Since 1982, The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) National Heritage Awards have been honoring some of the most renown men and women in our country’s folk and traditional arts.

Friday night, the NEA will honor the 2011 National Heritage Fellows at the Music Center at Strathmore.  The NEA National Heritage Fellowships Concert is a free concert that celebrates American folk artists for their contributions to our national cultural mosaic.  For 30 years, the National Heritage Awards Concert has featured recipients of the nation’s highest honor in the folk and tradition arts.  This year’s celebration will not only feature the 2011 honorees including: a saxophonist playing Bulgarian wedding music, Taiko drummers, and Mardi Gras Indians in full regalia; but it will also feature Warner Williams, a Piedmont Blues musician who grew up in Takoma Park, MD and currently resides in Gaithersburg, MD.  Mr. Williams is a guitarist and songwriter who spent his entire career in Maryland and is a master of the Piedmont blues, an art form unique to this region.

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