Folk Alliance-Region West (FAR-West), the Western region of Folk Alliance International, today announced the recipients of its 4th Annual Best of the West Awards, presented each year to honor those who exemplify the spirit of folk music in the Western US. Joe Craven, Bob Stane and Faith Petric will receive Best of the West awards at this year's FAR-West Conference held in Irvine Calif., Nov. 6-8, 2009.
Registration for the conference is open to anyone involved in or seeking to become involved in the preservation and/or promotion of folk and acoustic music in dance. More information is available at www.FAR-West.org
Each year, the board of directors of FAR-West selects awardees in both a Performer and a Folk Ambassador category, based on nominations from its membership. This year, for the first time, a Lifetime Achievement Award will be awarded as well. Northern California's multi-instrumentalist, educator and creative visionary Joe Craven will receive the award in the Performer category. This year's Ambassador Award goes to Bob Stane of The Coffee Gallery Backstage, Altadena, Calif. Faith Petric, the matriarch of the San Francisco folk scene will receive FAR-West's first Lifetime Achievement award.
About Joe Craven
For almost 17 years, Joe Craven was the highly respected multi-instrumentalist with the David Grisman Quintet. He has played and/or recorded with Jerry Garcia, Stéphane Grappelli, Maria Muldaur, Vassar Clements, The Persuasions, Psychograss, The Alison Brown Quartet, Darol Anger, Rob Ickes, Bob Brozman, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, spoken word maven Ken Nordine and many others. Craven has performed music and sound effects on a wide variety of recordings including commercials, soundtracks, computer games and several Grammy-nominated projects.
Educator, visual artist, former museum curator, motivational speaker, actor/storyteller and festival emcee, Craven has a reputation born out of respect and reverence for his work; he seeks to honor the creative energy in everyone. As an advocate of the folk arts, his educational mission is to "demystify" art, empowering individuals to take possession of their own music and encouraging them to tell their stories through the daily ritual of self-expression.
About Bob Stane
Bob Stane has been involved with the folk music community in southern California for at least fifty years. In the late 1950s, he opened a coffee house featuring folk music in San Diego. He moved to Pasadena and turned The Ice House into a major hub for folk music and comedy, where he debuted such acts as John McEuen and The New Christy Minstrels. After he sold the Ice House it became primarily a comedy club, but Stane remained involved producing independent shows and acting as a publicist.
When the Limeliters were reorganized by the last original member, Bob Stane was the one who hosted their first shows. Years ago, he published a novel on how to run a music venue/coffeehouse, literally "writing the book" on how to do it right. During the 1990s, Bob returned to the coffee house business, operating The Coffee Gallery Backstage (the performance venue attached to The Coffee Gallery) in Altadena, California. Here he has continued to provide a listening environment to nationally known and local talent six to seven nights a week.
About Faith Petric
Faith Petric is the first recipient of FAR-West's Lifetime Achievement Award To better understand Faith's instrumental role in the folk world, consider the following: when Utah Phillips was told he was a Best of the West winner, he said that Faith Petric deserved it first. Writes Steve Baker of Berkeley's Freight and Salvage Coffehouse, "Legions have been inspired by the great music, bracing wit, and boundless energy of this oldful (95 years old!) sparkplug and grande dame of the West Coast Folk Scene. A folk singer with a staggering repertoire, Faith has been an invaluable resource and influence for several generations of musicians often through the San Francisco club jam sessions she has hosted in her home in the Haight for over four decades."
About FAR-West's Best of the West Awards
The Best of the West awards were established in 2005 as a way to honor those who have maintained an enduring presence in the folk and acoustic music scene in the West, inspiring others by embodying folk values and traditions. All awardees are selected from nominations made by its membership.
The criteria used in selecting the award recipients are:
• Excellence in one's craft
• Enduring presence in the geographical FAR-Western folk community for a decade or more
• Embodies or builds upon folk values and traditions
• Promotes, nurtures, fosters, expands the audience and opportunities for folk music and musicians in the geographical FAR-West region (Ambassador Award)
Past Best of the West honorees:
Performer: The Kingston Trio
Non-performer: Mike McCormick of Whistling Swan Productions, Anchorage Alaska
Performer: Rosalie Sorrels
Non-performer: Folk Alliance founders Clark & Elaine Weissman
Performer: U. Utah Philips
Non-performer: Steve Baker of Freight & Salvage, Berkeley, Calif.
Performer: Lowen & Navarro
Non-performer: Roz & Howard Larman of Folk Scene, Southern California-based syndicated radio program
About FAR-West and Folk Alliance International
FAR-West is the Western Region affiliate of the non-profit 501(c)3 Folk Alliance International, headquartered in Memphis, Tenn. More information about the Folk Alliance is available online at www.Folk.org FAR-West was incorporated in the State of California in 2003, and exists to foster and promote traditional, contemporary and multicultural folk music, dance and other related performing arts in the western parts of North America including, but not limited to, California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, Hawaii, and Alaska. Through its annual conference run entirely by volunteers, FAR-West seeks to strengthen and advance organizational and individual initiatives in folk and acoustic music and dance through education, networking, and advocacy, as well as professional development.
Visit FAR-West on the web at www.FAR-West.org.