Folk Alliance International has announced the Official Showcase artists for its 30th annual conference taking place February 14-18, 2018, at the Westin Crown Center Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri.

FAI Conference 2017A platform for luminaries and rising stars, the annual conference is the world’s largest gathering of the folk music industry and community. Folk Alliance International’s Official Showcases are jury-selected nightly mini-concerts featuring emerging artists and touring legends from around the world. The performances are 30 minutes in length and are held concurrently on ten full-production stages throughout the host hotel over three nights.

More than 800 artists/acts applied for the opportunity to perform for hundreds of festival and venue bookers, agents, managers, labels, media, and music industry representatives. The curated showcases feature artists representing a diverse array of folk genres including Appalachian, Americana, bluegrass, blues, Cajun, Celtic, global roots, Indie-folk, indigenous, Latin, old time, traditional, singer-songwriter, spoken word, and every imaginable fusion.

Christie Lenee, winner of the 2017 International Finger Style Guitar Championships, is among the Official Showcase artists at the 30th annual Folk Alliance International Conference in Kansas City next February.

Christie Lenee, winner of the 2017 International Finger Style Guitar Championships, is among the Official Showcase artists at the 30th annual Folk Alliance International Conference in Kansas City next February.

Here is a listing of the Official Showcase artists (confirmed to date and subject to change): AHI (Canada), Abbie Gardner (United States), The Accidentals ((United States), Aerialists (Canada), Alex Meixner Band (United States), Amanda Rheaume (Canada), Ambre McLean (Canada), Ana Egge (United States), Anais Mitchell (United States), Anika Moa (New Zealand), Anna & Elizabeth (United States), Anne McCue (United States), Ariane Mahrÿke Lemire (Canada), Baile An Salsa (Ireland), Beppe Gambetta (Italy), Black Umfolosi (Zimbabwe), Bon Débarras (Canada), Boogát Canada), Breabach (Scotland), Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer (United States). Celeigh Cardinal (Canada), Charlie Mars (United States), Chastity Brown (United States), Choir! Choir! Choir! (Canada), Christie Lenée (United States), Colter Wall (Canada), Connie Kaldor (Canada), Cosmo Sheldrake (England), Courtney Hartman (United States), The Crane Wives (United States), Crys Matthews (United States), Cubanisms (United States), Daniel Champagne (Australia), Danni Nicholls (England), Danny Burns (United States), Daoiri Farrell (Ireland), Dar Williams (United States), Darling West (Norway), Dayna Kurtz (United States), Delhi 2 Dublin (United States), Devarrow (Canada), Digging Roots (Canada), Disraeli (England), Dylan Menzie (Canada), Elephant Sessions (Scotland), Eljuri (United States), Elsten Torres (United States), Emi Sunshine & The Rain (United States), Erin Costello (Canada), Evie Ladin Band (United States), Fara (Scotland), Findlay Napier (Scotland), Fiver Fines (Canada), Fortunate Ones (Canada), The Fugitives (Canada), Giri & Uma Peters (United States), Grant Lee Phillips (United States), Gretchen Peters (United States), Guy Davis (United States), Hackensaw Boys (United States), Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage (England), Hans Theessink (Denmark), Hat Fitz and Cara (Australia), Heather Maloney (United States), Henry Nam (United States), inPLANES (United States), In The Willows (Ireland), Jack Semple (Canada), Jaimee Harris (United States), Jake Morley (England), James Maddock (United States), Jariath Henderson (Northern Ireland), Jayme Stone (United States), Jeremy Dutcher (Canada), Jeremy Kittel Trio (United States), Joe Purdy & Amber Rubarth (United States), John Blek (Ireland), John Flynn (United States), John Gorka (United States), John Oates (United States), John Smith (England), Jorma Kaukonen (United States), Julian Taylor (Canada), Kim Taylor (United States), Kolonien (Sweden), Kuinka (United States), Larissa Tandy (Canada), Laura Cortese & the Dance Cards (United States), Leaf Rapids (Canada), Les Grands Hurleurs (Canada), Les Poules à Colin (Canada), Lisa LeBlanc (Canada), The LYNNeS (Canada), Madisen Ward (United States), Making Movies (United States), The Mammals (United States), Martha Redbone Roots Project (United States), Martyn Joseph (Wales), Mary Gauthier (United States), The Mastersons (United States), Matthew Byrne (Canada), Maybe April (United States), Megan Bonnell (Canada), Mick Flannery (Ireland), Mile Twelve (United States), Molly Tuttle (United States), Monique Clare (Australia), Mountain Heart (United States), Natalia Zukerman (United States), Nathalie Pires with Ensemble Iberica (United States), NewTown (United States), Newpoli (United States), The Next Generation Leahy (Canada), Old Hannah (Ireland), Oliver Swain (Canada), Ouroboros (Canada), Over the Rhine (United States), Rachel Baiman (United States), Rachel Laven (United States), Radio Free Honduras (United States), Rafiki Jazz (England), Raine Hamilton String Trio (Canada), Roanoke (United States), Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley (United States), Rose Cousins (Canada), Rosie & the Riveters (Canada), Royal Wood (Canada), Ruby Boots (United States), Rura (Scotland), Ruthie Foster (United States), Ryan McNally (Canada), Sally & George (United States), Sam Baker (United States), Sam Reider and The Human Hands (United States), Sarah Jane Scouten (Canada), SaulPaul (United States), The Sea The Sea (United States), Sergio Beercok (Italy), Session Americana (United States), Shelley Segal (Australia), Shreem x Celtic Remixing (Canada), Skerryvore (Scotland), The Small Glories (Canada), Southern Avenue (United States), Steve Poltz (United States), The Stray Birds (United States), Suzie Vinnick (Canada), Talisk (Scotland), Tom Chapin (United States), Tom Prasada Rao (United States), Tommy Sands (Ireland), Trout Steak Revival (United States), Victor & Penny (United States), Villalobos Brothers (United States), Vox Sambou (Canada), Wallis Bird (Ireland), The War and Treaty (United States), The Western Flyers (United States), Wild Ponies (United States), Wild Rivers (United States), William Crighton (Australia), Ye Vagabonds (Ireland), and Yirrmal (Australia).

