Author: Evans, Bill

Folk Alliance Regional Conference in Santa Clara This Weekend

While many of us are still catching our breath from the recent IBMA convention in Nashville, I want to let CBA folks know about another professional music conference thatís happening this weekend in Santa Clara.

Itís the Folk Alliance Regional West Conference, which began on Thursday night and runs through Sunday, October 24th at the Santa Clara Convention Center and Hyatt Regency ( Whatís Folk Alliance you might ask? Well, the quick and easy answer is that itís a lot like IBMA but the organization embraces a much wider variety of music styles, welcoming singer-songwriters to world music styles, blues, Cajun & Zydeco and old-time and bluegrass - and much more. You can learn more by visiting

The big annual conference for Folk Alliance, which brings together folks literally from all over the world, has been held in February in Memphis, Tennessee in recent years. However, the organization also sponsors regional conferences all around North America and the CBA was involved in a recent regional conference held in the Sacramento area several years ago. This weekendís event will bring together artists, agents, event producers and others from all up and down the West Coast (and Canada) and one or two states inland.

In a recent phone conversation with Louis Meyers, the executive director of Folk Alliance, Louis indicated to me that the organization has set a strategic goal to focus more on traditional music and traditional musicians (that means bluegrass and old-time music, folks). He was very enthusiastic about the fact that over 200 young bluegrass and old-time musicians attended this yearís international Memphis conference for the first time. Whatís the key to attracting young people for the Folk Alliance? Louis is convinced that itís the stylistic and cultural diversity of the organization thatís attractive to younger eclectic bluegrass and old-time musicians. He indicated that the organization signed up more new young members at this yearís IBMA conference, where the Folk Alliance had a booth set up in the Trade Show, than they had in any previous year.

If you get the chance, take a look at the Folk Alliance West Regional Conference website at Admission to the conference is very reasonable and thereís a long slate of interesting topics that directly pertain to the way that West Coast professional musicians make their living. Check it out if you can!

Iím hosting a workshop on Friday at 1 p.m. with John McEuen, titled ďThe Banjo - Past, Present and Future.Ē The regional conference is honoring Nitty Gritty Dirt Band member McEuen this year with a lifetime achievement award and Iím honored to be interviewing John about his life in music at this session.

All the best,
Bill Evans
Posted:  10/22/2010

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