Come visit our table at Wintergrass, Feb 23-26!

Wintergrass is a family-friendly Bluegrass music festival, with concerts and dances at 4 different stages. There are also music education programs for kids and adults, workshops, impromptu jams, and a chance to see and hear some great music. The theme this year is “Bach to Bluegrass”, with the Turtle Island String Band among the many featured performers.

SFS is pleased to be sharing a table with Far West (Folk Alliance) – come by to say hi! We will be in the hallway on the second floor, around the corner from the registration area. (Tickets to upcoming spring SFS concerts and fliers for the rest of our season will also be available as well as other community event info)
Wintergrass takes place at Hyatt Regency Hotel located at 900 Bellevue Way NE in Bellevue, WA. The Hyatt has plenty of 24 hour jamming space and room for 4 stages all under one roof. For more info, see

Seattle Family Dance this Sunday, Feb 12, 2:30 – 4:30 PM in upper building

 The Seattle Family Dance is 2:30 – 4:30 tomorrow (Sunday, Feb 12th) in Room 7 of the upper Blue Building of the Phinney Neighborhood Association. Easy dances for kids 10 and under and their families. All dances taught, all
music is live! Stuart Williams and his Sprouts play the tunes.
SFS/PNA $5 each, $15/family; $7 and $20 all others. Info:, or
Next month the dance returns to 1st Sundays  (March 5th & April 2nd)!

2017 Concert Season opens with The Bills this Saturday – January 21st! Hear the band interviewed on KBCS at 11 AM

We are pleased to begin our 2017 concert season with The Bills – a wonderful 5 piece Canadian combo, celebrating 20 years of touring as a group.  Advance tickets will be available on-line until 2PM Saturday through Brown Paper Tickets 
You can hear the band interviewed on KBCS Radio 91.3 FM at 11 AM, on Our Saturday Tradition with Ginger Hopper.

The concert takes place at the Phinney Neighborhood Center Community Hall (in the lower brick building) The house will open by 7PM for the 7:30 show.  At this point tickets are expected to be available at the door – our website will be updated if this changes. See the concert listings for more info about this and other upcoming events.

The Seattle Family Dance starts again on January 8th(earlier time: 2 :30 – 4:30 PM)!

Family Dance at Phinney Neighborhood Center, sponsored by the Seattle Folklore Society.

Family Dance this Sunday, January 8th! Come hear (and dance to) the next exciting young band – “The Mossbacks” – at the Phinney Neighborhood Center Community Hall this Sunday from 2:30 to 4:30 pm!

These talented youth play with skill and confidence far beyond their years. They are all multi-instrumentalists: Carter Schafer (15) plays fiddle, piano, and banjo; Oliver Knaphus (10) plays fiddle and guitar; and Sam Zito (15) plays bass, fiddle, and mandolin.

Sherry Nevins will call fun dances for all ages. Spread the word!

Future 2017 Family Dance dates:
February 12th (the 2nd Sunday this month!)
March 5
April 2

Workshops, dances, concerts and more to keep you busy during the Winter break!

Our concerts are on break, until January 21st – but Seattle offers a wealth of music and dance! Here are a few activities that missed the deadline to be listed in our December or January Flyers – We will add more “Late breaking news” periodically

Don’t forget that the Emerald City Contra dances offer a great way to work off holiday dinners, with great music and callers, and a friendly community!
December 23rd features Purple Heys (Sean Bolton on fiddle, Melissa Coffey on whistle, flute, sax, and fiddle, and Doug Plummer on piano). You’ll dance to a mixture of cheerful French Canadian tunes, fast moving Irish music, and rollicking old-time standards full of precise fiddle licks, sparkling whistle melodies, inventive chord accompaniment, and the smile-inducing saxophone. Laura Mé Smith calls. Emerald City Contra Schedule

Monday, December 26 – French Canadian tune workshop and jam (workshop 4-6 PM, potluck and jam follows) If you enjoyed the Quebecois session at our 50 Years of Folk Festival, you can find fiddler Lisa Ornstein back in Seattle, teaching a workshop and leading a jam at a private home in NE Seattle. More info on Québec and Acadie tune workshop here

December 29 8-11 PM – The Onlies (Leo, Riley, and Sami ) are home for the holidays and excited to announce a reunion benefit concert next Thursday, December 29th at the The Hillman City Collaboratory! 5623 Ranier Ave S 8pm concert and a square dance to follow with local caller and friend Tony Mates. All funds will go to support clean water–at Standing Rock and in Flint. Look for more details to come on the Collaboratory Webpage

Tickets will be available at the door for Heidi Muller & Bob Webb Nov. 26; tickets also on sale for 2017 Winter Season!

