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Folklore & Allied Professions

Welcome to a growing reservoir of information and pathways that can lead you to more information, people, and organizations in the field of folklore and allied fields.


FOLK ARTS & CULTURE:   Folklore and Allied Professions

Allied Ethnomusicology and Music & Dance Organizations

American Banjo Fraternity
Paul Heilman, Executive Secretary
E-mail: abfbanjo@rochester.rr.com

The American Banjo Fraternity (ABF) is a non-profit organization devoted to the interests of the 5-String “classic” banjo. This banjo is strung with nylon or gut strings and played with the bare fingers — fingerstyle. The Fraternity was founded in the 1940s and today has over 300 members worldwide. The ABF publishes 5-STRINGER magazine, with historical and educational articles, advice on banjo technique, musical selections, rally reviews and photos, and notes on individual members and happenings. The ABF also maintains an extensive library of Classic 5-String Banjo music, made available to members for nominal postal and copy costs. The Fraternity hosts two rallies each year (May and October) at various locations. These get-togethers feature special educational programs, a business meeting, a Saturday banquet, and lots of banjo playing and discussion.

Anabella Lenzu / DanceDrama
Anabella Lenzu, Artistic Director
E-mail: info@anabellalenzu.com

Anabella Lenzu / DanceDrama introduces people to contemporary dance and develops cultural, educational and artistic exchanges between New York and communities in Argentina, Chile, Italy among others. Anabella Lenzu / DanceDrama offers a variety of educational programs, holding regular classes in New York, along with: lectures/demonstrations, master classes, workshops and residencies for primary and secondary schools, universities and colleges, dance studios, cultural centers and any institution.

Andy’s Front Hall
P.O. Box 307, Wormer Road
Voorheesville, NY 12186
Fax 518/765-4344
E-mail: mail@andysfronthall.com

Andy’s Front Hall has been a mail-order source of folk, traditional and acoustic music recordings, books, instruments and accessories for over 30 years. As of May 1, 2005, Andy’s Front Hall is no longer a full service mail order business. They will continue to make available self-produced books and recordings on their website, as well as other selected items. Discontinued stock is being sold at discounted prices.

Arabic Music Retreat
E-mail: kaycam@aol.com
Simon Shaheen’s Sixteenth Annual Arabic Music Retreat was held from August 11–18, 2012, at Mt. Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. In 1982, Shaheen formed the Near Eastern Music Ensemble in New York, establishing a group that would perform the highest standard of traditional Arab music. This time also marked the beginning of Shaheen’s workshops and lecture/demonstrations in schools, colleges, and universities to educate the younger generation. To continue this exposure to Arab music and culture, Shaheen founded the Annual Arabic Music Retreat in 1997. Held each summer at Mount Holyoke College, this weeklong intensive program of Arabic music studies draws participants from the U.S. and abroad. You can download the informational and registration brochure from the website or join the Retreat e-mail list for future events.

Arhoolie Foundation
10341 San Pablo Avenue
El Cerrito, CA 94530
Fax 510/525-1204
E-mail: foundation@arhoolie.org
The Arhoolie Foundation was established in 1995 for the purpose of helping to document, present, and disseminate authentic traditional and regional vernacular music. Through their activities, the Foundation seeks to educate as well as support and reinforce traditional and community values. One example of the Foundation’s projects is their Sacred Steel Instrument Fund, providing a source of instruments to talented musicians and supporting the African-American sacred steel guitar musical tradition, described in the NYFS’s Voices article, Sacred Steel and the Empire State. Their website provides information on how to join the foundation, Foundation news, and a listing of projects funded to date. The non-profit foundation shares its name, but is a separate organization from Arhoolie Records where you can purchase tradtional music on-line.

Berea College
Appalachian Sound Archives Fellowship Program

Harry Rice
Special Collections & Archives
Berea College
Berea, KY 40404
E-mail: harry_rice@berea.edu

The purpose of the Appalachian Sound Archives Fellowship Program is to encourage scholarly use of Berea’s non-commercial audio collections that document Appalachian history and culture, especially the areas of traditional music, religious expression, spoken lore, and radio programs. Fellowship awards in support of such research are for one month with stipends of $3,000.

