Mavis Staples will be a keynote speaker at the Folk Alliance International Conference in New Orleans

Folk Alliance conference adds Mavis Staples, Rhiannon Giddens

Folk Alliance International will host its four-day annual conference in New Orleans in January 2020. The event, which draws nearly 3000 delegates from 47 countries, includes hundreds of juried showcases, thousands of private performances, a music camp, panels, International Folk Music Awards, community outreach and more.

The theme of this year’s conference is The Story of People and Place, which will delve into diversity, equity, inclusion, immigration, intersection and influence. With represented genres ranging from Appalachian to Zydeco, Americana to Spoken Word, the FAI conference will provide a platform for countless folk musicians.

FAI has announced its megastar keynote presenters for its 32nd annual conference, with takes place January 22-26. Iconic artist and civil-rights activist Mavis Staples will speak on Thursday, January 23. Staples was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from Folk Alliance International more than a decade ago, in 2008. On Saturday, January 25, the keynote speaker will be renowned multi-instrumentalist Rhiannon Giddens. Giddens, along with her group the Carolina Chocolate Drops, was integral in placing a spotlight on African American string music.

Also recently announced by FAI is a conference partnership with the State of Louisiana through the Lt. Governor’s Office of Cultural Development and the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area. This is big news for Louisiana musicians, music industry reps and culture bearers taking part in the conference. Those who are residents of Louisiana will get 50% off the current registration fee to attend the January 2020 conference. Those who already registered will get be refunded and notified via email — those who haven’t yet registered can do so by using the promo code 2020LAGeneral at online checkout.

To register, and for more information, click here