Folk Alliance – 11th Annual Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients

Washington, D.C., USA – The Folk Alliance has announced the 11th Annual
Lifetime Achievement Awards, which will be presented at their international
conference. This year the Folk Alliance honors Southern singer, freedom marcher,
Maritime songwriter, humanitarian,
; and the Newport Festival whose
blend traditional and contemporary folk performers shaped musical history. The
presentation will be made at the convention, during the luncheon banquet on
Thursday, February 24, 2005 at the Hyatt Regency Montreal. For information call
301-588-8185 or go to on-line registration for the conference at Newport Folk Festival is the site of some of the most important moments of
the 1960’s folk revival. From an eighteen year old Joan Baez’s appearance with
Bob Gibson in 1959 to Bob Dylan’s electric appearance in 1965, the folk revival
was largely defined on the stages of the Newport Folk Festival (and recorded for
posterity by Vanguard records). George Wean and Albert Grossman founded the
Newport Folk Festival in 1959, Newport began to find its footing as a blend of
the best of traditional and contemporary folk began to shape musical history in
that idiom. Pete Seeger and Theodore Bikel convinced George Wein to make the
festival a non-profit organization to be overseen by the Newport Folk
Foundation. . It was during this period Robert L. Jones joined the team as
musical director. Originally from the Boston area, Bob first became interested
in folk music as an artist—a balladeer who performed regularly in Cambridge
clubs and coffeehouses.

The Festival introduced audiences to both legendary traditional musicians like
Mississippi John Hurt, Dewey Balfa, and Reverend Gary Davis, as well as up and
coming popular folk entertainers including James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Joan
Baez, Janis Ian, and Peter, Paul & Mary The festival ran in its original form
until 1971, when it was cancelled by the organizers who feared growing unrest.

After a fifteen-year hiatus, there was a Symphony Hall reunion concert featuring
many alumni from past Newport Folk Festivals, followed soon after by a revival
of the festival itself. In recent years the festival has presented many emerging
artists including Alison Krauss, Nanci Griffith, and Patty Larkin and continues
to be one of the most influential festivals in North America.

The Lifetime Achievement awards are given to those that have achieved definitive
leadership in their field, have contributed to the advancement of folk music
and/or dance and who have inspired us through their presence. Each year two
performers, one living and one deceased, and a person or institution involved in
the business or academic side of the folk world are honored. Each recipient will
receive an original colored wood-block print, commissioned by the Folk Alliance
for the Lifetime Achievement Award by artist Paul Ritscher.