American Folk Festival - Aug. 26th, 27th, & 28th, 2016
Music, Dance & Culture from Traditions Across America & the World!
American Folk Festival Performers

The American Folk Festival features the traditional arts - music and dance - of the many cultures that make up America today. Traditions that represent the cultural heritage of a region, an ethnic group, a religious group, or an occupation are examples of the genres of music that are featured at the AFF. 

2015 American Folk Festival Performers

Preston Shannon

Preston Shannon Sponsered by:

Blues artist, Preston Shannon is a powerful guitarist with a compelling and soulful voice.  Blessed with the grittiness and raspy vocals reminiscent of Bobby Womack, and paired with the able guitar fingers of Otis Redding, Shannon exemplifies the power of Southern "deep soul".  Shannon's music delivers brassy arrangements that evoke emotion of both party tunes and aching ballads.  One of music's "natural resources", Shannon is an artist who will have the audience in awe.

TD Bank

The Yodeling, Wylie Gustafson will entertain the Festival when Wylie and the Wild West take the stage with their good-time cowboy music.  Wylie always has one goal in mind during performances, to "win a crowd with good music" and that is just what he is going to do.


Mickey Continuing the legendary music of his father, Cullen Galyean, Mickey Galyean and the Cullen's Bridge bring mountain bluegrass traditions to the stage.  Mickey and his group perform originals written by Cullen, Mickey, and his band, Bill Monroe and the Stanley Brothers classics, and also classic country gentleman songs. 

Hasanov Imamyar Hasanov is an internationally acclaimed virtuoso on Kamancha.  Hasanov works to foster the vitality and public appreciations of Azerbaijani traditional music.  With his unique arranging technique Imamyar has brought the music of Azerbaijan to the forefront of both the classical and world music fields.


Tal National
Tal National, from the country of Niger, performs music that is described as “joyously hypnotic” and a highly unique contribution to West African guitar music. The sixteen members that make up the group rotate vocalists and perform with lightning fast rhythms, delivered with virtuoso precision and unrelenting energy. 

St. Joes


Sensational Royal lights
Sensational Royal Lights have traveled the country for more than 50 years singing the Gospel. The nine-member group hails from Cordtown, Maryland with all but one of the vocalists coming from the same family. The Sensational Royal Lights are known for their tight vocal harmonies, toe tapping tempos, and inspirational messages that continue to entertain crowds after more than half-a-century of performances.


Todds Original

Creole United
Creole United is a group of bandleaders that represent three generations of Creole Music culture. Creole United uses classic Creole Music styles of the past, along with Creole French and new Creole standards. The six-piece band mixes old-time accordion styles with newer Creole sounds of rock solid harmonies and modern drum beats.

Maine Community


The Dardanelles say they have been “changing the way you think about traditional music since 2009.” The group of twenty-somethings is from Newfoundland and blends the energy of a 3-piece punk rock band with the styles of traditional folk acts. Despite being relatively new to the scene, The Dardanelles have brought their dynamic live show to international festivals as far away as Glasgow and Australia. 


Viking Lumber

De Temps Antan

De Temps Antan sponsored by:

City of Brewer

Since 2003, Éric Beaudry, André Brunet and Pierre-Luc Dupuis of De Temps Antan have been exploring and performing time-honoured melodies from the stomping grounds of Quebec’s musical past. Using fiddle, accordion, harmonica, guitar, bouzouki and a number of other instruments, the three virtuosos blend boundless energy with the unmistakable joie de vivre (exuberant enjoyment of life) found only in traditional Quebec music.


Coca Cola


Kasi Aysola

Kasi Aysola, a Bharata Natyam dancer based in Los Angeles, California, has been learning Bharata Natyam, a classical Indian dance from the young age of six. Bharata Natyam is known for its grace, purity, tenderness, expression and sculpturesque poses. Lord Shiva is considered the God of this dance form that originated in the temples of Tamil Nadu, India. Aysola draws inspiration from his Guru, Viji Prakash an internationally acclaimed dancer, choreographer, teacher and founder & director of the Shakti School of Bharata Natyam. “Dance is not something that I see as just a hobby, but rather it is something that defines every part of my life.”

Sea Dog



Kinan Idnawi is a well established Oud virtuoso from Syria. He started playing Oud at the age of 7. Since then, he went through perfecting his performance earning him a long list of awards and an impeccable reputation at an International level. Adnawi performs as a soloist and as part of ensembles and orchestras in some of the major international events and venues and alongside some the world-renouned artists such as Marcel Khalifa and Bryan Adams.



Mitch Frohman

Saxophonist & Flautist, Mitch Frohman, known for his 25 year stint with the Tito Puente Orchestra as well as his membership with the Mongo Santamaria band, is the leader/co-leader of three high sought after Latin & Latin-Jazz groups; The Bronx Horns, The Mambo Legends Orchestra, and the Eddie Torres Mambo Kings Dance Show Orchestra.  He has also played with greats; Celia Cruz, Machito, La Lupe, Cheo Feliciano, Eddie & Charlie Palmieri, Blood Sweat & Tears, Paul Simon, David Byrne, The Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Milly, Jocelyn & Los Vecinos and even Aventura!  Of course his signature sounds can be heard in the theme song of TV's "Sex & the City" as he is the sax soloist.



Andre Veloz

Andre Veloz sponsored by:

Rudman Winchell

Andre Veloz is an extraordinary vocalist who takes to the stage as if she owns it. Veloz has plunged headlong into the male-dominated world of Dominican bachata; her oh-so-soulful voice – pure, sonorous and effortless – is tailor-made for this genre, popularly known as the “Dominican Blues.” Veloz has experimented with a variety of styles including old school bolero, rock and jazz. Now, she brings all of those unusual influences to traditional cabaret bachata.

LL Bean


Red Trouser

David Graham and Tobin Renwick of The Red Trouser Show met each other in first grade. Around fourth or fifth grade, they learned how to juggle and unicycle and every summer since eighth grade, the boys did a Circus Smirkus summer program together. When they graduated high school, both decided they did not want to go to college, and joined Circus Smirkus full time for two years. Graham and Renwick have been performing street circus acts together across the country and the world since 1999.


Sleepy LaBeef

Sleepy LaBeef Sponsored by:


For half a century, Sleepy LaBeef has lived his life performing Rockabilly: on stages, in honky-tonks, and on the road. He has released records in six different decades and has had chart success as far back as the sixties and as recently as the year 2000. Sleepy LaBeef has shared bills with music greats like: Elvis Presley, George Jones, Roy Orbison, Wanda Jackson, and Carl Perkins. At the age of 76 LaBeefâs live sets are high energy and truly indescribable.



Cassidy Foundation

Asociacion Carnavalesca

The Asociación Carnavalesca de Massachusetts brings a bit of Dominican Carnival to the United States. The group is led by Stelvyn Mirabal of Lawrence. Determined to preserve Dominican traditions in Lawrence, Mirabal formed a comparsa 12 years ago, a group of costumed people who participate in the carnival parades. The “diablos cojuelos” (limping devils) of the Lawrence group provide high energy dances and exciting music as they move through the street.

Maine Edge

For a list of performers from previous years, click here.