Folk Alliance International (FAI) revealed last night the winners of the 2019 International folk Music Awards. The winner in the Artist of the Year category is The Small Glories.
The Small Glories is an americana and traditional folk music group from Winnipeg, Canada. The duo includes Cara Luft on vocals, guitar and banjo and JD Edwards on vocals and guitar. The band’s first album was “Wondrous Traveler” (2016). Their second album “Assiniboine & the Red” (Red House Records) came out in 2019.
Song of the Year goes to ‘Black Myself’ by Amythyst Kiah from the album “Songs Of Our Native Daughters” by Our Native Daughters (Smithsonian Folkways, 2019).
And the Album of the Year is “We Get By” by Mavis Staples.
Every year, Folk Alliance members vote for the winner of each category based on nominees selected from multiple top folk DJ charts around the world.
Folk Alliance International has hired Jay Gilman in the role of Ethno USA Project Manager. Ethno is JM International’s 30-year-old program designed to revive and keep alive global cultural heritage through international peer-to-peer music camps.
Working from the Kansas City office as a member of the Folk Alliance International staff, and reporting to JMI’s Belgium-based Global Ethno Program Coordinator Suchet Malhotra, Jay will be responsible for coordinating all of the logistics related to producing an annual two-week long international music camp for young adults in the United States.
A Kansas City native, Jay grew up immersed in music, theater, and dance. An M.Sc. graduate of Nonprofit Leadership at UPenn, and an MPA Social Enterprise Fellow of the Merrick School of Business at the University of Baltimore, Jay has been an independent arts consultant for over a decade, with a specific interest in cross-cultural collaboration. He spent five years as the Associate Director for Programs & Productions for Philadelphia Young Playwrights and most recently served three years as the Artistic Director of the Minnesota Fringe.
Regarding his new role, Jay said, “I believe that art remains one of the few forces that can truly change our world.”
Folk Alliance International (FAI) has announced the award
recipients and inductees for the International Folk Music Awards (IFMAs). The
awards will be presented on Wednesday, January 22, 2020, on the opening night
of FAI’s 32nd annual conference taking place in New Orleans, Louisiana. The
IFMAs recognize folk music legends, unsung heroes, and rising talent.
The Elaine Weissman Lifetime Achievement Awards, named after FAI’s co-founder and determined by membership vote, are presented to honor the cultural impact of legendary folk music figures and organizations. The 2020 recipients are celebrated cajun band BeauSoleil (Living), the “Queen of Gospel” Mahalia Jackson (Legacy), and the iconic Preservation Hall (Business/Academic).
Ani DiFranco will receive The People’s Voice Award, presented annually to an individual who unashamed embraces social and political commentary in their creative work and public career.
The Pickathon festival, based in Portland, Oregon, will
receive The Clearwater Award, presented annually to a festival that prioritizes
environmental stewardship and demonstrates public leadership in sustainable
Spirit of Folk Awards, honoring those involved in the
promotion and preservation of folk music through creative work, community
building, and leadership, will be presented to Ake Lundstrom (Nordic Folk
Alliance), folklorist/writer Ben Sandmel, Ellen Bello (Native American Music
Awards), refugee-artist Ephraim Bugumba, Jan Ramsey (OffBeat Magazine), and Laura Hassler (Musicians Without
This year’s inductees into FAI’s Folk DJ Hall of Fame
include Holger Petersen (CBC, CKUA – Edmonton, Canada), Mary Katherine Aldin
(past KPFK – Los Angeles, USA), and Nick
Spitzer (PRX – New Orleans, USA).
Following a compilation of year-end charts, FAI members will vote to determine the 2019 Album, Song, and Artist of the Year, which are announced and presented during the IFMAs.
Over 200 music professionals and 27 music acts were part of the inaugural Nordic Folk Alliance conference that took place April 10-12 in Gothenburg, Sweden, at the Waterfront Hotel.
Although the showcase section was focused on the Nordic countries of Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland, delegates from Estonia, Canada, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States also took part.
Nordic Folk Alliance marks Folk Alliance International’s first formal international expansion. The Nordic Folk Alliance was overseen by representatives from Export Music Sweden, Music Norway, Music Finland, and Tempi (Denmark’s Roots Music office).
Åke Lundström, Folk Alliance International’s Nordic Representative stated, “It was really a great event, and I think that we succeeded in having the folk music community from the Nordic countries, in a professional level, talk with each other and work together.”
