Folk Alliance 2014 Spotlights Diversity
In his report from the 2014 Folk Alliance International Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, last week, Acoustic Guitar reporter Pat Moran noted two important areas of focus: community and diversity.
â€śFolk music is anything that comes from tradition, anything that becomes part of a culture and community,â€ť Folk Alliance executive director Louis Meyers told Moran for a story that will appear in an upcoming issue of AG. â€śThe musicâ€™s strength comes from sharing â€“ people sitting down and playing together. In that way, the conference is about empowerment. Itâ€™s showing people that they are not alone in the world.â€ť
The diversity tip came to play with a variety of artists ranging from traditional bluegrass to singer-songwriters (both young and old) to acts blending cultures and genresâ€”like Gangstagrass, a band that mixes acoustic guitar, dobro, banjo, and fiddle with straight-up rap.
Gangstagrass founder Rench told Moran that the Folk Alliance gathering was about creating bonds with other folk musicians, regardless of age, style, or perspective. â€śThe conference removes all the barriers, so people are able to sit and play and enjoy each other,â€ť he said.
Look for Moranâ€™s full report in an upcoming issue. Enjoy the Gangstagrass video clip right here.