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Full List of Artists Announced for Richmond Folk Festival 2015
40 Performing Artists, 7 Stages, 3 Days


August 30, 2015

RICHMOND, Va.- Venture Richmond has released the final list of artists scheduled to perform at the Richmond Folk Festival on October 9-11, 2015.

The Richmond Folk Festival once again brings together an eclectic mix of artists to perform on 7 stages along downtown Richmond’s historic riverfront. Forty musical groups representing traditions from all over the world are scheduled to perform at the free, 3-day event; eight of these traditions have never before been presented at the festival. This is the 11th year for the festival, the largest folk festival of its kind in the nation. The first three years Richmond hosted the National Folk Festival, and since then the Richmond Folk Festival has carried on the tradition.

“Our festival is a multi-cultural experience like no other,” said festival director Lisa Sims. “We’re so proud to bring performers that most Richmonders may never have seen -- or even heard of -- before. We know they will leave a lasting impression on our community long after the festival and can’t wait for October!”

In addition to the festival, several performers will visit area public schools the week prior to the festival. There will also be a performance by Leonardo Sandoval at the Richmond City Justice Center on October 12.

A few names on the list might sound familiar, including American hip hop pioneer DJ Grandmaster Flash, two-time GRAMMY® nominee blues diva Shemekia Copeland and legendary big band free jazz ensemble Sun Ra Arkestra.

The list of 2015 Richmond Folk Festival artists:

  • The Campbell Brothers, sacred steel guitar (African American gospel)
  • Ahava Raba, klezmer & cantorial
  • DJ Grandmaster Flash, hip hop
  • Riyaaz Qawwali, South Asian qawwali
  • Ensemble Shanbehzadeh, traditional music & dance from the Persian Gulf
  • The Bruce Daigrepont Cajun Band, Cajun
  • Feedel Band, Ethiojazz
  • The Alt, Irish
  • Grupo Rebolu, Colombian
  • Danny Paisley & the Southern Grass, bluegrass
  • Shemekia Copeland, blues
  • Amargue Bachata Quintet with Andre Veloz, Dominican bachata
  • Cambodian American Heritage Dance Troupe, traditional Cambodian music & dance
  • Reverend John Wilkins, blues & gospel
  • Sleepy LaBeef, rockabilly
  • Zedashe, Georgian polyphonic chants, songs & dances
  • Leonardo Sandoval, tap
  • Deacon John’s Jump Blues, jump blues
  • The Harris Brothers, Appalachian blues songsters
  • Dudley Laufman & His Barn Dance Band, New England barn dances & contra dance
  • Sun Ra Arkestra, big band free jazz
  • Oneida Nation Social & Smoke Dancers, Haudenosaunee song & dance
  • The Virginia Luthiers, traditional music from southwest Virginia

Click here for extended bios, audio and video samples.

In addition to these music and dance performances, the festival includes the popular Virginia Folklife Stage and Folklife Area with its own list of performers and craft demonstrators, the interactive CarMax Family Area and Stage, a folk art marketplace, regional and ethnic foods, festival merchandise and more.

Festival sponsors include Altria, Dominion, The Community Foundation, CarMax, VCU and VCU Health System, Genworth, the Richmond Times­ Dispatch/, WestRock, New Market Corporation, AmTrak, and Loveland.

Richmond Folk Festival producing partners include the City of Richmond, the National Council for the Traditional Arts, The American Civil War Center at Tredegar, the Children’s Museum of Richmond, and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.

To learn more about the Richmond Folk Festival visit


About The Richmond Folk Festival
The Richmond Folk Festival is one of Virginia's largest events, drawing visitors from all over the country to downtown Richmond's historic riverfront. The Festival is a FREE three-day event that got its start as the National Folk Festival, held in Richmond from 2005-2007. In the tradition of the "National," the Richmond Folk Festival features excellent performing groups representing a diverse array of cultural traditions on seven stages. The festival includes continuous music and dance performances, a Virginia Folklife Area featuring ongoing demonstrations, an interactive Family Area produced by the Children's Museum of Richmond, a folk art marketplace, regional and ethnic foods, festival merchandise and more. More information is available

About Venture Richmond

The Festival is produced by Venture Richmond, in a continuing partnership with the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA), the City of Richmond, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, the National Park Service, The American Civil War Center, and the Children’s Museum of Richmond. Venture Richmond is a non-profit organization formed to engage business and community leaders in partnering with the City to enhance the vitality of the community, particularly Downtown, through economic development, marketing, promotion, advocacy and events.  Venture Richmond also produces such long-standing and signature community events as Easter on Parade, Friday Cheers, RVA Fireworks on the James, and the 2nd Street Festival, and partners with the Richmond Sportsbackers to co-produce Dominion Riverrock. For more information visit

About the National Council for the Traditional Arts
The National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the presentation and documentation of folk and traditional arts in the United States. Founded in 1933, it is the nation's oldest folk arts organization. The NCTA presents the nation's very finest traditional artists in festivals, tours, international cultural exchanges, workshops, demonstrations and exhibitions, media productions, school programs, and other activities. It works in partnership with communities across America to establish new, sustainable traditional arts events that deliver lasting social, cultural and economic benefits. For more about the NCTA, visit


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