The Montana Folk Festival has announced the first seven performers confirmed for this year’s festival in uptown Butte.

This will be the 14th year overall in Butte, with the first 3 years under the banner of the National Folk Festival, and the last 11 years as the Montana Folk Festival. The festival this year is scheduled for July 14, 15, and 16. Admission is free to all performances during the three days of the festival, although organizers urge attendees to ‘Kick-In’ a contribution of $25 per person or $35 for a family to help sustain the festival for years to come.

The Original Stage- Montana Folk Festival
The Original Stage- Montana Folk Festival

The first seven acts confirmed for this year's event are:

Red Baraat, from Brooklyn, New York. “Red Baraat was conceived by dhol player Sunny Jain. They have drawn worldwide praise for its singular sound, a merging of hard-driving N. Indian bhangra, with elements of hip-hop, jazz, and raw punk energy. You can learn more about them on their website HERE.

High Fidelity- White’s Creek, Tennessee. A 5 person bluegrass band that is steeped in the sounds of tradition. They interpret classic era bluegrass music through the fresh, young perspective of today’s generation. You can learn more about this high-energy Bluegrass HERE.

Kiki Valera y Son Cubano- Seattle, Washington. Kiki is steeped in the musical DNA of Son Cubano, one of the most popular music styles in Cuba. Kiki Valera is the oldest son of the famous La Familia Valera Miranda septet, a multi-generational traditional music group in Cuba. Kiki is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, sound engineer, and producer. He is also known as one of the world’s greatest players of the Cuban cuatro, a mid-size, 8-string guitar. You can learn more about Kiki HERE.

Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas- Lafayette, Louisiana. Growing up in a Creole-speaking home, Nathan sought out Zydeco music at an early age. After a serious illness, he dedicated himself to learning and mastering the accordion. That dedication has led to a 3-decade long career traveling the world. The Cha Chas were formed in 1985 and have played everywhere, from the Lincoln Center in New York to the Grand Ole Opry. Nathan was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2005. Find out more HERE.

Heart of Afghanistan with the Fanoos Ensemble- San Francisco, California. The Heart of Afghanistan project consists of four Afghan musicians, that tell the story of Afghanistan through music, poetry, art and cultural heritage. Heart of Afghanistan is a production of American Voices in collaboration with the Fanoos Family. Read more of their story HERE.

Ken Heath and the True Disciples- Charlotte, North Carolina. Ken was raised on the gospel music of the Black Holiness Church. Ken developed his drumming skill at the age of 14 and has continually advanced his skillset on the drums and also on the keys. In 2014 he formed the True Disciples, and they are known for their spirited, electrifying performances.

Musique a Bouches- Quebec, Canada. Musique is a vocal ensemble consisting of five performers. In 2016 they were named ‘Vocal Group of the Year’ at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. They have performed hundreds of shows across several countries. This a cappella quintet sets itself apart not only with melodious voices and the raw power of harmonies but also the camaraderie and humor they share on stage. Youtube.

That is a look at the first seven performers that have been confirmed for the Montana Folk Festival, set for July 14,15, and 16th in historic uptown Butte. You can find out more about the Montana Folk Festival HERE.

I look forward to seeing you in Butte!

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