International Folk Music Awards 2023 – Winners

International Folk Music Award Winners

Billy Strings – Photo: LTTL

International Folk Music Awards

2023 Winners

Revealed at 2024 FAI Conference

Folk Alliance International (FAI) is holding its 36th Annual Conference on February 21 to 25, 2024 in Kansas City, Missouri. Part of the gathering will be presenting the International Folk Music Award recipients and best of 2023 winners. In addition to the IFMAs and presentations, over 2,000 artist showcases will also take place under one roof.

Lifetime Achievement Awards are presented each year to honour the cultural impact of legendary folk music figures: one Living, one Legacy and one Business/Academic. At the 2024 Conference, these Awards will be granted to:

  • four-time Grammy Award-winner, thirteen-time Grammy nominee 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 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).

The following are the finalists for the 2023 Album, Artist, and Song of the Year, winners in bold:

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

(Final nominees for Album, Artist, and Song of the Year are compiled from US, Canadian and international “best of” annual industry and media lists in addition to the year-end Folk DJ Charts. FAI’s voting membership determines award winners.

The IFMA house band will be Virginia’s The Steel Wheels, founders of the Red Wing Roots Music Festival.

All conference attendees will have access to attend the IFMAs.

For The Rising Tide Award (sponsored by Levitt Foundation), FAI will tap Guatemalan songwriter, vocalist, and activist in defense of women’s and indigenous people’s rights, Sara Curruchich, who is the first musician to use Kaqchikel language of her people in popular music for an international audience. The Rising Tide Award was launched in 2021 to celebrate a new generation (under 30) artist who inspires others by embodying the values and ideals of the folk community through their creative work, community role, and public voice.

FAI has also announced the recipient of the Clearwater Award, Spirit of Folk Awards and inductees to the Folk Radio Hall of Fame.

The Clearwater Award is presented to a festival that prioritizes environmental stewardship and demonstrates public leadership in sustainable event production and this year will go to LEAF Global Arts Festival.

The Spirit of Folk Awards honour and celebrate people and organizations actively involved in the promotion and preservation of folk music through their creative work. This round they will go to:

  • Lead Belly Estate’s Terika Dean;
  • artist from the Métis Nation of Ontario, Amanda Rheaume;
  • Jim Fleming, founder of the booking agency Fleming Artists; and
  • FAI’s own Jerod Rivers, who has served in the organization for eleven years in several roles, presently as Conference Director. The Spirit of Folk Awards are presented to

Newly minted Folk Radio Hall of Famers include Folk Alley’s Linda Fahey; forty-plus year veteran Jan Vanderhorst; Mountain Stage founder Larry Groce; Bob Sherman, whose “Woody’s Children” show graced NYC’s airwaves for nearly 55 years and Celtic music ambassador Brian O’Donovan.

The Folk Radio Hall of Fame was established to recognize radio DJs who have made an outstanding contribution to the preservation, promotion, and presentation of folk music and have demonstrated and inspired leadership in the broadcast field.

You can read about our coverage of the 2018 FAI Conference HERE

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International Folk Music Award Winners

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Author: Rob Dickens

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