Northwest Folkife


2022 SuperFolk Festival

SuperFolk Festival is a collaborative production of Northwest Folklife and Whippoorwill Arts, and presented in partnership with Tacoma Arts Live and the Washington State Historical Society. This 2-day festival features music and performance in an event that showcases the brilliance, depth, and breadth of folk music—demonstrating its ability to connect traditions of the past, by forging new pathways into the future.

SuperFolk is a process of bringing things together and seeing what happens when they mix. In this first installment of SuperFolk, this collective partnership invites artists from across the country and locally to engage through music and exhibition, bringing history back to life as musicians perform in various galleries of the Washington State Historical Museum (WSHM).

SuperFolk will be hosted at the WSHM on Friday & Saturday, October 21-22, 2022 and will feature Washington-based artists invited by NW Folklife, and national/international artists from Whippoorwill Arts’ Fellowship program.

Friday and Saturday evening’s set will introduce all of our artists with short performances. Saturday's daytime set will host a series of performance installations infused throughout the museum’s galleries.


Friday Night Concert Saturday Exhibit Walk Saturday Night Concert
6:15pm  Dante & Eros Faulk 11:00am  Miles Quale 6:15pm  Miles Quale (Crying Uncle)
6:45pm  Del Rey 11:30am  Kamara Thomas 6:50pm  Nina Gerber & Chris Webster
7:25pm  Kamara Thomas Band 12:00pm  Fabiola Mendez 7:30pm  Kimo Muraki
8:05pm Abel Rocha 1:00pm  Dante & Eros Faulk 8:20pm  Pura Fe
8:45pm  Stephanie Ann Johnson 1:30pm  Pura Fe 9:10pm  Keith Little
9:25pm  Fabiola Mendez Trio 2:00pm  Keith Little
2:30pm  Del Rey
3:00pm Stephanie Ann Johnson
3:30pm  Abel Rocha
4:00pm  Kimo Muraki

Abel Rocha

Abel Rocha is a Mexico City-born folklorist, singer and multi-instrumentalist who performs music of Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, Chile and Argentina. He is a foundational member of groups including Trío Guadalevín , Correo Aereo and Los Flacos, and the nueva canción ensemble, Sin Fronteras. Recently, Abel was the subject of the KCTS 9 Seattle Emmy-nominated documentary, Los Artistas. A Master Artist of Mexican music in Washington state, teaching instruments including the jarana and quinta, he also contributed to the establishment of the Seattle Fandango Project and works with bilingual school programs adapting youth poetry to traditional decimas.

Born in Mexico City ,Mexico in 1960.

His first musical experiences were as a singer with his father and uncle old mexican songs, corridos, also some latinoamerican songs mainly from Venezuela and Argentina.

In the mid sixties he travelled as a child to some states and provinces from his own country. This experience would be quite influential to develop the taste and love for the folk music of the country side.

During the early and mid seventies he started guitar lessons with profesor Adrian Nieto Arenas, who was then an active member of the important band " Los Folkloristas";- he also got immersed listening recordings and live performances of musicians from Latinoamerica and Mexico. During that time, Mexico hosted many artists from countries like :Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Peru , etc as touring acts or political reasons. This provide the opportunity for him to learn music as a real life experience.

In the middle of this decade he also started performing instruments related to the guitar and harp with his first band "Cantores del Viento".

During the first years of the eighties he took lessons of classical guitar and voice;- he also was a student of anthropology in the ENAH -(National School of Anthropology and History)-, during this brief period he took some courses with profesor and ethnomusicologist Thomas Stanford.

By 1987 , he started his professional career getting out of Mexico City, touring in states like Queretaro, Michoacan, Guerrero,Jalico and the place of his last residence in Mexico before moving to the USA :Oaxaca.

During the first year of the nineties, once that he was invited with his former band Quetzalcoatl" in USA, he toured through the states of New Mexico, California and Oregon, he also was part of the soundtracks of movies like "American Me"-( Eduard J Olmos).

Dante & Eros Faulk

Dante and Eros Faulk have been playing music their whole lives, both picked up a string instrument at the age of 3. Today, their love and understanding for traditional music combined with their awareness of modern and popular music (ranging from rock, jazz, EDM, and more) yields an inventive and contemporary sound that is still true to their traditional roots. They perform extensively across the West Coast, highlights including Wintergrass, Northwest Folklife Festival, and sharing the stage with living legends such as Darol Anger, Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas, Rushad Eggleston, Moira Smiley, and more.

