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2007 Guest Artists for the Alaska Folk Festival

Carolina Chocolate Drops

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Carolina Chocolate Drops The Carolina Chocolate Drops are a group of young African- American stringband musicians that have come together to play the rich tradition of fiddle and banjo music in Carolina's piedmont. Although they have diverse musical backgrounds, they draw their musical heritage from the foothills of North and South Carolina. They have been under the tutelage of Joe Thompson, said to be the last black traditional string band player, of Mebane, North Carolina and they strive to carry on the long standing traditional music of the black and white communities. They have been influenced by Odell and Nate Thompson, Dink Roberts, John Snipes, Libba Cotten, Emp White and countless others who have passed beyond memory and recognition.
Dom Rhiannon Justin Sule
Dom Flemons
Born and raised in Arizona, Dom has thoroughly immersed himself in the sounds of yesterday, with a prodigious record collection and an immense knowledge of the different playing styles of the blues, country, and stringband traditions. As part of the Chocolate Drops, Dom uses harmonica, guitar, bones, and jug to add an infectious rhythm.
Rhiannon Giddens
Rhiannon Giddens was born in the Carolina piedmont and grew up with the sounds of bluegrass from one side of her family and classic blues and jazz on the other side. After graduating the Oberlin Conservatory of music, she fell into contra dancing and became insipired by the old-time bands she heard at the dances. She worked extra hard to buy her first banjo and fiddle and hasn't looked back since. She plays with Joe Thompson every chance she gets. She also calls contra and social dances.
Justin Robinson
Justin Robinson is the fiddler for the Chocolate Drops. He grew up in North Carolina in a house full of musicians, his mother was an opera singer and cellist, sister a classical pianist and his grandfather a harmonica player. He played classical violin at the age of 9 and is under the tutelage of Joe Thompson. He met Joe, as well as the other members of the Chocolate Drops, at a Black Banjo Gathering in Boone, North Carolina.
Sule Greg Wilson
Sule Greg Wilson brings over thirty years of folk and world music experience to the Carolina Chocolate Drops. From his school days as a dancer and drummer in his native Washington, DC, to artist's residencies in Hermosillo, Mexico and Antrim, Northern Ireland, Sule Wilson brings "spirit, expertise, commitment, and, above all, his feisty intelligence" to all he does.