Manitoba Roots Go Deep

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Ten of Manitoba’s best folk and roots acts are gathering in Montreal on February 24 for the folk world’s premier showcase and conference event. The International Folk Alliance Conference, called Strictly Mundial for 2005, rotates through the northern hemisphere every February, landing in Montreal this year after 2004’s conference in San Diego.

Led by recent Grammy winners The Duhks – who were featured on the recent award-winning compilation album Beautiful Dreamer - the list of local artists includes some of this province’s most successful roots acts, including 2005 JUNO Award-nominated trio The Wailin’ Jennys, Easily Amused, Alana Levandoski, Greg MacPherson, das macht SHOW!, and Michael Johnston.

These seven acts will play MARIA’s showcase at the Hyatt Regency on February 26, but a few other local artists can be found showcasing other parts of the 17th annual conference. Singer/songwriter Romi Mayes, a cappella world music group Madrigaïa, Dan Frechette, and bluegrass band The D.Rangers will all converge on Montreal for various showcases throughout the weekend in order to catch the ears of prominent talent buyers, festivals, and industry insiders.

The Folk Alliance exists to promote and develop folk music through education, networking, advocacy, field development and professional development. The organization hosts its international conference to unite folk artists from around the globe and catalyze the development of their careers. Folk Alliance Canada serves as the Canadian branch of the North American Folk Alliance, and works to promote Canadian talent and serves as a valuable resource for musicians.

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