By Ryan Evans
Photos by Jay Douglass
Jan. 16, 2018
Hundreds braved the cold and snow to fill the Pla Mor ballroom Saturday night for KZUM’s Great Winter Ramble benefit, raising money to support the station’s work at the upcoming Folk Alliance International Conference.
Billing itself as “the world’s largest gathering of the folk music industry and community,” the conference is set for Feb. 14-17 in Kansas City and will feature hundreds of musicians, as well as professionals representing music journalism, radio, labels, booking agencies and more. KZUM will be featured as an exhibitor on the convention floor and will host a private showcase room featuring Nebraska musicians performing for this important audience.
Saturday’s benefit raised nearly $5,000 through admission, a silent auction and food sales donated by Lippy’s BBQ. The evening featured performances by Will Hutchinson, Andrea von Kampen, Evan Bartels, Matt Cox, Jack Hotel and Mike Semrad, who celebrated the release of his new solo album, Cloud or Mountain.
Except for Bartels, each of Saturday’s performers will also be part of KZUM’s Nebraska Room showcase at Folk Alliance. The Wildwoods, Hope Dunbar and The Fremonts — a Boulder, Colo., duo with roots in both Fremont, Calif., and Fremont, Neb. — will also join the showcase rotation. It’s our hope that, by giving hundreds of industry professionals the opportunity to experience our state’s music in person, more of the world will discover what we already know: that Nebraska is fertile cultural ground for incredible music.
We at KZUM are incredibly grateful for the amazing outpouring of support that this event received and we look forward to representing the entire state at the Folk Alliance conference. Stay tuned to KZUM.org and the station’s social media accounts to keep up with our work there, Feb. 14-17.