Stephen Wade

Stephen Wade – photo Tim Brown

Stephen Wade

Hyattsville, Maryland

Stephen Wade draws from songs, melodies, and styles rooted in Southeastern folk tradition. Author of The Beautiful Music All Around Us: Field Recordings and the American Experience, and the forthcoming, Our Common Life: Folksong from the Front Porch to the Concert Hall (University of Illinois Press). A Grammy nominated recording artist, Stephen performed the long-running stage shows, Banjo Dancing and On the Way Home, which included an invited appearance at the White House for President Carter. 

A recipient of multiple music, writing, and theater awards, his performance this year marks his sixth time at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, appearances that began with his first main stage concert back in 1976. 

Stephen combines five-string banjo, voice, and percussive dance–sometimes all at once–while accompanying a tune, a song, or story. Based on a lifetime of personal contact with exemplars of this music, he ties these pieces, some boisterous and others sweetly sad, to their creative sources.