Dan MacDonald and Mareva Lindo have been producing concerts, dances, hootenannies and festivals together for years, as leaders of Chicago's Old Lazarus' Harp folk collective. In 2016, fresh from organizing the first Maypole Folk Festival, they joined forces with community leaders Lucia Thomas (Chicago Folklore Ensemble), Jay Desrosiers (organizer of the University of Chicago Folk Festival) and Tim Macdonald and Jeremy Ward (Scottish-baroque fiddle duo). Together they founded the Midwest Sing & Stomp: a festival bringing together the area's myriad traditional music communities, for one grand celebration of folk music and dance.
Since then the festival has showcased master Serbian violinist Jovan Mihailovic, the Arabic folk music of Alex & Lucia, Illinois old-time fiddlers Fred Campeau and Lynn “Chirps” Smith, gospel singer Al Mack, legendary boogie-woogie pianist Erwin Helfer, and many more regional tradition-bearers. The 2018 Midwest Sing & Stomp will be the biggest yet.
This project is partially supported by an Individual Artist Program Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, as well as a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Liz Carroll is a world-renowned, award-winning Celtic fiddler and composer, NEA Heritage Fellow, Grammy nominee, and a proud daughter of Chicago's south side. Dublin-born vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Pat Broaders has been a mainstay of the Chicago Irish community since the 1990s, and has toured internationally alongside some of the finest players of Irish music. The duo will close out the evening concert, but players will want to come early for a rare treat: Carroll is also hosting an Irish session in the afternoon.
Ida y Vuelta’s presentations come from a long tradition of Mexican folk music called Son Jarocho. The genre is a fusion of African, Arabic-Spanish and Indigenous music and poetry. The band plays traditional “sones” which some date back over 300 years as well as their own arrangements and original tunes. They respectfully perform this music and aspire to make known its rich historical and musical value, specifically here in the U.S.
Vidar Skrede and Patrik Ahlberg join their Scandinavian fiddle forces together in this Norwegian-Swedish folk music duo. The variety of strings includes fiddles, Hardanger fiddle, 5 string fiddle, and even some guitars. The mix of tunes is composed by both their original and traditional Nordic fiddle tunes. This is what music sounds like between two Scandinavian transplants in the Midwest coming together to share their fiddle tunes.
Chicago's Sanctified Grumblers formed in the Spring of 2009 when Rick Sherry (Devil in a Woodpile) and Eric Noden started writing songs together. Using only acoustic instruments, they usually play as a trio with either Beau Sample (upright bass) or Mike Hogg (sousaphone). The band has performed behind delta blues legend Honeyboy Edwards and Chicago harmonica great Billy Boy Arnold.
This year’s all-star barn dance band features members of two of the Midwest’s finest old-time string bands: from Illinois, Fred Campeau (fiddle) and Steve Rosen (guitar) of the Volo Bogtrotters; and from Michigan, Sam Cooper (fiddle) and Sam Herman (banjo) of Bowhunter. Fred is also offering a rare workshop on fiddle tunes of Illinois and Indiana.
Dot Kent has been calling circles, lines, contras and squares in Illinois and nationally for many years, getting folks of all ages up and moving. She enjoys introducing dancers of all levels to the basics of old-time freestyle clogging (solo traditional stepdancing also known as jigging, flatfooting or buckdancing). Although not a competitive dancer, she won first place in the Appalachian String Band Festival Dance Contest some years back.
Chicago-based vocal trio Artemisia (Diana Lawrence, Alexandra Olsavsky, Kaitlin Foley) harnesses the power of the female voice to explore complex social issues through the vocal traditions of the world. Praised for “sincerity, wit, and mind-blowing technique” (Vocal Arts Chicago), Artemisia draws from a vast repertoire of vocal styles to take audiences on a journey of sound and spirit with every performance.
Gaffer has been played by his Folk Harp, Leannan (a Dusty Strings 26-string), since 1989. Song and story form his style--what's a story, without a song; or a song, without a story? Gaffer mangles songs in ten languages (the verb there is likely more important than the numerator). Part of Gaffer's mission is to encourage other harpers to take up the use of the pinky finger, once again, where appropriate (at the tail end of a descending cadence). Ask for a demonstration.
Baba Yaga's Stew has tunes boiling and bubbling from all over the world! Their music arrangements are custom-crafted to spin you down the dance floor. Lucia Thomas and Dianna Davis are veterans of the contra dance world, and the Chicago and Indianapolis music scene. They will leave you cackling for more! This two-piece iteration of the band incorporates fiddle, clarinet, accordion, piano, oud, and more!
Paul Collins began dancing with his parents at the age of eight, and has been an ethnic folk dance leader and caller of contra and square dances since high school. In 1989, Paul and Bill Sasso started the Mid-North Folk Dance Club that has today evolved into Ethnic Dance Chicago. Paul led the University of Chicago Folk Dance Club for many years, introducing squares and contras into the group's repertoire. Today, he is co-director of the Door County Folk Festival.
Tim Macdonald & Jeremy Ward are a touring Scottish fiddle duo who combine traditional fiddling with historical scholarship to create a musical experience that has been described as everything from "cutting-edge" and "metal" to "classic" and "baroque.” Using period instruments and mixing High Baroque chamber music with high-energy dance tunes, their music is at times soulful and at times electrifying, but always moving.
Emily Nott and Mareva Lindo met singing songs with Old Lazarus’ Harp folk collective, drawn together by a love of traditional ballads, gospel, and songs of grief and parting. Mareva is a Chicago-born troubadour and a lifelong collector of folk music, known for her fingerstyle blues and unusual voice. Emily has studied ballad singing with Michael and Carrie Klein, opened for Elizabeth LaPrelle, and is currently working on her first solo album.
Multi-instrumentalist Kerry Leung has been performing traditional Chinese music for over 40 years. His self-taught musical studies began in Guangzhou, China, where Kerry began playing the bamboo flute at 12 years old. After he moved to Chicago in 1981, he continued to expand his craft and continues following his journey "in the music."
Kathy Whisler is a sea shanty singer, and has been organized the monthly sea shanty sing at Chicago’s Atlantic Bar & Grill for over ten years. Dan MacDonald (aka Spitzer Space Telescope) is a solo balladeer, songwriter and visual artist who has performed at Mystic Seaport Sea Music Festival, Brooklyn Folk Festival, and Maypole Folk Festival. The two will be hosting this year’s pub sing for the second year in a row.
Pullman Morris and Sword is a Morris Dancing group located in the Pullman neighborhood on Chicago’s South side, continuing the century-old tradition of Morris in Chicago. Morris dance is a rhythmic, choreographed English folk dance usually accompanied by music. In their second appearance at the Midwest Sing & Stomp, Pullman Morris & Sword will perform dance demonstrations throughout the day.