On their latest album, Mirage, the teen cello/fiddle duo draw inspiration from traditional Celtic music on this album of original compositions and contemporary arrangements. The album is produced by renowned Celtic music star Ryan McKasson, whose expertise in arranging and recording music results in unique, innovative, and energetic arrangements of new and old tunes. Mirage takes Dante and Eros’ music in a bold new direction, and establishes them as two of the most innovative musicians in traditional music today.

Del Rey

Del Rey started playing guitar when she was four years old. At thirteen, she was immersed in the world of folk music, via the San Diego Folk Festival. She has tried to get a whole band onto her solo instrument from the beginning. This gives her music an interesting complexity, especially when applied to the ukulele.
Rags, blues and tunes of the early 20th century are her specialty, even as she writes new music to add to the tradition. Del Rey also has fashion sense that would make Minnie Pearl smile.

Del Rey has taught and played all over the world, and brings her distinctive finger-style approach to guitar and ukulele to her teaching DVDs on Homespun “Boogie-Woogie Guitar” ” The Music Of Memphis Minnie” , “Memphis Uke Party” and “Blue Uke. 

Fabiola Mendez

Native to Caguas, PR, Fabiola Mendez began playing the Puerto Rican cuatro at the age of 6. She was a student at the Hogar del Cuatro Puertorriqueño, the Humacao Musical Institute, the Antonio Paoli School of Music in Caguas, the Conservatorio de Artes del Caribe, and Berklee College of Music, where in 2018 she graduated as the first student to play the Puerto Rican cuatro as principal instrument.

Fabiola has participated in multiple recordings, including the Banco Popular Special Eco (2008), Fabiola Méndez and Herencia Criolla (2009), Ready for Departure (2014), Cuatro Sinfónico (2019), Al Otro Lado Del Charco (2019), and Afrorriqueña (2021), the last three being cataloged as part of the best 20 productions of 2019 and 2021 consecutively, according to the National Foundation for Popular Culture.

Fabiola has had the opportunity to perform on many different stages. She has worked with organizations such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Celebrity Series of Boston, Agora Cultural Architects, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Puerto Rican Arts Alliance in Chicago, Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, among others. She has collaborated with artists such as: Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, Totó La Momposina, Pedro Capó, Victoria Sanabria, Cucco Peña, Decimanía de Puerto Rico, Eddie Palmieri, the Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, Rayos Gamma, Danny Rivera, Chicago Philharmonic, among many others.

In recent years, she’s had the honor of receiving recognition such as the dedication of the Mapeyé Festival 2011, the Quincy Jones Award 2016, being an ambassador for the Puerto Rican Parade in New York 2018, a motion from the PR House of Representatives as the first cuatro player to graduate from Berklee in 2018, being selected as part of The ARTery 25 by Boston’s NPR news station in 2021, and the Brother Thomas Fellowship 2021 from the Boston Foundation.

Currently, Fabiola works as a cuatro player and singer-songwriter, presenting her original music projects inside and outside of Puerto Rico. In addition, she works as a composer for children's animated series, including the PBS Kids show Alma's Way, Work It Out Wombats, and Mecha Builders, produced by Sesame Street.

Kamara Thomas

Kamara Thomas is a singer, songspeller, mythology fanatic and multidisciplinary storyteller based in Durham, NC. Her storytelling is collaborative and multi-faceted– weaving together musical and theater performance, community art-making, ritual, and visual elements including film, masks, archival material and photography.

Kamara is currently developing “Tularosa: An American Dreamtime'' in collaboration with the Colorado-based theater company Band of Toughs. Based on her 2022 eponymous album and song-cycle, the staged storywork interrogates the mythology of the American West as it seeks to unearth, reinvent and heal the American mythologies that underpin collective cultural identity. The storywork will be the final, integrative installment of a series of experimental, multidisciplinary works including #9 - a pandemic performance for nine social-distancers (2020), the videos Good Luck America (2018) and Oh Gallows (2016), and Soapbox (2018), a community-based, multi-site public performance in downtown Durham, NC.

Kamara also spearheads Country Soul Songbook, an artist-driven and -focused media platform and production team rooted in the mission to amplify historically marginalized voices (BIPOC/LGBTQIA+) in Country, Americana and American roots music.

As a songwriter and musician, Kamara spent over a decade in New York fronting numerous bands – most notably hard rock trio Earl Greyhound and Kamara Thomas & The Ghost Gamblers. She also founded Honky Tonk Happy Hour, a seminal force of the early-aughts NYC alt-country scene.

Thomas has commissioned work for Cassilhaus, Duke University, and the University of North Carolina, and joins the faculty of Princeton University as an Arts Fellow in 2022.

