Instrument makers from across New England will be at the forefront of this year’s Lowell Folk Festival, celebrating the artistry and craftsmanship required to create the unique sounds from the Festival’s world-class musical performers. . Known for its eclectic mix of music, food and art, the 35th anniversary Lowell Folk Festival returns in person July 29-31.
At Crafting Sound: Building and Restoring Musical Instruments, festival-goers can experience how a range of acoustic instruments are made, meet artisans whose expertise includes fine carpentry and metalwork, and learn how sound resonates and travels. Attendees can also learn about the making of world-class pipe organs that fill concert halls; the uilleann pipes which enliven the seisuns of Irish music; Middle Eastern ouds; Hardanger fiddles and fiddle bows that energize dancers; resurrected traditional Puerto Rican tiples and cuatros and Trinidad steel pans that evoke the Caribbean.
Musicians will be present throughout the weekend to demonstrate the sounds of some of these instruments. Artisans will be in the folk craft area at Lucy Larcom Park Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. On Saturday at 1:45 p.m. there will be a moderated conversation between makers and actors on the Sainte-Anne stage of the festival, next to the folklife space. .
Lowell Folk Festival 2022 craft artists include: Dave Golber (Hardanger violins), Mariia Gorkun (violin bow making, repair and styling), Chris Pantazelos (Spartan instruments: bouzouki, oud and mandolin), William Cumpiano (guitars and traditional Puerto Rican instruments). Stringed Instruments), David Lonebear Sanipass (Wooden Mi’kmaq Flutes), jonathan james-Perry (Wampanoag Water Drums, Rhythm Sticks & Rattles), Andre Strongbearheart Gaines (Nipmuc Hand and Water Drums), Nick JonesNoble & Cooley Drum Company (Steam Bent Solid-Shell Wood Drums), Will Woodson (Irish Uilleann Pipes), Jason “Panman” Roseman (Steel Pan Making & Tuning), Kate Harington & Joji Shiga (CB Fisk Inc. Pipe Organs).
Additionally, the Lowell Folk Festival and The Brush Art Gallery present Art in the Courtyard on Saturday, July 30 from noon to 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, July 31 from noon to 6 p.m. Held in the shaded, brick-lined courtyard between the National Historic Park Visitor Center and the Brush Art Gallery, this collaboration offers visitors the opportunity to view and purchase some of the fine art and crafts on display.
Participating artists include Maureen Abdullah (jewelry), Pamela Alves (handcrafted clay jewelry), Evelyn Berrio Basketry (hair bows and accessories), Robyn Chapman (jewellery), Kayla Dorsey-Twumasi (handmade jewelry and textile pillows), Holly Ferreira Mixed Media (candle making), Lucas Land (blown glass), Renee Mallett, (bath, body and beauty items), Chikako Mukai (handcrafted handbags, accessories and clothing), Aina Sullivan ( natural stone jewelry), Fabiola White (jewelry, bags, wallets).
At the center of the Lowell Folk Festival is a program of world-class musicians including: Cherish the Ladies (Irish), Los Pleneros de la 21 (Bomba and Plena), Dale Ann Bradley (Bluegrass), Diunna Greenleaf & Blue Mercy (Blues) , Nava Persian Trio (Persan Santour), The Pedro Giraudo Tango Ensemble (Argentine Tango), Carolyn Martin Swing Band (Western Swing), Balla Kouyaté & Famoro Dioubaté (Balafon Masters), Christine Tassan et les Imposteures (Jazz Gypsy and Swing), Don Bryant (Memphis Soul), Lenny Gomulka & Chicago Push (Polka), Panfilo’s Güera (Tejano Conjunto Fiddle), Tremé Brass Band (New Orleans Brass Band), Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole (Creole Music).
This year’s festival will also showcase the many tastes of Lowell’s diverse communities with 18 ethnic food stalls operated by local non-profit community groups, each offering different traditional cuisine that showcases their heritage. The Foodways component of the 2022 festival will feature Comfort Food: How Our Culture Comforts US, two days of cooking demonstrations and talks.
The Lowell Folk Festival is produced by the Lowell Festival Foundation, the Town of Lowell, Lowell National Historic Park, the National Council of Traditional Arts, the Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Merrimack Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau .