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"Ay te dejo en San Antonio” by Los Texmaniacs from Texas Towns & Tex-Mex Sounds

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Los Texmaniacs and Augie Meyers perform “All About Avocados,” at the 2008 Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

"Beer-Drinking Polka" by Max Baca and Flaco Jiménez from Legends & Legacies

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The music of GRAMMY-winning conjunto artists Max Baca and Flaco Jiménez is steeped in the traditions of their families and region.

"Big Train (From Memphis)" The Seldom Scene by Long Time…Seldom Scene

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The Seldom Scene perform their popular rendition of "Big Train (From Memphis)" at the Ralph Rinzler Memorial concert.

"Brother, Can You Spare a Dime" by Joe Glazer at the 2001 Power and Glory Concert

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Since the Industrial Revolution, working people have been organizing and campaigning for better treatment from their employers. The labor movement and its unions struggle for fair wages, safe working conditions, and many other benefits. Music is an important tool in the labor movement to motivate workers and help build solidarity. Joe Glazer (1918-2006), often called "Labor's Troubadour," was one of America's noted historians of labor song. Glazer founded Collector Records in 1970 to distribute music of the labor movement, including his original songs. Here he discusses his life's work and music.

"Call & Response" by Ella Jenkins at 2009 Smithsonian Folklike Festival

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Ella Jenkins, Folkways Childrens artist performs for families at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. More about Ella Jenkins

"Carmelina" by Los Pleneros de la 21 in Tribute to Marcial Reyes Arvelo at 2005 Smithsonian Folklife Festival

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Los Pleneros de la 21 perform "Carmelina," a traditional plena in tribute to the great plenero Marcial Reyes Arvelo, a founding member of the group and author of the piece. Jose Rivera, in his singing, places himself firmly in the classic school of the plena, referencing pleneros who influenced his musical upbringing. By including this version with panderetas (different sized circular frame drums), and a güiro(gourd rasp) Los Pleneros de la 21 give the listener the opportunity to taste the fresh, simple, and wonderful flavors or the traditional creole plena.

"Cupido" by Tereso Vega and Quetzal Flores at 2009 Smithsonian Folklife Festival

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Jarocho musician Tereso Vega from Xalapa, Mexico improvises lyrics to "Cupido" accompanied by Chicano musician Quetzal Flores on jarana at the 2009 Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

"Dog Days of August" by John Cephas and Phil Wiggins at 2003 Smithsonian Folklife Festival

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The Piedmont blues is a type of blues music distinguished by a unique finger-picking method on the guitar. The Piedmont blues was born in the Piedmont area on the East Coast of the USA, which stretches from about Richmond, Virginia, to Atlanta, Georgia. Yet Piedmont blues musicians come from surrounding areas as well, such as Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Renowned Piedmont blues musicians John Cephas and Phil Wiggins met at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in the late 1970s and have been playing Piedmont blues together ever since. Here they discuss the origins of the East Coast Piedmont blues and showcase their style.

"Don't You Leave Me Here (I'm Alabama Bound)" by Dave Van Ronk

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Dave Van Ronk performs "Don't You Leave Me Here (I'm Alabama Bound)" at a 1997 concert honoring Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music.

"Down South Blues" by Dave Van Ronk from Down in Washington Square

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Dave Van Ronk performs "Down South Blues" at the Barns at Wolf Trap as part of a 1997 concert honoring Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music

"Dueling Harp" Rendition of Classic "Pájaro Campana" by Martin Portillo and Marcelo Rojas

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Harpists Martin Portillo and Marcelo Rojas perform a "dueling harp" version of the classic "Pájaro campana."

"Eastern Love" by Rahim AlHaj

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Rahim AlHaj performing "Eastern Love" from his upcoming release "Letters from Iraq" on Smithsonian Folkways.

"El Alma de Puerto Rico" by Ecos de Borinquen

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For the past 35 years, the GRAMMY and Latin Grammy–winning ensemble Ecos de Borinquen has captured the heart and soul of jíbaro creole folk traditions; with their distinctive, soulful sounds and progressive instrumentation, the group represents a unique balance between tradition and innovation.