Keith Little

Born and raised in the Sierra Nevada "Gold Country" foothills, Keith Little is a Grammy and IBMA Award-winning musician who is internationally recognized for his work as a singer, instrumentalist, composer, producer, recording artist, band leader, teacher and coach. Introduced to traditional music at an early age, Keith parlayed his love of bluegrass into a performing and recording career spanning forty plus years, participating early on with Rose Maddox and the Vern Williams Band in what has since proven to be a milestone in west coast country music. Keith has been a key member of many national and international touring bands with his most notable tenures as a member of The Country Gentlemen (Washington D.C.) and Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder (Nashville, TN). Formed in 2014 the Keith Little Band has been the focus of his performing work to date, garnering wide critical acclaim even amidst the CS-19 pandemic’s hampering effects. As a recording musician, Keith has participated in hundreds of projects, most notably with Dolly Parton on The Grass Is Blue and Little Sparrow, which both won Grammy and IBMA awards. In addition to his performing and recording work, Keith’s compositions have been recorded by Claire Lynch, Tim O’Brien, Country Gentlemen, Longview, Crystal Gayle, Vern Williams, and the Whites. A dedicated teacher and coach, Keith has taught at many top instructional camps and workshops worldwide, and has produced singing instructional recordings along with his solo album Distant Land To Roam. In 2018 Keith was chosen for the first Master Artist Award, given in collaboration between Whippoorwill Arts, and the Freshgrass Foundation. Keith is an honorary lifetime member of the California Bluegrass Association, and a proud 35-year life member of the American Federation of Musicians. At home on center stage or in a supporting role, Keith performs as a solo artist, with the Keith Little Band, and is also a featured member of the David Grisman Bluegrass Experience.

Kimo Muraki

Kimo Muraki is Hawaiian born and Idaho raised, currently based in Seattle. He is a performer, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, composer, arranger, private instructor, actor, live and studio musician actively recording for major labels and independent artists as well as his own original works.

Muraki is currently, or has been, a contributing member for bands/artists such as: Fences, Super Sonic Soul Pimps, The Maldives, Shaprece, Surrealized (among others), and is a founding member of Marmalade, the longest running funk/soul residency in the history of the Seattle music scene.

Muraki performs in his own original projects as a composer/vocalist/multi-instrumentalist.
These projects are:

"Kimo Muraki" (currently solo, former front man of the psych-folk ensemble “Tiny Messengers”) visit:

"Surrealized" (electro-synthpop) visit:

Between these two original projects he has independently released three EP’s, three full length albums, and has shared the stage with artists such as St. Vincent, Bonobo, Yppah, Cotton Jones, Buffalo Tom, Langhorne Slim, Sophie Barker of Zero 7, Vic Chesnutt and many more. In October of 2015 Muraki performed at Benaroya Hall with the Seattle Symphony as a guest vocalist with Los Angeles based artist Shaprece.

During his career Muraki has performed at festivals all over the region including:
Doe Bay Fest, NW Folklife, Sasquatch Music Festival, Timber Music Festival, Capitol Hill Block Party, Bumbershoot, Decibel Festival, Noise Pop Festival, Summer Meltdown, APOG Fest, West Seattle Summer Fest, Fremont Solstice Festival, and more.

Before moving to Seattle, Muraki was a resident actor/musician at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival for seven consecutive seasons from 1993-2000 having begun his residency as a teenager. Muraki has also most recently been cast in “Sex, Drugs, Rock & Soul” – a musical by Seattle soul artist, Grace Love. Kimo has also been a member of The Bushwick Book Club since 2013 having composed and performed numerous music and performance art pieces inspired by books.

Some of Muraki’s most notable studio recording credits as an arranger/composer while also performing multiple instruments and vocals include:

• Vance Joy – Album “Dream Your Life Away” / Atlantic Records (backing vocals, sax, cornet, trombone, mellophone, baritone, flute)

• Zach Bryan – Single “From Austin” / Warner Records (sax, trumpet, mellophone, baritone)

• Prateek Kuhad – Album "The Way That Lovers Do" / Elektra Records (backing vocals, cornet, sax, flute, mellophone, baritone)

• The Strumbellas – Album “We Still Move On Dance Floors” / Six Shooter Records ***WINNER of the 2014 JUNO AWARD for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year (backing vocals, cornet, sax, banjo)

• Phillip Phillips – Single “Miles” / Interscope Records (guitar)

• Ewert And The Two Dragons – Album “Circles” / Warner Bros. Records / Sire Records (sax, flute, mellophone)

• This Wild Life – Album “Petaluma” / Epitaph (backing vocals, sax, mellophone, flute, cornet, baritone, trombone)

• Shawn Smith – Album “The Diamond Hand” / Gator Records (backing vocals, guitar, sax)

• Chef’Special – Single “In Your Arms” / Atlantic Records (backing vocals, sax, cornet, flute, trombone, mellophone)

• Levi Ware w/ Blind Boys of Alabama – Single “Rise Up” / benefiting Melodic Caring Project (electric guitar, cornet, mellophone, tenor sax, baritone)

Please visit for more resume info, performance dates, artist services, and more.

