Albuquerque Folk Festival Logo

We're working on 2017 information.

We're back at last year's location: The Albuquerque International Ballooon Museum. We're busy planning what should be the best Albuquerque Folk Festival yet, with camping and jamming Friday and Saturday nights, and entertainment, workshops, and dancing all day Saturday, June 3. As soon as we have final information, we'll put it up here. In the meantime, we've left the 2016 information up so you can get a feel for the fun you'll have at the Albuquerque Folk Festival.

Jamming at the Festival

What's a folk festival without the opportunity to play with your fellow folk? At the Albuuqerque Folk Festival, we provide two "formal" jamming venues plus as many informal venues as there are shady benches. It's easy to bring your instrument to the festival; you can check your instrument for free from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, so there's no excuse not to come ready to jam all day.

And this year, the jamming will start Friday night, and continue into Sunday morning at our free dry camping area. Whether you're camping or not, you're welcome to jam into the night on both Friday and Saturday nights.

Thanks to Cleve Sharp for organizing the jam session hosts!

Jam with the Band

There's a lot of local talent here in Albuquerque and New Mexico, and we're offering Jam with the Band as an avenue where musicians can play or sing along with some of our great local bands. It's ok just to listen too. Come on out and meet some of the great folk and traditional music bands on the local music scene. Don't forget to bring your instruments.

10:30 AMKlezmer and MoreThe Rebbe's Orkestra

Incorporating the sounds and rhythms of Jewish music from many parts of the world, The Rebbe's Orkestra brings a unique style to Klezmer–the instrumental dance music rooted in the Jewish wedding ceremonies of Eastern Europe. The band's repertoire includes instrumental pieces from the Middle-East, and folk songs in several languages including Yiddish (a Germanic rooted language of East European Jews), Ladino (Judeo-Spanish), Hebrew, Russian, Arabic, Hungarian, Romanian, and Romany (the language of the Roma/ Gypsies). The band also plays some Israeli folk dance tunes, traditional fiddle tunes and songs from New Mexico, as well as traditional music from the Mediterranean and the Balkans. Recording and performing professionally throughout the southwest since 1996, The Rebbe's Orkestra has been exploring the ways in which Jewish musicians have interacted with surrounding musical traditions over the centuries. From Spain to Iraq, Poland to the Mediterranean: The Rebbe's Orkestra plays tunes and songs as widely divergent as the geography and yet with surprisingly similar themes.

The band released its first CD "Klezmer y mas" in 2010 to widespread acclaim. In addition to playing for hundreds (maybe thousands by now!!) of weddings and Bar Mitzvahs, the group has performed at Globalquerque (2006), The Outpost Performance Space-Outpost Productions (1997 & 2004), KlezmerQuerque 2003-2015, The Crestone Music Festival "Crestfest" 2011 (Crestone, Colorado), The Albuquerque Folk Festival (1998-2015), and at many other festivals and theaters throughout the southwest including the states of Texas & Arizona.

The Rebbe's Orkestra also gives fun and educational presentations which are perfect for schools, universities, senior centers and community centers. Band members give brief introductions to each song about its history, source(s), pertinence to Jewish culture and other cultures, its musical arrangement, as well as teaching simple lyrics and rhythms to sing and clap along. Adding to the participation level, the band can bring a dance leader to teach the simple line and circle dances that traditionally go with the music.

11:30 AMCajun & who knows?Red Light Ramblers

Red Light Ramblers makes you want to kick up your heels with a lively organic blend of Cajun, Southern old-time, Irish bluegrass and folk-esque tunes all while singing in three-part harmony. The musicians are Barb Belknap (mandolin, melodeon), Mike Hill (fiddle, guitar), and Marc Robert (banjo, guitar). Always ready to have a good time, they welcome the opportunity to play and share the joy of foot-stomping, down-home music. They'll send you home with a lift in your step.

Red Light Ramblers' musicianship and delightful three-part harmonies have brought the Ramblers opportunities to play at numerous Albuquerque venues such as O'Niell's Pub, The Range Café, Shade Tree Customs Cafe, Anasazi Fields Winery; for nonprofit groups such as the Wild Earth Guardians, Vista de Oro Wildlife Refuge, Corrales Arts in the Park; and for larger events including the Albuquerque Folk Festival, the Southwest Chocolate and Coffee Fest, the Southwest Bacon Festival, and others.

We've played the ABQ Folk Festival stage a couple years ago and have volunteered in the Jam With A Band performances.

12:30 PMCeltic/FolkSinging Pilgrims

The Singing Pilgrims band members have been making music together for close to 20 years--beginning when Bria and Natasha were small children in The Apple Mountain Harp Kids ensemble directed by Jeanne. Their musical journey morphed through their growing up years and most recently, Jeanne and Natasha played with the band The Next Chapter, (New Mexico Talent Showcase Champions) with performance credits such as the World Bodhran Festival near Killarney, Ireland, the North Texas Irish Festival, the Longs Peak Scottish/Irish Highland Festival, and Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri, to name a few. Thousands of Albuquerque residents attended their hugely popular "Celtic Christmas Concert" series held annually for a decade. When The Next Chapter retired from performance after 10 years together, Natasha and Jeanne invited Bria, (Natasha's sister) to join them in continuing their musical journey. They recently traveled to Ireland, sharing their music all along the way and are planning a return trip there in 2016.

