Tenterden Folk Festival guests to represent Kent in Washington DC!
The Smithsonian Folklife Festival 2007 will take place in Washington DC from June 27th to July 8th and will attract more than a million visitors. For the first time many of the events at this major annual event feature guests from an English County and that county is of course Kent! The program is produced in partnership with Jamestown 2007: America's 400th Anniversary and the Kent County Council.
The organisers of Tenterden Folk Festival are pleased that several of the people chosen to represent Kent in Washington have been guests at Tenterden Folk Festival. They are Pete Castle, The Millen Family and Tim Laycock.
Pete Castle has been a regular guest at Tenterden Folk Festival and will be there again this year. He is also one of the workshop leaders for the Trust’s Educational Projects and is well known for this work in schools across Kent. Pete was born in Ashford, so he is a Man of Kent). He started playing guitar around age 15 inspired by the Shadows but with the 60s Merseybeat boom he travelled from pop to R&B and, after forming a band himself, volunteered to sing “until we can find a proper singer”. In 1965 Pete went to Bretton Hall College of Education near Wakefield where he met his wife Sue and folk music. After college he started doing floor spots and the odd local booking, singing a mixture of traditional, contemporary and original songs. Several moves later they ended up in Luton where Pete was a main organiser of the Luton Folk Festival from 1976 to 82. He was gradually getting gigs further a field and had settled on an almost exclusively traditional repertoire. In July 1978 Pete took the plunge and gave up his teaching job to go on the road full time. Two of the first gigs were at the Eastbourne International Folk Festival and Loughborough Folk Festival ‘Fringe’. He also released his first album ‘Tales of the Land & Songs of the Sea’ which sold in places like Boots and Woolworths and did a lot of good in getting the name known in places he hadn’t visited. Over the last 29 years Pete has appeared at folk clubs, festivals, schools and other venues across the county and worked with a variety of artists including Jez Lowe, Dick and Sue Miles, Bing Lyle, Keith Kendrick, Bengali singer and musician Aroti Biswas and as part of the group Popeluc with his daughter Lucy and Ioan Pop one of Romania best known folk musicians. Currently Pete is still performing English folk songs and stories in folk clubs and festival but is also in demand as a professional storyteller, community musician and for work in schools.
The Millen Family from Bethersden are well known locally and have also been guests at Tenterden Folk Festival. The family have been part singing for over a century and the current members draw from traditional folk material and old time “glees”, which are four-part harmony songs for male voices made popular by the Glee Clubs in the mid-eighteenth century. They will be taking these old songs to the people of America.
Tim Laycock was one of the first guests booked for Tenterden Folk Day as it was then and has returned several times since as a solo performer, with storyteller Taffy Thomas and as part of The New Scorpion Band. Tim is also involved in the theatre and he is going to Washington with Sonia Ritter to perform "The Land".
For more information on Pete Castle visit www.petecastle.co.uk.
For more information on The Smithsonian Folklife Festival 2007 visit http://folklife.si.edu/festival/2007/index.html
Details of Tenterden Folk Festival 2007, guests, accommodation and camping are now being released and also posted on our website at www.tenterdenfolkfestival.org.uk.
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Trustee and festival director
Tenterden Folk Festival
Tenterden Folk Day Trust (Registered charity No. 1038663)
Promoting folk song, music and dance