Miles Quale

Miles Quale, age 18, is a fiddler from Alameda, CA who plays and sings with depth beyond his years. Miles is accomplished in both bluegrass fiddle and jazz violin, playing with his own bands and as a guest on stages and at music festivals throughout the country and internationally. He is the fiddler for and a founder of bands Crying Uncle Duo, Crying Uncle Bluegrass Band, and Jubilee. Recording his first album at the age of twelve, Miles and his bands have since released several full length albums and EPs. He has been fortunate to play with many of his musical heroes, including Darol Anger, Mike Marshall, Brittany Haas, and Country Music legend Marty Stuart. In 2019, Miles had the honor of playing at Ryman Auditorium and the Grand Ole Opry. In 2021, he toured with band leader and guitarist, Dr. Pascal Bokar and his AfroBlueGrazz Band.

An accomplished contest fiddler, he won the 2019 Youth Grand Master Fiddlers Championship (Nashville, TN) and the 2019 National Fiddle Contest Jr. Swing Division Championship (Weiser, ID). In 2021 and 2020, Miles was nominated for the IBMA Instrumentalist Award; and, in 2019, he was a finalist at Freshgrass Festival’s Fiddle Contest.

Miles began Suzuki violin at the age of 3 and switched to bluegrass fiddle when he was 6. He began his studies with Catherine Manning of Manning Music in Berkeley, CA, and has since studied with Tristan Clarridge of Crooked Still, Chad Manning of The David Grisman Quintet, Grammy Award winning jazz violinist Mads Tolling, and Darol Anger.

Miles has taught fiddle at Manning Music School, Berkeley CA, since the age of 12 and he currently teaches jazz violin at Oaktown Jazz, Oakland. He has also worked as a teaching assistant for Freight and Salvage’s Freight Kids Music Camp and for California Bluegrass Association’s Kids on Bluegrass program. He plays a mean round of chess, is a blue belt in judo, and enjoys cooking for family and friends.

Nina Gerber & Chris Webster

After carving a career out of what some might call the shadows, guitarist Nina Gerber is at last beginning to dare the light. Her first album as a leader, Not Before Noon, follows two decades which brought her to prominence without ever placing her name on the front of an album cover. Since her accompaniment of Kate Wolf first earned her recognition, her acute skills as performer, producer and arranger have continued to deepen. Her contributions to acoustic music have earned her a following as loyal as for the numerous high talents she has accompanied--proving the shadows equal to the spotlight in the creation of honest, powerful, and beautiful music.

Nina has a unique ability to completely free herself within an eclectic range of styles. Presented with folk, country, bluegrass, rock, or blues, she is able to fall into leads which have rare reverence for the true feeling of a song, always emphasizing taste over technical display. She seeks to express through her hands, rather than gain attention, and it is this integrity which makes her expressions worth intent listening.

That kind of intent listening will reveal Nina’s melodic touch in more places than many realize. Nina has performed and/or recorded with: Nanci Griffith, Greg Brown, Dave Alvin, Lucy Kaplansky, Mollie O’Brien, Karla Bonoff, Eliza Gilkyson, Laurie Lewis, Ferron, Rosalie Sorrels, Terry Garthwaite, Tom Paxton, and many others.

That qualities of honest heart inform Nina’s music should be of no surprise, given Kate Wolf’s initial influence and inspiration. It was Kate’s heart and honesty which inspired Nina to realize music as her calling. After seeing Kate perform in 1975 at a pizza parlor in Sebastopol, California--Nina’s home town--Nina dared to set working with Kate as a specific goal, and by 1978, the goal was accomplished. Nina came to be an essential part of Kate’s music, as she grew into being her accompanist and close musical companion. It was a partnership which lasted until Kate’s passing in 1986, and in its effect, has lasted long beyond that. It’s an achievement which is a testament to the power of clear desire and single-minded purpose; it’s also evidence of the daring Nina has shown throughout her career since, whether through seeking out the challenging rush of unrehearsed performances, driving her van alone cross-country (1985) to explore the music scenes of Austin and Nashville, taking a sabbatical to study at the Guitar Institute of Technology in Hollywood, or just keeping on as a musician in a country where artistic integrity rarely pays.

