Jean Ritchie Brings Grace to Kentucky Folklife Festival Stage
Anyone who has ever heard Jean Ritchie over the 60-year span of her career will be flocking to Frankfort for the Friday evening concert of the Kentucky Folklife Festival on September 16. Those that haven’t should be prepared to feel as though they have been touched by an angel.
Folksinger, songwriter and musician Jean Ritchie of Viper, Kentucky (and Port Washington, NY) has received many accolades over the years including the Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Folk Alliance Lifetime Achievement Award, induction into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, and the prestigious Kentucky Governor’s Awards in the Arts.
She claims she just sings. And “just sing” she does, with a voice that is as high and clear and pure as heaven itself. Her dulcimer playing adds a tone that assures you, the true path is through the mountains of Appalachia.
The Friday, September 16th concert at the Old Capitol stage in downtown Frankfort will also feature America’s finest thumb picking guitarist Eddie Pennington from Western Kentucky, whose interpretation of Merle Travis style is impeccable in spirit and execution. Another assured highlight of the evening will be an a capella performance by the Freedom Singers, including original member Charles Neblett that made them a national force during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s.
The Kentucky Folklife Festival will celebrate the living traditions of the people who call Kentucky home beginning Thursday morning, September 15 through the “Tribute to Route 23” finale concert on Saturday evening, September 17, featuring Ricky Skaggs. Visitors will have a chance hear some of Kentucky’s finest musical artists in a variety of genres including bluegrass, blues, gospel, country, and salsa. Dance demonstrations, open street dances and dance lessons will showcase traditions from salsa to square to swing. A foodways section will tempt your taste buds from southern favorites to ethnic delights. Kids can make their own family folklore fun book, listen to storytellers, learn the Cuban way to play dominoes and watch artists from all disciplines create baskets, musical instruments, quilts and much more.
Admission to this concert and all three days of festival activities, concerts and Kentucky Historical Society exhibits and sites are included with purchase of a $4 Kentucky Folklife Festival collectible pin. Pins are available on site, or may be purchased in advance at the Kentucky Historical Society, 100 W. Broadway, Frankfort or Poor Richard’s Books, 423 W. Broadway, Frankfort.
For more information, call 502-564-1792 or visit the Kentucky Folklife Festival website at http://folklife.ky.gov. The Kentucky Folklife Festival is presented in joint partnership with the Kentucky Historical Society and the Kentucky Arts Council, agencies of the Kentucky Commerce Cabinet.
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The Kentucky Arts Council is a state agency in the Commerce Cabinet that invests in programs that develop vibrant communities, provide lifelong education in the arts and support arts participation. Every $1 in grant funds awarded by the Kentucky Arts Council helps grantees secure $15 in earned income and matching funds from individuals, philanthropic sources and other levels of government. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.