AS220 Foo Fest returns to downtown Providence on Saturday, August 13! Foo Fest is the family event of the year not to miss and reminds parents even though we may have children we can still take part in cool fun things happening in the city of Providence. This summer celebration of Rhode Island’s vibrant arts community will once again fence off and transform Empire Street into a lively party with twelve colorful hours including musical acts on two stages (indoor and outdoor), interactive art installations by community organizations and inspired individuals, activities for the young and young at heart, delicious local comestibles and more. Between 1pm and 1am, nearly two dozen musical acts will grace the stages at Foo Fest.Â As always, viewers will be treated to a nationally known headliner and host of diverse and talented popular local performers, plus, nearly a dozen artist installations and lots of creative activity under the big top.Â Because expanded family-friendly programming during the afternoon has been such a success, the first half of Foo Fest will be chock-full of all ages entertainment including an Urban Barn Dance and fun afternoon activities from Providence Children’s Museum and Kidoinfo.
Although Foo Fest features nationally known headliners, the event’s purpose, and indeed part of AS220’s mission is to showcase a wide array of visual artists and performers living and working in Rhode Island and raise public awareness of our vibrant creative community.Â Foo Fest 2011 will feature 20 additional performances from the Greater Providence area spanning every musical genre and nearly a dozen individuals and fellow non-profits involved in the arts, including CityArts and the Steelyard, presenting installations and interactive works.Â You can also expect an array of local eats including: special fest-friendly offerings from AS220 Foo(d), chilly vegan treats from Like No Udder’s ice cream truck, wood fired pizza from La Strada’s semi-portable brick oven and classic pit-smoked fare from United BBQ.Â Wash it all down with Rhode Island’s own Del’s Lemonade or perhaps a cocktail or a quality craft brew from one of Foo’s modestly priced and well stocked bars.
Here is a close-up look at the afternoon bands that are folky/upbeat/fun for the whole family performing in the afternoon:
1pm: Acco Band
ACCO, AS220 CrissCross Orchestra, is an 11 member group directed by Obuamah Laud Addy, an award winning West African Ghanaian musician and composer who performed with Wynton Marsalis (Congo Square) amongst others. He is joined by many of the finest diaspora and New England musicians and ensemble performers. Criss Cross music is currently performed in Europe and Africa; it is defined as a crossing or combination of powerful traditional African, American, Caribbean, Cuban, Latin American and European musical styles. Featuring all original compositions, ACCO brings together polyrhythmic beats from African roots music with the melodic qualities of steel pans, plaid by Jason Roseman from Trinidad, and the Irish penny whistle, along with the trumpet, saxophone, bass, guitar, percussion, and vocals. The AS220 CrissCross Orchestra is a dance band, with a variety of global sounds and a contagious energy! The group performs concerts and several members of the group also present cultural workshops.
2:30pm: Super Chief Trio
AS220 bills themselves as “The largest trio in New England”, and play a mix of swing, jump blues, New Orleans-style, and boogie woogie.
Tallahassee is the only band fronted by a former NFL offensive lineman who gave up that life to pursue music. They merge Indie, Rock, and Americana, to create delicately arranged songs of place and introspection. The band blends traditional banjo, upright bass, and vintage acoustic guitars with driving electric rock instruments to deliver a raw and powerful performance. Tallahassee brings together familiar feelings of home and comfort to the listener with an edge and sound that is all their own.
ZuKrewe is a youth performance troupe (performance done by teenagers from the AS220 youth studio) that utilizes the performance arts to promote and spread knowledge, wisdom and understanding.
1pm: Urban Barn Dance
(Sure to have the kids dancing) Mark Roberts & Andrea Cooper with the help of a few friends will be playing for a participatory dance for the entire family. All ages and abilities are welcome. No partner necessary, all dances are taught and are child and adult friendly. They will be dancing to live traditional music played on guitar, fiddle and banjo.
2:30pm: the silks
Formed less than a year ago, The Silks have burst onto the country blues scene in New England with ferocity and enthusiasm. Front-man and songwriter Tyler James Kelly has managed to assemble a cast of musicians with resumes consisting of The Midnight Creeps, Brown Bird, Cowgirl, and The Sugar Honey Iced Tea, and blending it into a sound that is all their own. With compliments that vary from drawing comparisons to The Rolling Stones in style and songwriting to a soundman shouting “that’s the most fun I’ve ever had!” after a show, The Silks have garnered a reputation as a band that everyone found themselves wanting to see overnight.
Learn more about Foo Fest 2011 at the event’s website: www.as220.org/foofest_2011/index.htm
Foo Fest Sponsors Include: Providence Tourism Council, Peak Organic, The Phoenix, WBRU, KidoInfo, Malcolm & Liz Chace, Bank of America, Bank RI, Durkee Brown Viveiros & Werenfels Architects, MetLife, TD Bank, Providence Revolving Fund, Citizens Bank