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The joy of anticipation and aftermath

As someone easily overwhelmed by crowds and sensory overload (and more so as I age), I can find Iowa City’s wonderful summer festivals a challenge. I have many times enjoyed the tunes, charts and riffs flowing from the stages of the Iowa City Jazz Festival. I have often parked my camp chair on the Pedestrian Mall on Friday night […]

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A-list: Anaïs Mitchell brings a deep history to the Iowa Arts Festival

Among the exciting national acts brought in for the Iowa Arts Festival this year is Vermont-born, Brooklyn, New York-based songwriter Anaïs Mitchell. Deeply rooted in American folk traditions, Mitchell manages a sound that is contemporary without being retro or revival — an extension of the sound, rather than a tribute to it. She is tomorrow’s folk singer.

Mitchell’s 2010 recording of her folk opera Hadestown featured an array of key voices in the genre, from Ani DiFranco to Iowa’s own Greg Brown. Mitchell continues to work on its transformation into a full stage musical; the 2016 off-Broadway production has been nominated for several awards, including the April Drama Desk Awards announcement of its nomination in the Outstanding Musical category. Her most recent record, 2014’s xoa, was the third released on her own label, Wilderland Records. Mitchell took some time just before hitting the road to answer some questions over email for Little Village. […]

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If it’s summer, it must be Arts Fest!

Iowa Arts Festival Downtown Iowa City — June 3–5 You’ve probably kicked the A/C on already at least once, and barbecue grills have been fired up across town with a vengeance … but there’s no surer sign of the start of summer than the Iowa Arts Festival, which explodes into downtown Iowa City this weekend. […]

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