Berggren Folk.com
99 Grove Street
Ballston Spa, NY 12020
E-mail: dberggren@nycap.rr.com
The website Berggren Folk.com provides information about recordings and concerts of Dan Berggren. Dan Berggren has been collecting, writing, and singing folk music of the Adirondacks for the past 30 years, with a style that captures the spirit of the mountains. A familiar voice at coffeehouses, museums, schools and libraries throughout New York State, Dan has also sung at festivals in Vermont, Connecticut, Michigan and Kentucky, and at concerts in Zimbabwe and Bulgaria. You can sign up for Dan’s newsletter for the latest information on his concerts and special events.

Caffè Lena
47 Phila Street
P.O. Box 245
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
E-mail: sarah@caffelena.org
Caffè Lena is widely recognized as the oldest continuously operating coffeehouse in the United States. Opened in 1960, the café has helped to launch many of America’s best loved songwriters, including Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, Ani DiFranco, and many more. Upon the death of our founder, Lena Spencer, in 1989, Caffè Lena was converted to a non-profit institution. Run by a small paid staff, a Board of Directors, and a team of volunteers, Caffè Lena remains true to Lena’s founding vision of simplicity, kindness to strangers, and art above profit. Check the calendar, join the mailing list or find out more about reservations or bookings on-line. Check out the Caffè Lena History Project to see images, submit your stories, and learn how you can get involved in our documentary project to preserve America’s oldest continuously running folk music coffeehouse.

Center for Ethnomusicology
Prof. Dieter Christensen, Director
701C Dodge, MC1815
Columbia University
Broadway at 116th Street
New York, NY 10027
Fax 212/854-8191
E-mail: dc22@columbia.edu

The Center for Ethnomusicology, established in 1967 as a resource for teaching and research in ethnomusicology in the Department of Music at Columbia University, contains archives of sound and video recordings. A selective catalog can be accessed from their web site. The Center also sponsors colloquia and other events, with the schedule available on the web site.

Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann
North American Branch
14A North East Isles Drive
North East, MD 21901
E-mail: admin@ccenorthamerica.org
Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (CCE) (pronounced "kol-tus kyol-tori air-in") is an international organization based in Dublin, Ireland, committed to the preservation and practice of traditional Irish arts such as music, singing, dance, and language. "Fleadh Cheoil" is the official title for a musical festival sponsored by CCE to propagate, consolidate and perpetuate Irish traditional music, both vocal and instrumental. Information on the festival for the Mid-Atlantic region can be found here.

DanceFlurry Organization
Bill Matthiesen, President
Doug Haller, Administrative Director
P.O. Box 448
Latham, NY 12110-0448
E-mail: danceinfo@danceflurry.org
The DanceFlurry Organization supports traditional dance and music events in the Capital-Saratoga region, sponsoring a local dance series and special events such as the Dance Flurry Festival and the Adirondack Dance weekend. You can subscribe to a monthly calendar about traditional dance events in the Capital-Saratoga region from their webpage, as well as receive announcements about the Dance Flurry Festival, a weekend with dances, performances, workshops, jamming, and crafts. The 2008 Festival, February 15-17, features over 600 performers in seven venues. More information about tickets and performers can be found on their website.

English Folk Dance and Song Society
Cecil Sharp House
2 Regent’s Park Road
London NW1 7AY
E-mail: webmaster@efdss.org
The English Folk Dance and Song Society has been committed to the preservation and promotion of traditional song and dance in England for over one hundred years. The Folk Music Journal is the scholarly journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society and has a particularly close association with the Society’s Vaughan Williams Memorial Library (VWML); it is free to members and may be purchased by non-members. VWML launched its collections on-line on May 6, 2006. Indexes to the collections of some of the best-known folk music collectors of the twentieth century are now available on the Library’s website, searchable by titles, the source singers’ names, and their place of residence and dates of collection. The indexes are also linked to the Roud Folk Song Index, a monumental database of 146,000 references to songs collected from oral tradition all over the English-speaking world.

