Smithsonian Folklife Festival 2016
06.07.2016 - 06.07.2016
The themes for the 2016 Smithsonian Folklife Festival were "Basque: Innovation by Culture" and "Sounds of California". I was unable to go to the National Mall this year to see the full Festival. But, I did see one Festival event that combined all the aspects of the program. Noka, a Basque-American vocal trio from California, performed at the Library of Congress. Noka presented traditional Basque songs and their original songs in the Basque language. Guitar accompaniment was by Mikel Markez. They are from Chino, California, in San Bernardino County. I was not aware of this before, but Chino has been a center for immigrants from the Basque country of France and Spain. Descendants keep Basque culture alive in Chino today. Thus, the members of the female vocal ensemble have known many of their songs since childhood. Noka has toured in the Basque country of Europe and apparently has quite a following there. This concert neatly combined both themes of this year's Folklife Festival.
Noka perorms at the Coolidge Auditorium
I enjoyed the concert and picked up one of their CDs after the show.
Basque guitarist Mikel Markez