Kansas City, MO (December 6, 2022) – Folk Alliance International (FAI), the foremost global 501(c)3 nonprofit for folk music, today announced that its 2023 Artist In Residence will be Cary Morin, in partnership with the non-profit organization Friends of the Kaw, the only grassroots conservation group dedicated to protecting the Kaw River (aka the Kansas River). Winner of two Indigenous Music Awards, Morin has written a song about the Kaw River, inspired by time spent in a kayak on the key waterway and speaking with local elders via Haskell University and the Kansas City Indian Center. The project will be presented at the 2023 Folk Alliance International Conference, held at the Westin Crown Center Kansas City, February 1-5, 2023.
This project ties in with FAI’s conference theme this year, Facing the Future: Sustainability in Folk Music, where conference programming will address the sustainability of the folk genre, careers and businesses in the music industry, and the environment that supports us.
Morin has performed for audiences at the Kennedy Center, The Olympics, Telluride Blues & Brews Festival, and Lincoln Center. NPR Music called him “one of Colorado’s great treasures,” continuing that he is “one of the best pickers on the scene today. His music is characterized as Native Americana, with healthy doses of blues, bluegrass, jazz, reggae and folk.” No Depression called him “subtly stunning” and “a superb fingerstyle guitarist.” He has shared the stage with Los Lobos, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, and Arlo Guthrie.
Morin was born in Billings, Montana. A Crow tribal member with Assiniboine Sioux and Black heritage, and son of an Air Force officer, he spent the bulk of his youth in Great Falls, where he cut his teeth picking guitar standards at neighborhood get-togethers. When not touring the US and Europe, he calls Northern Colorado home.
The Kaw River is an important water source for the region and the largest prairie-based river system in the world. It has seen much pollution over the years, and the goal of the project is to elevate the work that Friends of the Kaw are doing to clean and protect this vital ecosystem using the power of music. The final product will be a music video featuring his song and scenes from the river.
About Folk Alliance International
Founded in 1989, and governed by a 21-member board of directors, Folk Alliance International (FAI) is the world’s largest membership organization for the folk music industry and community. Its mission is to serve, strengthen, and engage the global folk music community through preservation, presentation, and promotion.
FAI values diversity, equity, inclusion, and access, is committed to 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.
FAI produces the International Folk Music Awards (IFMAs), an Artist in Residence (AIR) program, The Folk ExChange global market development program, the Ethno USA gathering, and the world’s largest annual folk music conference (drawing 3,332 delegates from 41 countries in January 2020).
Additionally, FAI provides advocacy, education, and professional development for over 4,000 members and oversees an IRS Group Exemption program in support of over 50 US non-profits.
About Friends of the Kaw
Friends of the Kaw (FOK) serves the Kansas River, known locally as the Kaw. The Kansas River is the largest prairie-based river system in the world. The river originates at the junction of the Smoky Hill and Republican Rivers and runs 173 miles to meet the Missouri River at Kaw Point in Kansas City, Kansas. The Kansas River is also a drinking water source for over 800,000 Kansans. The Kansas River is often referred to as a working river, with such uses as agricultural, irrigation, industrial water supply, municipal water supply, electricity generation, sand mining and many more public and private uses. FOK is dedicated to protecting the river from pollution sources including: municipal and industrial wastewater discharges, new pollution sources and in river commercial sand and gravel mining.