News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Festival announces summer concerts

The music will go on this summer, with the Sisters Summer of Festival, at the Sisters Art Works venue.

The Sisters Folk Festival’s summer concert series will feature 16 artists over four weekends on Friday and Saturday evenings, with two artists performing each night. Concert dates are June 25 and 26; July 16, 17, 30, and 31; and August 13 and 14. Seating will be offered in three lawn sections to give audience members plenty of room to spread out on their tarps, blankets, and low festival chairs, with different prices for each tier depending on proximity to the stage. Each show will start at 7 p.m.

The Sisters Summer of Festival series kicks off on Friday, June 25 with a co-bill featuring Americana songstress and singer Sierra Ferrell playing as a trio and the dynamic Freddy & Francine with a full band.

Ferrell has made waves in the acoustic music world with her signature singing style and aesthetic, while Freddy & Francine are celebrating a fantastic new record, “I Am Afraid to Die,” recorded pre-pandemic.

On Saturday evening, June 26, the series will feature songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jenner Fox and award-winning singer, songwriter, and Sisters Folk Festival alumna Anna Tivel, both of whom will play as a trio.

On Friday, July 16, festival favorite Eilen Jewell will perform in a co-bill with the old-time duo Caleb Klauder and Reeb Willms. American Songwriter describes Eilen Jewell as one of America’s most intriguing, creative, and idiosyncratic voices. The Boise, Idaho, songwriter leads a tight quartet that blends influences of surf-noir, early blues, classic country, folk, and 1960s era rock ’n’ roll.

Saturday, July 17 will feature the return of the enigmatic and brilliant Steve Poltz, with an opening set from Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter, and guitarist Madison Cunningham, who as an up-and-coming artist has shown stunning artistry that earned her an opening slot on the Harry Styles tour later in the fall.

Friday, July 30 brings banjo and guitar player Tony Furtado along with his trio, plus the David Jacobs-Strain Band with Bob Beach to the Artworks stage.

On Saturday, July 31, Sisters Folk Festival will bring Northern California rock band The Mother Hips to the Sisters Art Works stage to celebrate their 30th year anniversary tour. This show will feature songwriting by the legendary frontman Tim Bluhm with some of the best electric rock and roll the West Coast has offered up for more than three decades. The evening’s concert will also feature an opening set by Santa Cruz natives The Coffis Brothers, with their original rock and sweet-sounding brother harmony singing.

On Friday, August 13, the last weekend of the series will bring multiple songwriter award-winning artist Kristen Grainger & True North to perform, with their bluegrass-leaning folk powerhouse including Dan Wetzel, Martin Stevens, and Josh Adkins. Sharing the stage that evening will be San Juan Island, Washington-based Sway Wild, an internationally acclaimed indie folk-rock duo comprised of pioneering electric guitarist Mandy Fer and guitarist/singer Dave McGraw. Both of these acts are well-known on the folk circuit.

The Sisters Summer of Festival wraps up on Saturday, August 14 with the Kansas City-based Latinx band Making Movies, with support from Los Angeles singer-songwriter Raye Zaragoza. Rolling Stone magazine says that Making Movies — known for an innovative approach to music inspired by American and Latin cultures — are “breaking down walls in the U.S.”

From their Panamanian and Mexican heritage to their fusion of international sounds and genres, Making Movies melds reinterpretations of cumbia, mambo, son, and salsa with blues and rock’n’roll, as well as traditional Mexican and Panamanian folclór, while singing in Spanish and English.

Zaragoza, a first-generation Japanese-American on her mother’s side, indigenous on her father’s side, and raised in New York City, delivers messages about embracing one’s own identity and discovering the power behind it, all across brisk, emotive, compelling folk melodies.

Making Movies will offer a workshop about how experiencing music can reveal the underlying connection between us all. From huapango to the blues, from son cubano to jazz, the band demonstrates that there is a link between all the rhythmic genres in the Americas. The workshop uses audience participation to demonstrate how the clave informs all rhythmic music in the west.

Zaragoza will offer a workshop entitled “Woman in Color,” a conversation on navigating American society as a cross-cultural woman of color. Both of these free workshops will be offered on Sunday, August 15, at Sisters Art Works, with Zaragoza at noon and Making Movies at 1:30 p.m.

Tickets will go on sale for the Sisters Summer of Festival on Wednesday, May 26 for Sisters Folk Arts Circle members and on Wednesday, June 2 for the general public. For tickets and additional information, visit or call 541-549-4979.


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