Since its inception, the festival has been a combination of a music fest, family reunion, community gathering, and weekend musical retreat, according to its organizers. In addition to the festival’s headliners, a number of Florida-based musicians and other artists from the U.S., Canada and Israel are slated to perform. Visiting artists include Jon Brooks, Sandy Cash, Tim Fast, Friction Farm, Josh Harty, Lara Herscovitch, Tyler Hughes and Sam Gleaves, Larry Kaplan, Kirsten Maxwell, Mean Mary, Alan Rhody, Matt Townsend, Mare Wakefield & Nomad, and Ely Wininger. Floridian performing artists include John John Brown, Vinnie Del Basso, Jillian/Cherninksy Band, Larry Mangum, Rod MacDonald, Austin Miller, Patchouli, Matthew Sabatella & the Rambling String Band, Micah Scott, Mindy Simmons, Solar Dogs, Debbie Tassone & Gary Frost, That Summer, and Amy Carol Webb.
Some of the performing artists also will lead workshops, while there will be a jam area for those who enjoy playing traditional folk and other acoustic styles of music. Campfires also are planned for both evenings after 8 p.m.
Singer-Songwriter Competition to Feature 12 Artists
Kicking-off the weekend’s musical festivities on Saturday, Jan. 28, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., will be the 12 finalists in the 2017 South Florida Folk Festival’s singer-songwriter competition, each of whom will perform two songs. They are Robert Baldwin (Lake Worth, FL), Jane Fallon (Brookline, NH), Sharon Goldman (Metuchen, NJ), Amber Ikeman (Bozeman, MT), Brian Kalinec (Houston, TX), Eileen Kozloff (Lakewood Ranch, FL), Erika Kulnys (Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia), Austin MacRae (Ithaca, NY), Claudia Nygaard (Nashville, TN), Jan Seides (Austin, TX), Grant Maloy Smith (Wakefiled, RI), and Doug Spears (Orlando, FL).
Three winners selected by a panel of judges will each receive the Vic Heyman Songwriting Award – a $200 cash prize and an invitation to perform at next year’s festival. In addition, all 12 finalists will be afforded the opportunity to perform ‘in-the-round’ during the festival’s second day on Sunday, Jan. 29. Last year’s winners were John John Brown, Larry Mangum and Kirsten Maxwell.
The songwriting competition is co-presented by Reba Heyman. Along with her late husband, Vic, Reba has been an integral part of the folk community in South Florida and nationally for many years. The couple, known for decades for their generous financial backing of folk festivals and artists, formerly ran a concert series in Rockville, Maryland known as Vic’s Music Corner. They also served on the boards of several music festivals and established a scholarship fund for performing artists.
For more information on the festival, which is co-sponsored by Sea Turtle Oversight Protection (STOP), and to order tickets in advance, visit www.southfloridafolkfest.net.