Krogen Owners Organize Second Annual Music Festival in Marathon, Florida
In light of the rousing response in January 2010, the Florida Keys Traditional Music Festival is returning to Marathon for a second year. The Festival also doubles as a Kadey-Krogen southern rendezvous. Krogen cruisers from 58's "Solveig IV" and "Tapestry", 42's "Snow Goose" and "Molly Blossom", and 39' "Sweet Time" formed the nucleus of last year's organizing committee. Many others - both Marathon winter residents and a large group that traveled down from Stuart - helped out on Festival weekend.
The event will be held at Boatman's Sombrero Resort at 19 Sombrero Boulevard in Marathon over the weekend of January 28-30, 2011. The dates partially overlap with the Fort Lauderdale TrawlerFest (January 27-29) which makes a perfect opportunity for a long weekend of boats and music in sunny Florida.
The Festival is an all-weather event, housed in a large tent at the Resort, and chairs will be provided. Tickets are $20 for each of four concerts, but before January 3, 2011 the four concert series can be purchased for $70. Tickets are available on the Festival website, http://www.keysmusicfest.org.
Like the first year, the Festival will feature some of the finest traditional artists from across the country. Three groups will return for a second year, and four will be making their first appearance in the Florida Keys. Returning are the Beausoleil Cajun trio from Lafayette, Louisiana and the Springfield Exit Band from Winchester, Virginia, this time featuring their nationally-recognized banjoist, Sammy Shelor, who couldn't come last year. And Joe Mama will once again be assembling a Keys All Stars band.
First timers in the Keys will include Joshua Nelson, who blends Hebrew texts and African American gospel music and is known as the "Prince of Kosher Gospel"; Irish musicians Saemus and Damien Connolly, both are Ireland champion musicians; 2010 grammy-winning Los Texmaniacs, performers of Texas/Mexico border cojunto music; and Eddie Pennington of Kentucky, two time National Thumb Picking Champion.
Two of the performers, Michael Doucet of the BeauSoleil Trio and Eddie Pennington, master Travis-style guitarist and singer, are holders of the prestigious Heritage Award conferred by the National Endowment for the Arts, the nation's highest honor for traditional artists.
The Festival's four concerts will be benefit performances. All the musicians will perform without pay as participants in "Artists for the Traditional Arts". This is an informal group organized by artists themselves to support the work of the non-profit National Council for the Traditional Arts (the NCTA), which is producing the event.
The NCTA, based in the Washington D.C. suburb of Silver Spring, Maryland, pioneered multi-ethnic folk festivals in the 1930s and is the nation's longest-standing folk arts organization. Its work now includes a nationwide touring program, five large scale festivals, and planning cultural activities in the National Parks. The NCTA stresses quality and authenticity in bringing traditional artists to the public, and has produced events reaching an estimated 2 million people over the last five years. See details at www.ncta.net.
In 2011, the NCTA will share proceeds from the Festival with the Grace Jones Day Care Center in Marathon, the local co-beneficiary. The Festival co-chair is the Chairman of the NCTA's Board, John Holum, a Marathon boat resident, and its manager is his spouse Barbara Holum. The local co-chair of the Festival will be Morgan Hill of Exit Realty. All festival activities will be managed by volunteers, many of whom played key roles in the successful 2010 festival.
The Festival is receiving strong promotional backing from the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, which provided an initial level of support in 2010 and then, in light of performance, more than tripled its funding for 2011. The popular Florida Keys newspaper The Keynoter is providing additional help this year as the Festival's media sponsor. Dave's Island Taxi of Marathon will transport artists to and from their arrival airports, and will also provide continuous shuttle service between parking and the festival site.
Organizers advise that food and beverages will be available on site and that coolers will not be allowed. In addition, they advise that the venue is not suitable for pets.