Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

Music of the people, by the people, for the people.

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<a href="">Smithsonian Folkways</a> Recordings is the nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian Institution, the national museum of the United States. We are dedicated to supporting cultural diversity and increased understanding among peoples through the documentation, preservation, and dissemination of sound. We believe that musical and cultural diversity contributes to the vitality and quality of life throughout the world. Through the dissemination of our critically acclaimed and award winning audio CDs and educational materials we seek to strengthen people's engagement with their own cultural heritage and to enhance their awareness and appreciation of the cultural heritage of others.

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings label (founded 1988) produces new recordings and reissues on CD and is distributed by its mail order division and independent distributors internationally.

In 1987, the Smithsonian Institution acquired Folkways Records, founded in 1948 by Moses Asch. The more than 2100 albums comprise approximately 30,000 musical performances, songs, narratives, rituals, oral traditions, sounds and spoken word recordings from around the world. More recent acquisitions include more than 10,000 tracks comprising the Collector, Cook, Dyer-Bennet, Fast Folk, Monitor, MORE and Paredon labels, and the Mickey Hart Collection.

participating in

  • WOMEX 2012
  • WOMEX 2011
  • WOMEX 2006
  • WOMEX 2001
  • virtualWOMEX


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"Blue Clouds" - Elizabeth Mitchell