WORLD’S LARGEST ONLINE MUSICAL COLLABORATION – GLOBAL MUSIC MATCH RETURNS FOR 2021.
TEAM 1 (Stevie Smith) Buckman Coe | Mary Ann Kennedy El Pony Pisador | Emma Swift Kim Rysstad | Fernando Milagros TEAM 2 (Michele Serafini) Andrea Kirwin | Fanfara Station Lena Jonsson Trio | Eliza Marshall Stephen Fearing | Windborne TEAM 3 (Katch Holmes) Findlay Napier | Eadyth | Joel Havea | Bel Air de Forro | Amy Nelson TEAM 4 (Subhira Rodrigo) Lunatraktors | ‘Ndiaz | Paz Court | Jessica Pearson and the East Wind Gretta Ziller | Julia Othmer TEAM 5 (David Agnew) Max ZT | Ösp Eldjárn Tom West | Krista Hartman Ainsley Hamill | Dan Whitehouse TEAM 6 (Melanie Scheys) Terra Spencer | WHYTE Lilli Lewis | Golosa La Orquestra Rich Davies | Brieg Guerveno TEAM 7 (Christine White) Clare Sands | Monique Clare Andrew Waite | N’Famady Kouyate Jellyman’s Daughter | Northern Resonance TEAM 8 (Sean Paul O’Hare) Pretty Archie | Tori Sparks The KutiMangoes | Megan O’Neill Melanie Horsnell | Blue Rose Code TEAM 9 (Doug Cox) Musketeer | Lucy Farrell Dani Larkin | Quote the Raven La Riippa Group | HuDost TEAM 10 (Inger Bråten) Zoomie | Eve Goodman Lynne Hanson | Hannah Rarity Stampestuen | Georgia State Line TEAM 11 (Lisa Schwartz) Jill Stark | Jack Rutter | Ernest Aines Treya Lam | Kubasonics | Ánnámáret TEAM 12 (Justin Rudge) Paul McKenna Band | Francesca de Valence VÍÍK | Tarquim | Mombao | Émilie Landry TEAM 13 (Chloe Goodyear) Ruth Hazleton | Sonia Aimy Gnoss | Thea Hopkins Chris Cleverley | SHUI HOU GU SHI
Following the colossal success of the debut Global Music Match in 2020, the worldwide matchmaking programme returns from June 7, featuring 78 artists from 17 countries and four continents. Artists from Australia, Brittany in France, Canada, Catalonia, Chile, Denmark, England, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Scotland, Taiwan, USA and Wales are set to collaborate over the coming three months, in what is thought to be the world’s largest online musical matchmaking programme.
This year’s iteration follows 2020’s world-first collaboration, which was created by founding partners Sounds Australia, Showcase Scotland Expo and Canada’s East Coast Music Association (ECMA) in a bid to continue developing profiles for folk-based artists in international music markets within the challenging and unprecedented parameters of COVID-19.
Artists from around the world have been grouped into international teams of six, from different countries, and over the coming 12 weeks will collaborate with each other across social media. Each act has an assigned two-week Featured Artist period, during which time their five team-mates will introduce them to five new audiences around the globe – rotated amongst all artists, up to the end of August. With 78 artists, 13 teams of six will operate simultaneously, across borders, countries and timezones, introducing audiences to three months of new music, whilst artists largely remain unable to tour internationally.
Each team is also led by an international coach – all of whom are leading festival directors and publicity managers from around the world, within the folk/roots genres. Artists will be coached throughout the project by influential figureheads from Cambridge Folk Festival (England), Gooikorts International Folk Festival (Belgium), Killer Inc. (Norway), Knockengorroch Festival (Scotland), Manchester Folk Festival (England), Montelago Celtic Festival (Italy), New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (USA), Philadelphia Folk Festival (USA), Port Fairy Folk Festival (Australia), AmericanaFest UK (England), Vancouver Island Music Fest (Canada), Westport Music & Arts Festival (Ireland), Woodford Folk Festival (Australia) and World Music Festival (Chile).
Born out of the COVID-19 pandemic, and created as a unique and direct response to the sudden limitations imposed on the worldwide music industry – and in particular, international showcasing – Global Music Match seeks to enhance and develop artists’ international fanbases, presence and peer connections in global markets.
Not only that, but the 2020 edition established lifelong working partnerships, market development, substantially enhanced international networks, and collaborations across the globe – all during the most challenging year the live music industry has ever known.
