A cross-cultural convergence of music, both traditional and groundbreaking, is the heart and soul of the Northwest Folklife Festival. With more than 800 performances, workshops, dances and family activities scheduled, the four-day festival will also feature Urban Indian culture, local Hip Hop, Folk Punk and a Northwest Independent showcase, along with much more.
The 37th annual Northwest Folklife Festival, Friday, May 23, through Monday, May 26, is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day. While admission is free, visitors' donations make the Festival possible.
The entire program is available at www.nwfolklife.org. A new "Performers Search" function makes the weekend's schedule searchable by performer or by genre.
• World Beat Manifesto — Saturday, May 24, Mural Amphitheatre from 7-10 p.m. World Beat Manifesto is a whirlwind, three-hour tour of beats and grooves from around the world. Featuring Senegalese afro-pop from Ibrahima Camara and SAFAL, the legendary Brother Noland of Hawaii, local heroes Flowmotion and Canadian super-group The Clumsy Lovers.
• Zulu Jam — Saturday, May 24, Vera Stage from 3-6 p.m. The Universal Zulu Nation (UZN) is one of the founding families of Hip Hop. Pioneered by Afrika Bambaataa on the streets of New York City in 1973, UZN has since grown into an international network dedicated to preserving and evolving Hip Hop. Seattle's chapter, 206 Zulu, joins with Northwest Folklife to present an interactive showcase featuring some of the region's best, including Project Mayhem with Alpha P, DJ B-Girl, BYC, Waves of the Mind, DJ Tecumseh and Orbitron.
• Independent Music in the Pacific Northwest — Sunday, May 25, Narrative Stage at 1 p.m. The music scene is a rapidly shifting landscape, with new and innovative players. This panel discussion will bring together a variety of individuals who are involved in shaping the region's music scene. Featuring Calvin Johnson of K Records, Northwest independents Bicycle Records and Voyager Records, webzine Ball of Wax, webstore Song Slide and promotion company B-Girl Media.