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North Carolina Folk Festival

Staff reports / September 8, 2023

Phil Wiggins and Hubby Jenkins

The North Carolina Folk Festival announced the performers who will appear on its stages in downtown Greensboro this weekend, September 8, 9, and 10.

A large-scale, free-admission, outdoor event, the N.C. Folk Fest celebrates the rich diversity of America’s roots and heritage, as well as North Carolina’s regional traditions. The performers announced hail from and are anchored in rich musical and dance traditions from North Carolina and Southwest Virginia.

Artists announced include:


  • Demeanor (Hip-Hop) from Greensboro, N.C. Justin Harrington, referred to by his stage name “Demeanor”, is a rapper, producer, musician, and songwriter from Greensboro, North Carolina most known for his merging of Black American Roots music with Hip-Hop. In 2021 he was the first rapper to do a full hip-hop set on the mainstage at Newport Folk Festival, as well as curating a hip-hop series on the mainstage of the North Carolina Folk Festival. He has since made his debut on NPR’s Tiny desk with Jake Blount. The first banjo-playing rapper, Harrington bridges the gap between tradition and innovation while celebrating the many facets of the Black American Music Tradition. Currently he is working on the documentary series “Underground Everywhere” he filmed with Studio 176 in South Africa in collaboration with FoundSound Nation, Altblck, and the US Embassy in South Africa. The next will be produced by Rhiannon Giddens and will shoot in August of 2023 in Jamaica.
  • Phil Wiggins and Hubby Jenkins (Piedmont Blues) from Takoma Park, MD and Brooklyn, NY. Phil Wiggins is one of the nation’s foremost players of acoustic blues harmonica. A native of Washington, D.C., his playing is rooted in the melodic Piedmont Blues, a gentle and melodic blues style of the mid-Atlantic region. In 2017, Phil Wiggins received the National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. The award honors national treasures in the American folk arts but also individuals who have dedicated their lives to sharing their craft with others, helping to ensure that their work lives on. Hubby Jenkins is a multi-instrumentalist who endeavors to share his love and knowledge of old-time American music. Born and raised in Brooklyn he delved into his Southern roots, following the thread of African American history that wove itself through country blues, ragtime, fiddle and banjo, and traditional jazz. Hubby was an integral part of the Grammy award winning Carolina Chocolate Drops (2010 – 2016), as well as a member of Rhiannon Giddens’ band. Today he spreads his knowledge and love of old-time American music and history through his dynamic solo performances.

These outstanding artists join the following performers, who have already been announced:

  • Leyla McCalla (Haitian and American roots music)
  • Kevin Doyle’s Roscommon Soles (Traditional Irish Step Dance & Music)
  • Riyaaz Qawwali (Qawwali / Sufi Music from South Asia)
  • Damn The Banjos (Americana, Blues and roots rock music)
  • Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole (Cajun and Traditional Creole Music)
  • Zoe & Cloyd (Klezgrass)
  • Ethno USA (International folk music exchange program)
  • Dedicated Men of Zion (Gospel)
  • Faith & Harmony (Gospel)
  • Ric Robertson Band (American Songwriter)
  • Nani Vazana (Ladino songs of the Jewish Sephardic diaspora)
  • Cimarrón (Musica Llanera)
  • Maritzaida (Boleros)
  • Sarah Kate Morgan (Appalachian Mountain Dulcimer)
  • Green Grass Cloggers (Appalachian Clogging)
  • Little Stony Nighthawks (Old-Time)
  • Josh Goforth & Bryan McDowell (Bluegrass and Old-Time)

To learn more about these artists and their stories, please visit


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Since 1967, the Carolina Peacemaker has served as North Carolina’s leading news weekly with a national reputation. Founded by Dr. John Kilimanjaro, the newspaper is published by Carolina Newspaper, Inc.

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