Global Music Match 2020 ran throughout August to October 2020, and officially wrapped with a four-hour showcase of the project and its collaborations at Folk Unlocked, the acclaimed digital edition of the Folk Alliance International (USA) conference in February 2021. On top of the strategic aims central to Global Music Match, February’s Global Music Marathon illustrates just one example of the international music industry taking serious note of the project – as well as the calibre and export-readiness of participating artists – presenting them to hundreds of leading buyers, bookers, programmers and presenters at the world’s largest folk-based music conference.
Folk Alliance International returns in an export capacity in 2021, fielding artists from the USA. They join the three founding partners, alongside returning export music offices (EMOs); Spectacle vivante Bretagne (Brittany), Catalan Arts (Catalonia), English Folk Expo, Music Finland, Iceland Music, Music Norway, LUCfest (Taiwan) and FOCUS Wales. Additionally, six new EMOs have joined Global Music Match in 2021: the Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA), Tempi (Denmark), Chile Musica, Culture Ireland, Italia Music Export (Italy) and Export Music Sweden.
Iceland’s Svavar Knútur, who participated in Global Music Match 2020, said: “Global Music Match has impacted me both personally and professionally on so many levels. While it boosted my confidence and networking skills, it also pushed me to develop new talents, both visual and technical, that all support a DIY artist’s toolbox. GMM also opened my eyes to lots of possibilities and prospects regarding touring, co-writing and all kinds of collaborations around the world. I made friends for life and started new creative projects that I would never have dared to before. The world can seem like such a huge and daunting place sometimes, but through GMM, I realised that it can also be a village, full of friends and neighbours that are ready to help each other. If there’s a simple way to word it, GMM pushed me to grow and helped me overcome a lot of home-made hurdles.”
Showcase Scotland Expo Executive Producer, Lisa Whytock said: “We’re really excited to see Global Music Match kick off again next week. The idea came about on a Zoom call between myself and Millie Millgate of Sounds Australia early on in the pandemic last year, and we have since seen it grow to include so many export organisations and artists – all of whom continue to amaze us with their positive outlook and enthusiasm for the opportunities it presents.
“Over the last year, everyone has been connecting through social media – yet Global Music Match really harnesses the power of collective markets, and ultimately the goodwill and supporting nature of the worldwide music community. We are really looking forward to seeing how all the artists work together this time round. With so many from around the world, most of the musicians won’t have met in person – let alone toured in their respective countries – so once again it really is going to establish new and lasting international connections”
For further information, head to www.globalmusicmatch.com, or search for the hashtag #GlobalMusicMatch to check out the worldwide introductions to new artists.
WHAT IS THE GLOBAL MUSIC MATCH? Created in a world first collaboration between founding partners Sounds Australia, Showcase Scotland Expo and East Coast Music Association (ECMA), along with export organisations and showcase events from around the world, Global Music Match is a pilot initiative created to continue raising the profile of local artists in international music markets within the challenging parameters of the COVID 19 pandemic.
The program is a unique response to the limitations imposed on the music industry, that makes use of the only available platform – social media and peer-to-peer collaboration – to increase networks and exposure for export-ready artists internationally.
What is Global Music Match? GMM is a network to promote artists in new territories, develop social media skills and interaction, grow audiences and connect musicians globally.
How does it work? Each week, one band/musician from each country will ‘introduce’ another artist from a different country, engaging with them on social media to cross promote to their audiences. This is reciprocated for everyone involved, meaning that participating artists will be presented via social networks across a range of participating international artist’s online audiences.
What is the aim? Breaking artists into a new territory or country is a challenging process, exacerbated by the pandemic as tradtional IRL international showcasing opportunities reduce. This programme aims to develop new audience bases for artists in a range of international locations, providing a groundwork for future international touring development. The programme will also support participating artists to upskill their social media activity, as well as encourage cross border artist collaboration.
Mary Ann Kennedy
Mary Ann Kennedy is a Scottish Gael brought up in the urban diaspora of Glasgow, with roots in the islands of Skye and Tiree. She was brought up in a multicultural part of the city, where a mother-tongue that was not English was the norm. Her mother’s family are well-known Gaelic tradition bearers, but she also trained as a classical musician at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.
She earned her broadcasting chops in BBC news, before returning to a freelance life combining music, radio and television. Mary Ann is co-director of the highly successful residential studio and creative hub, Watercolour Music, in the Scottish West Highlands. She was Gaelic singer of the Year at the 2019 Scottish Traditional Music Awards, and a New Writer awardee with the Scottish Books Trust in 2020.
Having performed on and produced over 40 albums in her career, she has now released two solo albums internationally on ARC Music – ‘An Dàn’ (The Song/Destined, 2017) and ‘Glaschu – Hometown Love Song’ (2019). She helps brew amazing beer in the local artisan microbrewery where she can also be found on a Friday night turning pizza chef.
