Bluegrass music originated in the southern United States. So it may seem surprising that two of today's most popular bluegrass musicians are named Natasha and Sergei. Sounds more Bullwinkle than Bubba. Still, Natasha Borzilova and Sergei "Spooky" Olkhovsky are the lead singer and bassist of the six-member Bering Strait, the 2003 Grammy-nominated bluegrass band from Russia that headlines this weekend's Hollywood Beach Red, White, and Bluegrass Festival.
Besides Bering Strait, the full list of bands is made up of Swinging Bridge, the New River Boys, Southern Lite, On the Edge, Southern Shores, Misty Ridge, Big Mountain Bluegrass, Groundspeed, Pickin' Hats, Corn Country, Oklahoma Boys, and the Wizbang Cloggers. The festival also advertises a Southern barbecue (Do you dare enter the "Pickin' lickin' chick'n" contest?) and "old time fun" (hopefully not a euphemism for "as demonstrated in Deliverance") that includes a "hollerin' contest" (hmm, maybe it is). There are also plenty of arts and crafts so you can make your home look a little less city-like. But the main focus is the music, and amateurs can jam with the pros in the "pickin' parlor." While you' re there, would you find out why bluegrass makes folks go around writin' like this? Hello, unless you're Huck Finn, there's a g there, people.
The Red, White, and Bluegrass Festival takes place Friday, June 25, through Sunday, June 27, at the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk (Broadwalk and Johnson Street). The bands take the stage on Saturday and Sunday, beginning at 1 p.m. both days. Admission is free for the entire weekend, so there's no reason to miss out on all the pickin' and grinnin'. It'll make downtown a little more downhome. Call 800-231-5562, or visit www.wkis.com. --Dave Amber
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Florida's big drum
Are they dancing gracefully? Or are they having a blow-out fight with an inanimate object? Sometimes it's hard to tell, because when members of the Fushu Daiko performance troupe take the stage, they bang their instruments with the force of their entire bodies, using a combination of martial arts, dance, and taiko drumming. Check out the high-intensity performance of "Element" -- a choreographed piece about a warrior's journey through rain, sun, and snow -- at the Morikami Theater (4000 Morikami Park Rd., Delray Beach). Fushu Daiko means "Florida's 'big drum'" in Japanese -- but the performers are a worldly crew gathered from Tennessee, Brazil, Argentina, and Fort Lauderdale. Shows begin at 3 and 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets cost $20. Call 954-217-1111, or visit www.fushudaiko.com. --Deirdra Funcheon