National Folk Festival

A photo of the North Carolina band Balsam Range
Courtesy of Balsalm Range

The National Folk Festival gets underway in Greensboro on Friday night, marking the three-day festival's second year in the Triad. 

An image of Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba
Andrea Tani

Diali Cissokho comes from a long line of musicians and griots in his home country of Senegal. So when he came to the United States, continuing to play music was a natural progression. He teamed up with musicians from North Carolina to form a group called Kaira Ba.

An image of young kids learning to play the harmonica
National Council for the Traditional Arts / NCTA

Musicians and dancers across the country are converging in Greensboro this weekend for the 75th annual National Folk Festival.  The festival begins Friday, September 11 and goes through Sunday, September 13. It is the first time the festival has come to the Tar Heel State.

Dale Watson
Sarah Wilson

Guitarist Dale Watson feels out of place in the modern country music world, and he is perfectly OK with that. The Texas musician believes the genre has changed so much that it lost its identity, so he created a new genre of his own—Ameripolitan.

Ameripolitan music is original music with prominent roots influence, and the genre’s tagline is, "We’re not about leaving country music behind, we’re taking the ‘real’ country music with us."

Lloyd Arneach
Dawn Arneach

For Lloyd Arneach and Sheila Kay Adams, storytelling runs in the family.

Arneach was raised as a Cherokee on a Native American reservation in western North Carolina, absorbing stories at the dinner table from his two great-uncles. Adams was right up the road in Madison County, learning the ballads and stories from seven generations of Scots-Irish ancestors.