Bohola: This legendary and influential Irish duo from Chicago features Irish Champion accordion player, Jimmy Keane, and Pat Broaders’ superb bouzar.
Kiu Haghighi: Having learned his craft as a young Persian in Iran, Haghighi is a master santour player who performed at the American Folklife Center – Library of Congress in 2011.
Lanialoha Lee and Aloha Lives!: A 2012 Arts awardee, Kumu Hula Lanialoha Lee performs traditional Hawiian music and has taught over a thousand folks in the Chicago area to play Hawaiian ukulele and dance hula kahiko.
Etherton Switch: Southern Illinois’ most notable bluegrass band is supported by the ultra-skilled, German-born mandolinist Mark Stoffel.
Dennis Stroughmatt and L’Espirit Creole: Half folklorist and half performer, Dennis Stroughmatt reshapes creole and cajun music from his Illinois home.
Yang Wei: Most well known as part of Yo Yo Ma’s “Silk Road Project,” Wei works out of the Chicago region and is internationally known on the Chinese pipa.
Juvenato: Led by Chicago accordion player Hernan Caraballo, Juvenato draws heavily on the traditional vallenato and cumbia styles of Colombian music.
Bill Robinson: Perhaps the most well-known hammer dulcimer player in the Midwest, Robinson has also spent decades teaching others from Illinois to play the instrument.
Chris Vallillo: A nationally acclaimed singer/songwriter and folk musician who makes the people and places of “unmetropolitan” America come to life in song, Vallillo is a multi-instrumentalist know for his unique bottleneck slide guitar playing.
Katherine Davis and John Kattke: Continuing a long tradition of powerful female Chicago blues vocalists, Davis can often be heard with acclaimed bandleader-keyboardist Brother John Kattke. They are joined by Chicago guitarist/songwriter Bucky Halker for this track.
The Hoyle Brothers: Bucking Nashville’s predilection for over-produced pop country, the Hoyles join a long line of Chicago bands offering genuine, straight-ahead, honky-tonk country.
Bahri Karacay: Saz player and Turkish native Karacay works in the University of Iowa Pediatrics Department when not offering educational concerts around the state.
Doug and Bonnie Miller: In addition to running Wisconsin’s Folklore Village, the Millers have been an active duo on the Illinois and Wisconsin folk concert schedules for twenty years.
T-Rroma: Fronted by Tamburitza Hall of Fame member, Joe Kirin, T-Rroma skillfully combines Serbian and Roma (Gypsy) music into a new brand of Chicago tamburitza.
Robert Bowlin and Wil Maring: Once a member of Bill Monroe’s band and a Nashville
session veteran, guitarist Bowlin often joins forces with Southern Illinois singer-songwriter Wil Maring.
Lamajamal: An eclectic mix of Middle Eastern, Balkan, and North African influences melded to a strong sense of tradition make this Chicago pan-ethnic band unique.
The Gordons: From Sparta, Illinois, Roberta and Gary Gordon have combined folk, bluegrass, and gospel to become a staple on the Illinois folk music scene for thirty five years.
Tsukasa Taiko: Filmmaker, jazz bassist, and culture bearer Tatsu Aoki serves as teacher and leader for this taiko drumming group, based in Chicago’s Japanese American Service Center.
Pop Wagner: Originally from Ohio, but now a long-time Minnesotan, musician and storyteller Wagner has been a key figure on the Midwest folk scene since his arrival in the 1960s.
Plavi Dunav Tamburitza: This popular tamburitza band performed throughout the Midwest with Mt. Olive, Illinois accordionist Ray Slapak at the helm.
Liz Carroll: An Irish Champion fiddler, National Heritage Award winner, and Grammy Nominee, Chicago native Liz Carroll continues to dominate the Irish music scene.