WAMFEST 2013 to Bring Three Grammy-Winners to FDU

Rosanne Cash, Loudon Wainwright III, Tony Trischka, poet C.D. Wright featured in series.

Fairleigh Dickinson University. Credit: Patch file
Fairleigh Dickinson University. Credit: Patch file

The 2013 WAMFEST, Fairleigh Dickinson University’s groundbreaking Words and Music Festival, will feature Grammy Award-winning artists Rosanne Cash, Loudon Wainwright III and Tony Trischka, as well as award-winning poet C.D. Wright and other celebrated artists, the university has announced.

The series features six events over three days in October, starting Monday, Oct. 28. It explores how artists in various genres engage in their craft and what their words and music mean. WAMFEST events include an opportunity for the audience to ask questions.

WAMFEST is open to the public and free of charge. Attendees are asked to register at http://fduwamfest2013.eventbrite.com/  

This year’s WAMFEST is entitled “The Appalachian Heritage,” with each event designed to celebrate the contributions of Appalachia to American culture, while highlighting the need to protect the Appalachian heritage and mountains, according to an announcement for the event.

The project is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, Fairleigh Dickinson University, and Bob and Patricia Pures, with additional funding provided by Investors Bank and Gourmet Dining.

The Lineup

Here's a description of the events provided by FDU:

WAMFEST opens with “The Origins: A Conversation and Performance” with legendary banjo player Tony Trischka, guitarist Tim Stafford of the Grammy-nominated group Blue Highway, and NEA Heritage Fellow (the highest award in the folk arts) and national treasure Jesse McReynolds will be our special guest, pending final confirmation.  Wesley Stace (formerly John Wesley Harding) and WFDU DJ Carol Beaugard will host the event in Wilson Auditorium, Dickinson Hall, Metropolitan Campus in Hackensack on Monday, Oct. 28, from 7-9 p.m.

The College at Florham hosts the Tuesday, Oct. 29, event. “A Part of the History: A Screening of Director John Sayles’ Oscar-Nominated 'Matewan'” will take place from 1-4 p.m. in the Dreyfuss Building, Screening Room 125, and will be followed by a discussion with Producer Maggie Renzi and Production Designer Nora Chavooshian. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the release of "Matewan," which documents the shockingly violent labor disputes surrounding the coal mining industry in West Virginia in the 1920s.

Later that night, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., “The Politics of Coal: Environmental Advocate Joe Lovett of Appalachian Mountain Advocates interviewed by Award-winning Journalist Bob Hennelly,” followed by “The Folk Song: A Conversation and Performance with Loudon Wainwright III” will take place in Lenfell Hall.

Loudon Wainwright III won a Grammy in 2010 in the category of Best Traditional Folk Album for “High Wide & Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project.” In addition to his musical career, Wainwright has appeared in a number of films including “Knocked Up,” “The 40 Year Old Virgin,” and “Big Fish.”

Wesley Stace will host “The Folk Song.” Stace is a critically-acclaimed singer/songwriter and novelist. He has released 15 music albums, ranging in style from folk to pop, several under the stage name John Wesley Harding. He has also written three novels under the name of Wesley Stace. 

WAMFEST concludes Wednesday, Oct. 30, with two more events at the College at Florham. In the Dreyfuss Theater, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., “Two Voices, Singing: An Historic Conversation and Performance” with Rosanne Cash, a  Grammy-Winning Singer/Songwriter in the category of Best Female Country Vocal Performance in 1985 for “I Don't Know Why You Don't Want Me,” and MacArthur “Genius” Prize-Winning Poet C.D. Wright.

 From 5 to 5:45 p.m., “Songs, Stories and All That Jazz: The Tradition Continues” will feature a conversation and performance with Bascom Lamar Lunsford’s grandniece Singer/Songwriter Tomi Lunsford and celebrated Songwriter/Story-Teller David Olney.

 Immediately following, from 5:45 p.m. to 8 p.m., “An Appalachian Music Gathering and Open-Jam” will be hosted by The Folk Project, featuring a number of very special guests.  

WAMFEST is an annual series hosted by FDU’s Becton College and the Creative Writing Program to inspire students and explore the relationship between creative writing and the popular arts. Recent guests have included, among many others, Bruce Springsteen, Robert Pinsky, Rosanne Cash, Paul Muldoon, and Eugene Mirman. WAMFEST has recently been singled out for recognition of its groundbreaking programming by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Fairleigh Dickinson University’s College at Florham is located at 285 Madison Ave., Madison. For more information about WAMFEST 2013 visit the series website.


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