FAI Executive Director Neeta Ragoowansi Set to Appear on SXSW Panel Gender Equity In Music: Measuring Progress Leads to Change! Tomorrow

March 14, 2023 (Kansas City, MO) – Folk Alliance International (FAI), the foremost global nonprofit for folk music, has confirmed an official showcase night at SXSW sporting some of folk music’s most spellbinding artists: Jake Blount, Elephant Sessions, OKAN, Joy Clark, Sara Curruchich, and The Accidentals featuring Patty Pershayla and Katelynn Corll.

WHO: Joy Clark (8pm), OKAN (9pm), Jake Blount (10pm), Sara Curruchich (11pm), Elephant Sessions (12am), and The Accidentals featuring Patty Pershayla and Katelynn Corll (1am)
WHAT: Folk Alliance International official showcase at SXSW
WHEN: Friday, March 17, 8pm-2am
WHERE: The Driskill, 604 Brazos St., Austin, TX
TICKETS: A SXSW festival wristband is required to attend this event. RSVP for press list.

FAI Executive Director, Neeta Ragoowansi will appear on the panel Gender Equity In Music: Measuring Progress Leads To Change!, which is presented by KEYCHANGE U.S. The panel will feature trailblazing women who are leading by example to create a more diverse music universe where all genders feel included and safe. One will hear about initiatives, market research and HR decisions to build a more equitable workforce, including results of the BE THE CHANGE study, now in its third year. The panel takes place tomorrow, Wednesday, March 15, from 2-3:30pm at Innovation Bridge Europe House at Wax Myrtle (Thompson Hotel).

Bio of Neeta in press release announcing her joining FAI.

Ragoowansi and Director of Development, Alex Mallett will both be at the showcase as well.

Acclaimed musician and scholar Jake Blount’s highly-anticipated new album, The New Faith, came out last fall on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings as part of their African American Legacy series. NPR Music said, “revelatory…[Blount] sings and speaks from the eye of the musical storm he’s cultivated with a keen and collected alertness that’s riveting.” The album aims to envision what Black religious music would sound like in a not-so-distant future world devastated by climate change.

Current title holders of BBC Scotland Album of the year, Elephant Sessions entered the UK folk charts at number three and have reached both the French and Australian album charts. Their high-octane brand of folk electronic fusion has earned them the reputation as one of Europe’s best artists who have appeared at the likes of Glastonbury (UK) and Blues Fest (AUS).

Long before glowing acclaim from NPR and Billboard, packed shows, unforgettable festival appearances, millions of streams, and collaborations with everyone from BTS to Kaboom Collective, the journey of The Accidentals commenced in a public high school classroom in Traverse City, MI. As the story goes, concertmaster violinist Savannah Buist, and cellist, Katie Larson, raised their hands at the request for volunteers to play a music boosters concert and wound up being musical soulmates.

Sara Curruchich, a Mayan singer-songwriter from Guatemala and MTV Miaw award winner for her fight for gender equality and against racism through music, will perform for first time at SXSW. As a Mayan musician, her participation in SXSW is also a strong statement about the rights that indigenous women have to fully participate as creatives. It is also a great opportunity to present her activist platform through music and meet other artists and professionals interested in changing the music industry.

Joy Clark is a New Orleans-born singer-songwriter, lyrical guitarist and composer who creates soulful compositions that celebrate peace and the undeniable power of love. Growing up the daughter of a minister, she learned to create an atmosphere ripe for an emotional experience. After a huge 2022 with Allison Russell playing the GRAMMY Awards, Austin City Limits, sharing the stage with Brandi Carlile and making the cover of Guitar Girl Magazine, Clark is set to release a live acoustic album, LIVE In Seattle on March 14.

Having just released a new video for their track “Sombras,” the women-led, Afro-Cuban roots and jazz ensemble OKAN follows up on their Juno-winning album 2020 Espiral with a new full album release entitled Okantomi in October of this year. Attending SXSW for the first time. OKAN hopes to connect with U.S. and Latin American booking agents and international management support.

FAI’s 36th annual conference is set to be held February 21-25, 2024, in Kansas City, MO.

About Folk Alliance International
Folk Alliance International (FAI) was founded in 1989 to connect folk music leaders aiming to sustain the community and genre. Today FAI is the leading international voice for folk music with a network of more than 3,000 members: a worldwide community of artists, agents, managers, labels, publicists, arts administrators, venues, festivals, and concert series presenters.

From its U.S. headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri. FAI produces the world’s largest conference for the folk music industry, the International Folk Music Awards (IFMAs), an Artist in Residence program, the Folk ExChange market development program, the Ethno USA gathering (on behalf of JM International), community outreach, and a Finest Folk concert series.

FAI values diversity, equity, inclusion, and access, strives to ensure gender parity in all its programming, celebrates multiple languages and cultures, and actively welcomes participation from marginalized, disenfranchised, and underrepresented communities.

FAI defines folk broadly as “the music of the people” (reflective of any community they are from), and programs a diverse array of sub genres including, but not limited to, Appalachian, Americana, Blues, Bluegrass, Celtic, Cajun, Global Roots, Hip-Hop, Old-Time, Singer-Songwriter, Spoken Word, Traditional, Zydeco, and various fusions.


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