Breakthrough artists from previous conferences include The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Darlingside, David Francey, John Fullbright, Kaia Kater, Lake Street Dive, The Milk Carton Kids, Nickel Creek, The Stray Birds, Valerie June, The Waifs, and The Wailin’ Jennys. Past showcase performances have also included guest appearances by Judy Collins, Béla Fleck, Rita Coolidge, Ron Sexsmith, Archie Fisher, Peggy Seeger, and more.

Bringing together musicians, educators, and music industry professionals from around the world, the Folk Alliance International Conference is known for its community atmosphere, business and networking opportunities, and as a hotspot for discovering new talent.

11049104_10153127582954417_9010170420778560754_nThe 2018 conference will feature presentations by Mary Chapin Carpenter and Richard Thompson, the Louis Jay Meyers Music Camp, the International Folk Music Awards, and the third annual Kansas City Folk Festival. Celebrating 30 years of community and song, the conference will YEARS OF COMMUNITY AND SONG, honor the first three decades of the organization’s growth and activity, as well as the broader story of folk music during that time.

Folk Alliance International ( is a Kansas City, MO-based nonprofit organization that seeks to nurture, engage and empower the international folk music community – traditional and contemporary, amateur and professional – through education, advocacy and performance.

Editor’s Note: This article is based on a news release issued by Folk Alliance International, on whose board of directors I serve. I’m also board president of the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA), one of its five regional affiliates, which holds it annual conference, Nov. 9-12, in Stamford, CT. I am not involved in the selection of Official Showcase artists.