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Music and poetry crosses the Atlantic as the nation prepares to take home grown talent to America

Music and poetry crosses the Atlantic as the nation prepares to take home grown talent to America

Five Go To Folk Alliance International

Five of Welsh traditional music's liveliest performers will showcase their music at the Folk Alliance International conference in Kansas City from 19-23 February.

High-energy folksters Calan will be joined by guest harpist Gwenan Gibbard, who'll also showcase solo. Mother-and-daughter duo DnA, who made such an impression at this year’s most important international professional market of world music – WOMEX in Cardiff have been invited to showcase there too, as have Olion Byw, whose second album has just been launched. And one of Wales' best-loved talents, Sian James, completes the Welsh line-up.

The conference hosts two thousand showcases over four days, and the Welsh artists are part of a bigger British delegation under the banner Horizons – an initiative started in Wales for WOMEX representing a World of Music from the UK and Ireland.

Since 1989, Folk Alliance has served as the headquarters for Folk Music and Dance. With over 2800 members worldwide and an annual conference that is one of the five largest music conferences in North America, Folk Alliance continues to grow and mature while providing a unique range of member services to our community.

Happy 100th Birthday Dylan Thomas! An Evening of Poetry, Song and Celebration

To support the Welsh Government’s launch of the DT 100 celebrations in the US, Kevin Powell and Cerys Matthews will take us on a journey through Dylan Thomas’s legacy with company from Welsh musicians, Patrick Rimes and Gwenan Gibbard, American poets Steve Colman and Nichole Acosta, and American musicians Kraig Jarrett Johnson, Berry and Company and DJ Reborn, at Nuyorican Poets Café, New York City, 25 February.

Speaking ahead of the event, Cerys Matthews said:

"Dylan Thomas is a master of melody and rhythm whose voice is still a huge inspiration to new generations of artists all over the world- from slam poets to musicians, actors to playwrights. He would have been 100 years old this year and to celebrate his genius we are bringing together the two worlds Dylan loved- New York and Wales , and young artists from both worlds will come together through poetry, music and conversation to ask -who was the man behind the headlines? What inspired his writing style and what is his legacy?"

This event will also launch the Dylan Thomas Prize 2014 - a prize for published authors under 30. It was an American writer, Claire Vaye Watkins who received the £30,000 award last year for her exquisitely written book of short stories- "Battleborn'. America has a great success rate in this prize, having produced 3 winners in the last 4 years.

Cerys Matthews continued:

"It'll feel great to doff our collective hats at this small, passionate man who enriched the world so thoroughly with his poetry and writing and I can't wait to revel in his craft and forge lasting cross Atlantic relationships with fellow artists and literature lovers."

The final leg of Wales’ journey will take us to South by Southwest (SXSW) Music and Media Conference, offering the unique convergence of original music, independent films, and emerging technologies. Fostering creative and professional growth alike, SXSW is the premier destination for discovery with 18,200+ music delegates and 2,200+ bands showcasing from 55 countries on 100+ stages. Altogether, SXSW presents unmatched networking opportunities, career-building conference programming and over 100 stages of music for showcasing bands and conference attendees. SXSW Music is now in its 28th year.

The ‘Cerdd Cymru: Music Wales’ mission will see eight Welsh acts head to the world-famous showcase with the aim of pumping money into their businesses and the Welsh economy.

This delegation includes Gruff Rhys who will introduce his American Interior project with Dylan Goch – a bold and ambitious multiplatform tale of adventure set for release in May 2014. American Interior is a unique project that firmly establishes Gruff Rhys as a captivating storyteller, blurring the boundaries and possibilities of song writing, music, literature, film and technology to create a multisensory experience telling the incredible true story of John Evans.

Sweet Baboo, Cate Le Bon, Until the Ribbon Breaks, Mike Peters and the Alarm, Save Your Breath and Gulp concludes the Welsh talent on show.

Eluned Haf, Head of Wales Arts International concluded:

"Wales Arts International are delighted to support this exciting season of Welsh artists in America to maximises opportunities for the arts in Wales and ensures international impact and recognition for the arts from Wales. These are three major opportunities for our artists and arts and we are pleased to see that leading programmers and events in the US are recognising the talents coming out of this small nation. We’re actively working towards building an infrastructure for talent in Wales which progresses to great international careers and we want to show that there is fertile ground for the arts and the creative industries to flourish here."

For further information please contact Sian James on 029 2044 1344 or email sian.james@artscouncilofwales.org.uk

Notes to Editors:

28th ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL FOLK ALLIANCE CONFERENCE
19 – 23 February, Westin Hotel, Kansas City, MO

Folk Alliance Performances:

Calan – 6pm Friday, 21 February, Pershing West

Olion Byw – 8pm Friday, 21 February, Union Hill

DnA – 7:30pm Saturday, 22 February, Penn Valley

Horizons:

Thurs:

Sian James 23:00-23:25; Calan 00:00-00:25; DnA 01:00-01:25

Fri:

DnA 14:30-14:55; Olion Byw 22:30-22:55; Sian James 01:00:01:25

Sat:

Olion Byw 14:00 – 14:25; Sian James & Gwenan Gibbard 14:30-14:55; Calan 15:00-15:25; DnA 23:00-23:25; Olion Byw 23:30-23:55; Gwenan Gibbard 01:30-01:55

SXSW MUSIC

11 – 15 March, Texas

Save Your Breath, Wednesday, March 12 (4.40pm)
Sweet Baboo, Friday, March 14 (2.10pm)
Until the Ribbon Breaks, Friday, March 14 (3.50pm)
Bohdi, Saturday, March 15 (4.40pm)

These times may change so please visit www.cerddcymru.com for the latest information.

17/02/2014

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