Ethnomusicology Archives
Music Library
Room 113, Music Building
University of Washington
Box 353450
Seattle, WA 98195-3450
E-mail: musiclib@u.washington.edu

The Ethnomusicology, Folk Music, and World Music Archives web site is a listing of links to organizations, institutions, archives, periodicals and publications, recording labels and distributors, and sites by geographical region. A great resource.
Folk Alliance International
Louis Jay Meyers, Executive Director
510 South Main
Memphis TN 38103
Fax 901/522-1172 Fax 301/588-8186
E-mail: fa@folk.org
Founded in 1989, the Folk Alliance is the realization of a vision that one organization could bind together the vast community of folk music and dance throughout North America, and become an important part of a movement to strengthen and spread the extraordinary traditions of folk music and dance. Each year in February, the Folk Alliance hosts a conference that includes showcases, panel discussions and workshops, dances and jam sessions, and an exhibit hall filled with artists, agents, record companies, presenters, and organizations designed to facilitate the exchange of information and business opportunities.

Heritage Folk Music
P.O. Box 746
Saugerties, NY 12477
E-mail: heritagefolkmusic@gmail.com
Heritage Folk Music, Inc. is organized as a not for profit group to collect, preserve, document, display, and interpret the regional and historic folk music, folklore and oral history of New York State, including specifically the Catskill Mountains and Hudson River Valley.

Hymns and Carols of Christmas
Douglas D. Anderson
E-mail: doug97309@yahoo.com
Anderson’s site, Hymns and Carols of Christmas has as its goal to have the largest collection of hymns and carols of Christmas ever published in the English language. As of September, 2007, the site had 2,749 hymns and carols (including variations), plus several hundred Christmas poems and prose. This site is donation-ware. Anderson prefers, if you have received a benefit from this site, that you make a donation to a children’s hospital, a women’s shelter, a soup kitchen or food bank, or a similar charity.

The H. Wiley Hitchcock Institute for Studies in American Music

Ellie M. Hisama, Director
Conservatory of Music
Brooklyn College, CUNY
2900 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11210
Fax 718/951-4858
E-mail: isam@brooklyn.cuny.edu

The H. Wiley Hitchcock Institute for Studies in American Music, part of the Conservatory of Music, is a research and information center that encourages and supports the study of American music of all periods and styles. ISAM’s research collections include books, periodicals, scores, microfilms, and records, available to students and scholars by appointment. ISAM sponsors conferences, lectures, symposia, and concerts.
International Council for Traditional Music
Stephen Wild, Secretary General
Lee Anne Proberts, Executive Assistant
International Council for Traditional Music
ICTM School of Music
The Australian National University
Building 100
Canberra, ACT 0200 Australia
(+61-2) 6125 5700
Fax: (+61-2) 6125 9775
E-mail: secretariat@ictmusic.org
The International Council on Traditional Music (ICTM) was founded in 1947, in London, England, by scholars and musicians as The International Folk Music Council. Ralph Vaughan Williams was its first president. In 1949, the Council was one of the Founding Members of the International Music Council-UNESCO, and is currently a non-governmental organization (NGO) in formal consultative relations with UNESCO. ICTM seeks to further the study, practice, documentation, preservation and dissemination of traditional music, including folk, popular, classical and urban music, and dance of all countries. ICTM world conferences are held biennially. Study groups hold periodic meetings; Study Groups current groups include Folk Musical Instruments, Historical Sources of Traditional Music, Ethnochoreology, Oceania , Iconography, Computer Aided Research, Music and Gender, Maqam, Music of the Arab World, Anthropology of Music in Mediterranean Cultures, Music and Minorities, and Music Archeology. The Council publishes the Yearbook for Traditional Music, the Bulletin of the ICTM, the Directory of Traditional Music, and other books and records.

Irish Music Center
Beth Sweeney, Director
John J. Burns Library
Boston College
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467-3801
Fax 617-552-3956
E-mail: imc@bc.edu
The Irish Music Center is an archival and listening center, committed to documenting the history of Irish traditional music in America. The center’s archives include commercial and field recordings, videorecordings, sheet music, manuscripts, photographs, memorabilia, and books about music. Many of the center’s archival holdings have been generously donated, including 78-rpm and LP recordings of solo instrumental music, sean nós singing, ensemble performances, céilí bands, and folk songs and ballads. The center also records performances and interviews at Boston College and works with the Irish Studies Program to sponsor Irish music events on campus.

