The Hummingbird International Music Festival unites American musicians playing traditional Appalachian music with Mexicans musicians playing traditional Mexican music. It is a multi-national concert event with a Mexican version in the Michoacan Mountains and an American version in the Southern Appalachian Mountains.
The orchestras of both music cultures are very similar with a stand up bass, guitar, mandolin and fiddle. However, the style of play is very different. The Mexican bands pick less and strum more. When the bands from both countries play alongside of each other, magic will be made as the bands collaborate, share and influence each other. It may be the birth of a new genre of music.
The American bands chosen to represent the Appalachia are CornMaiz and Los Monarchs. They will provide a wide variety of examples of traditional Appalachian music with the added influences of a modern generation of pickers. The entire experience is being filmed for use as a documentary to be released later.
Carla Gover is a 7th-generation Kentucky musician, dancer, and songwriter. Onstage, she sings, plays guitar, and showcases the rhythms of Appalachia through flatfooting and clawhammer banjo. Her performances include a mix of the traditional tunes she grew up with as well as her socially-conscious originals. She shares her passion with hundreds of students each year in schools throughout Kentucky, where she teaches Appalachian music, dance, and culture. She has released 5 albums of music, and has toured nationally and internationally, performing at such venues as The Kennedy Center and The Glasgow Royal Hall. She has won numerous national awards for her songwriting, including Merlefest’s Chris Austin Contest and the Kerrville New Folk Award. She is recognized as a master traditional dancer by the Kentucky Folklife Program.
Yani Vozos is a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist (guitar, mandolin, charango, and sitar) originally from Estill County, KY. He performs original music in many styles ranging from acoustic folk-rock rhythms to funky jazz grooves to traditional old-time and bluegrass, as well as the Latin music he began exploring during his service for the Peace Corps in Honduras. His music is upbeat with writing that focuses on positivity and universal spiritual connections with the earth that everyone can relate to. Yani writes music directly from his heart with the intention of sending out vibrations of love and joy to inspire people around the world. In addition to his performing career, he regularly teaches workshops in schools around the state of Kentucky, with an emphasis on creating increased access to the arts for underserved populations, refugees, and immigrants.
Zoey Barnette was raised on the road with her musical family, and has been fiddling since the age of 5, learning from such Kentucky greats as Paul David Smith, John Harrod, Jamie Wells, and Jimmy McCowan. She later tacked on upright bass, guitar, piano, and banjo to her repertoire of instruments, taking time to develop her songwriting and harmony-singing chops along the way. She attended the School for the Creative and Performing Arts in Lexington, KY, and currently performs in the ensembles CornMaiz, Cornbread & Tortillas, and Zoe Speaks, in addition to pursuing her work as an artist and stylist.
The frontman, founder, and driving force behind The Black Lillies’ raw and rootsy sound also co-founded Robinella and the CCstringband, and has collaborated with musicians ranging from John Oates and Jim Lauderdale to Langhorne Slim and The Turnpike Troubadours. Cruz’s projects have topped both the Billboard and Americana radio charts, won Independent Music Awards, and been nominated for the Americana Music Association’s Emerging Artist of the Year award. He has performed countless times on the Grand Ole Opry.
Cruz has appeared on nationally broadcast television including Late Night with Conan O’Brien, CMT, VH-1, GAC, Bluegrass Underground and PBS Television’s Sun Studio Sessions. His music has been lauded by outlets as diverse as American Songwriter Magazine, Rolling Stone, NPR’s Morning Edition and Vanity Fair, among others.