo You Think You Can Sing brings together eight fantastic musicians to form a backing band like no other. Throw in the words for some of the most popular blues, rock, folk and traditional songs and get up on stage and boogie. Live karaoke at it's best – all we need is you...
Songs From The Australian TraditionSongs From The Australian Tradition is an open invitation to come along to the Session Bar each day and share great Australian songs - from the traditional to the contemporary. This celebration of Australian songs continues the legacy of the late Dennis O'Keeffe - singer, songwriter, folk historian and long-time mate of the NFF.
Spooky Men’s Chorale, TheThese guys are renowned for a pleasing gravitas, anchored by the ponderance of eighteen years of vocal manboofery, leavened by touches of beauty which bring a small crinkle to the eye, and a delicate humour born of the necessity to see oneself as one is – a buffoon. They are festival legends, and will be singing classic songs of old and also many tasty morsels from a fairly fresh new album, "Welcome to the second half."
Stella A CappellaStella A Cappella is a vibrant, longstanding community choir from Newcastle NSW. We embrace the diversity of world music, have a penchant for African and African-American gospel, and sing the odd pop song. With decades of experience leading choirs, our director Jacki Stuart gives us gorgeous harmonies to sing and leads us with good humour and great musicianship. Singing together multiplies our joy and strengthens our community; so if you know the song, join in!
Stiff GinsStiff Gins combine stunning harmonies and wicked senses of humour to transport listeners to a world of joy, spirit and song. Their moniker is a reclamation of an offensive reference to Aboriginal women, a banner to guide their music in the direction of strength and pride. Three albums and countless breathtaking shows later, the name has become synonymous with musical excellence. 2019 marks Stiff Gins 20th anniversary.
StorybeatsAcclaimed story-teller Lilli Rodreiguez-Pang teams up with percussionist Matt Bourne to engage and immerse listeners in the world of storytelling with an enchanting rhythmic twist. Lilli is an acclaimed storyteller who has performed on national and international main stages and theaters and Matt has over two decades of world percussion experience, performing professionally and teaching. Their first 'Storybeats' album went on to receive the Storytelling World Resource Awards honours.
Stowaways, TheThe Stowaways perform traditional music from the Celtic world and beyond, including sets of tunes and arrangements of songs. They also feature stories bringing out the richness of traditional composers and the journeys that musicians take. The band is multi-generational, combining the depth of years of playing of the two older members with the exciting raw talent of our young singer and bouzouki player.
Super RatsImmerse yourself in a strange and entrancing musical tradition with Super Rats, Canberra's masters of classic Romanian and Roma (gypsy) music from the backstreets of Bucharest. At the centre of the band is the mighty cimbalom, a peculiar instrument like the offspring of honkytonk piano and xylophone, whacked with sticks and backed by blistering accordion, sinuous violin, and rumbling bass. For the Festival they are joined by special guest, Romanian singer, Petru Teodorescu.
Surly Griffin MorrisThe Surly Griffins are Canberra’s local Morris side formed in early 2012 to fill the Morris gap in the Canberra region. They challenge the neatly defined conventions of Morris by bringing together the best of Border and Cotswold styles with a dollop of Yorkshire Longsword for good measure. They dance in a relaxed, laconic, yet vigorous, style and revel in entertaining crowds.
Susan O’Neill – SON (IRE)All the way from County Clare, Ireland, the prodigiously gifted Susan O’Neill’s soulful and husky-voiced performances are truly something to behold. With a striking attitude, guitar, harmonica, trumpet, and a loop pedal, Susan delivers a timeless and powerful blend of the old soul with a new edge.
Sydney Irish Dance EnsembleThe Sydney Irish Dance Ensemble is a branch of the Sydney Irish Ceili Dancers which was formed to present themed performances such as the memorable 'Girls of the Shamrock Shore', the 'Irish Wedding', 'Finnegan's Wak'e and 'Man of Aran'. The range of dancing performed includes solo step dancing, ceili dancing, set dancing and two hand dances. The dancing is accompanied by traditional musicians on fiddle, box, guitar, flute and tin whistle
TaikozSince 1997 Taikoz has performed throughout Australia and internationally including Japan, USA, Paris and India where their collaboration with South Indian classical dance company Lingalayam was received with much acclaim. In 2017, Taikoz performed with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in a major new work, 'Breath of Thunder' by Lachlan Skipworth. In 2016, Artistic Director Ian Cleworth received the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation for his contribution towards promoting friendship and goodwill between Australia and Japan.
TangentKnown for lyrical playing and fearless improvisation on the fiddle and a driving and dynamic backup guitar style, Tangent (Kathleen Fownes and Everest Witman) is a force to be reckoned with in the North American trad scene. Their music draws on traditions such as bal folk and contemporary Scottish trad, as well as their roots as New England dance musicians. Marjolène Forest joins them as a contra dance caller and Québécois step dancer.
Ten Quid Poms, TheJohn and Robin have extensive careers a capella or accompanied (for 20 years they were most of 'The Roaring Forties' harmony engine room!). Very successful composers, they have numerous themed collections of songs. John’s folk cantata 'Yarri of Wiradjuri' is famous, and 'We Made the Steel', their songs of the 1960s NSW steelworks, got rave reviews in Australia and England. Look for a lively interactive style, brilliant harmonies and many new compositions.
Tenzin ChoegyalA son of Tibetan nomads, Tenzin Choegyal feels a deep connection to the music of the wandering people of his homeland. He is a master of traditional Tibetan instruments the lingbu (bamboo flute) and the dranyen (3-stringed lute) but is best known for his extraordinary vocal ability. Tenzin’s cantering rhythms, soaring vocals and exquisite flute solos have enchanted audiences around the globe, including performances with Patti Smith, Laurie Anderson and Philip Glass at Carnegie Hall.
Teri Young and the RestlessTeri Young is fast becoming a leading voice in Australian social commentary songwriting, singing about the many kinds of love and tensions that unfold within communities, friendships and families. Nodding to traditions of bluegrass, Australiana and the great Irish balladeers, this Tasmanian folk band combine a clarion call with sweet groove. Everyone's invited.
"Her songs have wit, poignancy, strong narrative structure, and clear politics without being at all strident or self-serving." -Judy Small, Australian Folksinger