Charlotte Folk Society logo celebrating 30 years

Dedicated to promoting the ongoing enjoyment and preservation of traditional and contemporary folk music, dance, crafts and lore in the Carolinas Piedmont,
since 1982.

September 14th Folk Society Gathering
presents The Healing Force
Music from Traditional African Cultures
The Healing Force
The Healing Force

The Charlotte Folk Society honors traditional African culture with a performance by The Healing Force at our next Gathering on Friday, September 14th. We are celebrating our 30th anniversary year each and every month this season – looking back at the roots of traditional American music and forward to its future, as well as bringing back some audience favorites. We’ve had many requests for the return of The Healing Force since their 2009 concert. We are delighted to welcome them back to the Great Aunt Stella Center, 926 Elizabeth Avenue, in downtown Charlotte. Please join us when the concert gets underway at 7:30 PM.

Parking adjacent to the Stella Center and in a nearby deck is free. Accessible, ground level entry is available on the parking lot side of the building. Doors open at 7 PM.

Charlotte Folk Society second-Friday Gatherings are family-friendly and free. Donations are appreciated and essential to presenting the concert series in the Great Aunt Stella Center. Refreshments, jams, a song circle, and the Charlotte Appalachian Dulcimer Club follow the hour-long concert.

The Healing Force

“Serving the community through the arts” is the motto of The Healing Force, a family of performers based in Winston-Salem who use music, singing, dance, and storytelling to bring traditional African culture to life for audiences of all ages. The husband-and-wife team of Joseph and Gail Anderson founded The Healing Force in 1975. The Andersons have acted with the Afro-American Folkloric Troupe and studied with the National Black Theater of New York. With their daughter, Sonji, and son, Karim, they began full-time professional performances in 1990. Their name, The Healing Force, was suggested by a friend to symbolize both the healing quality of art and the power of its presence.

The Healing Force has traveled the country and appeared in venues such as The National Storytelling Festival, the Bay Area Storytelling Festival, and numerous festivals, schools, colleges, churches, museums, family reunions, and community events. Through the years, the Andersons have enhanced their performances with training from cultural masters Mohammed Da Costa of Guinea, Djimo Kouyate of Senegal, and Mamady Kelta of Guinea; through travel to Nigeria and Ghana; and study at the 1997 and 1998 Summer Jembe Institutes.

The Healing Force

The Healing Force turns any appearance into a lively, colorful celebration of African culture and spirit with booming drums, rattling gourds (shekeres), and thumb pianos, as they tell folk tales and sing traditional songs. The use of drums and musical instruments is important to their mission. To share African culture, they must share music and dance, which are woven into everyday life and are an integral part of every important event in Africa. The Andersons point out the similarity of African folk tales to traditional American folktales. Gail observes, “African folk tales talk about family, adventure, tricksters, love, community loyalty, life’s lessons, etc.”

The Healing Force
The Healing Force at Great Aunt Stella 2009
Photo by Glen Simmons

African arts, history, and family genealogy are traditionally passed on orally from generation to generation. African storytelling is a communal, participatory experience. The Healing Force makes each performance a memorable interactive experience between the audience and themselves. Look forward to joining The Healing Force in a rousing, high-energy celebration of life!

To learn more about The Healing Force, visit their website at

Arts & Science Council Logo

Our Gatherings are made possible, in part, with funding from the Arts & Science Council and the North Carolina Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Cultural Resources, and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.

As always, the Charlotte Folk Society presents musicians you won't hear elsewhere in town. Don't miss this special evening!