Richmond Folk Festival

The annual Richmond Folk Festival is one of Virginia’s largest events, drawing visitors from all over the country to downtown Richmond to celebrate the roots, richness and variety of American culture through music, dance, traditional crafts, storytelling and food. JAMinc is proud to be involved each year, sponsoring stage line-ups, hosting a banjo contest and bringing internationally recognized folk musicians into Richmond area schools.

The Scott Street Five String Finals

Winners of the Scott Strings Banjo Competition at the Richmond Folk Festival, held Saturday, October 12, 2019. (Skip Rowland)

The Scott Street Five-String Finals

For five years, JAMinc hosted hosted the Scott Street Five-String Finals, that ended with the Covid pandemic. The contest honored the memory of Scott Street, beloved JAMinc board member, distinguished attorney and dedicated banjo player, who we lost in February of 2015 to cancer.

Scott was committed to encouraging young people to play Appalachian string music. In this event banjo players 18 and under compete in two divisions: bluegrass/Scruggs-style playing and clawhammer/frailing-style playing.

Each contestant submitted a preliminary YouTube video entry, and three finalists in each division were selected by a distinguished panel of judges. Finalists met live at the Richmond Folk Festival.  Winners in each division received a handsome crystal trophy, a demo recording session at In Your Ear Studios, and a $1,000 cash prize. Runners up received $600 for second and $400 for third place.

The Scott Street Five String Finals

Taking the Richmond Folk Festival to area schools

Since 1996, JAMinc has been taking Richmond Folk Festival artists to area schools, including the Faison School for Autism and St. Andrew’s School, and to the Richmond Justice Center.

The week before the festival, master musicians and artists visit several area schools, performing and visiting in classrooms and auditoriums. Together, the artists and students share music, song, craft and stories, and make memories that will last a lifetime. JAMinc provides tech support and transportation for the artists, as well as coordination and other assistance.

This is a natural fit for JAMinc; we’ve been dedicated to bringing music to our schools since we started. If you are interested in bringing the Richmond Folk Festival to your school, let us know.

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Guitar lessons at Richmond Folk Festival.