Folk Alliance 2014 Spotlights Diversity

Posted on February 26, 2014 | by Mark Kemp

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.

“Folk music is anything that comes from tradition, anything that becomes part of a culture and community,” Folk Alliance executive director Louis Meyers told Moran for a story that will appear in an upcoming issue of AG. “The music’s strength comes from sharing – people sitting down and playing together. In that way, the conference is about empowerment. It’s showing people that they are not alone in the world.”

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 genres—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. “The conference removes all the barriers, so people are able to sit and play and enjoy each other,” he said.

Look for Moran’s full report in an upcoming issue. Enjoy the Gangstagrass video clip right here.

RELATED: Graham Nash Delivers Folk Alliance International Keynote Speech

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