June 5, 2024

2024 Maryland Traditions Folklife Area & Stage tells Maryland’s story

Dan + Claudia Zanes with Tyree Austin

The 2024 Maryland Traditions Folklife Area and Stage, sponsored by the Maryland State Arts Council and MSAC’s traditional arts program, Maryland Traditions, will feature approximately 100 performers and demonstrators telling the story of Maryland’s rich and diverse cultures and traditions.  The Maryland Folk Festival is set for Sept. 20-22 in Downtown Salisbury.

For the 2nd year in a row, the festival has collaborated with museum curator and folklife specialist Raye valion-Gillette and museum operations coordinator, Alexandra Kean from the Museum of Eastern Shore Culture at Salisbury University to help create engaging and diverse experiences for festival attendees as they explore the Maryland Traditions Area and Stage. To learn more about the museum, visit

2024 Maryland Traditions Folklife Stage Performers:

Dan + Claudia Zanes with Tyree Austin – eclectic folk & jazz: Grammy award-winner Dan Zanes and vocalist/music therapist Claudia Zanes have been sharing their love of community and social music making in concerts large and small across the country. With the addition of Tyree Austin, this is an exciting new sound in family music.

Great American Indian Dancers Native American: The Great American Indian Dancers feature live music, dance and storytelling from diverse tribes from throughout the United States.

Lydia and Emily Martin – Irish folk: The Martin sisters of Boyds, Maryland – Lydia (banjo, guitar, piano) and Emily (mandolin, tenor banjo) – bring a variety of traditional Irish and old-time repertoire to the stage. They have performed across the Atlantic and the United States, also teaching workshops and playing for dances.

Mid Shore Voices United – gospel: Mid Shore Voices United is a group of enthusiastic singers from several different religious denominations. This group offers a unique mixture of Negro spirituals and spirited gospel music, and takes great pride in spreading the word and making a joyful noise.

Noah Mitchel – Yiddish folk music: Noah Mitchel is a vocalist, theater performer, Yiddish music performer and culture worker living in Baltimore. He has performed theater with Congress for Jewish Culture, Jewish Plays Project, Imagination Stage, and IN Series.

Quey Percussion Duo – percussion: For nearly 20 years, Quey [“Kway”] Percussion Duo has dazzled audiences worldwide with its unmistakable style that blends traditions of contemporary, cross-cultural, classical and popular music to create colorful sound worlds that often place focus on interlocking counterpoint and musical multitasking.

Tisza Ensemble – traditional Hungarian folk dancing: Tisza Ensemble was formed in 1982 by a group of dancers in Maryland interested in the Hungarian táncház movement. The ensemble has performed at the Embassy of Hungary, the Kennedy Center, the annual Hungarian Christmas Bazaar and in Hungary.

UMES Steppers – Greek Step: The University of Maryland Eastern Shore has several chapters of Greek Letter Organizations, along with Non-Greek Social Fellowships on campus that are committed to serving their community and uplifting the students of their historically Black university. The UMES Greeks will be performing a series of strolls and steps to exemplify the history and culture of each organization.

2024 Maryland Traditions Folklife Area Demonstrators:

Angela Smithhisler – fiber processing and art: Angela Smithhisler is the owner and shepherd at Marshall Creek Farm in Newark, Maryland. With a passion for sustainable farming and community engagement, Smithhisler has cultivated a thriving hub for local artists to explore the wonders of natural fibers and animal husbandry.

Bruce Eppard – decoy carving: Bruce Eppard has been carving wildfowl and decoys since 1985. Using only hand tools, his focus is to continue carving decoys in the old tradition and honor the heritage of decoy carving on the Chesapeake Bay.

David Bruning – aquaculture/oysters: David Bruning’s journey in aquaculture began at 12 with a job at a clam and oyster nursery. Fascinated by this experience, he started his own oyster farm in 2016 in the Chincoteague Bay of Maryland.

Eric Clark Jackson – regional batik: Eric Clark Jackson is a professional artist whose work explores a connection to the water and wildlife of the Chesapeake.  A contemporary fiber artist, his work is an intersection of fine art, contemporary craft and the ecology of the watershed.

Garry Moore – reclaimed and salvaged art with Anchor Wood Creations: Anchor Wood Creations reclaims and repurposes materials from regional sources, including downed trees and salvaged structures. Using the grain and tone of the wood as his guide, Garry Moore creates one-of-a-kind pieces for his clients and artistic expression for creative pursuits.

George “BeeGeorge” Meyer – beekeeping: George “BeeGeorge” Meyer runs approximately 150 bee colonies in Talbot County, selling honey at retail locations, a few fairs, in bulk, and in specialty bottlings.

Trisha Gupta – Rajasthani Woodblock Design and Fabric Printing: Trisha Gupta is a contemporary artist, community activist and educator. Her printmaking is heavily influenced by her Indian-American heritage and explores themes of social inequality, colonialism, mental health and immigration.

Shanye Huang – Chinese paper cutting: Award-winning artist Shanye Huang was born and raised in a Zhuang Ethnic family in Guangxi, Southwest China, a region known for its vibrant folk arts. Huang’s work connects to his southern Chinese craft traditions and folkloric heritage with western contemporary art concepts.

Pocomoke Indian Nation – Indigenous traditions: Composed of descendants of one of the Indigenous populations of the Delmarva Peninsula, the Pocomoke Indian Nation is a large, widespread group that exercised significant influence in the region as they lived along the Annemessex, Manokin and Pocomoke rivers and bays, and Chincoteague Bay.

The Pocomoke Indian Nation will offer an indoors demonstration during the festival at the new Museum of Eastern Shore Culture, located at 208 W. Main St., near the Salisbury University Locals Stage.

The Maryland Folk Festival | Salisbury, MD is produced by

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