Heidi Muller & Bob Webb close out the 2016 concert season on Saturday, Nov. 26
Heidi Muller & Bob Webb close out the 2016 concert season on Saturday, Nov. 26

SFS is delighted to have Heidi Muller and Bob Webb back for a concert on Thanksgiving weekend. The duo will be releasing and playing songs from their new CD, Up Hurricane Creek – their fourth CD together, and the first one in eleven years that features Heidi’s songwriting (following recent recordings of holiday/solstice songs and dulcimer music). Advance tickets will be available until noon at, then will be available at the door by check or cash.

The 2017 season will start up again on January 21st. Here is a season preview – watch our website for updates and additions(Advance tickets available for each show 60 days prior through Brown Paper Tickets, or in person by check or cash at other SFS concerts. Prices vary, but there is always a discount for members, seniors 65+, and full-time students. Youth – age 6–17 – are always half of the general price)
January 21: The Bills—Energetic Canadian roots – fiddle, mandolin, acordion, guitar, great vocal harmonies – celebrating their 20th year of touring!
January 28: Dan Crary, Bill Evans, & Martin Stevens —Innovative bluegrass & more
February 11: Jim Malcolm — One of the finest voices in Scotland
February 18: Frankie Gavin—traditional Irish fiddle; a founding member of De Daanan
February 26 (Sunday): David Francey—Outstanding songs/stories; three-time JUNO winner
March 4: Pat Donohue—Grammy-winning acoustic guitarist and frequent Prairie Home Companion regular plays swing to jazz to bottleneck blues to folk
March 11: Local songwriter showcase
March 25: MAC—Fiery Celtic tunes by Ryan McKasson (fiddle), Elias Alexander (pipes), Colin Cotter (guitar)

December 2nd Contra Dance takes place at OmCulture

Just a reminder that the Emerald City Contra Dance moves to OmCulture for the December 2nd dance! (The Phinney Center is setting up for Winterfest, their annual craft and entertainment fair) KGB

December 2 – KGB – Julie King (piano), Claude Ginsberg (fiddle), and Dave Bartley (mandolin, guitar-like instruments, percussion). One of Seattle’s top bands combines original tunes with a few contra classics with a sound and energy that sounds like it came from another country. Susan Petrick calls.

Take note! This dance takes place at OmCulture near Gasworks Park. Find it at 2210 North Pacific Street in Seattle.

Dance from 7:30pm to 10:00pm, beginner’s workshop at 7:00
$9 general admission. $8 for SFS members, PNA members, and seniors. $5 for students. Free for people under the age of 16.
First time contra dancers get a coupon for free admission to their next dance.
Coupon redemption limited to first five coupons on any single night.
Emerald City Contra Dance schedule

11 Hours of Folk! Tomorrow!

Festival Poster Just a few hours until we will be setting up for the all-day festival  to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of SFS! Both of the buildings at the Phinney Center will be ringing with songs, fiddle, autoharp, and dancing feet from 11am  – 5PM. Starting at 7PM, the day will conclude with a special Showcase Concert:  
In a concert that represents the continuing traditions of 50 Years of Folk, four performances conclude the day-long Folk Festival on September 17th at the Phinney Neighborhood Center. The concert features Phil and Vivian Williams, the founders of the Seattle Folklore Society, young musicians carrying on folk music traditions, and is hosted by well-known singer and song-writer, Bryan Bowers.
Phil and Vivian Williams co-founded the Seattle Folklore Society 50 years ago and have made substantial contributions to the folk and traditional arts in the Pacific Northwest in four main areas: performance, research and documentation, education, and folk arts organizations. As musicians, they are highly acclaimed performers of old time fiddle, bluegrass, and traditional ballroom dance music. Their scholarship includes extensive recording and researching of the fiddle and dance music of the Pacific Northwest.
Squirrel Butter, Charlie Beck and Charmaine Slaven, explores the genres of old-time, early bluegrass, blues, country, and Cajun. Multi-instrumentalists, they play banjo and fiddle, and Charmaine will play the guitar while step-dancing to the music. Charlie and Charmaine anchor the old-time music, honky-tonk, and square dance communities in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

Skolkis will take listeners on a rollicking musical tour of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden and pay tribute to master musicians who inspired them. This quartet features original compo-sitions and traditional tunes, plus selections written by renowned Scandinavian artists. The group’s name, in Swedish, means “playing hooky,” and it’s a good fit for the group’s playful stage presence.

