2021 Performers

Afro D and Global Soundwaves – Where traditional roots meet modern funk, a local group you can’t miss. 

Alexa Rose – This daughter of western Virginia lends her honey-sweet voice to old-time ballads and originals.

Ayla and Emily – Two local artists join forces for a lively spin on traditional children’s favorites from the US and the UK.

The Bashful Youngens – This nationally renowned local duo weaves harmonies through Americana melodies.

Big Daddy Pride – Psychedelic roots country R & B, wow!

Black Eyed Lilies – Sprouted straight from a Midwestern corn field, Black Eyed Lillies bring together a classic mix of Americana, blues and folk.

Jake Blount is an award-winning banjoist, fiddler, singer, and scholar based in Providence, RI. He is half of the internationally touring duo Tui, a 2020 Strathmore Artist in Residence, and a board member of Bluegrass Pride. He specializes in the music of Black and indigenous communities in the southeastern United States, and in the regional style of Ithaca, New York. He foregrounds the experiences of queer people and people of color in his work.

Bryan Wilson & Family are bringing their celebration of Spiritual Soul to the festival for the first time.

Chickadee Sermon – Comfort folk act with a heavy emphasis on vocal harmony, performing originals as well as contemporary/traditional folk music. 

The Dig 3 – A local group created in 2021 bringing country, soul, and blues to the table.

Dom Flemons is back! Grammy Award Winner, Two-Time Emmy Nominee, and 2019 Wammie Award Winner, known as “The American Songster,” his repertoire covers over 100 years of American folklore, ballads, and tunes.

Fiddle Sax Fusion offers Blues-infused takes on Old-​Time and Irish fiddle tunes and folk hymns.

Flamenco Jazz Collective – Directors Alyssa Teijeiro-Ficht (dance) and Brian Stark (music) are working with students in a new music and dance ensemble dedicated to high-quality Flamenco education and performance in Champaign-Urbana and surrounding areas.Together they are developing a traditional and innovative repertoire for performance.

GoldenOak is an Indie Soul-Folk band fronted by sibling duo Zak and Lena Kendall. The group’s latest album “Room to Grow”- released in June – is a 10-song reflection of the emotional and physical impacts of the climate crisis.

Horseshoe Bender – A high-strung honky tonk band that’ll have your feet hitting the dance floor for sure.

Hot Club of Urbana – Urbana’s local tribute to the musical legacy of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli.

Hot Iron String Band – Billowing bluegrass by a returning group of talented local pickers and singers. 

Ibrahim Ouedraogo and Jason Finkelman play original tunes influenced by Ibrahim’s musical origins in Burkina Faso, West Africa and his experiences in this country.

Inland Calypso – this local group brings warm Calypso music from the islands to the frigid midwest. 

The Jaybirds – Jazz and blues standards with a dash of pop, played with heart and soul.

Joybird – Joybird is Chicago fiddler, multi-instrumentalist, visual artist, and arts educator Jess McIntosh. Backed by Chicago’s busiest traditional and experimental musicians, Jess writes songs informed by her background in social work and time living in both the heart of Appalachia and the City of Big Shoulders.

Ryan Koenig and the Goldenrods – A hopping string band straight out of the Wild West. 

Paul Kotheimer – this fave local singer-songwriter steeps hot jazz-infused Americana originals. 

Kyshona – With her appearance at the 2019 festival, Kyshona became an immediate festival classic. Her 2020 album Listen was voted Best Protest Album by Nashville Scene. She says: “It’s for every silent scream, every heavy load, every fearful thought, and the simmering sense of anger that the silenced, the lost, and the forgotten try to hide from the world.” See her now so that someday you can say you saw her when.

Los Guapos – A Columbian and Peruvian inspired chicha band right here in central Illinois.

Los Texano’z – A tejano and norteño band mixing country polka, bluegrass, and rock roots into a sound that spreads good feelings.

LoveSeat is a husband/wife duo that sings love songs, funny and sad songs.They’re based in Effingham, Illinois. Welcome, neighbors!

Meadowhawk – Beautiful traditional Celtic and American folk-inspired acoustic fiddle and guitar trio of talented local musicians.

The Mean Lids – This funky famous contra dance band will have you tapping your toes, clapping along, and begging for more.

Mhondoro Rhythm Success – Zimbabwean dance grooves, multilayered melodies.

Milly Raccoon – Fiddle player and singer Milly Raccoon writes songs about magick, myth, fairies, prayers, dragons, vampires, and love.

Mhondoro Rhythm Success invites you to put on your dancing shoes for their Zimbabwean pop music. Danceable grooves and multi-layered melodies, including covers of Thomas Mapfumo, Bhundu Boys, Oliver Mtukudzi, and others.

Nikki D and the Browns – These fierce women nearly brought the roof down when they played the festival in 2018. If you missed that, don’t make the same mistake twice! Nikki’s lap steel playing is so elevated Guitar World calls her “the Jimi Hendrix of Sacred Steel.” She carries on the African-American gospel tradition of using lap steel and pedal steel guitars in her own wild and totally unique way.

Painkillers Blues Band – Medicinal blues rhythms to feed the soul.

Son Monarcos – Festival favorites, Son Monarcas is a Latin Folk Fusion ensemble led by Mercedes Inez Martinez and Irekani Ferreyra. Like that of the Monarch Butterfly, they take you on a musical migration from the USA to Latin America by fusing indie soul with traditional son & cumbia.

The Sternwheelers – A Nashville based band performing a unique blend of Americana, Irish Traditional Music, and roots rock (formerly known as Wendell). 

Yasmin Williams “is all the things that finger-picked guitar usually isn’t – young, female, black, digitally native, unabashed by tradition and open to all sorts of multicultural influences.” (Dusted). The New York Times calls her “one of the country’s most imaginative young solo guitarists.”