Edmonton Folk Music Festival brings Jewish Roots to the hill

By Paula E. Kirman

(AJNews) – The Edmonton Folk Music Festival returns to Gallagher Park from August 10-13.

As always, the lineup for “the hill” features a broad range of musical artists and styles. The 58 artists include Ukrainian ensemble DakhaBrakha, Canadian indie pop singer/songwriter Feist, and American indie folk band Fleet Foxes.

The Brother Brothers, consisting of identical Jewish twins Adam and David Moss, will be bringing their Appalachian folk and bluegrass inspired harmonies and arrangements. The brothers, who were born and raised in Peoria, Illinois and were based in Brooklyn, New York for a time, have been compared to The Everly Brothers, but have a unique sound incorporating a variety of instruments and folk styles.

Other sibling acts at this year’s Folk Fest include The Bros. Landreth, The Secret Sisters, and

Australia’s The Teskey Brothers who are playing the Saturday night main stage.

Local music fans may recognize the name AV and the Inner City. The band is led by Ann Vriend (AV), a singer/songwriter whose experiences and observations living in the McCauley neighbourhood influence her songs. Maria Dunn, another Edmonton-based artist, is known for writing powerful songs that tell stories about history and social justice.

Once again, Rhea March will present the “School of Song,” a group of talented, emerging performers from the Edmonton area. This year’s group includes Jed and the Valentine, Kaeley Jade, Mari Rosehill, and Sammy Volkov, who has an interesting Jewish connection: his paternal grandmother was adopted by a Jewish family in pre-war Odesa. Her name was Tamara, and Volkov explains that “her adoptive father was taken away to a camp during the war. She saw him taken away. Tamara and her adoptive mother escaped (the adoptive mother was not Jewish which is why they let them go). She was forever haunted and couldn’t talk about it.” The song “Blue Star” on Volkov’s album Be Alright (available on all platforms) is written about Tamara.

The Sunday night main stage will feature two performers with Jewish backgrounds. Gregory Alan Isakov is originally from South Africa, but now lives in Colorado and traverses the worlds of indie-rock and folk. Closing the festival will be California’s Ben Harper, whose acoustic slide guitar prowess and soul-driven songs have gained an international audience and three Grammy Awards. Harper, whose late father was African-American and whose mother is Jewish of Russian-Lithuanian heritage, last played the Folk Fest in 2014 with the legendary blues harmonica player Charlie Musselwhite.

For more information about artists and ticket sales, visit: edmontonfolkfest.org

Paula Kirman is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter.

Be the first to comment on "Edmonton Folk Music Festival brings Jewish Roots to the hill"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.