The Old-Time Herald Volume 14, Number 8

The Brooklyn Folk Festival: A Revival of the People’s Folk Music in New York City
By Kristina Gaddy
Bobby Taylor
The Ukrainian Village Voices at the 2017 Brooklyn Folk Festival. Photo: Kristina Gaddy

The unaccompanied song resonated in the heart of the church. Voices belted out minor melodies with a guttural bottom, the dark tones matching the barely lit sanctuary of St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church, already starting to fill with an audience for the ninth annual Brooklyn Folk Festival. The Ukrainian Village Voices group was just one of more than 40 groups performing at this year’s event, with acts spanning from jug bands, old-time string bands, and ballad singers, to Native American dancers, Western swing bands, blues singers, a traditional jazz band, and an anti-consumerist gospel choir. Each year, founder and chief organizer Eli Smith puts on a festival with diverse and different performers who he thinks are profound and musically fulfilling, creating a real folk festival, in the best sense of the term.




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