28th Alaska Folk Festival


This Year's (2002) Guest Artists

Frankie Gavin

Frankie Gavin
Brian McGrath
Warren Argo - Guest Caller


Frankie Gavin


Brian McGrath

 Here's an article about their latest release
(Thanks to Gary and Alaska Folk Music)
The guest artists for the 28th Annual Alaska Folk Festival will be Frankie Gavin and Brian McGrath. They have been a major influence and continuing source of inspiration to generations of Irish musicians, both in America and abroad.
Frankie Gavin was born in Corrandulla, County Galway, Ireland in 1956. His father played the fiddle. His mother and Frankie's uncles, on his mothers side of the family all played either fiddles or accordions. Frankie began playing the tin whistle when he was 4 years old. He made his first TV appearance at the age of seven.
His formal training was confined to some lessons from Martin Rabbitt in Galway who taught Frankie to read music, but he is largely self- taught. In 1973 Frankie won the All Ireland fiddle championship. He went on to win the All Ireland flute championship that same day. He began to play in sessions around the Galway area. It was there he first met Alec Finn, Johnnie "Ringo" McDonagh and Charlie Piggot. In 1973 he formed the Irish traditional super group De Dannan. Over the next 30 years Frankie's fiddle playing would remain a central feature of De Dannan's repertiore.
Frankie Gavin was drawn at an early age to the 78-rpm recording of early Irish musicians such as James Morrison, Michael Coleman and the Flannagan Brothers. Phillippe Varlet wrote of him: "Frankie Gavin's fiddle playing is technically complex, unabashedly brilliant, and has a pronounced, driving swing which harkens back to the sound of the 1920's."
Frankie Gavin has collaborated with a diverse range of artists, from The Rolling Stones and Keith Richards to the late Stephane Grappelli and Yehudi Menuhin. He arranged and recorded the original sound track for the TV series The Irish RM.
Frankie Gavin has recorded seven solo albums and 16 albums with De Dannan. He now lives near Oughterard on the west shore of Lough Corrib, with his wife and children.
Brian McGrath, originally from Fermanagh, now living in Galway, is one of Ireland's most popular traditional musicians for both touring and recording today. He is highly respected by his fellow musicians as both a piano accompanist and banjo player. He can be heard on recordings of some of Irelands finest traditional musicians, including Frankie Gavin, Noel Hill, Arty McGlynn, John Carty, Charlie Lennon and Brian Rooney to name just a few. He teaches both piano and banjo at FONN Traditional Music Summer School Galway and at BLAS Summer Music School at University of Limerick.
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In addition to the Guest Artists, Frankie Gavin and Brian McGrath, the Folk Festival has arranged something new for AFF 28, a Guest Dance Band: Cambalache.
The Alaska Folk Festival is pleased to present "Cambalache" as our 2002 dance guest artist. A nine-piece salsa band from Seattle, Cambalache has been heating up the Northwest salsa scene over the last several years.

Their music is a blend of great salsa classics and contemporary tunes, with an eclectic style that reflects the richness and diversity of Latin America. They will be performing for two hours at the Armory on Saturday night, and teaching several workshops on Saturday afternoon.

The artists are: Pancho Chavez, Scott Baker, Clifton Swiggett, Nelda Swiggett, Mike Dorr, Mario Barrera, Nathan Vettter, Gonzalo Cerna, and Ernesto Pediangco. This is the first time we've invited a Latin music group as a Guest Artist - don't miss them!

 If you'd like to find out more about the band, visit their website at www.cambalachesalsa.com

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Warren Argo
(photo from Doug Plummer's page)

This year's Guest Dance Caller -- a Familiar Face Ten years ago (at AFF18 in 1992), Tom Paul, then an Alaska Folk Festival Board member, championed the idea of having a Guest Dance Caller in addition to the traditional Guest Artist. The first Guest Caller was Warren Argo. This year, to help celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Guest Dance Caller, Warren will be back doing double duty as Guest Caller AND Chief Sound Engineer.
Warren writes: I called my first dance in 1979. I have played dance music since the early sixties. I prefer dances that are easy to learn for newcomers, but are deep enough for experienced dancers to really have room to work out the subtle bits. I like cheery dances with lots of attention for the partner. I am fascinated by the history of American set dancing, and I like to lead workshops that explore the underpinnings of today's zesty dances. I like to help dancers to understand and appreciate the mighty connection between the glory of the dance experience and the magic of the music.

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