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The Reclaiming Folk: Celebrating the Voices of People of Color in Folk Music

Community Meeting Room, Main Library, 40 Washington Street, Quincy, MA, 02169

The Reclaiming Folk Event Series is a celebration of people of color in Folk Music. Folk Music is traditional music, folk music is storytelling, folk music is music of the people, folk music is a voice for what’s happening in the world today.

In our society, there is often no space for marginalized people to tell their stories. The Reclaiming Folk seeks to make space for musicians of color to tell their stories and tell the stories of our past, so that our future can be a more inclusive place for all.

We are Reclaiming Folk, because history has forgotten that people of color have always been at the root of American Folk music. From field calls to Blues to Gospel, the origin of American Folk Music is connected to people of color.

This 90 minute program includes a 60 minute performance by 1-3 Massachusetts based, folk artists of color singing songs in a round. Each musician will play original songs and one traditional folk song by a musician of color. Following the performance will be a 30 minute talk back and discussion where the musicians will talk about their songs and their experience as folk musicians and then the discussion will open up to a Q&A.

This event is generously funded by the Quincy Cultural Council.

About the artists:

Naomi Westwater (they/she) is a queer, Black-multiracial singer-songwriter from Massachusetts. Their work combines folk music, poetry, and spirituality. Their hope is that through ritual and storytelling they can aid nature in the end of capitalism and the return of community, creativity, and collective joy.

Naomi holds a Master of Music in Contemporary Performance and Production from Berklee College of Music and she is a part of The Club Passim Folk Collective, where she produces Re-Imagining Lilith Fair: a tribute to the feminist music scene of the 1990s with an intersection lens for today.

Almira Ara is a 21 year-old songwriter, singer, and producer that focuses on melding Rock and R&B together to create a genre that is truest to their creations. With influences ranging from Queen and Tracy Chapman to Kehlani, Almira captures aspects of the past and present to create music that can resonate with future generations. Their music is also heavily influenced by their community, which consists of queer Black and POC people, whether their music is talking about queer love or issues that members of the community face.

Kemp Harris is a composer, musician, children’s author, actor and teacher. Born in North Carolina, Kemp taught himself piano and was writing songs at age 14.

Kemp has shared the stage with Freebo, Taj Mahal, Gil Scott-Heron and Koko Taylor. He wrote and performed “If Loneliness Was Black” for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Complexions Dance Company. Kemp has also composed for WGBH Public Television/Boston.


Mar 28 2024


7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Thomas Crane Public Library


Thomas Crane Public Library
40 Washington Street, Quincy, MA 02169
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