Yasmin & Friends! Artist of Color Showcase

   Yasmin & Friends! Artist of Color Showcase

Join us Thursday July 27th from 12pm-5pm for a showcase of artists of color showcase curated by guitarist Yasmin Williams.  Jump to artist bios here!

This showcase will feature solo artists in a five hour showcase. We are proud to feature those based in Maine (Kafari, CRYS), and excited to welcome those from further afield (Amadou Koyate, Yasmin Williams). Each artist has a unique creative style and history that they will present, ending with an all-star jam at 4pm! 

Ossipee Valley welcomes and encourages working artists who are in a all stages of career development. Our festival is proud to be able to give time and attention in an intimate setting to those looking to expand their audience. The roots, folk, and americana genres often overlook the diverse voices and talent of artists of color, especially on small stages. This showcase will not only feature artists of color in performance, but will also feature Yasmin Williams as a curator, promoter and host of the day.

PLEASE NOTE: This showcase starts Thursday at noon. We are excited to be able to expand our Thursday programming to a full 12 hour day through this showcase! (Main Stage picks up at 5pm after this showcase on Stage Too!). Don't miss it!


12pm CRYS

1pm TBA!

2pm Kafari

3pm Amadou Kouyate


Curatorial Artist in Residence Yasmin Williams:

Based in Alexandria, VA, Yasmin Williams is an acoustic fingerstyle guitarist and film composer. She has an unorthodox, modern style of guitar playing and utilizes various techniques including alternate tunings, percussive hits, and lap tapping in her music to great effect. Her “radiant sound and adventitious origins have made her a key figure in a diverse dawn for the solo guitar” (The New York Times). Williams’s music has been described as rich, harmonious, and “in a lot of ways, the joy and possibility she brings to the guitar reminds me more of Eddie Van Halen than any of the other fingerstyle guitarists to whom she's compared” (NPR Music). Her latest album, Urban Driftwood, was released on January 29, 2021 and has received critical acclaim from numerous major publications including The New York Times, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, The Washington Post, NPR Music, The Fader, Wallstreet Journal, AllMusic, Paste Magazine, No Depression, and several other outlets. She was recently listed as one of the “25 New and Rising Artists Shaping the Future of Music in 2023” by Pitchfork.

                     Showcase Artists: 

                   (please click on a photo to  view artists' official biography page & video)

Kafari  (Portland ME)

Kafari’ (he/him) is the alias of Cincinnati, OH born, Portland, ME based pianist and rhythm bones-weilding beatmaker Ahmad Muhammad. Kafari’s music synthesizes his love of ambient piano music, instrumental hip-hop and acoustic percussion, and takes deep inspiration from pioneering jazz harpist Dorothy Ashby, beatmaking legend J Dilla, and the Carolina Chocolate Drops, who in a 2014 performance sparked Kafari’s interest in traditional music and the Irish rhythm bones – a percussion instrument popularized in America in the 1800s through Blackface Minstrelsy. Kafari often distributes and teaches bones at his performances, sharing pieces of their complex and fraught history and workshopping basic rhythmic techniques with his audiences over his beats. View is full story and video on his artist page here

CRYS (Portland ME) 

There was a woman, known simply as Miss Jim, who played guitar and drank whiskey deep in the hills. Her lyrics and musicality made her a legend in the countryside. Decades later, her great-granddaughter picked up an old guitar, and followed the calling of her roots. Walking the line between past and future, acoustic and electric, traditional folk and cosmic country, CRYS draws from iconic influences like Patsy Cline, Curtis Mayfield, Elizabeth Cotten, and The Chicks.Her soulful, melodic voice carries vulnerable lyrics through songs that alternate between yearning and grooving, as she connects to listeners – and the countryside of her heritage- by playing banjo and hollowbody guitar.

Amadou Kouyate (Washington DC) 

Amadou Kouyate (he/him) is the 150th generation of the Kouyate family of Manding Diali (oral historians/musicians of West Africa) and the first generation born of his father’s lineage in America. Amadou performs a musical montage on the 21-string Kora, and rhythmic presentations on Djembe and Koutiro drums. His repertoire ranges from traditional songs from the 13th century to contemporary original compositions incorporating blues and jazz riffs. He has performed at venues such as the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall, and he is a former Adjunct Lecturer of African Music and Ethnomusicology at the University of Maryland, and director of the African Drum Ensemble, and Artist-In-Residence at Montgomery College of Rockville. He now works at American University, Goucher College and UMBC. Read his full story & video on his artist page here.