Logo: Susquehanna Folk Music Society
Presenting fine traditional arts in Central Pennsylvania since 1985


Sat, June 29 - Folk Artists Gathering

Folk Artists Gathering Folk Artists Gathering Hershey
The Susquehanna Folk Arts Center is hosting a get-together for people who practice or enjoy traditional arts. That term includes playing traditional music, singing in a church choir, making quilts or rugs or wood-carvings, cooking from grandma’s recipes, learning Balkan dances — the list is endless! Please join us for networking with other folk arts practitioners, or just to take a peek into the kaleidoscope of local traditional arts, on Saturday afternoon, June 29 at Hershey Public Library. MORE

Wed, July 10 - Using Social Media to Promote your Art

Using Social Media to Promote your Art Online
Online platforms offer a dizzying array of ways for artists to reach broader audiences. Local creatives Skye Leppo, Shane Speal and Bobbi Carmitchell will offer their experiences with using social media to promote their work as folk and traditional artists. Presented by our Susquehanna Folk Arts Center, this informative webinar will be held via Zoom on Wednesday, July 10. MORE

August 9-11 - Susquehanna Folk Festival

The Susquehanna Folk Festival returns on the second weekend of August with world-class performers and hands-on fun! Evening concerts feature Cape Breton superstars Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy (Friday), jazzy Texas Swing trio Hot Club of Cowtown (Saturday), and the joyously unconventional Klezmatics (Sunday).

FREE programming on Saturday and Sunday features hands-on kids’ activities, jam sessions, folk dancing, and mini-concerts from local artists Bobbi Carmitchell, Brazilian Vibes, Tanjo & Crow, and more. Our Emerging Artist Showcase and Archive Challenge round out Saturday and Sunday, getting us warmed up for matinée concerts with African-American roots artist Hubby Jenkins and Venezuelan-Appalachian fusion duo Larry & Joe.

Dance highlights include two contradances (with the Contra Rebels and the Dead Sea Squirrels) and a Swing Dance Sunday evening with Chelsea Reed and the Fair Weather Five.

See the whole schedule — it's the best weekend of the summer!

FESTIVAL Sat, Aug 10 - Emerging Artist Showcase

Up-and-coming roots musicians are in the spotlight in our annual Emerging Artist Showcase, one of the highlights of our summer festival and always a fun event.

This year's finalists are:
The Honey Badgers
Red Smith & Blue Dawn
Dann Pell
Erin Lunsford
Joseph Alton Miller

Come to the Susquehanna Folk Festival on Saturday afternoon to watch all of them strut their stuff. The winner will open for Hot Club of Cowtown that evening! Performances on Saturday, August 10. MORE

Sat, August 17 - Apprenticeship Celebration

Apprenticeship Celebration Apprenticeship Celebration Harrisburg
Join us for performances, demonstrations, and stories shared by this year’s SFMS/PCA Traditional Arts apprentices and the master artists who mentored them. This year’s apprentices are studying leadership in Black gospel music, the harmonium in Nepali folk music, and Irish traditional music. And two of our apprentices, both excellent Irish musicians, will anchor an open Irish music session. This event is part of our “Bringing It Home” series, presented by our Susquehanna Folk Arts Center. Sunday, August 17 at the Fredricksen Library. MORE

Sun, September 15 - Fort Hunter Day

Fort Hunter Day Harrisburg
SFMS provides folk entertainment as part of the annual Fort Hunter Day festivities: an open jam session and live music. Enjoy family-friendly activities and historical demonstrations, food, crafts, and more, all day Sunday, September 15 at Fort Hunter Park. MORE
logo: 2024 Susquehanna Folk Festival

style="line-height: 1.1; margin-top: .5rem; margin-bottom:.5rem"> DETAILS!!

The 2024 Susquehanna Folk Festival is August 9-11 at the Appell Center in York, PA.


Individual events and multi-event passes

Concerts will be reserved seating, and the very best deal (all festival concerts) is only available for a limited time.

