Dancing, Music & Events

Join us year round as we host concerts, dancing lessons and dances, music jams, workshops, and other events celebrating the expressive arts of the West at the Western Folklife Center, 501 Railroad Street, Elko, Nevada.

See our event calendar »


It's Ukulele and Banjolele time in Elko!

On Saturday, March 24, 2018, GRAMMY-award winning singer/songwriter Rick Nestler and "the Banjolele Lady" Donna Nestler will be at the Western Folklife Center, 501 Railroad Street, Elko.

The Nestlers are a folk duo, committed to bringing together communities of multiple generations to learn and play ukulele and banjolele. Like the westward traveling vaudeville acts of the 1920’s, and the groovy do-it-yourself community power of folk classics like Pete Seeger, these musicians bring stories and fun to life where music can be celebrated and created by all of us.

Ukulele-Banjolele Workshop from 3:00 pm-5:00 pm, Concert at 7:00 pm.  Read More.

Jam On!

Every Second Wednesday, 6:00pm 8:00pm
Pioneer Saloon at the Western Folklife Center

Join us for Jam On! a monthly jam session every 2nd Wednesday of the month, from 6:00-8:00pm. All musicians and spectators welcome: invite a friend who might be looking for a group to jam with or someone who likes to enjoy live music! Jam On! features a mix of old-time fiddle tunes, folk songs, country tunes and ballads:  you can lead a song for the group or join in on tunes introducted by others. There's room to dance and the bar is open. Facilitated by members of Southwind and other community musicians. Bring your fiddle, mandolin, washboard, banjo, guitar, accordion, or other instrument of choice. Admission is free.

Let's Dance!

Every 2nd and 4th Thursday, 6:00-9:00pm
Western Folklife Center's G Three Bar Theater

Join us at 501 Railroad Street, Elko, for a fun evening at Let's Dance! every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month (except November, December and January): the evening begins with dance lessons, which include a variety of interesting steps in a featured style at 6:00pm, followed by open dancing at 7:00pm. Cost is $5, adults and teens are welcome and no experience is necessary. For more information, check our Event Calendar, follow Elko Let's Dance on Facebook or contact: wfcdance@gmail.com.

Voted 2017 Bronze Winner in Best Place to Dance & Best Dance Studio category in the Elko Daily Free Press!

Southwind at the Western Folklife Center

Special Night, March 2018:
Southwind is hosting its annual St. Patrick's Day Party on Saturday, March 17, 2018, 6:00-8:30pm.

Join us at the Pioneer Saloon for toe-tapping Celtic music, sing-along, libations and food!

Southwind will resume the monthly concert in April, playing Celtic and traditional Americana music every 3rd Wednesday of the month in the historic Pioneer Saloon.  Enjoy music and libations from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, and there's always room to dance! Southwind is Carolyn Steninger, Susan Lawrence and Ken Harriman:  follow them on Facebook!

 Calisto Laucirica (1891-1975) - Basque settler, Elko county rancher. Photo c. 1920s, courtesy of Northeastern Nevada Museum.

35th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering

Join us for the 35th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, January 28-February 2, 2019!

The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is an annual celebration of the ranching and rural West. Through poetry, music and stories, ranch people express the beauty and challenges of a life deeply connected to the earth and its bounty. Every year, thousands travel to rural Elko, Nevada, in the heart of winter, to learn and share. It's been called the most honest and open-hearted festival in America, but it is also a darned good time! At the Gathering, you can discover cowboy cultures from around the world, learn a traditional skill, dance the two-step, plan for the West's future with ranchers and conservationists, watch home-made films of rural life, meet new friends over a Buckaroo Brew, listen to tall tales, dispel myths, build bridges and be inspired. It's an experience you will not soon forget!