2021 Performers

Here’s the first group of artist we can confirm for the 13th annual C-U Folk & Roots Festival. More announcements will be coming in August.

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

Dom Flemons (Folk, Americana, Blues) 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

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.

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.

Kyshona (Singer-Songwriter) – 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.

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

Milly Raccoon – Based in New Orleans, Milly fiddles and sings original songs inspired by classic country, bluegrass and jazz.

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 (Gospel) – 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.

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.”