fauxklore (fauxklore) wrote,


One of the themes of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival this year has to do with the African-American oral tradition, which includes poetry, music, and storytelling. The festival will pick up again on Wednesday, but there was an associated event tonight at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. (The Millennium Stage, by the way, is one of the great things about Washington, D.C. There is a free performance every single night of the year at 6:00 p.m., many of which are then made available on the web.) Tonight's show featured Mitchell G. Capel and Diane Ferlatte.

Mitchell performes as "Gran'daddy Junebug" and pretty much does stories in rhyme. I had not heard him before and enjoyed his stuff for the most part, though I did find a few pieces a bit on the preachy side. I was particularly pleased by his telling of "The Jealous Farmer," his version of a story that I've heard Leslie Perry tell frequently over the years.

I had heard Diane Ferlatte tell several times in the past and I've always enjoyed her range and energy, as she makes extensive use of song, movement, and audience participation. As usual, it was just a lot of fun listening to her tell.

Now, I just need to find time to get over to the Mall for some of the actual festival. (Work was particularly insane today, as I had to cover a meeting for my boss's deputy at next to no notice. Is it just me or is it weird to schedule a meeting to run from 10:00 to 12:46? That's in addition to having under an hour to review a 93 page budget document and doing the usual Monday status for our seniors. Whew!)
Tags: storytelling, work

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