Lark Camp
World Music & Dance Celebration
P.O. Box 1176
Mendocino, CA 95460 707/964-4826

E-mail: registration@larkcamp.com
Lark Camp—Lark In The Morning Music Celebration was begun in 1980 to provide a venue to allow traditional musicians and dancers to get together and share their music and dance. Lark Camp takes place every summer in the Mendocino Woodlands State Park, a National Historic Landmark built in the 1930s, nestled in 700 acres of redwood trees, ferns, and glades along both sides of the Little North Fork of the Big River in Northern California, near the coastal village of Mendocino. The New York Times described Lark Camp: “Part music-and-dance academy, part freewheeling hoedown, Lark Camp brings together specialists in American and world-music traditions — Cajun fiddlers, hula dancers, Andean panpipe experts, Galician accordionists — who teach workshops and lead late-night jam sessions around campfires beneath the stretching redwoods.” Visit their website for information on this year’s camp, including workshop schedules, travel and registration information. And, check out their YouTube video page to see the camp in action.

La Troupe Makandal
Dr. Lois Wilcken,
Executive Director

E-mail: makandal@earthlink.ne
La Troupe Makandal is New York ’s center for Haitian drum and dance. La Troupe Makandal beats the drums of Vodou to represent the spirit of Haiti’s history and culture in theaters and schools. Begun in 1973 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, the company left Haiti in 1981, regrouping in New York City, where it attracted new artists, both Haitians and friends of Haiti who are inspired by the company’s dedication to black history and culture. The company has distinguished itself in the United States for its theatrical representations of Vodou, a powerful but poorly understood form of Afro-Haitian spirituality. Under the direction of Master Drummer Frisner Augustin, an NEA Heritage Fellow (1999), the company has produced performances that link Haitian history and culture, challenge ingrained stereotypes, and preserve and develop Haitian music and dance traditions. The Executive Director of La Troupe Makandal, Dr. Lois Wilcken, is a professional ethnomusicologist who has published books, essays, and reviews, primarily about traditional Haitian drumming and dance, has presented her research at conferences in the United States and abroad.

Mariachi Academy
Ramón Ponce Jr., Executive Director St Paul School in East Harlem
114 East 118th Street
New York, NY 10035
E-mail: info@mariachiacademyny.org

The Mariachi Academy of New York (MANY) is a community-based cultural initiative of the Center for Traditional Music & Dance (CTMD). MANY is keeping the Mexican heritage and culture alive in one of New York—s fastest-growing immigrant populations while sharing Mexican traditions across cultures through participation and performance. A community-led not-for-profit corporation, MANY works to develop the skills in musical training, discipline, creativity, and self-esteem while strengthening language, team working skills and a strong sense of identity to youth in New York.

Ted McGraw
E-mail: mcgraw@netacc.net
Ted McGraw’s web site has information for the record collector and for those in need of audio restoration services. A specialist in restoration, Ted can put your old recordings on CD or transfer your records or cassettes to CD or DAT or cassettes. The technology he employs makes it possible to remove much of the noise from old recordings without losing the quality of the original music. You can also find links from Ted's site to his Irish music radio shows, the "Irish Party House" and "Ol’ Fiddler" on WRUR in Rochester.

Mid-Atlantic Chapter of The Society for Ethnomusicology (MACSEM)
Jonathan Dueck,
President (2006-2007)
The Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology (MACSEM) is a chapter organization of The Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM). MACSEM was established in 1981 and includes members from the states of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and the District of Columbia. MACSEM’s annual meeting (academic conference), held in late winter or spring, offers members a forum for presenting new work or work in progress, and opportunities to facilitate growth, professionalization and exchange among ethnomusicologists in the region.

