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“All Are Welcome” Jake Blount

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Jake Blount’s keynote address at the 2021 NERFA Conference was a wonderfully meditation on the evolution of folklore as the parent of all of the folk arts and what the historical context of art whose roots among marginalized peoples can teach us in a COVID and post COVID world. Hear what the award-winning banjoist, fiddler, singer, and scholar has to say in the video below!⁠

It isn’t enough to open the door and say, “you’re welcome”,  to come in as long as you do it our way.

We have to be willing to meet people where they’re at to understand that they bring new things to the table, new sounds as well, as new ideas, and I mean that across the board.

We are fortunate as people in the industry of folk music to be amongst the more appreciated of the folk arts. I think it’s safe to say that especially after the past year we can feel safe in the supportive attitudes of our fan bases.

(Folk Music) is a way of encoding these memories of transferring principles, knowledge and the accumulated experience of a culture group from one generation to the next to such a great degree that it interlocks with all the other types of folklore that I mentioned before. It  references them and keeps them alive even when they’ve been (in the case of Black music) banned in the country we’re talking about.

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