In mid-June, the Americana Music Association Foundation announced its plan for Thriving Roots: A Virtual Community Music Conference, with guest speakers including Rosanne Cash, Rhiannon Giddens, and T Bone Burnett. Set for September 16th through 18th, in place of the annual AmericanaFest in Nashville, the event’s initial programming lineup features conversations with Americana/roots heavyweights such as Brandi Carlile, Emmylou Harris, and Mavis Staples.
Designed as intimate talks, the sessions will feature Carlile in conversation with British singer-songwriter Yola; Harris speaking with documentarian Ken Burns; and Staples chatting with Jackson Browne. Additionally, the event will also include panels with the duo Black Pumas, who will discuss artistic development and business challenges; Mary Gauthier, presenting a songwriting workshop; and Taj Mahal, speaking on the restorative qualities of music in his session “Music Is the Healing Voice.” Additional panels will include a session on music in political campaigns from the Woodie Guthrie Center and an industry-centric dissection of publicity campaigns.
Early-bird passes are available for $99; the full conference agenda will be announced in late August.
The Americana Honors and Awards, which typically leads off AmericanaFest week in September, is still set to happen live September 16th at the Ryman Auditorium, though no further details have been announced about what the show will look like. Nominees this year include Brittany Howard, Nathaniel Rateliff, Tanya Tucker, Yola, and Carlile.