Janice Ian receives a Lifetime Achievement Award at International Folk music Prices, which will be held at the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at the Crown Center in Kansas City, Mo., in February. 1 – opening night of Folk Alliance International’s 35th Annual Conference.
Ian is also nominated for artist of the year at the awards alongside Aoife O’Donovan, Jake Blount, Leyla McCalla and Prateek Kuhad.
Ian, 77, is a two-time Grammy winner. She won the 1975 award for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female for her coming-of-age classic “At Seventeen” and the 2012 award for Best Spoken Word Album for Society’s child: My autobiography. She received her 10th Grammy nomination this year for Best Folk Album The light at the end of the line. The nod comes 55 years after Ian’s first Grammy nomination (Best Folk Performance) for 1967’s Janice Ian.
Folk Alliance International awards three lifetime achievements each year. Ian will receive the award for a living artist. Josh White, who died in 1969 at the age of 55, will receive the Legacy Artist Award. Oh Boy Records, which was founded in 1981 by John PrineAl Bunetta and Dan Einstein, both now deceased, will receive the business/academic award.
O’Donovan, McCalla and Anaïs Mitchellwho won a Tony and a Grammy for his work on the musical Hadestown, are each nominated in two of the three competition categories – album, artist and song of the year. Nominations in these categories are based on US, Canadian and international industry year-end lists as well as folk radio airplay. The winners are decided by the voting membership of Folk Alliance International. Voting is open until Jan. 17.
Two of the nominees for album of the year are also nominated for album awards at the Grammy Awards in February. 5. Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway’s crooked wood is up for Best Bluegrass Album at the Grammys. The Taj Mahal & Ry Cooder‘s Come aboard: The songs of Sonny Terry and Brownie McGheeis Grammy nominated for Best Traditional Blues Album.
McCalla is also to receive the People’s Voice Award, which is given to someone who “unabashedly embraces social and political commentary in their creative work and public careers.” Previous recipients included Jason Mraz (2022), Jackson Browne (2021) and Annie DiFranco (2020).
Alisa Amador will receive The Rising Tide Award, which was launched in 2021 to celebrate an artist under 30 who “inspires others by embodying the values and ideals of the public community through their creative work, community role and public voice.”
Shambala Festival, a four-day contemporary performing arts festival in Northamptonshire, England, will receive the Clearwater Award, which is presented to a festival that “prioritises environmental stewardship and demonstrates public leadership in sustainable event production.”
Appearances at the ceremony are confirmed by McCalla; keynote speaker Valerie June; The Milk Carton Children; and 2012 Mercury Prize nominee Sam Lee.
Speakers will include author and NPR music critic Ann Powers, NPR Alt.Latino’s Catalina Maria Johnson, Ashley Shabankareh, Chris Porter, Sara Leishman, Ayappa Biddanda, Reid Wick, Michael Kornfeld, Laura Thomas and Brandi Waller Pace. All are members of the board of Folk Alliance International.
Based in Kansas City, Mo., the organization was founded in 1989. Today, it has more than 3,000 members – artists, agents, managers, labels, publicists, arts administrators, venues, festivals and concert series.
The organization broadly defines folk as “the people’s music” and programs a wide variety of subgenres, including Appalachian, Americana, blues, bluegrass, Celtic, Cajun, global roots, hip-hop, old-time, singer-songwriter, spoken word, traditional, zydeco and various fusions.
Here are the nominees in competition categories and the recipients of honorary awards:
Album the year’s
Anais MitchellAnais Mitchell
crooked woodMolly Tuttle & Golden Highway
Come Aboard: The Songs of Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder
Queen of ShebaAngélique Kidjo & Ibrahim Maalouf
Artist of the year
Song of the year
“Udhero Na,” written by Arooj Aftab, performed by Arooj Aftab and Anoushka Shankar
“Dodinin,” words written by Atis Indepandan; music by Atis Indepandan, adapted from slave song, performed by Leyla McCalla
“Bright Star,” written and performed by Anais Mitchell
“How,” written by Marcus Mumford and Brandi Carlile, performed by Marcus Mumford with Brandi Carlile
“B61,” written and performed by Aoife O’Donovan
Elaine Weissman Lifetime Achievement Awards: Janis Ian (living), Josh White (legacy), Oh Boy Records (business/academic)
People’s Voice Award: Leyla McCalla
The Rising Tide Award: Alisa Amador
Clearwater Award: Shambhala Festival
The Spirit of Folk Awards: Steve Edge, Amy Reitnouer Jacobs, Marcy Marxer, Adrian Sabogal, Pat Mitchell Worley
Folk DJ Hall of Fame: Robert Resnik, Marilyn Rea Beyer, John Platt, Harry B. Soria Jr.