Manitoba Roots Run Deep at Folk Alliance International in Kansas City

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Leonard Sumner
JP Hoe
Kayla Luky
Roger Roger
The Crooked Brothers
William Prince

The west of Canada is heading to the heart of America this month. Eight artists from Manitoba are teaming up with acts from across Western Canada to showcase at Folk Alliance International conference (FAI). The premier professional development conference focused on folk, roots, multicultural, and world music in North America, the 29th annual event runs February 15-19 in Missouri’s largest city, Kansas City.

The three-day showcase is the latest in a series of partnered events with SaskMusic, Alberta Music, and MusicBC under the BreakOut West banner, with a lineup boasting over 25 acts. Artists and their teams will also have a chance to build their business networks and connect with over 2,500 registrants from 20 countries.

The performers from Manitoba making the trip south include The Crooked Brothers’ musical jack-of-all-trades Darwin Baker, genre-defying powerhouse artist IsKwé, singer/songwriter JP Hoe, country act Kayla Luky, banjo virtuoso and The Duhks’ front man Leonard Podolak, Anishinaabe MC and singer/songwriter Leonard Sumner, sibling folk duo Roger Roger, and storytelling singer/songwriter William Prince.

Other Western Canadian artists hitting the showcase rooms include Saskatchewan’s Belle Plaine, In With the Old, Karpinka Brothers, and Poor Nameless Boy; Jake Vance, Ken Stead, Kimberly McGregor, Maria Dunn, Mariel Buckley, The Northern Beauties, Over The Moon, Rebecca Lappa, Scott Cook, and The Doll Sisters from Alberta; Big Little Lions, Harpdog Brown & The Travelin' Blues Show, and Lion Bear Fox from British Columbia; and Leanne Goose from Northwest Territories. Check out the full schedule

Manitoba has a strong reputation for its roots scene. Homegrown talent -- including many acts who've graced the FAI showcase rooms -- have built solid careers, garnering attention from major media, and touring to sold-out halls throughout North American, Europe, Australia, and beyond. In the last decade alone, Manitoba artists have earned five JUNO Awards and 19 nominations in the roots and traditional categories. 

Bringing Manitoba music to new markets and intensifying business activity in existing markets is a key component of Manitoba Music's trade and business development activities. Manitoba Music's market development initiatives are funded by the Province of Manitoba, Manitoba Film & Music, and FACTOR through the financial support of the Government of Canada and Canada's private radio broadcasters.

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