Emma Swift is an Australian-born songwriter, currently residing in the USA. A gifted singer inspired by Joni Mitchell, Marianne Faithfull and a plethora of dead poets, her sound is a blend of classic folk, Americana and indie rock.
In August 2020 she released the critically-acclaimed “Blonde On The Tracks”, a Laurel Canyon inspired reimagining of some of her favourite Bob Dylan tunes on Tiny Ghost Records. The album received Best of 2020 accolades from Rolling Stone, Nashville Scene, No Depression, The Guardian and more.
“Her high, clear voice highlights each syllable, letting you hear the words form, one seemingly following inevitably from the other, until they feel handed down, fragments of old songs now speaking to each other.” – Greil Marcus, LA REVIEW OF BOOKS “Swift navigates Sansone’s majestic folk-rock arrangements like the able captain of a frigate sailing over shimmering seas.” – Bud Scoppa, UNCUT MAGAZINE “Nobody has ever sung Dylan quite like this Nashville-based Australian singer-songwriter, nor with such a rare interpretive gift…comparable to Emmylou Harris’s Wrecking Ball in its intent, execution and intimacy.” – Andrew Stafford, THE GUARDIAN
Internationally acclaimed vocal group Windborne is known for the power and innovation of their arrangements, as well as their mastery of polyphonic music from a variety of cultures. Their musical knowledge spans many countries and styles, but they remain deeply rooted in American folk singing traditions.
“The most exciting vocal group in a generation… subverting expectations and redefining the genre,” Lynn Rowan, Will Rowan, Lauren Breunig, and Jeremy Carter-Gordon share a vibrant energy onstage, their connection to each other and to the music clearly evident. They educate as they entertain, telling stories about the music and explaining the characteristics of the traditions in which they sing.
But there’s another, crucial dimension to Windborne. They are adherents to folk music’s longtime association with social activism, labor, civil rights, and other movements that champion the poor, the working class, and the disenfranchised. Drawing on songs from 400 years of these movements, they were launched to new heights in 2017 when a clip of them singing a protest song from the 1840s outside Trump Tower went viral. They continue to center their work around songs of social struggle.
Lena Jonsson Trio
Swedish award winning fiddler Lena Jonsson is one of the most sought after musicians in the Folk scene right now. Her ability to balance a deep knowledge of traditional Swedish folk music with innovative artistic sensibilities, sparkling joy of life and charisma of a rock star have made her one of Sweden´s most visionary artists. She has created a unique style inspired by traditional Swedish music as well as rock, pop and the american old-time and bluegrass traditions.
Together with guitarist Erik Ronström and bassist Krydda Sundström they create a virtuosic yet playful trio. Their album “Places” was nominated for a Swedish Grammy in 2019. In 2020 they released their second album “Stories from the outside” that was awarded Best album by Sweden´s biggest music magazine LIRA, and they also won the Manifst Prize and are nominated for a Swedish Grammy.
Fanfara Station is a trance-inducing celebration with a brass band, an entire North African rhythm section and pumping electro dance beats setting the pace – all created by just three musicians, thanks to some skillful use of loop stations and live overdubbing of an arsenal of instruments. Inspired by singer, composer, woodwind wielder and noted percussionist, Marzouk Mejri’s memories of his father’s brass band in Tunisia, the Naples and Florence based trio set out to build their own.
Kentucky-born trumpeter and trombonist Charles Ferris layers up the loops and drops glittering improvisational flourishes while master programmer Ghiaccioli & Branzini directs the dance-floor dynamics. Three international Italians, one based in Naples and the other two in Florence Tuscany, Fanfara Station pay tribute to the epic feats of the Mediterranean’s migrants, the musical cultures of the African diaspora and southern Europe’s ancient links to the Middle East, the Maghreb and the Americas. Marzouk Mejri moved from Tebourba – a town lying some thirty kilometres west of Tunis – to Naples in the 1990s, a music school diploma and a ten-day visa in hand. And he has never left.
Findlay Napier is one of Scotland’s finest singer songwriters. In 2018 he was the first solo act to be nominated for Live Act of the Year at the Scot’s Trad. Music Awards. Described as Micheal Marra meets Elvis Costello, a Caledonian Loudon Wainwright III or a Scottish James Taylor this master storyteller’s songs are full of earthy humour, hopeless love and biting satire.
His remarkable 2015 solo debut VIP: Very Interesting Persons (produced by Boo Hewerdine) was number two in the Daily Telegraph’s top dozen folk albums that year and categorically commanded him musical VIP status. In 2017 he turned those same supreme songwriting and storytelling gifts, allied with magpie-minded imagination and truly magnificent vocals, to his adoptive home town Glasgow on VIP’s hotly anticipated follow-up.
