Article Contributed by Nick Loss-Eato… | Published on Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Folk Alliance International (FAI), a 501(c)3 and the foremost global nonprofit for folk music, will present a convening of some of the music industry's leading authorities and creators to address the ability of folk music to galvanize and catalyze movements to advance our world, at its 36th Annual Conference February 21-25, 2024 in Kansas City, MO. FAI has confirmed the International Folk Music Award (which are part of the conference) upcoming recipients and Best of 2023 nominees as well as the conference keynote presenters. In addition to the IFMAs and presentations, over 2,000 artist showcases will also take place under one roof.

Lifetime Achievement Awards will be granted to four-time GRAMMY Award-winner, thirteen-time GRAMMY nominee, and writer of a #1 Billboard Hot Country Song chart hit, Tracy Chapman; Chilean songwriter and activist Victor Jara; and McCabe’s Guitar Shop, which has been hosting concerts in Southern California for over 50 years. (The Elaine Weissman Lifetime Achievement Awards are presented each year to honor the cultural impact of legendary folk music figures: one Living, one Legacy, and one Business/Academic.)
The People’s Voice Award is presented to an individual who unabashedly embraces social and political commentary in their creative work and public careers. This year’s recipient is Alynda Segarra (of Hurray For the Riff Raff, which has released nine albums).
The following are the finalists for the 2023 Album, Artist, and Song of the Year:
Album of the Year
Amatssou - Tinariwen (Wedge Records)
City Of Gold - Molly Tuttle and Golden Highway (Nonesuch)
False Lankum - Lankum (Rough Trade)
Stand in the Joy - William Prince (Six Shooter Records)
Welcome to Whatever - Rainbow Girls (self-release)
Artist of the Year (sponsored by the Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame)
Billy Strings
Digging Roots
Gaby Moreno
Nickel Creek
Madi Diaz
Song of the Year
"Changes" written by Joy Oladokun & Dan Wilson, performed by Joy Oladokun
"Keep It On A Burner" written and performed by Margo Cilker
"Tears Run Dry" written by Abraham Alexander, Ian Barter, Leo Stannard, performed by Abraham Alexander
"The Returner" written by Allison Russell, Drew Lindsay, & JT Nero, performed by Allison Russell
"Workin' On A World" written and performed by Iris Dement

Among the Album of the Year nominees are 40+ year Tuareg group Tinariwen, whose album Amatssou was named the #1 Global Music album of the year by MOJO Magazine; 2023 GRAMMY Best New Artist nominee Molly Tuttle and Golden Highway; The Guardian’s #1 album of 2023, False Lankum, by the Dublin, Ireland band; William Prince, who has opened concerts for Neil Young and did an NPR Tiny Desk Concert in 2023; and Bodega, CA trio Rainbow Girls.
Artist of the Year nominees are Billy Strings, whose most recent album Me/And/Dad hit #1 on the Billboard Bluegrass Chart, #1 on the Billboard Emerging Chart, and #37 on the Billboard Top 200; Turtle Island, Canada’s Digging Roots, an electrifying husband-and-wife duo of the Anishinabe Onkwehonwe nation and two-time JUNO Award winners; Guatemalan singer-song Gaby Moreno, who has earned four GRAMMY nominations and is based in Los Angeles; Madi Diaz, who has opened concerts for Harry Styles and about whom Rolling Stone said, “Get ready for the year of Madi”; and beloved trio Nickel Creek, consisting of Chris Thile, Sara Watkins, and Sean Watkins.
Song of the Year Nominations come for Joy Oladokun, who was profiled by CBS This Morning last year; “subtly spectacular” (Stereogum) Margo Cilker; son of Nigerian immigrants in Greece then America, Abraham Alexander, subject of an interview on NPR All Things Considered last year; the legendary Iris Dement; and longtime collaborators JT Nero and 2022 IFMA Artist of the Year Allison Russell with Drew Lindsy.