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Family jams: Folk fest appeals to all ages with diverse entertainment

The Albuquerque Folk Festival brings musicians of various backgrounds together to entertain, teach and inspire the young and the young at heart.

The festival, on Saturday, June 3, at the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum, features three stages, jam sessions, dance, storytelling and an abundance of workshops.

“The thing that is so wonderful about the folk festival is that you have so many different types of music and they’re all kind of accessible music and people can really feel a part of it,” said Albuquerque Folk Festival publicity director Rose Day. “They can actually get involved in playing in workshops and singing.”

Eventgoers can also participate and enjoy various types of dance inside the museum. Dances includes Argentine tango, clogging, contra dance, international folk dance, Irish step dance and more.

There will be a number of musical acts of various genres on three stages: Jemez, Sandia and the (Nearly) Unplugged Outlet, which showcases mostly unplugged performances, including the Special Orchestra. The orchestra is a nonprofit organization with the mission to help people with developmental disabilities share in the joy of making music, according to Day.

“We have a really diverse thing culturally,” Day said. “We’ve got gypsy blues and folk jazz. We’ve got bluegrass. We’ve got Americana and Chicana. We’ve got an Irish and Appalachian duo, PĂșca. (We have) a Native American, who plays flute and is a singer-songwriter and a storyteller, I think that will be really interesting. (His name is) Randy Granger. He’s from Las Cruces. The Adobe Brothers, who are perennial favorites. The Adobe Brothers, I think most people locally know them. They do a variety bluegrass, folk, old-time, fiddle, Western swing, Celtic. They’re really good musicians, and they’re a lot of fun.”

Other performers include Bayou Seco, which performs Cajun and cowboy music, and an all-female honky-tonk group called the Merlettes, who are inspired by the music of country legend Merle Haggard.

Children try out instruments at the 2016 Albuquerque Folk Festival. (Courtesy of Dave Straub)

There are also a number of activities for children, including drum playing and “Song Spiral,” which involves rhyming, giggling, wiggling, laughing and goofing.

“It’s a good family event, because there are things that kids can do,” Day said. “It’s very much all-ages, from the little ones to the gray-haired folks.”

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