Findlay was part of Folk by The Oak’s successful “Shake the Chains” touring and album project. 2019 saw his Story Song Scientist’s collaboration with award winning songwriter Megan Henwood tour across the UK in support of their eponymous fIrst EP. Their Quantum Lyrics tour and second EP are coming in November 2021. He has completed an album of new songs with Blazin’ Fiddles piano/producer Angus Lyon called “t Is What It Is. This album will be available late 2021 when he supports Eddi Reader on her autumn 2021 UK tour.
With his wife Gillian Frame and composer/producer/multi-instrumentalist Mike Vass he released an album called The Ledger. Launched in May 2020 The Ledger is time capsule of the 50’s folk scene containing ten traditional Scottish folk songs. They performed The Ledger at the prestigious TED Summit in Edinburgh and at Celtic Connections. The album made three of the top 10 end of year lists on Folk Radio UK.
Working through Covid Findlay and Boo Hewerdine ran Creative Scotland online songwriting retreats and workshops for musicians affected by the Corona Virus. The workshops were a chance to network, build skills and create a fresh body of work. Findlay is also known as the host of Celtic Connections “Late Night Sessions”, the director of Glasgow Songwriting Festival and he recently appeared in season two of Starz network’s flagship show The Spanish Princess.
With a solid background acquired at the Fest Noz festivals, these four bandmates lay out their vision of trance with danceable music open to the world ; Youn Kamm gives his trumpet-playing an eastern flair, from Lebanon and Turkey. Yann Le Corre has imbued his playing with Brazilian forrò. Jérôme Kerihuel has perfected his percussion technique in India. As for Timothée Le Bour, his saxophone resonates like a Romanian taragot.
With circle dancing at its core, popular world music as its horizon, and improvisation as its line of flight, ‘Ndiaz comes out with hybrid music that knows no borders, one that must have sought elsewhere to find its meansfor taking root here.
Northern Resonance is the scandinavian string trio that takes newly composed folk music into enormous soundscapes.
In the pursuit of innermost expression, the unique qualities of the nordic folk instruments viola d’amore, hardanger fiddle and nyckelharpa are combined. Northern Resonance is a meeting where the potential of the instruments and the boundaries of traditions are pushed to break new musical ground. With their previously untested combination of instruments they let well thought-through arrangements meet free improvisation in their own creative compositions that takes folk music in a new direction. In that niche, Northern Resonance find themselves at their ease. They are part of the new generation of inspired musicians paying homage to the music and dance traditions of the North, featuring great verve and fine musicianship.
With their debut album that was released in the autumn of 2020, Northern Resonance have already established themselves with a glorious sound. Fiddle instruments intertwine beautifully, run in tandem, and veer off into unexpected time signatures, all while successfully creating timeless and crystalline atmospheres with plenty of space and depth.
Blue Rose Code
Ross Wilson aka Blue Rose Code addresses universal themes of love, loss, travel, home and hard times in a deeply personal way. His songs are variously painted with the vibrant colours of folk, Americana, jazz, country, soul, pop and, increasingly, celtic traditions. This eclecticism has become a hallmark of his work and has seen him compared to John Martyn, Van Morrison and Tom Waits amongst others.
His fifth album, With Healings Of The Deepest Kind was released in July 2020. Self-produced for the first time, and taking his emotional honesty to new levels, it’s the most fully realised rendition of his singular vision to date.
“Healings is ravishingly beautiful, a burnished blaze of Caledonian Soul, muted jazz and poetic recitation…A bruised peach of a record.” Uncut 8/10 “Ross’ songwriting and expressive performance are simply breathtaking…an album classic.” Louder Than War “One of the greatest live acts around right now so if you get a chance to see them in any of their many guises do yourself a favour and go.” Americana UK
Hannah Rarity’s sublime voice imbues the music she performs with a depth of emotion that is inimitable. It’s this ability that has seen her become one of Scotland’s foremost vocalists. Former winner of BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year award, her status as a rising talent has been further consolidated by her numerous nominations at the Scots Trad Music Awards, including her shortlisted nomination for Album of the Year 2019, and feature as ‘One to Watch’ in The Scotsman.
Her spellbinding vocals have been well-suited to her numerous collaborations and performances with esteemed musical acts such as Blazin’ Fiddles, Phil Cunningham, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, her international touring with Irish-American band Cherish the Ladies, as well as UK television appearances and touring.
