FAI Announces Honorees and 2023 Nominees for International Folk Music Awards
Alynda Segarra of Hurray for the Riff Raff will receive the People's Voice Award at the International Folk Music Awards next month at Folk Alliance International's annual conference. (Photo by Tommy Kha)
As Folk Alliance International gears up for its annual conference next month, it has announced the nominees for its International Folk Music Awards in the album, artist, and song categories, as well as several special achievement award winners.
The awards with nominees honor work released in 2023, and winners will be announced on Feb. 21 in an awards show during FAI’s 36th annual conference, this year in Kansas City. Here are the nominees:
Album of the Year
Tinariwen – Amatssou
Molly Tuttle and Golden Highway – City of Gold
Lankum – False Lankum
William Prince – Stand in the Joy
Rainbow Girls – Welcome to Whatever
Artist of the Year
Song of the Year
Joy Oladokun – “Changes” (written by Joy Oladokun and Dan Wilson)
Margo Cilker – “Keep It on a Burner” (written by Margo Cilker)
Abraham Alexander – “Tears Run Dry” (written by Abraham Alexander, Ian Barter, and Leo Stannard)
Allison Russell – “The Returner” (written by Allison Russell, Drew Lindsay, and JT Nero)
Iris DeMent – “Workin’ on a World” (written by Iris DeMent)
The nominees are determined by a compilation of US, Canadian, and international “best of” lists and year-end folk DJ charts, and the winners are voted on by FAI members.
Also at the awards show, Lifetime Achievement Awards will be presented to singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman, Chilean songwriter and activist Victor Jara, and iconic Southern California venue McCabe’s Guitar Shop. The People’s Voice Award, which honors social and political commentary in music and beyond, will be presented to Alynda Segarra of Hurray for the Riff Raff.
The Rising Tide Award, which celebrates inspiring artists under 30, will go to Guatemalan singer-songwriter and women’s and Indigenous rights activist Sara Curruchich. Curruchich is the first musician to use the language of her people, Kaqchikel, in popular music for an international audience. The Clearwater Award, presented to an event that prioritizes sustainability, will go to the LEAF Global Arts Festival in Asheville, North Carolina.
The Spirit of Folk Awards honoring people and organizations who promote and preserve folk music in their work will be presented to Terika Dean of the Lead Belly Estate, Metís Nation of Ontario artist Amanda Rheaume, Fleming Artists booking agency founder Jim Fleming, and FAI conference director Jerod Rivers.
Five people working in folk music radio will be added to the Folk Radio Hall of Fame, including Linda Fahey, who runs Folk Alley, a sister organization of No Depression within the FreshGrass Foundation. The other inductees are Just Us Folk host Jan Vanderhorst, Mountain Stage founder Larry Groce, Woody’s Children host Bob Sherman, and Celtic music ambassador Brian O’Donovan.
FAI’s conference will take place Feb. 21-25 in Kansas City, with more than 2,000 artist showcases scheduled inside the sprawling Westin Crown Center hotel. The theme for this year’s conference is “Alchemy: A Transformative Force,” and keynote speakers are Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary; singer, composer, and producer Lucy Kalantari; and president and CEO of the National Music Publishers Association David Israelite.