7th Annual C-U Folk & Roots Festival, URBANA, IL: November 5-7, 2015

Wow, what an absolutely amazing festival! Thanks so much to our stalwart festival volunteers and sponsors, the cavalcade of amazing artists, and – most of all – to all of YOU who came to the festival and participated in this year’s many events. It couldn’t happen without you!

Booking highlights for the 2015 Festival —

Cedric Watson 1Cedric Watson is one of the brightest young talents to emerge in Cajun, Creole, and Zydeco (Louisiana French) music over the last decade. He is a four-time Grammy-nominated fiddler, singer, accordionist, and songwriter, and we’re thrilled to have him and Les Amis Creole joining us for this year’s festival.

Check out a few of the other artists featured in 2015 below. Find the full listings on our Performances and Workshops pages!

Paul Asaro is known as one of the finest of a select group of pianists who have mastered the demanding two-handed jazz and ragtime piano styles from the first half of the 20th century. Integrating sounds from Leadbelly to Bob Dylan, from Woodie Guthrie to Preservation Hall, Woody Pines (back by popular demand!) belts out songs of fast cars, pretty women and hard luck, with a distinctive vintage twang. A retired elementary library media specialist, Anne Shimojima has performed literary stories, historical pieces, and folk tales from her Asian heritage and around the world for the past 30+ years. Catch the University of Illinois Press Panel with Marion Jacobson (Squeeze This: A Cultural History of the Accordion in America) and Phil Jamison (Hoedowns, Reels, and Frolics: Roots and Branches of Southern Appalachian Dance), who will talk about their exciting new books. Since 2001, members of The Hillbilly Jones have established themselves as one of the area’s most unusual musical acts, catering to audiences of all ages with their collection of high-energy rockabilly, rock and roll, and classic country. Singer-songwriters Karen Bridges and Clint Thomson, who comprise Stone and Snow, draw from their connection to the snow-capped landscape of the west to create profoundly lyrical folk songs.

The Champaign-Urbana Folk and Roots Festival is an all-volunteer-run, grassroots festival that brings together national, regional and local artists and folk organizations for over 80 high-quality folk performances and participatory activities throughout downtown Urbana. The festival includes performances, dances, instructional sessions, jams, song-circles, family activities, storytelling, instrument-making and much, much more!  The festival has a particular interest in evolving and unique forms of folk music and art, especially forms that break down barriers between audience and performers, while also providing the occasion to preserve local traditions and histories.