Mid-Atlantic Region of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann
E-mail: usamidatlantic@comhaltas.net
The Mid-Atlantic Region of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (CCE) has a website that provides lovers of Irish traditional culture a clearinghouse of information about Irish cultural events—concerts, dances, classes and more that take place throughout the Mid-Atlantic Irish community — with a mailing list and events calendar. There are nine Branches in the Mid-Atlantic Region, representing New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and the District of Columbia, of this international organization described above (see Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann).

Mudcat Café
Max D. Spiegel
P.O. Box 3006
West Chester, PA 19381
Mudcat Café has about 9000 songs in their Digital Tradition Database. If you don’t find what you are looking for in the database, you can post to their Forum. At their Mudcat Blues Museum, you can read about your favorite blues artists and get a tour of the blues. Some of the site’s features require you join; membership is free.

Music for the Nation
American Sheet Music 1870-1885

Music Division, Library of Congress
Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music, 1870-1885 consists of over 47,000 pieces of sheet music registered for copyright during the years 1870 to 1885. Included are popular songs, piano music, sacred and secular choral music, solo instrumental music, method books and instructional materials, and music for band and orchestra.

Music from China
170 Park Row, #12D
New York, NY 10038
Fax 212/625-8586
E-mail: muschina@echonyc.com
Music From China (MFC) is a musical ensemble based in New York City that introduces audiences to traditional as well as contemporary Chinese music. Discover the sights and sounds of “silk strings and bamboo winds” with fiddles, lutes, plucked zithers, bamboo flutes, reeded mouth organs, and hammered dulcimers. Step back in time for several millennia and hear the ancient sounds of the sheng and the pipa, or listen to the compelling music of the erhu. The percussive strength of drums, gongs, cymbals, and woodblocks summons the spirit of ancient music and invokes the vitality of folk music and traditional opera. In addition to performing concerts, the group conducts lectures and workshop and offers in-school programs that integrate the study of China with the experience of live music and hands-on learning.

New York Pinewoods Folk Music Club
450 Seventh Avenue, Suite 972-D
New York, NY 10123
E-mail: nypinewood@aol.com
The New York Pinewoods Folk Music Club (The Folk Music Society of New York, Inc.) sponsors concerts, classes, singing parties, and get-togethers focusing on traditional folk music. The FolkFone has a weekly listing of folk music concerts and events in and around New York City. The Folk Music Club also produces a monthly newsletter.

New York State Old Tyme Fiddlers’ Association
P.O. Box 24
Redfield, NY 13437
E-mail: chereshn@northnet.org
The New York State Old Tyme Fiddlers’ Association is an oraganization for those who enjoy playing or listening to old tyme fiddle music and helping to preserve this music in America. Throughout the summer, there are weekly weekend concerts in the Fiddlers’ Pavillion at the North American Fiddlers Hall of Fame in Osceola, New York. Check the calendar for upcoming events.

Niagara Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology
The Niagara Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology has traditionally included ethnomusicologists from Ontario, Western New York, Western Pennsylvania, and Eastern Ohio. There are, however, no geographic restrictions on participation, so anyone in the region interested in ethnomusicology is welcomed. All of the chapter’s announcements, communications and programs are arranged by e-mail. To be included on this e-mail list, please contact: Rahkonen@iup.edu.

Old Songs, Inc.
37 South Main St.
P.O. Box 466
Voorheesville, NY 12186
Fax 518/765-4344
E-mail: oldsongs@oldsongs.org
Old Songs, Inc. is a not-for-profit, educational organization dedicated to keeping traditional music and dance alive. With concerts, dances, classes and yearly festival, Old Songs brings traditional music, dance and storytelling to more than 12,000 people each year. The annual three-day Old Songs Festival of Traditional Music and Dance is held every June.

Kayamanan Ng Lahi
Philippine Folk Arts

Joel Jacinto, Cultural Program Director
E-mail: kayamanan@earthlink.net
Kayamanan Ng Lahi was founded in 1990 to preserve, present and promote the richness and diversity of the Philippine culture through dance and music. Since its inception, Kayamanan Ng Lahi has played a leadership role in providing technical assistance and training, and consultation, in providing innovative and culturally appropriate performances (edutainments) in folk dance education and instruction. and in planning numerous student, community folk dance groups throughout California and across the United States.

