The 7th annual Brooklyn Folk Festival features many highlights, among them “Treasures from the Archive Roadshow” drawn from the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress collections celebrating the centennial of Alan Lomax. Sunday afternoon at 4:15pm, Folklife Center folklorist Nancy Groce will moderate an event featuring the Down Hill Strugglers; legendary photographer, folklorist, and New Lost City Rambler John Cohen; folklorist and musician Ernie Vega; and Grammy Award-winning musician and folklorist Art Rosenbaum.
They will be playing songs tunes and styles learned directly from the collections at the American Folklife Center. Rosenbaum and Cohen’s own extensive collections of American folk music, based on decades of fieldwork, are now housed at the American Folklife Center. They will be playing selections that they learned directly from people during their own fieldwork. The Roadshow is accompanied by a large museum-style panel display with more information about the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
Alan Lomax would have been 100 years old in 2015 and his pioneering work formed the basis for the collections at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, the national repository for folk music of the United States. Lomax spent over six decades recording folk music, including Lead Belly, Jelly Roll Morton, Muddy Waters, Woody Guthrie, and Big Bill Broonzy alongside numerous lesser known performers in a variety of settings in the US and internationally. He is the author of the book The Land Where the Blues Began. Full bio on Lomax: http://www.culturalequity.org/
Several incredible folkloric films made by Alan Lomax during his long career will be screened at 2:30pm on Sunday April 19th, in conjunction with the 4:15pm presentation of the Roadshow:
* "Ballads Blues and Bluegrass"- amazing footage of the early 1960s Greenwich Village folk scene, shot in Alan Lomax's apartment in 1961!
* "Oss Oss Wee Oss," shot in 1951 at the Padstow May Day in Cornwall, England
And a 10 minute reel of color footage shot in Haiti in 1937! Rarely ever screened!
The musicians will also present the Roadshow at the Library of Congress and the Kennedy Center, with other dates to be announced.
The American Folklife Center was created in 1976 by the U.S. Congress as the national center for folklife documentation and research, with the mandate to "preserve and present American folklife." The American Folklife Center Archive, established in the Library of Congress Music Division in 1928 and moved to AFC in 1978, is now one of the largest archives of ethnographic materials from the United States and around the world.
The Treasures from the Archive Roadshow is an outreach program of the American Folklife Center in conjunction with the Alan Lomax Archive/Association for Cultural Equity.