Jeff Daniels to emcee virtual Ann Arbor Folk Fest


  • Denis Makarenko /

The 44th Annual Ann Arbor Folk Festival may be downsized due to the pandemic this year, but it has enlisted a star of the big screen — and small — to emcee the annual fundraising event.

Jeff Daniels — Emmy Award-winning actor, director, and singer-songwriter — has been selected to emcee this year's folk festival on Friday, Jan. 29 and Saturday, Jan. 30. Daniels, a Chelsea native who has served as both an emcee and performer at the event in previous years, was among the lineup additions announced Wednesday, along with Nashville's Kim Richey, who will team up with the Accidentals for their Friday set.

This year's folk festival will host virtual performances by Colin Hay, the War and Treaty, the RFD Boys, Amythyst Kiah, Andrea Von Kampen, and others. Daniels isn't the only actor on the roster, either. On Friday, 24 star Kiefer Sutherland will perform his brand of gruff country-rock remotely.

Since last spring, Daniels has performed more than 58 live stream performances — including most recently a New Year's Eve stream in support of his latest record Alive and Well Enough, which contains an anti-Trump track, “Trumpty Dumpty Blues.” He also appeared in an ad in support of President-elect Joe Biden ahead of the 2020 election.

Proceeds for the 44th Annual Ann Arbor Folk Festival benefit folk venue The Ark, which, in before the pandemic, hosted more than 300 performances a year. Tickets are $25 per night or $45 for both nights and can be purchased via

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