Global Connections Partner Christopher-Howard Williams, Bluegrass in La Roche, at the CBA Father’s Day Festival, 2022. Photo by Robin Frenette.
If you look up at the top of your screen, you’ll notice a new link called Global Connections. You might be wondering what this is all about.
Global Connections came out of a CBA working group that sought new ways to bring California bluegrass to the world, and by extension, the world to California bluegrass. We defined our mission as follows:
The CBA Global Connections program seeks to unite the community of bluegrass and old-time musicians, fans, and promoters by exchanging stories, music, and information about events and activities worldwide.
You may not be aware (but you probably are) that bluegrass is not just a US phenomenon. While some of old time and bluegrass’s roots lie in places like Scotland, its modern reach as a US musical genre has become truly global. For example, if you watched the Jam-a-Thon, the online event the CBA sponsored to raise money for our youth programs, you may have seen the Hamilton County Bluegrass Band from New Zealand, or Lluis Gomez Trio (Spain), Long Way Home Duo (Ireland), Red Wine (Italy), Ichikawa Papa (Japan), Country Gongbang (South Korea), Grassy Strings (India), Duo Ro, (Russia), Blue Quitache (France) and Jussi Syren & the Groundbreakers (Finland)! This should give you just a taste of the popularity of bluegrass outside of our borders.
Global Connections seeks to reach out to bluegrass organizations, bands, festivals, and promoters from around the world. We have started by featuring two festivals: The Westport Folk and Bluegrass Festival, which happens in western Ireland, and Bluegrass in La Roche, which will take place soon (in August) in the French Alps. Both festivals have featured California musicians, and we were pleased that Christopher Howard Williams, the President of Bluegrass in La Roche attended the Father’s Day Festival this year.
We’ll be adding more partners in the months ahead. If you know of any worthy festivals or groups that should be featured, please have them get in touch with us. There is a submission form on our website. In the meantime, learn more about this initiative by visiting our web pages.
We’re looking forward to connecting to global bluegrass musicians and fans everywhere.