Sheila Kay Adams, Bobby Hicks, and John Dee Holeman to perform at National Folk Festival in Greensboro, Sept. 12 & 13

GREENSBORO— Masters of traditional music, including Sheila Kay Adams, Bobby Hicks and John Dee Holeman, will perform at the North Carolina Traditions Stage during the National Folk Festival next month in Greensboro, officials announced today.

Legacies of Song and Fire, the name of the North Carolina stage and exhibition area, will feature approximately 11 musical performances and 14 potters from across the state during the free festival. The North Carolina section will open Saturday, September 12, at noon and will end Sunday, September 13, at 6 pm in downtown Greensboro.

“The National Folk Festival in Greensboro is not only a celebration of artistry from around the nation but an event that reinforces North Carolina’s reputation as a state that recognizes and celebrates its cultural heritage,” said Department of Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz.

Legacies of Song and Fire is a rare opportunity for our citizens to experience a variety of traditions from Cherokee dance and North Carolina gospel singing to blues, bluegrass, rhythm and blues, and Appalachian old-time music,” Secretary Kluttz continued.

Wayne Martin, Executive Director – N.C. Arts Council; Tom Philion, President and CEO – ArtsGreensboro; and Julia Olin, Executive Director – National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) were also on hand for today’s announcement at the Proximity Hotel in Greensboro.

Andy Edmonds of the Buckstankle Boys and Seagrove potter Sid Luck also attended. Both will participate in Legacies of Song and Fire, curated by N.C. Folklife Director Sally Peterson and consultants Paul Brown and Brendan Greaves.

The lineup on Saturday, September 12, and Sunday, September 13, includes:

  • Jeff Little Trio, a Blue Ridge Mountains piano playing trio.
  • A Bascom Lamar Lunsford Tribute, featuring:
    • Buckstankle Boys, old-time and bluegrass musicians influenced by the legendary musicians of Surry County.
    • National Heritage award winner, Sheila Kay Adams, a seventh-generation ballad singer, storyteller and musician from Madison County.
  • Todd Family Dancers, Marsha and Marty Todd of Mount Airy, who are accomplished flatfoot and clogging dancers.
  • Warriors of AniKituhwa, the official cultural ambassadors of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, will perform ceremonial dances.
  • The Monitors, an Eastern North Carolina R&B, soul, jazz and gospel band featuring founder Bill Myers, who is also a N.C. Heritage award recipient. This group has entertained audiences for almost 60 years.
  • Bobby Hicks, of Madison County, a fiddle innovator with more than 10 Grammy nominations and a recipient of the N.C. Heritage Award.
  • John Dee Holeman, one of the most renowned and respected Piedmont blues artists in the state and nation. John Dee will be accompanied by buck dancer Williette Hinton, James “Bubba Norwood” on drums, Tad Walters on harmonica, and Harvey Dalton Arnold on bass.
  • Welch Family Singers of the community of Snowbird in Graham County, will join Sheila Kay Adams and the Buckstankle Boys for Western Carolina Sacred Traditions. The Welch Family sings gospel in English and Cherokee and carry on a 200-year-old tradition of Christian music among the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
  • The Branchettes, with Lena Mae Perry and Wilbur Tharpe, outstanding North Carolina performers of African American congregational hymn singing with traditional piano accompaniment.
  • Ticklin’ the Ivories workshop will feature piano traditions of the dynamic Bill Myers of the Monitors, Wilbur Tharpe of the Branchettes, and Jeff Little of the Jeff Little Trio; the musicians will compare and contrast Appalachian and African American keyboard traditions.

In addition to the onstage performers, 14 potters, including Ben Owen and Sid Luck from Seagrove and Joel Queen from Cherokee, will exhibit their pottery and conduct pottery demonstrations in the N.C. Folklife Area at the National Folk Festival.

North Carolina is renowned as the home of what many ceramic artists, scholars, and collectors acclaim as the most vital, diverse, and longest pottery traditions in the United States.

North Carolina’s traditional potters incorporate global influences and appeal to an international market of collectors, galleries, and museums, while retaining powerful connections to family, place, and function. Potters include:

  • Steve Abee (Lenoir, N.C.)
  • Chad Brown (Esther, N.C.)
  • Josh Floyd (Seagrove, N.C.)
  • David Garner (Seagrove, N.C.)
  • Anna and Crystal King (Seagrove, N.C.)
  • Sid and Jason Luck (Seagrove, N.C.)
  • Senora Lynch (Warrenton, N.C.)
  • Tara McCoy (Cherokee, N.C.)
  • Ben Owen III (Seagrove, N.C.)
  • Boyd Owens and Nancy Owens Brewer (Seagrove, N.C.)
  • Hal and Eleanor Pugh (Randleman, N.C.)
  • Caroleen Sanders (Concord, N.C.)
  • Joel Queen (Cherokee, N.C.)

The National Folk Festival will feature approximately 300 artists—musicians, dancers, puppeteers, storytellers, and craftspeople—with more than 30 individuals and groups performing on seven outdoor performance venues throughout downtown Greensboro. The three-day Festival is FREE to the public.

For more information on Legacies of Song and Fire visit: