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Americana Music Awards – Rhiannon Giddens and Frank Johnson

The first Americana Awards for 2019 are announced

Rhiannon Giddens- Photo: Ebru-Yildiz

The Americana Music Association has announced a partnership with the National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM), the only museum committed to preserving the legacy and honoring the accomplishments of the many music genres created, influenced and inspired by African Americans.

The two organizations have also established the inaugural Legacy of Americana Award, which will be presented to roots music virtuoso Rhiannon Giddens and posthumously to Frank Johnson, a pioneering American folk musician from the Antebellum era, during the 18th annual Americana Honors & Awards on September 11 at the historic Ryman Auditorium.

The Legacy of Americana Award has been instituted to honor an artist, writer, producer or educator who has either made a lasting impression through music or inspired art to recognize the legacy of Americana music traditions. Replicas of the awards will be showcased at the museum, which is scheduled to open in early 2020 in downtown Nashville.

Rhiannon Giddens (with Hubby Jenkins) at the Americana Honors and Awards 2015 – Photo: LTTL

A MacArthur “Genius” Grant recipient, Rhiannon Giddens has shared this dedication throughout her highly lauded career by carrying on the under-represented origins of African roots music and breathing new life into its deep history. In the U.S., her pivotal work traces a lineage of string music back to the late Johnson, who was a traveling fiddle musician and brass band leader of the most well-known group in his home state of North Carolina during the 19th century. Yet, his contributions have largely been forgotten in the context of musical history after his passing in the late 1800s, so much so that even locating an identifying photo is seemingly virtually impossible. The Legacy of Americana Award aims to shine a light on both of these musicians’ unparalleled influences on American roots music.

NMAAM is dedicated to educating, preserving and honoring the legacy of African Americans and their contributions to music. With over 1,400 artifacts already collected, NMAAM will be the only museum in the world whose mission is solely focused on black music.

Giddens is also scheduled to speak on a panel alongside writer John Jeremiah Sullivan during the music industry conference part of AmericanaFest 2019. The two will be discussing the erasure of American music history at the comprehensive music business forum. The three-day conference is open to those with a 2019 AmericanaFest Conference Registration.

Listening Through The Lens will again be covering AmericanaFest this year.

Source: Americana Music Association Media Release

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The first Americana Awards for 2019 are announced

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Author: Rob Dickens

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