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74th National Folk Festival Showcase
Celebrates NCTA’s 80th Anniversary
and St. Louis Roots
Returning to St. Louis, Missouri where it was founded in 1933, the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) will celebrate its 80th anniversary with a daylong 74th National Folk Festival Showcase. This special program will be presented on the grounds of the Gateway Arch on July 4, 2013 from 1:15 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. as part of Fair Saint Louis, the city’s annual Independence Day extravaganza.
“We are thrilled to celebrate NCTA’s 80th anniversary in St. Louis where the organization was founded in 1933,” said NCTA Director Julia Olin, “This special showcase also honors the National Folk Festival, the NCTA’s flagship event, that was was first presented in St. Louis in 1934. The performing artists coming in to help us celebrate are the best of the best. Their artistry is a testimony to the vibrancy, diversity and depth of our nation’s cultural traditions.”
The 4th of July showcase will feature acclaimed musicians, dancers and singers from across the country representing a broad array of cultural traditions. Featured artists will include BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet (Cajun), Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano (Mexican mariachi), Cellicion Traditional Zuni Dancers (Native American), Hot Club of Cowtown (western swing/hot jazz), Mythili Prakash Dance Ensemble (South Indian classical dance), Diunna Greenleaf and Blue Mercy (blues) and Missouri Fiddle Masters Charlie Walden and John Williams (old-time Missouri fiddling).
BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet
America’s premier Cajun band and leading ambassador of Southwest Louisiana’s Cajun culture. Rolling Stone Magazine called BeauSoleil “the best d_ _ _ _ _ dance band you’ll ever hear.” Legions of Cajun music lovers and dancers around the globe agree.
Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano
For 50 years, NEA National Heritage Fellow Natividad “Nati” Cano has led the Los Angeles-based Mariachi Los Camperos, bringing the group to international prominence. With soaring, impassioned vocals, a magnificent violin section and superb showmanship, Los Camperos is considered by many to be the finest mariachi ensemble in the world.
The Cellicion Traditional Zuni Singers
This family group performing with flute, drums, rattles and voice offers an arresting glimpse of the traditions of an artistic people whose ancestors came to the Southwest over 12,000 years ago. The Zuni today live where they have always lived; the present-day pueblo of Zuni has been occupied for at least 600 years.
Hot Club of Cowtown
As their name implies, the Austin-based Hot Club of Cowtown pays homage to two legendary groups from the 1930s: Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli’s Hot Club of Paris and Bob Wills’ Texas Playboys. The group’s repertoire includes Texas fiddle tunes, western swing, hot jazz, and Tin Pan Alley standards, all done up with dazzling musicianship and a level of energy and vitality.
Mythili Prakash Dance Ensemble
Los Angeles-born Mythili Prakash is a rising young international star carrying on the 3,000-year-old South Indian dance tradition of Bharata Natyam, a classical Indian dance style noted for its beauty, elegance and spirituality. A vibrant, brilliant performer, Mythili exhibits a command of this challenging dance form that is far beyond her years.
Diunna Greenleaf and Blue Mercy
Making her first St. Louis appearance is Houston’s reigning blueswoman Diunna Greenleaf. She follows in the footsteps of many great Texas blues singers, combining elements of gospel, jazz, R & B and soul to create her own unique style. She possesses a voice of tremendous power and passion that’s also capable of subtlety and nuanced inflection.
Missouri Fiddle Masters
Representing the state’s grand tradition of old-time fiddling are Charlie Walden and John Williams, two central Missouri champion fiddlers committed to passing on to the next generation the styles and repertoires they learned from past Missouri masters.
The 74th National Folk Festival Showcase is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and is presented in cooperation with Fair Saint Louis and the National Park Service.