From his rather unglamorous beginning as a street singer, Bryan Bowers has become a major artist on the traditional music circuit. He has redefined the autoharp and is also well known as a singer-songwriter. Bryan has a dynamic outgoing personality and an uncanny ability to enchant a crowd in practically any situation. He will emcee the concert and share his music to end the evening.
The concert, in the Community Hall in the Brick Building, will start at 7pm on Saturday, September 17, and is free, as is the rest of the program of the “50 Years of Folk” Festival.

Fall Concert tickets now on sale!

Tickets for our first 6 Fall concerts are now on sale!
Tickets go on sale 60 days before each concert. You may purchase them through Brown Paper Tickets , or at other prior SFS events, including our free 50th Anniversary “50 Years of Folk” Festival and celebration on September 17th.
Here is the Fall season – see listings for more description of each concert:

Sept 24: Eliza Gilkyson
Oct 1: Bruce Molsky
Oct 2: Tannahill Weavers
Oct 8: Nordic Fiddlers Bloc
Oct 16: Jamie Laval
Oct 22: Kenny White
Nov 5: (TBA)
Nov 13: Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons
Nov 19: Lucy Kaplansky
Nov 26:  Heidi Muller & Bob Webb

Free All Day Festival planned for September 17th!

Seattle Folklore Society will commemorate 50 years of promoting music, dance, and traditional arts in Seattle this Fall! From the very first concert (Nov. 15, 1966 –  when founding members John Ullman, Irene Namkung and Phil and Vivian Williams presented  blues players Mississippi Fred McDowell and Mance Lipscomb at the University Friends Center) to the many dances, concerts,  songcircles, and camps that continue to happen year round, we have a lot to celebrate!
On Saturday, September 17th, there will be a whole day of music, dancing, singing, and workshops, for all ages at the Phinney Neighborhood Center, followed by a special evening Showcase Concert. This festival is co-sponsored by the Phinney Neighborhood Association.
From 11AM  – 5PM, the emphasis is on participation. Bring your instrument and join a jam, or try a free workshop. There will be 6 hours of participatory dance (New England Contra dance, old-time squares, Scandinavian couple dance, English & Scottish Country, and more). There will be hosted jams in many genres, from an inclusive traditional Irish session to Brazilian choro. (There will even be a special beginner-friendly session, following music teacher Betsy Alexander’s “Fiddling-from-Scratch” workshop, with both adult and child-sized violins available to borrow.) Participatory song sessions include Show Tunes, Sea Shanties, and all kinds of harmony singing.
Daytime listening spaces include a special noon mini-concert (Pioneer Dance Music of the Far West by Phil & Vivian Williams), 4 hours of acoustic music organized by Far West Folk Alliance, and a story telling session currated by “Auntmama” (KBCS DJ and Seattle Storytellers Guild past-president Mary Ann Moorman).
From 7-10PM, there will be a 4-act Showcase Concert featuring SFS founders Phil and Vivian Williams, the wonderful duo Squirrel Butter , autoharp virtuoso Bryan Bowers, and Scandinavian combo Skolkis.
In additon, there will be a couple of rooms open for jamming and more singing.

The Seattle Folkore Society gratefully acknowledges support from the Phinney Neighborhood Association, Seattle Office of  Arts and Culture, Skandia Folk Dance Society,  and many, many volunteers  to make this festival possible.
Merchants Fred Meyer(Greenwood ), Starbucks (Phinney Ridge) ,  The Ridge Pizza, Essential Bakery, Trader Joe’s (Ballard), Grocery Outlet (Crown Hill), and Top Banana are helping to keep our performers, workshop leaders, and volunteers fed and appreciated.
Watch our website for more updates and schedule confirmations!
Sign up to volunteer HERE,  or  e-mail for more information!