Upwards of 200,000 people are expected to descend on Richmond this weekend for the 13th annual Folk Festival -- three days of continuous music, dance, and food.
Los Wembler’s is a band from the Amazon. Their hometown is unreachable by road, and their music echoes the jungle.
They’ll be playing in Richmond this weekend as part of the Folk Festival. One of more than 30 performers from around the country, and the world: Japanese, western swing, jazz guitar, bluegrass, memphis soul, Persian.
“We like to say that these are the greatest artists that you’ve never heard of,” explained Lisa Sims, Executive Director of Venture Richmond.
That includes musicians from here in Virginia. One of the festival’s seven stages is devoted to Virginia music like bluegrass and gospel, from Galax to Charlottesville.
“These are people who’ve learned at the knee of an elder, or it’s been traditions passed down through families, passed down through communities,” said Sims.
For example, Frank Newsome. One of twenty two children born to a coal miner in Kentucky, Newsome settled in Virginia and worked the mines here. After getting black lung, he began preaching at his Baptist Church in Buchanan County, where the hymns are sung a cappella.
The Richmond Folk Festival is free. It begins Friday evening and runs through Sunday evening.
You can find a full list of performers and schedules here.