This year SERFA is proud to announce folk legend/activist Peggy Seeger as a recipient in the third year of the Kari Estrin Founding President's Award for Outstanding Contributions to South East Music and Culture and Peggy will also be featured as SERFA's keynote speaker.
Although Peggy was born into the prestigious first family of folk in 1935, it was her work overseas in Great Britain with Ewan MacColl where Peggy carved out a new musical life leaving a lasting impact.
From their work in bringing the nation’s plight of coal miners to the forefront, to searching out songs in remote regions of the USA and UK , Ewan and Peggy blazed a trail for others to join with the UK folk revival, aligning with the one happening in the U.S.
With her own 22 recordings, Peggy has earned the accolade of “one of the finest interpreters of Anglo-American folksongs.” Coupled with her reputation as an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, including banjo and concertina, as a songwriter and interpreter of traditional song, Seeger's music found its place on the airwaves, in television and film.
Although Seeger is known for her feminist anthem “I'm Gonna Be An Engineer,” she is also the inspiration for one of pop's most romantic songs, written by husband Ewan, “The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face,” which became a hit in the early 70's for Roberta Flack.
It is easy to see that Peggy brings a wealth of history and expertise with her to SERFA. Seeger will not only accept Estrin's Founding President's award and will keynote, but will be featured in various workshops and more throughout the conference.
Peggy Seeger welcomes the opportunity to come back to Asheville, NC, where she was a resident for several years beginning in 1994.
Previous recipients of Estrin's award are the Highlander Research and Education Center with Pam McMichael accepting; and last year’s award going to the Rounder Collective of Ken Irwin, Marian Leighton Levy and Bill Nowlin, along with artists Alice Gerrard and Si Kahn.
This is the sixth year the conference will be located at this idyllic location nestled within the backdrop of the Smoky Mountains. Promising to be the best yet with many new additions to the programming, SERFA is attended by musicians, venues, radio personnel and other music professionals in the singer/songwriter – acoustic community worlds. The conference is full of showcasing opportunities for future gigs and with workshops on a variety of topics ranging from songwriting to the business of music. Unique to the SERFA conference is its Community Hour that focuses on using music for social enrichment and change, as well as group mentorships, instrumental clinics and more.
This year's conference begins on Wednesday, May 18 in the late afternoon with a BBQ/Barn Dance and Open Mic held in the barn located on the Montreat grounds. Programming and showcasing continues through Saturday, May 21 featuring some of the country’s top acoustic talent and with an emphasis on the greater Asheville and North Carolina region through strategic partnerships and community outreach. This year Asheville's Mountain Xpress signs on as SERFA's Media Partner as does Spindale's radio station WNCW, beloved throughout North Carolina.
Registration for the conference as well as music showcasing applications are open now at www.serfa.org. SERFA is a region of the Folk Alliance International, a 501(c)3 federal charity based in Kansas City, MO. FAI holds an Annual Conference and Music Camp each February. There are four other North American regional organizations of FAI: NERFA - the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance; FARM - Folk Alliance Regional Midwest; SWRFA - Southwest Regional Folk Alliance; FAR WEST - Folk Alliance Regional West (Coast).These regions include Canadian and Mexican members. Additionally FAI has many international members, and independent networks in Europe and Australia. Please go to www.folkalliance.org to become a member or for information on these other regional conferences.
For more information about Peggy Seeger: http://www.peggyseeger.com.