Next week, world music showcase Mundial Montréal will be at the 31st edition of Folk Alliance international, February 13-17, 2019. This year, the Folk Alliance international conference will take place in Montreal.
Mundial Montréal’s Official Showcase – Friday, Feb 15 featuring:
4:00 p.m. Nick Sherman 4:45 p.m. Pierre Kwenders 5:30 p.m. Nomadic Massive 6:15 p.m. Kiran Ahluwalia 7:00 p.m. Alex Cuba 7:45 p.m. Vox Sambou
Folk Alliance International announced that its 32nd music conference will head to the effervescent port city of New Orleans, Louisiana. New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz, home to Cajun and zydeco, and Mardi Gras. The conference will take place January 22-26, 2020 at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel on Canal Street.
The 2020 conference theme is “The Story of People and Place”
and will explore ideas of diversity, inclusion, immigration, intersection, and
As a historical center of trade, New Orleans has long been a
setting for people to overcome language and cultural barriers by connecting
through music and cuisine. With the theme as a guide, the conference will
highlight collaboration and how location affects shared identities, art, and
forms of expression. Ultimately each person has a story (especially as folk musicians)
of who they are, where they are from, and how the places they live in shape
Folk Alliance International has announced Tanya Tagaq as its 2019 keynote speaker. The conference will take place February 13-17 in Montreal, Canada.
She is an acclaimed Inuk throat singer from Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, in the Canadian Arctic who uses delightful, surprising vocal improvisations that connect traditional roots with contemporary culture.
Tanya is a
2014 Polaris Prize-winning recording artist (Animism), author of a 2018
Scotiabank Giller Prize longlisted novel (Split Tooth), an actress, a painter,
and has collaborated extensively with Bjork, Kronos Quartet, Shooglenifty, and
the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
recipient of multiple Juno Awards (Canada’s top music award) and a Canadian
Folk Music Award, her work concentrates on topics ranging from food sovereignty
and environmental issues to the plight of women and indigenous peoples.
Tagaq is a
mother of two and a Member of the Order of Canada, one of the country’s highest
Singer, songwriter and musician Bonnie Raitt has earned the Folk Alliance International’s 2018 People’s Voice Award. Presented annually, the award is intended to honor individuals who endeavor to take on social or political activism in conjunction with their artistic careers, as with 2017’s winner Canadian singer, songwriter and musician Bruce Cockburn who has highlighted issues like the environment, human rights and politics through his music.
Championing environmental issues since the 1970s, Ms. Raitt has spoken out against the oil and gas industries and is a founding member of MUSE (Musicians United for Safe Energy), as well as called for the protection of forests and fought for clean water. As an advocate for The Guacamole Fund, Ms. Raitt aids non-profit organizations working to the goals of sustainable energy forms and environmental protections.
Known also for her political activism and her humanitarianism for help for victims of the 2004 southeast Asia tsunami, Ms Raitt has also been a champion to the Little Kids Rock organization that provides free musical instrument to children and helped finance memorial headstones for musicians like Dick Waterman, Memphis Minnie, Sam Chatmon and Tommy Johnson.
The award honoring individuals and organizations promoting and preserving folk music, Folk Alliance International has handed out one of its 2018 Spirit of Folk Awards to Welsh songwriter Martyn Joseph.
Mr. Joseph, having more than thirty studio and live recordings to his name like Nobody’s Fool (1984), Tangled Souls (1998), Run to Cover (2004) and Faith, Folk & Anarchy Live (2004), is also known for his fierce activism. He has supported causes such as Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem Terra, Amnesty International, Christian Aid, Casa Alianza and in 2014 launched his own “Let Yourself Trust,” a nonprofit organization advocating for human rights and righting social injustice.
Composer, musician and record executive Kristian Blak of the Faroe Islands has earned a spot on this year’s round of Spirit of Folk Awards handed out by Folk Alliance International to honor those promoting and preserving folk music traditions.
With solo recordings Ravnating (1991), Harra Pætur og Elinbor (1992), Klæmint Tutl (1999), Snjóuglan (2005) and Úr Holminum (2005) to his credit, Mr. Blak is also the founder of the Nordic ensemble Yggdrasil.
Composer of instrumental music, chamber music, choral music and symphonic music, Mr. Blak has also incorporated the sounds of the Faroe Islands, going to far as to offering concerts in caves or other natural concert halls. In addition, he is also chief executive offer of the Faroe Islands record label Tutl which has taken a leadership role in the preserving Faroese folk music.
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