The 16th annual Four Corners Folk Festival will take place Sept. 2, 3 and 4 on Reservoir Hill in downtown Pagosa Springs.
This year’s lineup is a very special one; headlining the three days will be Cape Breton fiddler Natalie MacMaster, LA supergroup Los Lobos, and R&B bluesman Keb’ Mo’.
The rest of the festival lineup reflects a huge pool of talent as well and includes Jackie Greene, Punch Brothers, Jimmy LaFave, The Infamous Stringdusters, Cousin Harley, Chatham County Line, Joy Kills Sorrow, the Black Lillies, Anne and Pete Sibley, Caravan of Thieves, MilkDrive and more to be announced.
Cape Breton fiddler Natalie MacMaster is an electrifying performer whose passionate proficiency on the beloved four-string fiddle amplifies the traditional East Coast sound for contemporary times.
It’s a signature sound that has resonated with world audiences through 10 albums, multiple gold sales figures and 27 years; numerous Juno and East Coast Music Awards. She also has the respect and admiration of the crème de la crème of top-notch musicians: master violinist Mark O’Connor, whose camp MacMaster frequents as a guest instructor; legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma; fellow fiddling marvel Alison Krauss; spiritually electrifying superstar guitarist Carlos Santana — the list goes on.
Her audiences are left clapping, hollering and screaming for more as MacMaster and her band wow them with stylistic diversity. The applause only increases in excitement when MacMaster incorporates step dancing into her performance. But it’s her majesty with the bow and her intricate technique in making the fiddle sing and championing the Cape Breton tradition that floors her admirers for over 100 shows per year.
Natalie MacMaster will close the show on Friday, Sept. 2.
More than three decades have passed since Los Lobos released their debut album, “Just Another Band from East L.A.” Since then they’ve repeatedly disproven that title — Los Lobos isn’t “just another” anything, but rather a band that has consistently evolved artistically while never losing sight of their humble roots.
A rare example of longevity in a volatile music world that stresses style over substance, Los Lobos’ lineup has remained uninterrupted since 1984, when saxophonist/keyboardist Steve Berlin joined original members Pérez, Hidalgo, Rosas and Lozano, each of whom had been there since the beginning in 1973.
“This is what happens when five guys create a magical sound, then stick together for 30 years to see how far it can take them,” wrote Rolling Stone, and indeed, Los Lobos is a band that continually redefines itself and expands its scope with each passing year, while never losing sight of where they came from. Through sheer camaraderie and respect for one another’s musicality, they’ve continued to explore who Los Lobos is and what they have to offer, without succumbing to the burnout that plagues so many other bands that stick it out for any considerable length of time. Their influence is vast, yet they remain humble, centered and dedicated to their craft. Each new recording they make moves Los Lobos into another new dimension while simultaneously sounding like no one else in the world but Los Lobos. They will headline the festival on Saturday, Sept. 3.
Keb’ Mo’ is a three–time Grammy Award winner for Best Contemporary Blues Album; and a key figure in the acclaimed 2003 PBS series Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues. His latest release, “The Reflection,” is the first new studio album by Keb’ Mo’ since Suitcase in 2006. But The Reflection is not, in essence, a blues album. In sound and spirit, it’s closer to the work of African–American “folk soul” singer/songwriters like Bill Withers, Bobby Womack, and Terry Callier.
The 12 songs on the album are the product of an important period of personal and professional growth for the artist formerly known as Kevin Moore. During that time, he started a new family; moved from Los Angeles to Nashville; built a state–of–the–art home studio, and founded his own label, Yolabelle International, distributed by Ryko and the Warner Music Group.
Through all the changes of the past several years, Keb’ Mo’ found time to play a couple of hundred shows on several continents. He composed and recorded music for the acclaimed TNT series “Memphis Beat,” starring Jason Lee and Alfre Woodward. And he wrote some of the best songs of his career for The Reflection — material strong enough to attract such notable guests as country music superstar Vince Gill, nouveau–soul chanteuse India.Arie, saxophonist Dave Koz, and veteran session guitarist David T. Walker.
Keb’ Mo’ and his band will perform the final set of the festival on Sunday, Sept. 4.
The Four Corners Folk Festival is a family friendly event, with free children’s activities including arts & crafts and magic shows, and free festival admission for kids 12 and under who are accompanied by a paying parent or guardian. Seating is general admission, with 1300 chairs under the big tent and room for plenty more chairs and tarps in the meadow and tree seating outside the tent.
FolkWest is a Colorado cultural non-profit that receives financial support from Colorado Creative Industries, the El Pomar Foundation, the Ballantine Family Fund and the La Plata Electric Round Up Foundation.
A complete schedule of festival performances, performer bios and web sites, and ticket information can be found at www.folkwest.com. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling (877) 472-4672. Tickets are anticipated to sell out in advance for Saturday and Sunday’s performances.