American Folk Festival Performers

For a list of all the performers alphabetically from 2002-2016 click here

CJ Chenier

C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band is led by Clayton Joseph Chenier, the son of zydeco great Clifton Chenier. C.J. was handpicked by Paul Simon to play accordion on his 1990 album “Rhythm of the Saints” and his music was exposed to wide, mainstream audiences in 1995 through appearances on The Jon Stewart Show and CNN. “You play zydeco and you see shoes flying off,” says Chenier of his live performances. “You can’t come to my show and stay unhappy all night long. You’re going to break a smile and stomp your foot before too long. This is happy music and it makes you dance.”

Cora Harvey Armstrong Cora Harvey Armstrong has been a favorite Gospel act at festivals and celebrations around the world for more than 40 years. Cora began playing piano since the age of five and has been singing for nearly as long. Cora and her sisters sang for many years with their mother, and even after the death of their parents the sisters have continued to sing as a family with their nieces. In addition to being a singer, songwriter and pianist, Cora is also an ordained Minister.
Las Cafeteras

Las Cafeteras has been described by the LA Times as “uniquely Angeleno mishmash of punk, hip-hop, beat music, cumbia and rock…live, they’re magnetic.” That magnetism of live music has crossed-genres and musical borders, playing with bands such as Mexican icons Caifanes, Lila Downs, Colombian superstar Juanes, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and Talib Kweli. The group’s Afro-Mexican beats, rhythms, and rhymes deliver inspiring lyrics that document stories of a community seeking love and justice in the concrete jungle of Los Angeles.

Les Poules a Colin

Les Poules a Colin is a five-piece Quebecois group that formed in 2009. The group has carried with them a strong stage presence, and an ability to explore alloys between Quebecois traditions and the blend of jazzy, pop, folk, bluegrass, and contemporary styles.

Selwin Birchwood

Selwyn Birchwood is one of the top young stars playing the blues today. At the age of 32, Birchwood has been defying expectations and impressing audiences throughout his career. The Tampa Tribune said Birchwood plays with “power and precision reminiscent of blues guitar hero Buddy Guy. He is a gritty vocalist [who is] commanding with his axe.” Birchwood has four albums under his belt including “Pick Your Poison,” released earlier this year. Birchwood’s honors include being named the winner of the 2013 International Blues Challenge.