Performing Arts Encyclopedia
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave, SE
Washington, DC 20540

Performing Arts Encyclopedia — Explore music, theater, and dance at the Library of Congress. Search and browse descriptions of more than 235 music, theater and dance resources by subject, title, or name, with links to special exhibitions, presentations, webcasts, and collections.

The Polish Singers Alliance of America
Ms. Mary Lou T. Wyrobek, President 491 Amherst Street
Buffalo, NY 14207
E-mail: wyrobekM@canisius.edu

The Polish Singers Alliance of America (PSAA), was founded in Chicago in 1889. It is an organization of amateur choral groups primarily interested in the preservation and promotion of Polish choral music. With an objective of perpetuating and disseminating Polish culture, the Alliance has established adult, academic, and junior choruses in Polish communities of North America, and arranges conventions, concerts and competitions.

Stan Ransom: The Connecticut Peddler
35 Iowa Street
Plattsburgh, NY 12903
E-mail: sransom@northnet.org

Stan Ransom, the Connecticut Peddler, is a traditional folk musician who plays hammered dulcimer, autoharp, mandolin, and guitar. His six recordings reflect his interest in New England and NYS music and folklore. He has twice received a Certificate of Commendation from the American Association of State and Local History. His site includes information about his programs and recordings, including lyrics to "The Ice Storm of 1998."

Dave Ruch: Regional Song Traditions
155 St James Place
Buffalo NY 14222
E-mail: dave@daveruch.com

Dave Ruch is a performer, interpreter, and collector of traditional American and New York State folk songs. He gives over 325 concerts and workshops each year for schools, music festivals, libraries, historical societies, professional conferences, folk music organizations, museums and community events across New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Extensively involved in the arts-in-education field, he uses music to teach core curriculum and inspire young learners. Through concerts, workshops and residencies, he works with tens of thousands of students each year in preschool, primary, elementary, intermediate and middle school settings. His website provides information on various programs he has developed as well as his research into New York State traditional songs.

Gabriel Guzmán
31-82 36th Street, #3F Astoria, NY 11106
E-mail: info@semillanyc.com

Semilla is a collective of young Mexican musicians and dancers performing son jarocho, son huasteco and son de tarima in the New York City area. Hailing from diverse parts of Mexico, from Veracruz to Mexico City, Semilla focuses on the fandango, an ancient Mexican celebration with dance, music and poetry that originated in Veracruz, Mexico more that 300 years ago. The fandango is the result of the blend through all those years of Afro-Caribbean, Spanish and Indigenous influences.

Society for Ethnomusicology
Lyn Pittman
Business Office Coordinator
Indiana University
1165 E. 3rd Street
Bloomington, IN 47405-3700
Fax 812/855-6673
E-mail: sem@indiana.edu

The Society of Ethnomusicology promotes the research, study and performance of music in all historical periods and cultural contexts. Access information on the Society’s programs and publications as well as links to ethnomusicology-related sites from their web site.

Traditional Music and Spoken Word Catalog
Library of Congress
American Folklife Center
101 Independence Ave. SE
Washington, D.C. 20540-4610
E-mail: folklife@loc.gov

Traditional Music and Spoken Word Catalog — This searchable database provides bibliographic information on approximately 34,000 ethnographic sound recordings. Most were recorded between 1933 and 1950.


Other Allied Organizations

Is your organization missing from our resources page? E-mail us with your organization name, applicable program or center name, address, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail address, director’s name and title, an organizational description of 75 words or less, the URL of your web site. We will consider all submissions but reserve the right to select and edit those we feel are most appropriate for this site.

Changes? Is your organization here, but you’ve moved, changed your email or your leadership, or introduced new programs you would like to highlight, then please help us keep this page updated. Email nyfs@nyfolklore.org with any updates.

NEW YORK FOLKLORE SOCIETY ♦ 129 Jay Street ♦ Schenectady, NY 12305 ♦ 518.346.7008 ♦ Fax 518.346.6617 ♦ nyfs@nyfolklore.org