Day 67: Great Lakes Folk Festival

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    2010 Great Lakes Folk Festival. Siempre Flamenco. Courtesy GLFF
    [box size=”large” border=”full”]Why it is awesome: This festival is a celebration of many different types of music from around the world that takes place right in downtown East Lansing![/box]The Great Lakes Folk Festival (GLFF) is one of East Lansing’s favorite music festivals. What makes it different from the other music festivals in the Lansing area is the joining of many different cultures.  It brings together a variety of cultures through the marketplace, the food, and of course, the music. There will be over 150 musicians and groups from all around the country and the world. This year the theme of the “best of the best” will bring back favorite performers from previous years!

    2010 Great Lakes Folk Festival. Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole. Courtesy of LFF

    Aside from the variety of performers there is an array of activities offered at GLFF. It offers the Green Arts Marketplace where you can find all sorts of wonderful, hand-made items from around the world, all made from reused and recycled products. There is the Grassroots Green Program which teaches the community about green living. There are also plenty of activities for kids. The list includes making crafts with recycled bags and scraps, planting vegetables, and making bike-powered smoothies.

    To keep to the around-the-world theme, the food vendors in the Taste of Tradition Food Court will offer a variety of food from Greek to Indian. Most of the vendors are locally based and there will also be a Michigan beer and wine tent.

    Courtesy of GLFF
    The Great Lakes Folk Fest has been put on for 10 years by the Michigan State University Museumwith help from the City of East Lansing,  Michigan State University Office of the Provost, University Outreach and Engagement, the National Endowment for the Arts, and many other MSU departments as well as donations from several organizations, foundations, and corporations. Admission to the festival is by donation as well. “Festival-goers appreciate the rich and authentic experience, and often note how the event promotes a greater understanding of diverse cultures, how it brings people together, and how it strengthens community in the way the programs resonate and endure,” states Marsha MacDowell, founding director and MSU Museum curator of folk arts.The 2011 festival favorites  music lineup, sponsored by the City of East Lansing, is:
    Johnnie Bassett, ’03 | Blues | Detroit, Michigan
    Cats & The Fiddler,  ’08 | Bluegrass | Milford, Michigan
    Calvin Cooke, ’04  | Sacred Steel Guitar/Gospel | Detroit, Michigan and McDonough, Georgia —
    2011 Michigan Heritage Award recipient
    Detour, ’08  | Bluegrass  | Brethren, Michigan
    Nadim Dlaikan, ’02, ’06 | Arab-American Nay  | Southgate, Michigan — NEA National Heritage Fellow
    Feufollet, ’03, ’06 | Cajun | Lafayette, Louisiana
    Steven Greenman Klezmer Ensemble, ’03 | Klezmer | South Euclid, Ohio
    Gao Hong, ’04 | Chinese Pipa | Northfield, Minnesota
    George Kahumoku Jr., ’03 | Hawai’ian Slack Key Guitar | Lahaina, Hawai’i
    Elizabeth LaPrelle, ’08 | Old-Time Ballads | Rural Retreat, Virginia
    Dudley and Jacqueline Laufman, ’03  | New England Traditional Barn Dance | Canterbury, NH — NEA National Heritage Fellow
    Los Bandits de Michigan,  ’09 | Tex-Mex  | Kalamazoo, Michigan
    Pan Franek & Zosia’s Polka Towners, ’04 | Polka | Muskegon, Michigan
    -Réveillons!, ’08 | Québécois  | Montréal, Québec, Canada
    Roots Vibration, ’06, ’07  | Reggae | Detroit, Michigan
    Skålmusik, ’03 | Scandinavian | Brainerd, Minnesota
    Téada, ’05 | Irish Celtic | Dublin, Ireland
    -A community sing and musician jam were added to the mix last year, with a rousing response and plans to expand on them for ’11.

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