NEA National Heritage Fellowships

Podcasts

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Eddie Bond

Photo by Pat Jarrett

In Part 1 of my conversation with 2018 National Heritage Fellow and old-time fiddler Eddie Bond, we learned about his deep musical roots and the family and friends that nurtured them. Eddie said that the music has taken him to so many places, and in part 2, we follow him on these travels as Eddie brings his old-time fiddling across the country and around the world—beginning in an unlikely spot: Iraq during the Gulf War where Eddie served as a young soldier.

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Eddie Bond

Photo by Susi Lawson Photography

2018 National Heritage Fellow

Old-time fiddler Eddie Bond was born and bred in Grayson County, Virginia, which many consider the musical heart of Appalachian old-time music. Eddie himself comes from a rich musical heritage: he learned the guitar and flat-foot dancing from his grandmother, the banjo from his grandfather, and the fiddle from neighbors. He’s a stunning musical talent picking up all three instruments very quickly and excelling at each. But Eddie gave his heart to the fiddle—winning competitions and playing across the country and throughout the world. Because old-time music is so deeply rooted in place and because Eddie Bond is a great storyteller, this is a two-part podcast. In part 1, we’ll learn about Eddie’s upbringing, the place music had in his family’s life, his own playing, and talk about the roots of old-time music.

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Headshot of a woman.

Photo by Tom Pich

2018 National Heritage Fellow and African American Quilter

2018 National Heritage Fellow African American Quilter Marion Coleman is a story teller with fabric. Her narrative quilts depict personal stories, history, and portraits…from small nightclubs in Oakland to a series about Black Cowboys to the life story of the first African American woman pilot—Marion’s quilts create visual stories. She’s combines both traditional and contemporary quiltmaking techniques, using ceramics, whole garments, buttons, paper, and photographs in her quilts. Sometimes, she transfers photo imagery onto the quilt itself—which she then fills in with fabric. Her distinctive way of looking at the world is apparent in her conversation as well. Listen to the podcast and follow Marion from Texas to Oakland where she had a thirty year career as a social worker and became one of the most innovative quilters of her time.

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Photo by Richard Church, Pottawatomi and Ottawa

2018 National Heritage Fellow

2018 National Heritage Fellow Kelly Church is a black ash basket maker. An Anishinaabe belonging to the Gun Lake Potawami Band, Kelly combines the centuries-old tradition of tree harvesting and processing ash trees, creating ribbons of ash that she then weaves with her own keen visual sense which result in stunningly original baskets. Tied to her artistry is dep commitment to keeping this tradition not just alive but vital. She’s taken on a task that’s become more difficult and more urgent, since the ash tree is being destroyed by an invasive species the emerald ash borer. In this podcast, Kelly Church takes us on the journey of taking a living tree and recreating it as a basket, the significance of the black ash tree for the North East people, and the steps she’s taking to keeping this traditional art intact for the next generations.

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Photo by Mark Markley

2018 National Heritage Fellow

Chicana altarista and 2018 National Heritage Fellow Ofelia Esparza carries on and extends her family’s tradition of celebrating The Day of the Dead or Dia de los Muertos by creating altars to honor deceased loved ones and create a bridge between the living and the dead. She brings an artist’s eye to this cultural practice: her altars are colorful, intricate multi-level structures embellished with photos, traditional food, flowers, as well as handmade and found ornaments that evoke ancestors and deceased relatives. She’s also been in the forefront of reclaiming this practice for the Chicana community in Los Angeles. In this podcast, Ofelia shares her stories of growing up in East LA and discusses the essential meaning at the heart of Dia de los Muertos which is to remember.

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A man and a woman look towards the camera. The man hold a violin in his hand, a piano in the background.

Photo by Molly Haley

2018 NEA National Heritage Fellows

2018 NEA National Heritage Fellows Don and Cindy Roy are the embodiment of Franco-American musical tradition.  He is an outstanding fiddler and she backs him up with her wonderfully rhythmic piano playing and her pretty fabulous step-dancing.  They have been married and playing together for 38 years—giving audiences across the country a flavor of the Franco-American traditions they both grew up with—the music their grandparents played in the kitchen while family and friends gathered.  Their love for this music and the joy they take in it –and each other--is immediately apparent.   Meet the Roys and their music in this tuneful podcast.

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Photo by Maria Virginia Prieto Solis

2016 Bess Lomax Hawes NEA National Heritage Fellow

2016 Bess Lomax Hawes NEA National Heritage Fellow Artemio Posadas has spent his life keeping the musical tradition of son huasteco vibrant. Son huasteco is a rich and complicated musical tradition. Beginning in Northeastern Mexico in the late 19th century, it combines distinctive rhythms, musical solos—with the violin taking a major role, poetry and dance. Improvisation is key; but so is participation. This isn’t a tradition that separates musicians and audience, and the dancers feet provide beats and rhythms in response to the music. Artemio Posadas grew up with son huasteco , and he brought it with him when he moved to the Bay area in the 1970s teaching this tradition through the generations. In this music-filled podcast, we’ll hear Artemio talk about his love of son huasteco in all its multi-dimensionality. Posadas’ apprentice, musician and anthropologist Russell Rodriguez serves as interpreter.

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Photo courtesy of Kiran Singh Sirah.

Folklorist, Poet, and President of the International Storytelling Center

Folklorist, Poet and President of the International Storytelling Center Kiran Singh Sirah is passionate about the power of stories.  He heads the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough Tennessee—the oldest festival of its kind in the world and a driving force behind the renaissance in storytelling.  Kiran talks about creating community through stories, the ability of story to transcend petty politics and connect us to what is essential.  His own story is pretty interesting: born in England to parents who had been expelled from their home in Uganda and grandparents who were part of the liberation movement in India.  He understands first-hand the ability of stories to translate cultures to each other.  We also hear a story from NEA National Heritage Fellow Sheila Kay Adams who can spin a tale with the best of them.

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Headshot of a man playing a flute.

Photo by Mike Wolforth

2016 National Heritage Fellow and Dakota flute player and maker

Reinvigorating a traditional First Nation art

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Headshot of a man.

Photo by R.L. Geyer

Buck dancer and 2017 National Heritage Fellow

Making music with his feet

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