Shawn Conner offers five reasons to check out the Mission Folk Music Festival.
1. Pharis and Jason Romero
Two years ago, Pharis and Jason Romero’s Horsefly, B.C. shop burned down. The community rallied together to help the musicians, who are also makers of instruments. Inspired by their neighbours, the duo wrote and recorded Sweet Old Religion, their first album of entirely original songs. Pharis and Romero perform tracks from the album at the Mission Folk Music Festival, an annual event staged in a park overlooking the Fraser River.
2. Elage Diouf
The Senegalese-born (and now Montreal-based) singer and percussionist blends pop, world, blues, and folk. He sings in English, French and Wolof, and his live performances are known to explode into dance parties.
3. Noreum Machi
This Korean percussion group specializes in traditional music with a contemporary twist. The group’s name comes from a term used by Korean musicians to denote a combination of skill and timing attained only by the best players.
4. Matt Gordon and Leonard Podolak
A member of the Juno and Grammy Award-nominated Winnipeg band the Duhks, Podolak is a renowned clawhammer banjo player. Gordon is fiddler, clogger, and harmonica player. Together, they bring their love of traditional Appalachian music to the stage.
5. Twin Bandit
The Vancouver-based duo of Hannah Walker and Jamie Elliot layer ethereal harmonies over folk-pop melodies. They released their second album, Full Circle, last year.