Inside Stories

Additional Acts Announced for 2024 Folk Festival

Lowell – Festival organizers today announced nine additional traditional musical acts from around the world and around the corner, who will perform on stages throughout downtown Lowell, MA  July 26-28 during the 37th Annual Lowell Folk Festival.

One of the most popular free folk festivals in the country, the Lowell Folk Festival has annually attracted audiences of all ages to experience this family-friendly celebration of traditional arts, crafts and food.

“This year, festival goers will get to hear music that truly spans the globe,” said Festival Director Lee Viliesis.  “Family is at the heart of so many musical traditions, and we seem to be leaning into that this year with seven family groups performing across the festival.”

Eddie Pennington/Caleb Coots

Considered by his peers to be the greatest living thumb pick style guitarist, Eddie Pennington, joined by his grandson—and up-and-coming picker himself—Caleb Coots, remains in constant demand at major gatherings of guitar players.

Western Kentucky’s Muhlenberg County and its neighboring communities are recognized as the birthplace of the complex guitar-playing style called “thumb picking,” and the Pennington family has kept that tradition alive.

The Polka Family Band

The Polka Family Band, from Bloomsburg, PA, is true to their name; a family affair over five decades in the making.

Founded in the 1970s by Frank (Gus) Guzevich and his wife, Manuela (Nellie), today the second and third generations of the Guzevich family keep the music alive.


Choro Das 3

Choro das 3 are three Brazilian sisters—Corina, Elisa, and Lia Meyer Ferreira—who play a multitude of instruments. Growing up in the countryside of São Paulo, their father Eduardo encouraged them to find an instrument to fall in love with, and each found their calling, attending and playing in weekly choro sessions. Choro das 3’s performances at the Lowell Folk Festival provide a unique opportunity to hear this complex and vibrant music.

A true family affair, Annie & the Caldwell Singers deliver the glorious quartet gospel singing of Annie Caldwell along with her husband and five of their children. From West Point, MS, their energetic and moving musical testimonies, blending fiery gospel sounds with the slow-burn groove of soul, have made them longtime favorites of the traditional gospel circuit.

Several other performers are also being announced today.  Boston-based Yoni Battat, leads an ensemble that is successfully revitalizing Arab music within the soundscape of American Jewish life. By performing traditional and original Mizrahi (Middle Eastern) Jewish music, Yoni hopes to broaden perceptions of Jewish cultural identity.

Swanky Kitchen Band

Swanky Kitchen Band is on a quest to revive the traditional music of the Cayman Islands, which the band calls home. An infectiously danceable fiddle-driven style, the kitchen dance sound, created through a crossroads of European and African influences, nearly disappeared save for the efforts of Swanky Kitchen Band, the last of the Caymanian kitchen bands.

Colorful regalia, resounding drumming, and fancy footwork are part of the rich panoply of experiences at a Native American powwow. Based in Jacksonville, FL, Native Pride Dancers will bring this excitement and artistry to Lowell, sharing their stories and teaching about the innovative blend of modern and traditional Native American dance styles featured in their performances.

Cabo Verdean music, a blend of African and Portuguese influences, is a familiar sound in coastal New England, home to large communities of Cabo Verdeans. Maria “Lutchinha” Neves Leite of Brockton, Massachusetts, arguably the finest Cabo Verdean singer to make her home in the United States, will delight audiences with the soulful sounds of this distinctive musical tradition.

Joe Hall has been called “the last of the Creole accordion players,” but his incomparable talent and undeniable joy for sharing the music of southwest Louisiana virtually guarantee a bright future for the tradition. He will be accompanied by the Cane Cutters, an all-star band of Creole, Cajun, and zydeco talents, sure to bring Lowell to the dance floor.

Performers previously announced for 2024 Lowell Folk Festival include The Friel Sisters, from Ireland, blues musician Sugaray Rayford, Korean Performing Arts Institute of Chicago, Kathak dancer Farah Yasmeen Shaikh, bluegrass band High Fidelity, and the Afro-Caribbean soul of  Afro DominicanoAlso on the schedule will be New Orleans funk and R&B master Cyril Neville, and Jesse Daniel who revives the classic “ Bakersfield sound” of honky-tonk.

For many, one of the highlights of the Lowell Folk Festival is Global Foods, which offers a wide array of international cuisines for sale,  all made by local non-profits representing the diverse ethnic cultures to be found in New England. Festivalgoers also have the opportunity to experience folk traditions in the visual and culinary arts. Experience Lowell Arts Market will feature over 50 area artists, craft makers, and organizations, enabling festival attendees and Lowell residents to experience everything that Mill City’s arts and culture community has to offer.

The Lowell Folk Festival is produced and supported by the Lowell Festival Foundation, the City of Lowell, Lowell National Historical Park, the National Council for the Traditional Arts, the Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Lowell Community Foundation, and the Greater Merrimack Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Additional details about the 2024 Lowell Folk Festival, including additional musical artists and schedules, and other programming will be announced soon. Visit or to stay posted on all future updates for the 2024 Lowell Folk Festival.

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