We be jammin’: Anchorage Folk Fest turns 30 this year

Sometimes the Anchorage Folk Fest leads to music jams around town, like this one at the Bear Tooth Theatre in 2016. (Photo courtesy Anchorage Folk Festival)


Is it possible? Could the Anchorage Folk Festival really be 30 years old this year? That means my daughter was born the year the festival started. Now that’s a sobering thought! And reason to celebrate.

On the next Hometown Alaska, we’ll talk about the upcoming festival, which opens with a kick-off part January 16 and continues through January 28. The festival has selected its guests artists: Week One will feature Dan Tyminski, who provided the singing voice for George Clooney’s on-screen character in “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?” You might remember him best for “I am a man of constant sorrow,” which earned him many accolades.

Week One also showcases Taylor Smith & the Roamin’ Jasmine, with “rejuvenated interpretations of 1920s country blues, 1950s New Orleans R&B, vintage Calypso from Trinidad, 1930s swing, and even some 1950s Country tunes, mixed in with original songs.”

Western Centuries, “a honky-tonk super group…”that creates a sound that moves beyond the constraints of country,” and musicians Ben Winship and Eli West headline Week Two.

In addition, there are workshops and dances and lots of local musicians performing throughout the festival.

But since this is the big 3-0 anniversary, we’ll hear stories of the festival’s earliest days. And ways that an all-volunteer, non-profit, grassroots music festival carries on year after year after year.

HOSTKathleen McCoy


  • Joel Kadarauch, Anchorage Folk Festival volunteer and musician
  • Mary Schallert, Anchorage Folk Festival, musician and teacher
  • Jamie Whiteman, Anchorage Folk Festival, musician with Tanana Rafters



  • Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752 (statewide) during the live broadcast (2:00 – 3:00pm)
  • Send e-mail to hometown@alaskapublic.org before, during or after the live broadcast (e-mails may be read on air)
  • Post your comment or question below (comments may be read on air)
  • LIVE: Monday, January 7, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.
  • REPEAT: Monday, January 7, 2018 at 8:00 p.m.


Previous articleSingle-use plastic bag ban takes effect in Unalaska
Next articleMurkowski aims to revive public lands bill, despite objection