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June 5, 2003

American Folklife Center Announces Capital Roots Concert Serie

Kickoff concert on July 10 features the Seldom Scene.

The American Folklife Center and the Public Service Collections Directorate of the Library of Congress are collaborating to present three noontime concerts this summer highlighting outstanding Washington-area traditional artists. Many talented folk musicians make their home in the greater D.C. area, and this series will celebrate our nation's "Capital Roots" music.

The "Capital Roots" concerts will be held at noon once a month on Thursdays, from July through September, on Neptune Plaza in front of the Library's Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., in Washington, D.C. All concerts are free of charge. In case of inclement weather, the concerts will be held in the Jefferson Building's Coolidge Auditorium. The closest Metro stops are Capitol South (blue and orange lines) and Union Station (red line).

On July 10, the kickoff concert will feature the nationally known bluegrass group, the Seldom Scene. The Seldom Scene began in 1971 when a group of Washington-area bluegrass musicians began getting together once a week to play for fun. Now, more than 30 years later, the "Scene" is widely regarded as one of the nation's premier, and groundbreaking, bluegrass bands, and its members are regarded as legendary figures in the acoustic-music world.

On Aug. 7, Mariachi Los Amigos will bring its exuberant traditional Mexican music to Neptune Plaza. Mariachi Los Amigos, founded in 1979, is the Washington area's longest existing mariachi ensemble. As its name implies, it was formed by a group of friends who shared a passion for the lively, extroverted sound of mariachi and the wide range of music that it incorporates. Mariachi originated as a regional style in several western states of Mexico in the early 1900s, and it has since spread throughout the Americas and beyond.

The final concert of the series takes place on Sept. 11, when the guitar and harmonica duo Little Bit of Blues will perform. Little Bit of Blues combines the warm vocals and piedmont style guitar-picking of Warner Williams with Jay Summerour's soaring harmonica to produce some of the finest blues anywhere. The pair, both Montgomery County natives, have played together for more than a decade. Their credits include the Smithsonian's Festival of American Folklife, the National Folk Festival, the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival and the nationally broadcast American Roots 4th of July Festival on the Mall.

The American Folklife Center was created by Congress in 1976 and placed at the Library of Congress to "preserve and present American folklife" through programs of research, documentation, archival preservation, reference service, live performance, exhibition, public programs and training. The center includes the Archive of Folk Culture, which was established in the Library in 1928 and is now one of the largest collections of ethnographic material from the United States and around the world. The American Folklife Center is one of the divisions under the administrative umbrella of the Library of Congress Public Service Collections Directorate.

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PR 03-100
06/05/03
ISSN 0731-3527

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