The New World Festival, a full day of Celtic and Quebecois music now in its 31st year, will bring a talented lineup of acts, some familiar and some new to Randolph on Sunday, Sept. 3.
Familiar names like Cantrip, Le Vent du Nord and No Strings Marionette Company are joined by Frankie Gavin, Heron Valley, Grosse Isle and Owen Marshall among the 15 acts for the day-long event.
This year’s festival will feature five stages including a dance tent with called and contra dances, closing the night with freeform dancing with headliner Le Vent du Nord. The festival guarantees a diverse and engaging experience for attendees whether they want to spend the whole day in the dance tent or prefer to enjoy shows in the updated Chandler Center for the Arts or Bethany Church.
The festival is not just for adults as there are events for all ages, with children’s activities, and children younger than 12 are granted free admission. There are craft stations in the children’s tent and a puppet show by local puppeteers No Strings Marionette Company.
The festival is easy to enjoy as it attracts about 2,000 attendees who fit comfortably into the performance venues so long lines are avoided. There is always a variety of excellent food vendors and parking is plentiful.
Cantrip, a Scottish trio so popular in Vermont that it has become nearly synonymous with the festival, needs no introduction. This trio features pipes and whistles along with fiddle and guitar. It has long been a crowd-pleaser here.
Le Vent Du Nord from Quebec and a familiar act here has performed well over 1,600 concerts, winning several prestigious awards, including a Grand Prix du Disque Charles Cros, two Junos (Canada’s Grammys), a Canadian Folk Music Award, and “Artist of the Year” at the North American Folk Alliance Annual Gala. The band delivers catchy songs and tunes, some taken from the Québec traditional folk repertoire, and others original compositions, with impeccable musicianship, tight vocal arrangements and dancing between verses.
Randolph’s No Strings Marionette Company has entertained kids and their parents before at the festival and always produces a top-quality family experience.
New to the festival this year are Frankie Gavin and Catherine McHugh. Gavin is a premier Irish fiddler and was a member of the Irish band De Dannan. He is also a fine flute and whistle player.
Accompanying him on stage is pianist Catherine McHugh, one of the most outstanding young accompanists in Irish traditional music.
A new band from Scotland is the five-piece Heron Valley. They are part of the resurgence of new, young bands that are energy fueled. Their roots lie in Scottish and Irish traditional music, including traditional Scots song and Scottish piping tunes and Irish banjo. They formed in 2014 and have two albums that can be streamed on bandcamp.com online.
Randolph native Owen Marshall performs as a band leader for the first time in Vermont with Jenna Moynihan on fiddle and Emily Troll on accordion. Vogue magazine calls Marshall “A guitar/mandolin/banjo player rivaled in character only by the occasional three-pronged carrot.” Marshall has become a favorite sideman on guitar and bouzouki for a host of recordings and bands. He has toured and recorded with the likes of the Seamus Egan Project. His music can be streamed on bandcamp.com online.
Another Vermont based band is Va-et-Vient (Come and Go) with Carol Reed, Suzanne Germain, and Lausanne Allen. This Addison County group celebrates the many colors found in music from several French cultures, from France, Quebec and New Orleans. They play lively dance numbers, touching love songs, kickin’ Cajun and Créole tunes, and rollicking Québecois favorites.
Genticorum has won multiple Canadian Folk Music Awards, as well as Juno and ADISQ nominations, The band has earned a reputation as a leading voice in the evolution of Québécois traditional music. For over 20 years, the trio has earned a place of privilege on world, traditional, folk and Celtic music stages. Known for their unbridled energy, their musicianship and their magnetic stage presence, the trio has won over audiences at such prestigious events as Celtic Connections in Scotland, the Tønder Folk Festival in Denmark and the National Folk Festival in Australia.
Another Quebecois trio we haven’t seen before at the festival is Grosse Isle, a collaboration between three exceptional musicians from Quebec and Ireland. Together, Sophie Lavoie du Lac-St-Jean (fiddle, piano, vocals), André Marchand, the legendary guitarist-singer familiar to festival goers as a member of La Bottine Souriante, and Fiachra O’Regan, Irish champion (uilleann pipes, whistle, banjo) add a new voice to the music.