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Folklife Center Concert Series Starts Wednesday

Get ready for some hula dancing, Cajun bands and gospel music at the American Folklife Center’s annual outdoor concert series, which kicks off this week.

The Wednesday opening concert will feature Irish music from Joe Derrane, who hails from the Boston area. Derrane established a reputation as one of the great Irish button accordion players at age 17.

The event begins at noon on the Neptune Plaza at the Library of Congress.

Traditional folk culture music is presented by the concert series to show musical creativity and heritage to people in the Washington area.

This year, states that never before have participated in the event will be on the Hill. Hawaiian hula dancers and native-Alaskan performers have never been showcased at the event.

“This brings the public the kinds of music they aren’t apt to hear in Washington,” said Helen Dalrymple, an LOC spokeswoman. “It’s a great opportunity to hear the music and see the kinds of dances that are only typical to the local area where they usually perform.”

The Library makes a large effort to reach out and work with states that have never before been represented in Washington so that people get a good representation of different kinds of music, Dalrymple said.

The series is part of the Library’s “I Hear America Singing” initiative to showcase American musical creativity and heritage. It is co-sponsored by the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage and the Folklore Society of Greater Washington.

Schedule of Performances

All concerts will take place on Neptune Plaza, on the west front of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building.

April 23

Joe Derrane: Irish American accordionist from Massachusetts

May 21

Halau O Kekuhi: Hawaiian mele hula ai’ha’a (hula music with dancing and drums)

June 18

Charivari: Cajun dance band from Louisiana

July 16

The Minnesota Scandinavian Ensemble and Becky Weis: Nordic music

Aug. 20

Robert Turner and the Silver Heart Singers: Gospel music from Indiana

Sept. 18

National Endowment for the Arts 2003 National Heritage Fellow

Oct. 8

Wylie and the Wild West: Cowboy and country music from Washington state

Nov. 12

Chuna McIntyre and the Nunumpta Yup’ik Dancers: Music and dance from Alaska

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