Industry professionals got intimate concerts and opportunities to connect with artists at the 31st Folk Alliance International conference in Montreal, Canada. Artists showcased their music all around the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth hotel.
Conference attendees and folk friends around the world were invited to join a live-streaming a performance of “Give Peace a Chance” from their own beds on February 16th at 9:30 am ET.
“In 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono staged a bed-in at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth hotel in Montréal, Canada where they penned and recorded the iconic pacifist song “Give Peace a Chance.” 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of this historic moment in music history, and our conference is taking place in the same hotel!” Folk Alliance International~
This weekend 78-year-old singer -songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie, who had a string of hits in the 60’s and 70’s was honored at the event. She is a peace activist and a very private person who seldom leaves her farm in Hawaii. She recently released a biography.
In what was a folkies paradise, thousands of folk music fans came together to hear music legends in the historic Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal. While it was frigid outside, the warmth inside between old friends was palpable. I was sitting next to Tom Paxton as he whooped it up and gave a thumbs up to Livingston Taylor after he performed Somewhere Over The Rainbow. As soon as the set was over, Paxton approached the stage and the two embraced. Both artists have been able to maintain longstanding careers in the folk industry.
The reporter I was working with and I looked for every opportunity to slip into the space where Livingston Taylor was giving his delightful performances. His warm and inviting style was very engaging; his vocals soothing and his guitar playing joyful. But what made Livingston special to me was his performance charisma. Frequently interrupting himself, as to never let a teaching moment pass, he's filled wisdom and humor and eager to share both with his audience. This says a lot, when you think that more than 1,000 singers, songwriters and musicians from around the world were competing for the attention of industry professionals.
There is just something about Livingston that speaks heart to heart.
~~Young artist connected to industry professionals and each other, while showcasing their own music.
Story by award winning reporter Mike Sangiacomo, Cleveland Plain Dealer. https://www.cleveland.com/arts/2019/02/folk-alliance-conference-unites-musicians-from-around-the-world.html
Next years event will be in New Orleans.
VIDEO OF LIVINGSTON TAYLOR SINGING SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW ABOVE WITH APPROVAL OF TOM PAXTON AT THE END.