The Americana Music Association® has revealed the first-rate lineup for its conference, headquartered at The Westin Nashville on Sept. 11-13, during the 20th annual AMERICANAFEST® which takes place September 10-15, 2019, gathering thousands of artists, fans, and industry professionals from all over the world in Nashville. This year’s programming highlights include a discussion on the current state of the Music Modernization Act (MMA) with Keb’ Mo’ and Regan Smith, the general counsel from the U.S. Copyright Office; plus, live tapings of Chris Shiflett’s “Walking The Floor” podcast featuring Delbert McClinton and Yolaa keynote interview with Brandi Carlile and Change the Conversation’s Tracy Gershon; and an artist development panel led by NPR Music’s Bob Boilen with Jade Bird and Daniel Glass.
The seminal music industry forum will include more than 60 panels and workshops during the week of Sept. 10-15, bringing together more than 200 professionals from the top tier of the music business to discuss and engage in current topics and issues in front of Conference Registrants.
As previously announced in last week’s edition of the PRIDE, Rhiannon Giddens will sit down with writer John Jeremiah Sullivan for a second keynote interview during “Erasure of American Music History” on Friday, Sept. 13. Picking up where her recent New Yorker profile left off, the pair will take a magnifying glass to America’s folk traditions and share why they believe there is a lack of awareness on musical contributions by African Americans like the late Frank Johnson, who is co-recipient of this year’s inaugural Legacy of Americana Award along with Giddens.
Keb’ Mo’ will join an in-depth discussion on the state of the Music Modernization Act (MMA) alongside U.S. Copyright Office General Counsel Regan Smith and Concord Music Publishing’s Brad Kennard. Facilitated by the Artist Rights Alliance, this panel will cover the current events surrounding the legislation following a brief overview by consultant Erin McAnally on Wednesday, Sept. 11 at 11 am.
Gospel scholar and DJ Kevin Nutt will guide a deep dive into the 1970s gospel music movement that was led by The Staple Singers, whose successes inspired several southern groups to experiment with funk and more. Formerly the lead singer of the Staples Jr. Singers, Annie Caldwell will be sharing her own experiences from this time with Nutt and Luaka Bop President Yale Evelev during “The Time for Peace is Now: Navigating African-American Gospel in the 1970s.”
In partnership with the Arts and Business Council of Greater Nashville, AMERICANAFEST will once again provide CLE (continuing legal education) panels geared toward attorneys with an emphasis on entertainment law. Presented by The Recording Academy, “Developing Songwriting and Music Publishing Communities in Smaller Music Markets” will examine how to foster songwriting communities in one’s own hometown. Moderated by Gebre Waddell (Sound Credit), attendees will hear words of wisdom from Gershon, Linda Edell Howard (Adams & Reese LLP), Michael Molinar (Big Machine Music) and singer-songwriter-producer PJ Morton. See another article in this issue about the Arts and Business Council’s Periscope Pitch Program on September 4 at OZ.
2007 “Spirit of Americana” Free Speech Award Honoree Mavis Staples will be recognized at this year’s Americana Honors & Awards as the Association celebrates her nearly seven-decade career and inspiration as an enduring pillar of hope and justice. Since her breakthrough as a family member of the uplifting gospel group The Staple Singers during the divisive Civil Rights Movement to her revered solo career today, the 80-year-old soul icon understands what it means to carry on. Staples has constantly used her commanding voice — both in action and in song — to instill perseverance in listeners across multiple generations, while also reminding America that the fight for true equality is still alive and well, and so is she. The Kennedy Center Honoree’s latest album, “We Get By,” serves as a touchstone for her timely message of love, faith and joy.
Tickets for the Americana Honors & Awards are exclusively available for purchase by AMERICANAFEST® Conference Registrants. (full conference registration is $449) or festival wristbands (only $90) to AMERICANAFEST®. A Festival Wristband gets you into all six nights of performances featuring 500 live performances at almost 60 of Nashville’s most prominent venues, also you are welcome to attend various special events and parties. Please visit www.americanamusic.org for a complete schedule or more information on the association or to purchase passes.