Jeanne Page is the matriarch of the group (affectionately called "Mama J" by her fellow band-mates) , and is a best-selling author of Hammered Dulcimer books with Mel Bay Publications. While the hammered dulcimer was Jeanne's main instrument in previous bands, in Singing Pilgrims, she focuses on her first love, the guitar.

Natasha Coffing is a multi-instrumentalist composing on the piano as well as the Celtic harp, but long ago, the fiddle became the instrument that felt most at home in her hands. Tasha's aggressive and passionate playing stye has become the centerpiece of the Singing Pilgrims' signature sound.

Gabrielle Coffing (Bria) rounds out the trio and it has been harder to nail her down to one primary instrument. She provides a strong rhythmic heartbeat on bodhran or dumbek for Tasha's sparkling jigs and reels but moves to the keyboards for most of the vocal numbers.

Soulful ballads in three part harmony fill out a Singing Pilgrims program and all three ladies take a turn on the Celtic harp--the instrument that brought them together and solidified their life-long friendship.

1:30 PMFolk/CountryJustin Evan Thompson

Justin Evan Thompson is a songwriter and performer from Albuquerque, New Mexico with an affinity for traditional folk music and the acoustic guitar. His persona and lyrics are as poetic as they are rough around the edges, and both lend themselves to honest and energetic performances.

With an instinctive knack for melody and prose, Justin's songs are as singable as they are poignant. Justin recently released his debut solo record, "Hymns for a Manchild," which was carefully crafted over the last year at Empty House Studios in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Recently, Justin has been performing with Gregg Daigle (banjo, madolin, guitar), Jon Mcmillan (bass), and Paul Hunton (lead guitar). These very talented musicians are heavily featured on "Hymns for a Manchild" and bring the record to life on stage.

2:30 PMOld TimeVirginia Creepers

The Virginia Creepers have been playing old-time music in New Mexico for 25 years. Past winners of the Old Time Band Contest at the Santa Fe Traditional and Bluegrass Music Festival, they play tunes and songs that range from the Civil War era and earlier to newer pieces in the old-time style.

The band features Rick Olcott on guitar, Scott Mathis on mandolin and guitarron, Laurie Phillips on mandolin and mandola, Jane Phillips on fiddle, and Marc Robert on bass and banjo. Based in Albuquerque, they play around NM and beyond for dances, parties, and festivals, and as soothing background music for the quiet and studious patrons of saloons and taverns.

3:30 PMBluegrassSilver String Band

We are a Bluegrass/String Band out of Albuquerque, New Mexico. We play a variety of traditionals, covers, and originals. Beginning as a trio, we have grown into a 5 piece where all members contribute songs, ideas, and their own voice to our music.

4:30 PMInternational BluegrassThe Adobe Brothers

The Adobe Brothers is an eclectic group of identical quadruplets that play a wide variety of acoustic music including bluegrass, Celtic, old-timey, Latin folk music and western swing - a composite style they refer to as "international bluegrass." Their tunes include compositions by members of the band, classics by some of the best-known acoustic musicians of this century, some of the most obscure tunes and songs written by folks nobody's ever heard of, and new music by emerging performers. They've been playing together for more than 30 years and have performed throughout New Mexico and the Southwest. The band has received awards for their performances and individual band members have won awards for their compositions and instrumental ability.

5:30 PMOld TimeFlagpole Salad

Winners of the 2007 Old Time Band contest at the Santa Fe Traditional and Bluegrass Music Festival. The band features Marc Robert on guitar, David Margolin on banjo and occasional fiddle, Jane Phillips on fiddle, and Laurie Phillips on mandolin and mandola. As Osgood Beard of the Jasper County Journal said after hearing Flagpole Salad's lively tunes, "I wern't able to set in my chair. You'uns might have better luck."

6:30 PMEnglish CountryBoxwood Consort

During the late 1980s and early 1990s a band called Boxwood Consort, led by clarinetist Bill "Doc" Litchman, became the first band in New Mexico to focus on playing English Country Dance music.  Doc, along with a number of dancers interested in the English style, organized the first regularly occurring English dances in Albuquerque. These dances, which started as pure ECDs, eventually morphed into the present-day second Sunday dances in Albuquerque, which combine contra and English Country dancing.  Over the years, Boxwood Consort comprised perhaps a dozen players, some coming and going, but with a solid core of five or six musicians who were in the band from start to finish.  Now, six members of the original band have revived the group, and they sound better than ever!

Bill "Doc" Litchman--clarinet

Jack Klintworth--concertina

Scott Mathis--bass, mandolin, others

Linda Askew, Gary Mayhew--guitars

Juli Palladino--violin, viola

Hosted Jams

At the hosted jam tent, there's a new host every hour. Hosts are mostly there to encourage musicians to pick a song or start a song and to make sure that everyone gets an opportunity to participate. In addition, hosts bring their own unique flare to the jam.

10:30 AMContra EclecticSyZyGy
11:30 AMMixed Folk Sing-AlongCarl Allen & Sandra Vieth
12:30 PMOld Fashioned Sing-AlongJerry Grayson
1:30 PMIrishJohn Conoboy
2:30 PMFolk Sing-AlongDan Matthews
3:30 PMApple Mountain StringsApple Mountain String & Things
4:30 PMTraditional MexicanMaria y Yahví
5:30 PMBluegrassSteve Morgan
6:30 PMBluegrassThe Noseeums