Albuquerque Folk Festival Logo

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 AMOld 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.

11:30 AMApple Mountain StringsApple Mountain String & Things

We are a local acoustic instrument group which currently includes recorders, mountain dulcimers, fiddles, a guitar and a banjolele. Our purpose is to encourage folks to take their instruments out of the closet and enjoy playing with others. Our group plays at a few local festivals and at nursing homes, and always welcomes new members!

12:30 PMOld TimeNorth Valley Tune Tanglers

The North Valley Tune Tanglers tangled their first tunes upon meeting at a music and dance weekend in northern New Mexico in 1999. The pair brings together many years of experience with old time music. Liz Stevens began fiddling in North Carolina in the 1980s. She played and sang with a trio based in Banner Elk, NC. She honed her dance fiddling style around Denver, CO in the 1990s. Multi-instrumentalist Michael Gallagher (guitar, 5-string and tenor banjos, fiddle, button accordion) learned his musical skills playing around the mid-Atlantic states while living in Philadelphia, PA. Michael has traveled widely in Mexico and grew to love the tight vocal harmonies of the traditional music there. He was a founding member of the Albuquerque-based Sandia Hots in 1998. Started as a contra dance band and soon finding their groove as a performance band, the group needed a new fiddler and recruited Liz in 2000. Liz and Michael both played with the Hots for more than 10 years.

1:30 PMIrishSinging 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.

2:30 PMCajun & who knows?Red Light Ramblers

Red Light Ramblers makes you want to kick up your heels with a lively organic blend of Cajun, 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. They've played the ABQ Folk Festival stage and have volunteered in the Jam with a Band performances.

3:30 PMPersian MusicAlborz Trio

Sourena Sefati, Gregory Gutin and Deborah Unger have played together since 2016. Sourena Sefati is an Iranian composer and Santour (hammered dulcimer) player. He started playing Santour at the age of eleven. He received his Bachelor's degree in Iranian Music from University of Tehran (2002) and his Master's degree in Iranian Music Performance from Art University of Tehran (2008). He won the award for best composer of Iranian music at Art University in 2006. He was music instructor at Art and Elmi-Karbordi Universities in Tehran from 2008 to 2014. Sourena is the author of a book "etudes for Santour". He has performed in Europe, Asia, and Africa, and was soloist at Iran Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra (2009 to 2014), Iranian Chamber Orchestra (2009), and Mehrnavazan National Orchestra (2011). Sourena moved to the United States in 2014, and teaches Iranian music in Albuquerque.

Gregory Gutin ~ Percussionist: Cajon, Darabuka, Bendir, Daf A native of the Rocky Mountains, Gregory has lived in Northern New Mexico since 1992 as a musician, artist, educator and art therapist. He has worked in the Santa Fe Public Schools as a teaching artist with the Partners in Education Artworks Program for over 12 years, using both music and visual arts as a vehicle for inspiration and change. He works as a counselor with local youth to help inspire them towards a healthy, creative and mindful relationship with the multi-layered world we inhabit. He plays regularly with local groups EvaRusnik, Trio Andaluz and the Zevk Ensemble, along with a variety of other musical collaborations.

Deborah Ungar is a pianist and multi-instrumentalist with a background in International Politics, Economics, and Sociology. She is a recognized performer and educator in the classical genre, earning degrees in piano, music theory, and music education. She has performed at world music festivals and in a variety of musical settings across the US and Europe. Her recent work explores the roots of ethnomusicological practices of Balkan, Sephardic, and their interconnectedness through performances and education. Deborah is Adjunct Faculty at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design Contemporary Music Program, World Music Instructor for the Mandela International Magnet School, Music Specialist at the arts-based Nava Elementary School, Woodwind Faculty with World Arts Woodwind Institute, and Education Manager and Curriculum Specialist for the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. She currently performs with Rumelia, Rumelia Klezmer Band, and works as a freelance accompanist and chamber music performer in and around Santa Fe.

4:30 PMEnglish CountryBoxwood Consort

During the late 1980s and early1990s 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
  • Scott Mathis--bass, mandolin, others
  • Linda Askew, Gary Mayhew--guitars
  • Juli Palladino--violin, viola
  • Jack Klintworth – concertina
  • Katie Harlow – cello, mandolin
6:30 PMIrishPúca

Púca is the dynamic duo of Dave Firestine and Claire Jamieson Zucker. Strings, drums, hums, and feet! Claire and Dave bring a spontaneous collection of songs, tunes, and stories from the Irish and American old-time traditions into the modern setting. Energetic mandolin/ bouzouki interplays with Irish drumming, concertina & clogging, while songs range from hauntingly beautiful to just plain funny!

As a duo, Dave and Claire fully explore the rhythms and melodies of the tunes and achieve a strong synchronicity in their playing. Dave is one of the most rhythmic and precise mandolin players around--holding down the tunes, adding the bounce of syncopation, and always original and spontaneous in his interpretations. Claire is the chameleon of the duo, drumming one minute, jumping up to clog, or playing a traditional jig on the concertina the next. Songs are a highlight, varying between Dave's funny story songs and Claire's lyrical ballads or solo vocals. They bend gently between the genres of old time and Irish – taking the audience on a musical journey. Probably why they chose the band name, Púca, which is the name of a wild shape-shifting Irish mythical beast – or maybe they chose the name because it was the name of Claire's cat (also a bit wild and mythical).

Winners of Tucson Area Musician's award (Tammies) for "Best Female Vocalist" and "Best String Player" and when with the band "Round the House" they were six time winners of the Best Traditional Ethnic Band award. The pair has produced a total of 8 CDs with various bands. Beyond the duo, they play together in the nationally touring contradance band, STEAM! Dave is also renowned as the Walnut Valley Music Festival Carp Camp "jam meister" in Winfield, Kansas and both are leaders in Tucson's Irish and old time jam scenes. Dave also plays with the Privy Tippers and the Prairie Dog Picnic – contradance bands in Tucson, Arizona and Boulder, Colorado.

7:30 PMOpenOpen

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 AMWorld/EthnicAlbuquerque Accordion Club
11:30 AMMixed Folk Sing-AlongCarl Allen & Sandra Vieth
12:30 PMIrishJohn Conoboy
1:30 PMFolk Sing-AlongDan Matthews
2:30 PMBluegrassSteve Morgan
3:30 PMBlues & BluegrassThe Gregg Daigle Band
4:30 PMOld Time and MoreThe Adobe Brothers
6:30 PMEclectic AmericanaDog Star
7:30 PMOpen