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Tony Trischka, Jesse McReynolds, Tim Stafford at WAMFEST

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Tim StaffordMadison, NJ -- WAMFEST 2013, a Words and Music Festival hits the campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University October 28 through October 30th. Monday October 28th is a bluegrass celebration featuring Tony Trischka, Tim Stafford and Jesse McReynolds held at the Wilson Auditorium in Hackensack. October 29-30 the event will also feature Roseanne Cash and Loudon Wainwright III on the college’s Madison campus. The entire festival is free and open to the public. Guests are encouraged to register at Information is also available on the WAMFEST facebook page.

This year’s WAMFEST is entitled “The Appalachian Heritage” to celebrate the contributions of Appalachia to American culture past and present, while highlighting the need to protect the heritage and mountains that gave birth to these arts.

On Monday night, October 28th WAMFEST opens with “The Origins: A Conversation and Performance”. It’s a bluegrass night featuring legendary banjo player Tony Trischka, guitarist Tim Stafford of the Grammy-nominated group Blue Highway, and special guest Jesse McReynolds, first generation bluegrass legend and recipient of an NEA Heritage Fellow. WFDU-FM radio DJ Carol Beaugard will host the event along with Wesley Stace (formerly John Wesley Harding) in the Wilson Auditorium, Dickinson Hall, Metropolitan Campus in Hackensack on Monday, October 28 from 7-9 p.m. The Wilson Auditorium is located off of Temple Avenue in Hackensack, in the southeast corner of the Dickinson Hall building, (nearest the Rothman Center) and has its own entrance to the building.

WAMFEST is open to the public, free of charge. For reservations and information and to register, visit Information is also available on the WAMFEST facebook page.

The College at Florham hosts the Tuesday, October 29 event. “A Part of the History: A Screening of Director John Sayles’ Oscar-Nominated Matewan” will take place from 1-4 p.m. in the Dreyfuss Building, Screening Room 125, and will be followed by a discussion with Producer Maggie Renzi and Production Designer Nora Chavooshian. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the release of Matewan, which documents the shockingly violent labor disputes surrounding the coal mining industry in West Virginia in the 1920s.

Later that night, from 7-9 p.m., “The Politics of Coal: Environmental Advocate Joe Lovett of Appalachian Mountain Advocates interviewed by Award-winning Journalist Bob Hennelly,” followed by “The Folk Song: A Conversation and Performance with Loudon Wainwright III” will take place in Lenfell Hall. Loudon Wainwright III won a Grammy in 2010 in the category of Best Traditional Folk Album for “High Wide & Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project.” In addition to his musical career, Wainwright has appeared in a number of films including “Knocked Up,” “The 40 Year Old Virgin,” and “Big Fish.” Wesley Stace will host “The Folk Song.”

WAMFEST concludes on Wednesday, October 30 with two more events at the College at Florham. In the Dreyfuss Theater, from 2-3:30 p.m., “Two Voices, Singing: An Historic Conversation and Performance” with Rosanne Cash, a Grammy-Winning Singer/Songwriter in the category of Best Female Country Vocal Performance in 1985 for “I Don't Know Why You Don't Want Me,” and MacArthur “Genius” Prize-Winning Poet C.D. Wright.

From 5-5:45 p.m., “Songs, Stories and All That Jazz: The Tradition Continues” will feature a conversation and performance with Bascom Lamar Lunsford’s grandniece Singer/Songwriter Tomi Lunsford and celebrated Songwriter/Story-Teller David Olney.

Immediately following, from 5:45-8 p.m., “An Appalachian Music Gathering and Open-Jam” will be hosted by The Folk Project, featuring a number of very special guests.

WAMFEST is an annual series hosted by FDU’s Becton College and the Creative Writing Program that brings successful artists of various genres to the University to inspire and inform students who hope to one day follow in these artists’ creative footsteps. WAMFEST is an ongoing celebration and exploration of the relationship between creative writing and the popular arts; it brings together artists from various fields for unique conversations, collaborations, and performances. Recent guests have included, among many others, Bruce Springsteen, Robert Pinsky, Rosanne Cash, Paul Muldoon, and Eugene Mirman. WAMFEST has recently been singled out for recognition of its groundbreaking programming by the National Endowment for the Arts.

This project is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, Fairleigh Dickinson University, and Bob and Patricia Pures, with additional funding provided by Investors Bank and Gourmet Dining.

Wilson Auditorium is off of Temple Avenue in Hackensack, located in the southeast corner of the Dickinson Hall building, nearest the Rothman Center, and has its own entrance to the building.

Fairleigh Dickinson University’s College at Florham is located at 285 Madison Avenue, Madison, N.J.

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