Whether it’s on her own “solo” CDs- collaborations with some of the folk world’s finest--or producing, arranging, or performing with countless others, Nina continues to prove with her guitar that some of the truest and most emotional communication requires no words. Still, when combined with the voice of another musician of heart, the result is affecting in an unforgettable way.

“…the epitome of a perfect musician! It is so Zen the way she perfectly under-girds and complements whatever music is at hand, never playing an extraneous or superfluous or irrelevant note, & always being perfectly in the flow with whatever she is playing & whomever she’s playing with! Playing Music together on that level is Divine!… everything else is a more or less skillful filling the air with a more or less pleasant bunch of notes!”

— Maria Muldaur, Los Angeles, February 2018

“She’s a musician’s musician, or maybe she’s just everybody’s favorite guitarist.”

— Nevada City Prospector

“Amongst acoustic guitarists, Gerber is held in near universal high regard, not least for how she distills strength from subtlety. Her melodic fretwork warmly complements and never overwhelms…”

— Pasadena Weekly

Pura Fe

Pura Fé (Tuscarora/Taino) is an Indigenous activist, singer-songwriter, and storyteller known for her distinct, soulful vocals and for breathing life into several musical genres. As the founding member of the internationally renowned Native Women’s a cappella trio Ulali, Pura Fé helped to create a movement throughout Indian Country, which not only empowered Native Women’s hand drum and harmony, but also built a bridge for Native music into the mainstream music scene.

More recently, deep cultural roots have brought her to the world of Native Blues, where she is known for her lap-steel slide guitar recordings. Her body of work is extensive, including six solo albums, one of which won her a Grand Prix du Disque from L'Académie Charls Cros (French Grammy) for Best World Album in 2006 for Tuscarora Nation Blues, and a Native American Music Award (NAMMY) for Best Female Artist for Follow Your Heart’s Desire.

Pura Fé’s music has been featured on many movie soundtracks, documentaries, and television commercials. She tours world festivals, has earned platinum album sales in Italy. She supports many social injustice gatherings as a presenter and musician; she leads musical workshops and college courses, performs for benefits, and was featured in the award-winning 2017 documentary, RUMBLE: The Indians that Rocked the World.

Stephanie Ann Johnson

A singer’s talent is complete when they can bring a crowded dive bar to a collective hush and also get one of the biggest audiences on the planet to a collective standing ovation. Stephanie Anne Johnson is that special singer who can don a cowboy hat and sing over a slide as old timers weep. And they have wowed judges on the immensely popular NBC TV series, The Voice, showcasing their gifts.

Perhaps it’s no surprise that Johnson is so affecting. Their mantra, after all, is “Find your joy and go there.” Their prowess exudes whether they are singing the Black national anthem - “Lift Every Voice And Sing” - to a packed auditorium or whether they're cooing acoustic lullabies to Saturday night tavern regulars. Their music, which is rooted in all that’s American, expresses the pain of the past, the roots of the down home and the hope that hard work will lead to proper reward.

The latest LP, Take This Love, is a blend of Loretta Lynn and Valerie June. It’s a stunning catalogue of surprise and satisfaction. Stephanie Anne Johnson has opened for acts that include political figure Bernie Sanders, and artists such as Mavis Staples, Chaka Khan, Ani DiFranco, Joseph, Cedric Burnside, and Black Joe Lewis

Partnering Organizations:

We're very proud to be working collaboratively with Whippoorwill Arts, Tacoma Arts Live, and the Washington State Historical Society


Whippoorwill Arts is on a mission to invest in and uplift the work of roots musicians and nurture their creativity with a focus on collaboration, fair wages, equity, and social justice. We model equity booking and fair pay - and work to reimagine and transform the music ecosystem for all working musicians. No one has spoken for them until now...through our National Research Study of Working Roots Musicians, they speak for themselves.

Energizing community through live performance.

Tacoma Arts Live is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization. We are recognized for both our leadership in presenting world-class artists and for our access and education through the arts programs that serve 50,000+ students, teachers, and parents annually in the South Sound.

The Washington State Historical Society partners with our communities to explore how history connects us all.

Founded in 1891 and now into its second century of service, the Washington State Historical Society is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and vividly presenting Washington’s rich and storied history. The Historical Society offers a variety of services to researchers, historians, scholars, and lifelong learners, as well as operating the State History Research Center and the Washington State History Museum.