With so few venues for folk music, the chances the genre have to take root seem slim indeed. Fortunately, there are those troupers who persevere when it comes to bringing that sound to those that desire it, both artists and entrepreneurs determined to give folk music a place to thrive in the tropics.
Arlene Boumel is one of those dedicated few. As president of the Broward Folk Club, a registered not-for-profit organization whose sole purpose is to nourish and promote folk and acoustic music and bring together those with a similar appreciation, she helps ensure that South Florida audiences have the opportunity to enjoy and experience it. The organization produces the annual South Florida Folk Festival of which Boumel and VP Bob Singer are codirectors.
"South Florida has a thriving folk community, one of the more vibrant in the country," Boumel contends. "The folk music community in South Florida is not really a whole lot different than the folk music community everywhere. It tends to be made up of older people, in their 50s and 60s, but if you come to an open mic, you'll see plenty of younger people performing as well. Terrific younger national artists such as Mumford and Sons and Sarah Jarosz demonstrate that there is a resurgence of interest in this type of music among younger performers."