Hannah’s debut album, ‘Neath the Gloaming Star’ (2018), demonstrated her ability to “utterly inhabit a song” (Scotsman), and featured modern arrangements of beloved Scottish folk songs, as well as self-penned material, sympathetically arranged and recorded with some of Scotland’s best musical talent. Hannah’s second album is due for release later this year.
The Paul McKenna Band
Scotland’s Paul McKenna has long been ranked among our finest younger singers and songwriters, armed with a powerful yet intensely emotive voice and passionate social conscience, often expressed through his songs, a combination that’s brought frequent comparisons to the great Dick Gaughan.
The Paul McKenna Band's newest release Breathe (2019) showcases Pauls development as a songwriter and includes two co-writes with acclaimed Canadian songwriter Dave Gunning and another with one of Australias most respected songwriters, Liz Stringer. Produced by Mike Vass, this new release expands on the bands trademark sound with added instrumentation to enhance and focus on the original material. Paul was a featured artist at the world renowned Transatlantic Sessions in 2019. Alongside Cara Dillon, Tim O’Brien, Molly Tuttle and the multi talented house band he performed a string of shows across the UK.
He and his band – comprising Robbie Greig (fiddle), Conal McDonagh (pipes/whistles), Conor Markey (banjo/bouzouki/guitars) and Ewan Baird (percussion) – draw on both Scottish and Irish roots, in a dynamic, full-bodied array of original and traditional material.
Ánnámáret – Anna Näkkäläjärvi-Länsman, is a musician who belongs to the Arctic indigenous people Sámi. In recent years, she has researched the yoik tradition of her family by studying old archive recordings. Yoik is a form of traditional vocal music of the Sámi. As a result of this work, she with her ensemble created the multi-form work of art called Nieguid duovdagat – Dreamscapes, in which yoik, the sound of the Finnish bowed lyre jouhikko and modern live electronics are combined with live visuals. The music of the entity was released as an album in February 2021.
Ánnámáret gets inspiration to her music from the arctic nature in Sápmi and the Sámi culture and way of living. She makes music and lives on the tundra with her family who are reindeer-herders. Ánnámáret’s strength as an artist springs from having grown up between two cultures and, thus, in understanding these cultures and their collisions and similarities.
The Scandinavian sextet VÍÍK from Norway, Sweden and Denmark, exists in a field between the hypnotic Nordic song tradition, progressive jazz and alternative rock.
At the front of VÍÍK is the Norwegian folk singer and composer Elisabeth Vik, who lures the audience into an enchanting universe of mysterious medieval ballads and fairytales, while reinventing the musical framework of Nordic folk music. Music Magazine GAFFA had this to say about the band’s live performance at The Danish Music Awards: “VÍÍKs expressionistic narrative explosivity, was awe inspiring and deeply fascinating!”
Having been nominated for “Live act of the year” at the 2020 Danish Music Awards Roots, after playing together for only one year, VÍÍK have an exciting future ahead of them. In addition to Elisabeth Vik, VÍÍK consists of Annelene Toft (violin), Villads Hoffmann (cittern), Morten Alkjær Lassen (accordion), Jakob Kragesand (double bass) from Denmark and finally Mårten Hillbom (percussion) from Sweden.
Gnoss’ signature sound is a rich tapestry of acoustic layers; outstanding musicianship, deep traditional roots and contemporary compositional flair combine to create songs and tunes brimming with character.
Double ‘Scots Trad Award’ nominees, the boys have built an invested following through their forward-thinking take on traditional music and the unique warmth of their live shows. This was proven most recently by their two back-to-back sellout appearances at Glasgow’s world-famous ‘Celtic Connections’ festival, first as hosts of ‘Orkney Folk: The Gathering’ in 2019, then by their headline debut the following year. This, all with three years of leaving university.
Their 2019 release ‘Drawn From Deep Water’ was met with widespread praise (“A refreshing blast” – RnR) for its exemplary interplay, nakedly emotional playing, and well chosen material. The 11-track album brought Gnoss to entranced audiences across France, Italy, Denmark, and Russia, not to mention the length and breadth of Britain. With their highly anticipated new album “The Light of The Moon” out now, Gnoss’ dedication to their craft places them firmly at the fore of what’s happening in Scottish folk.
Photo Credits: (1) Global Music Match 2021, (2) Findlay Napier, (3) Northern Resonance, (5) Emma Swift, (6) Windborne, (7) Lena Jonsson, (8) Fanfara Station, (9) ‘Ndiaz, (10) Blue Rose Code, (11) Hannah Rarity, (13) Ánnámáret, (14) Gnoss, (15) VÍÍK (unknown/website); (4) Mary Ann Kennedy (by The Mollis); (12) Paul McKenna (by Walkin' Tom).