Headline artists include Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy, Hot Club of Cowtown, The Klezmatics, Hubby Jenkins, and Larry & Joe, as well as local folks Bobbi Carmitchell, Brazilian Vibes, Tanjo & Crow, and more. And don’t forget the five bands in our Emerging Artist Showcase, and Archive Challenge artists just announced!
Skip these images
Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy are our headliners for Friday night
Hubby Jenkins will be performing Saturday afternoon
Hot Club of Cowtown is our headline act for Saturday
Brazilian Vibes will perform a mini-concert on Saturday
Brazilian Vibes will perform a mini-concert on Saturday
Brazilian Vibes will perform a mini-concert on Saturday
The Klezmatics are our headline act for Sunday evening
Larry & Joe will be performing Sunday afternoon
Bobbi Carmitchell will perform a mini-concert on Saturday
Bob Nicholson will call for our Friday Contra Dance
Chelsea Reed and the Fair Weather Five will play for our Sunday Swing Dance
Janine Smith will call for our Saturday Contra Dance
Contra Rebels are playing for our Friday Contra Dance
Chelsea Reed and the Fair Weather Five will play for our Sunday Swing Dance
The Dead Sea Squirrels will play for our Saturday Contra Dance
Dance highlights include contra dancing Friday night with Bob Nicholson and The Contra Rebels; contra dancing Saturday night with Janine Smith and The Dead Sea Squirrels; and swing dancing Sunday night with Carla Crowen and lively jazz by Chelsea Reed & the Fair Weather Five.

Tons of FREE programming both Saturday and Sunday is made possible by our generous sponsors!
You could be one of them! Become a sponsor.

Many thanks to our festival partners:
logo: Appell Center logo: American Folklife Center logo: Lindy Central

Harrisburg Area Contra Dance Association
Lancaster Contra

The Sounds of Home

In this Folk Artist spotlight, we check in on one of our Folk Arts Apprenticeships. This one centers on the music of Nepal and Bhutan, two small countries in the Himalayas.

Tabla drums and a harmonium are being played by two Nepalese men sitting on a sisal rug in Khatmandu. Only the men’s hands are visible.
Playing tablas and harmonium in Khatmandu, Nepal: Wikimedia Commons

Bhagirath Khatiwada, a Nepali speaker, came to the US from Bhutan fifteen years ago. He is committed to preserving and sharing the culture, music and arts of his native land. Inspired by his son’s success with learning the tabla (hand drums), Bhagirath is learning to play the harmonium. He is apprenticed to master musician Muskan Balampaki Magar, who is originally from Nepal.

Bhagirath Khatiwada (left) and Muskan Balampaki Magar (right)

The worldwide population of Nepali speakers is small and shrinking. Keeping the beautiful Nepali culture alive, vigorous and self-sustaining is hugely important to both Bhagirath and Muskan. Music is a central part of their culture — that is, people engaging actively in making music as a community — and so music is at the center of their efforts. They dream of creating a school, a cultural center, not just for the Nepali-speaking community (some 25,000 near Harrisburg, 50,000 statewide) but with the larger community as well.

The board and staff of the Susquehanna Folk Music Society are committed to celebrating and affirming diverse cultures through programming which explores the music, dance, craft and stories of many people. We stand in complete solidarity with the Black community and all marginalized communities to speak out against injustice, bigotry and racial violence.
A montage of images illustrating Susquehanna Folk's commitment to diversity
Closeup shot focused on Aron Rook’s face and hands, and the wood sculpture she is carving. Aron is a young woman of Asian appearance, with straight black hair and light-brown skin. She holds her piece in one gloved hand and removes material with a small tool.
Crys Matthews, a young Black woman, wears a crisp white button-down men’s shirt, black tie and black suspenders. She has her thumbs underneath the suspender straps, pulling them up off her shoulders. Her curly hair is long on top and cropped close at the sides.
Closeup of a Black woman’s hands stitching small hexagons of colored calico into a flower. In her lap is a clear bag holding several finished flowers.
Two Black men sit across from one another at a table, studying Bibles. The elderly man is Reverend Moses Jackson and the younger man (though old enough to have a gray beard) is his son Anthony.