Friday, June 20, 2014

Results: Folk Hero Contest Round 1

Jessica Graae
Steffi & Tim

The Heroes were basking in well-deserved glory last Saturday evening, June 7, as the first two finalists were selected for the Delmarva Folk Hero contest. This competition is a long-standing tradition that show-cases local folk music. Last Friday’s participants competed at the first of three of three open-mic’s hosted by the Delaware Friends of Folk

Singer, songwriter Jessica Graae of Wilmington was one of last Friday’s finalists. Jessica blends a folk-rock style, lush vocals, and classical training in creating soulful music and evocative lyrics. Her music is pure, pristine, and simply beautiful. After performing in the Wesley College Chapel, a relatively new venue for the Friends of Folk, Jessica said, “Playing in the Folk Hero Contest is like being part of a beautiful listening room concert with a supportive audience and great acoustics!” 

Steffi and Tim, a duo whose music combines jazz, pop, and world music, were the evening’s other finalists. They began in 2008 as college students playing cover songs at the University of Delaware. Realizing their potential as a duo, they starting doing paid gigs and performing hits from the “Great American Songbook.” In the past year, Steffi and Tim have added their own songs to their repertoire. After their performance last Saturday, Steffi said, “There is nothing better than sharing our music with an audience that listens sincerely and attentively, which is what we experienced tonight. The Wesley Chapel venue has beautiful acoustics and an intimate atmosphere that is suited perfectly to our arrangements.”

June’s competition was only round one of three of the Delmarva Folk Hero Contest. There are two more opportunities for aspiring musicians to compete—on July and August 16.  

Here’s how the contest works:

Coffee Houses are held at the Wesley College Chapel, 3 N. Bradford St, Dover DE, 19904. Map

Candidates may perform at one of three of the designated Folk Hero Open-Mic nights: June 7, July 19, and August 16.

• Those who aren’t chosen as finalists their first time are free to compete again.
• The music starts at 7:30 p.m., so contestants should arrive and sign up early. The number of slots are limited.
• Candidates should present a folk or folk-related genre; i.e. traditional, Americana, Roots, Bluegrass, Blues, Celtic, Jazz, New Age, World, Old-Time, Roots, or Story-telling. (No drum kits.)
• Finalist compete again in a “play-off,” on Friday night at the Delmarva Folk Festival.
• The final winner opens the Saturday show on the Festival’s main stage
• Finalists and the winner are selected through audience ballots, so candidates should bring their friends, fans, and family. 
Along with performing the opening act at the Folk Festival, the final winner receives the following prizes:
• $100 cash
• Photo shoot with professional photographer Eric Young
• Radio interview with Mark Rogers on WSTW 93,7’s Hometown Heroes show
• Two hours of recording time at Digital Street Studio

Looking forward to competing at the final round at the Festival, Steffi and Tim said, “We are so excited to be returning for the Folk Hero Finals in October and cannot wait to hear the other musicians at the show.” Jessica Graae agreed. “I can't wait to be part of the Delmarva Folk Festival again and hear all of the terrific music.”

For more information about the Folk Hero Contest and the Delmarva Folk Festival, call (302) 827-FOLK or visit or join our group on Facebook 

For more information about Jessica Graae, go to, or

For more information about Steffi and Tim, go to

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