Folk Music in Portland, Oregon

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


The Portland Folk Music Society is a volunteer-run nonprofit dedicated to the preservation, presentation, and promotion of traditional and contemporary folk music and dance.

The Portland Folk Music Scene

If you’re a fan of folk music, then you’ll be happy to know that Portland has a thriving folk music scene. There are a number of folk clubs and venues where you can see live music, and the city hosts a number of festivals throughout the year. Whether you’re a fan of traditional folk or contemporary folk, you’ll be able to find something to suit your taste in Portland.

The Portland Folk Music Society

The Portland Folk Music Society (PFMS) is a membership-based, 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization serving the Greater Portland Area folk music community. We sponsor events and education opportunities that showcase, support and promote traditional and contemporary folk music and related acoustic genres including bluegrass, old-time, world music, klezmer and more.

Organized in 1972, the PFMS is one of the oldest continually operating grassroots Folk Music organizations in North America. We are run by volunteers and our memberships support our programs.

The Rose City Folk Music Festival

Held at the end of September, the Rose City Folk Music Festival is one of the most popular folk music festivals in Portland. The festival features a wide range of folk artists from across the country, as well as a handful of local performers. In addition to music, the festival also offers food and drink vendors, craft booths, and a kids’ area.

The History of Folk Music in Portland

The history of folk music in Portland, Oregon is a rich and varied one. Portland has been a hotbed for folk music since the 1950s, when the city became known as a haven for aspiring musicians. Over the years, Portland has produced some of the most influential and iconic folk musicians in the world.

The Oregon Folklife Network

The Oregon Folklife Network (OFN) is a statewide not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting and supporting Oregon’s living cultural heritage. The OFN was founded in 1987 by a group of dedicated folklorists, scholars, and public sector workers who saw the need for a statewide organization to document, present, and support Oregon’s traditional cultures.

Since its founding, the OFN has grown to become one of the most respected folklife organizations in the nation. The OFN has worked with hundreds of communities and organizations across Oregon, documenting everything from cowboy poetry to Russian Easter traditions. The OFN has also produced numerous publications, films, and websites about Oregon’s traditional cultures.

The OFN is headquartered in Portland, Oregon and has a small staff and a large network of volunteers. The OFN is governed by a Board of Directors made up of folklorists, scholars, and community members from across Oregon.

The City of Portland’s Official Folklore Program

In the early 1970s, the City of Portland’s Official Folklore Program was established to document and celebrate the traditional music and dance of Oregon’s many cultural groups. Since then, the program has grown to include a wide range of folk music genres, from Cajun to klezmer, Scandinavian to Yugoslavian.

The Folk Music in Portland series features performances and interviews with some of the city’s most accomplished and beloved folk musicians. This series is made possible in part by a grant from the Oregon Cultural Trust.

The Future of Folk Music in Portland

Folk music has been a part of Portland’s music scene for many years, but it has been on the decline in recent years. There are many reasons for this, but the most prevalent one is the popularity of other genres of music. However, there are still a few folk music venues in Portland, and the genre is seeing a resurgence in popularity. It is unclear what the future of folk music in Portland will be, but it is certain that it will be a part of the city’s music scene for years to come.

The Portland Folk Music Festival

The Portland Folk Music Festival is one of the largest and most respected folk music festivals in the United States. Held every year since 1980, the festival features a wide variety of music from traditional to contemporary, with over 100 performances on 10 stages spread throughout the city.

The festival is organized by the PFMF committee, a group of volunteer musicians and music fans who work to bring the best folk music to Portland. The committee is made up of a board of directors, as well as chairs for each of the stages.

The Portland Folk Music Festival is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and all proceeds from the festival go towards supporting the musicians and volunteers who make it possible.

The Rose City Folk Music Society

Portland has a long and storied history with folk music, dating back to the city’s early days as a hub for the logging and fishing industries. In the years since, Portland has become known as a haven for musicians of all stripes, and folk music has continued to play an important role in the city’s musical landscape.

Today, there are a number of different organizations and venues that support folk music in Portland, including the Rose City Folk Music Society. Founded in 1984, the Rose City Folk Music Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and preserving folk music in Portland and the surrounding region.

The Rose City Folk Music Society hosts a number of events throughout the year, including concerts, workshops, dances, and more. The organization also publishes a quarterly newsletter and maintains a extensive online directory of folk music resources in Portland.

If you’re interested in exploring folk music in Portland, the Rose City Folk Music Society is a great place to start.

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