"El Circo" by Los Texmaniacs from Borders y Bailes

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Los Texmaniacs performs “El Circo” and discusses the inspiration for the band and its passion for music.

"El Guate" (The Foreigner) by Cimarrón

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Members of the Colombia plains ensemble Cimarrón perform "El Guate" (The Foreigner) in a Bogotá studio. Cimarrón is known for its daring interplay of harp and bandola, aggressive rhythms, and improvised melodies.

"El Violinista Oriental" by Eddy Marcano, Alfonso Moreno, Roberto Koch, Aquiles Báez and José Martínez

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Violinist Eddy Marcano joins other Venezuelan Joropo masters—Alfonso Moreno, Roberto Koch, Aquiles Báez and José Martínez—on the electrifying Alberto Valderrama original "El Violinista Oriental." From the 2009 Maestros del Joropo Oriental CD release ¡Y Que Viva Venezuela!

"El lunar de María" by Los Tres Reyes from Romancing the Past

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Mexican trío romántico Los Tres Reyes performs "El lunar de María." This Cuban guaracha style is known for its playful innuendo. The syncopated rhythm and the tumbao bass along with the maracas add a Caribbean flavor to the teasing lyrics.

"English is Crazy (English is Kuh-ray-zee)" by Pete Seeger for Smithsonian Staff

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Now regarded as the dean of 20th-century folk singers, Pete Seeger started recording for Folkways founder Moses Asch in 1943. Asch continued to record Pete during the 1950s and beyond, with Pete eventually recording over fifty records for him and Folkways Records. Now in his eighties, Pete continues to make an occasional recording and still plays an occasional concert, where his audiences always sing along with him in unison. In 2005 he performed Josh White Jr.'s song "English Is Crazy" at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage in Washington, D.C., leading Smithsonian employees in the chorus "English is kuh-ray-zee."

"Estoy Aqui" by Quetzal at 2012 Smithsonian folklife Festival

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East Los Angeles natives Quetzal perform "Estoy aqui (I Am Here)" at the 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

"Estoy Aqui" by Quetzal at 2012 Smithsonian folklife Festival

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East Los Angeles natives Quetzal combine traditional music with rock, salsa, R&B and more to create music that is both artful and message-driven. "Estoy aqui" (I Am Here), a funky cumbia from the Smithsonian Folkways album Imaginaries, is a call to self-determination for Mexicanos in both Mexico and the U.S.

"Freight Train" by Elizabeth "Libba" Cotten

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Elizabeth "Libba" Cotten (1895-1987) built her musical legacy on a firm foundation of late 19th- and early 20th-century African-American instrumental traditions and fine musicianship. She strung her guitar upside down, the bass notes to the bottom. This meant she would thumb the treble strings while finger-picking the bass notes, creating an almost inimitable sound. Her method was so influential it became known as the "Cotten style." Watch this unique style in a performance of "Freight Train," her best-known song, edited from film taken by Pete and Toshi Seeger at the Seeger family home in 1957.

"Froggie Went a Courtin"” by Elizabeth Mitchell from Blue Clouds

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Elizabeth Mitchell invites listeners to join her, husband Daniel Littleton, their daughter Storey, and other friends and relatives to become part of an extended musical family.

"God Said He Would Move…" by Paschall Brothers from On the Right Road Now

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The Tidewater style of a cappella gospel is one of several regional styles that took root in the American South and eastern states after the Civil War. These groups have always been called quartets even though they could have six or more members: The word quartet refers to the fact that the groups sing in four-part harmony. Formed in 1981 under the leadership of Frank Paschall Sr., the Paschall Brothers perform classic Tidewater repertoire along with original compositions. The Paschalls add their own flair to these pieces, expanding harmonic structure and creating distinct arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original while creating a passionate sound that is uniquely theirs.

"I know a City Called Okeechobee" by Ella Jenkins at Music Center at Strathmore 2006

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Ella Jenkins sings her song "I Know a City Called Okeechobee" before a sold out crowd at the Music Center at Strathmore in 2006. The performance was part of a concert event where luminaries in the folk and children's music genre, such as Pete Seeger and Sweet Honey in the Rock, paid tribute to Ella's career and legacy.
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