Seven Manitoba acts are packing up their gear and heading to warmer climates this month. They’re heading to Memphis, Tennessee to showcase for the folk and roots music industry at the International Folk Alliance Conference. Running February 23-26, the 24th annual event is the premier professional development conference focused on folk, roots, multicultural, and world music in North America.
This year’s showcasing acts include some of Manitoba’s best established and up-and-coming artists, including singer/songwriters Sierra Noble, JP Hoe, Jenny Berkel, Ingrid Gatin, dark roots trio Crooked Brothers, bluegrass outfit The Magnificent 7s, and country crooner Ridley Bent. Each artist will have three performances during Manitoba Music’s nightly showcases. The Magnificent 7s, Ridley Bent, Sierra Noble, and Crooked Brothers will also play coveted official “Performance Alley” showcases during the event. The showcases at this year’s conference offer artists the chance to perform for audiences that include influential folk festival buyers, booking agents, record labels, managers, and media. Click here to see the performance schedule.
Every year, Manitoba Music provides the framework for these artists to gain further exposure to the movers and shakers in the international folk and roots community through the nightly showcases and networking opportunities at the Canadian booth in the massive tradeshow hall.
Manitoba has built a reputation for its strong roots scene, dominating folk and roots categories at the Juno Awards, garnering attention from major media outlets, and touring to sold-out halls throughout North American, Europe, Australia, and beyond. This year, two Manitoba artists landed nominations for the 2012 JUNO Awards in roots and traditional categories for groups and solo, with nods for The Wailin' Jennys and expats Twilight Hotel.
Manitoba Music has presented successful showcases at South by Southwest, Musexpo, North by Northeast, International Folk Alliance, Canadian Music Week, and more. The Folk Alliance showcases are an initiative of Manitoba Music’s Market Development Program, which is funded by the Government of Canada and Province of Manitoba through the Canada-Manitoba Economic Partnership Agreement. Manitoba artists travelling to Memphis were able to access financial support for their showcases at Folk Alliance through the Market Access Program, a program jointly-funded by Manitoba Music and Manitoba Film & Music.