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 Pinto Guira making guiramaking laceplaying mandolin
Interviews and Reviews

Voices in New York was a special membership program that offered monthly CDs of traditional artists we found exemplary. Here we add these interviews and reviews of CDs to other voices here.

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FOLK ARTS & CULTURE: Traditional Music & Dance

Interviews and Reviews

In 2010–2011, VOICES IN NEW YORK was a special offer to New York Folklore Society members. The program celebrated the works of New York’s master musicians, poets and storytellers. As a benefit to the VOICES IN NEW YORK membership program, our members received a traditional CD as well as a Q&A article with the artist sent out each month. We include here links to the articles for these selections:

Visit our New York Traditions online music store for some of these great recordings
Mark Hamilton - Songs and Tunes from Wolf Run Treasures from the Attic - The Cleveland Family
Cover of Oh! That Low Bridge! Cover of  Folksongs of the Catskills

These traditional music & dance web pages were developed with support of New York State Music Fund, administered by the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. These music pages are still in development. Please enjoy and come back again, as we continue to expand this section.

LISTEN to NYFS Radio Documentaries:

The New York Folklore Society has produced a number of five-minute radio documentaries featuring the folklife of New York State. Hear are the selections with traditional music and dance artists.

Polka Music in
Western New York State

Polka has long been a strong tradition in the Polish Community of Buffalo, NY, and the surrounding region since the early 1900s. Brought by immigrants from Poland, the music is part of the identity of descendants that celebrate heritage through music and dance. This documentary has interviews with performers Joe Macielag and Jerry Darlak about the mechanics and the significance of polka music.

READ a transcript from this documentary published in Voices, Spring-Summer 2001.


Mark Hamilton: Old-Time Fiddler and Square Dance Caller

The late Mark Hamilton is considered one of the finest old-time fiddlers from New York State. This documentary uses narrative and interviews to discover this man’s life and music, and reveals the historical perspective of old-time music and square dance seen through the eyes of this much missed tradition bearer.


Sara and Colleen Cleveland: A Rich Legacy of Folk Song

Sara Cleveland was a folk song collectors dream, singing a vast repertoire of British ballads and American folk songs dating back hundreds of years. Her contribution to the recording and preservation of these songs as documented by folklorists leaves a chronicle of the music traditions of early New York settlers. Now her granddaughter Colleen continues this tradition of folk song, and she and her father Jim describe their family heritage of music.


Square Dancing
in Western New York

This documentary shows that dance traditions developed by early Americans from European styles were retained and practiced in New York State as well. Interviews with square dance callers and musicians give a glimpse into the celebratory life of community members in the region and how these traditions have changed as well as continued over time.


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