The Lomax Folk Project
“I saw the job of a folklorist was to make a bridge between people who had no voice and the big world of communication.” – Alan Lomax
John and Alan Lomax pioneered recording folklore by traveling across the United States. The father-son duo interviewed, recorded and learned from artists such as Leadbelly, Jean Ritchie and Muddy Waters. Together, they helped shape American music by influencing such artists as Jeff Buckley, Mumford and Sons, and Ed Sheeran; all of whom have recorded folk classics from the Lomax collection. Hannah Grantham and Amanda Ekery created the Lomax Folk Project to commemorate the 150th anniversary of John Lomax in 2017 and celebrate American Folk Music with audiences.
The Lomax Folk Project explores the vast repertoire recorded by the Lomaxes for the American Archive of Folk Music, located at the Library of Congress. The five piece band comprised of Amanda Ekery, Hannah Grantham, Sam Talmadge, Julian Loida and Dan Raney, recreate these classics and invite audiences to join in. Ekery has arranged each of the songs, some being performed in an authentic way and some being reimagined with new harmony and melodic figures. Grantham, a musicologist, has researched the history of each song and spent years compiling stories about the artists, instrumentation, and time periods.
The Lomax ProjectĀ’s mission is to inform audiences of the vibrant music history in their own backyards. The program is structured by pairing music with stories and invites audiences to participate in this interactive, educational and entertaining celebration. After the performance, Ekery and Grantham go out into the lobby or seating area and spend time with audience members who may have questions, or just want to learn more. Previous performances include the Denton Downtown Square, the residence of the Lomax Family home, and the Denton Public Library.
Beyond the Lomax Folk Project, Grantham and Ekery have worked and performed together for many years and continue to create and explore new ideas for collaboration. Amanda Ekery has performed her own arrangements and original music at the Kennedy Center, Washington Women in Jazz Festival, Portland Jazz Festival, Blue Note Amsterdam and the Amalfi Coast Music Festival. She has taught and coached for various workshops and seminars including the University of North Texas Vocal Jazz Workshop, El Paso Friends of Jazz Society and the Boy Scouts of America. For more about Amanda please visit www.amandaekery.com
Hannah Grantham has presented her research at the National Music Museum (NMM) on “Localizing Bluegrass” and “A North Carolina Dulcimer Tale.” She has also studied the history of musical instruments, education, and folklore, while a curatorial intern at the NMM, Museum of Fine Arts-Houston, Mellon Mays Fellowship and the Library Preservation Lab at the University of North Texas.
Julian Loida is a percussionist, multimedia artist, and curator exploring repertoire spanning Western Classical Music, to Cuban Bata drumming, to Jazz and R&B. Julian grew up in St. Louis with his rock band Project 324 along with the St. Louis Youth Orchestra. Since then he has gone on to perform with Alarm Will Sound, the Callithumpian Consort, and the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. He has attended some of the countryís most prestigious music festivals such as Spoleto Music Festival USA, the National Orchestral Institute, the Chautauqua Music Festival, and Round Top Music Festival. He is also a member of Night Tree, an ensemble that creates original music that borrows from the Swedish, Jewish and American folk tradition. For more about Julian please visit www.julianloida.com
Bassist Dan Raney grew up in the small town of Mansfield, Massachusetts. It was there where he fell in love with music. From an early age, he constantly found himself gravitating toward bass lines in music, so it was natural that he chose to play the bass. He recently completed his last semester as a masterís candidate in Jazz Performance at the New England Conservatory.
Sam Talmadge is a multi instrumentalist from the New England area. He performs originals music with his band Ruthless Moon, that just recorded their debut album. For more about Sam please visit https://samtalmadge.bandcamp.com/
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