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EFN May's newsletter, #3. Enjoy, discover, share

EFN Newsletter May 2022 #3

WELCOME AND SUMMARY Welcome to the third edition of this communication and outreach initiative of the EFN. Feel free to forward it to your friends and colleagues. Receiving this newsletter is open to anyone for free, here. Read to the end to find out how to submit content for future editions.

This is what you'll find below:

  • Some news from the network: our experience at jazzahead last April, our presence on the annual meeting of the European Music Council in June and welcome to two new members: Comhaltas in Britain and the Bulgarian Music Association.

  • News from our members: Roots Workshop by Fira Mediterrània de Manresa, the annual conference and the Folklorist Summit by the Folk Alliance International and two news from Germany by Gudrun Walter.

  • Our next featured member is Mr. Simon McKerrell.

  • Our next featured artist is the Spanish singer and tambourine player Lines Vejo.

  • And we share a special content: Share Folk Songs for Make Music Day.

At the end of the newsletter you will find indications on how you can contribute to future editions, whether you are an EFN member or not. And of course EFN is always looking for new members and at the end of this newsletter there is a note about how and why to join, with links to the membership pages of the website and the application form. Thanks for your attention, have a fruitful reading.


News from the EFN


By Nod Knowles

The interaction between European folk music and jazz has always been understood, right from the earliest days of New Orleans to the most contemporary sounds of today. And the crossover/interaction between jazz and folk music organisers is so often apparent amongst venues, festivals and record labels.

So EFN was delighted when we were invited (at short notice) to take a stand at Jazzahead - Europe’s biggest jazz expo/trade fair in Bremen from 27 to 30 April. EFN Board members Daina Zalane (from Lauska, Latvia) and Danny KilBride (from Trac Cymru, Wales) quickly made all the necessary arrangements to attend and set up the stand, joined later by Administrator Nod Knowles.

Jazz professionals at the expo responded to EFN with considerable interest – and, over three days intensive days at Jazzahead, Daina and Danny made a host of useful contacts with people who work in folk as well as jazz – several of whom are likely to join EFN as members.



By EFN Editors

For its first time, the EFN will attend the EMC Annual Meeting on June 11th, as well as the EMC Lab on the previous day.

The EFN has been a member of EMC since 2021. If you happen to be there, it would be a pleasure to talk to you, just find the EFN delegate, Araceli Tzigane.



By EFN editors


Welcome to Comhaltas in Britain, which has recently joined EFN as a member. Here’s how they describe themselves:

“Comhaltas in Britain is a national cultural organisation, which promotes traditional Irish music, song, dance, language and culture across Britain. For over 60 years, our huge network of incredibly passionate and talented volunteers have been bringing the positive experiences of music making to people of all ages and backgrounds in Britain, including teaching traditional music to young people, and supporting people living with dementia through the music of Ireland.

We believe that the ability to engage with music and culture is the glue that holds our communities together. We teach music to the next generation of young people, and bring people together over stories, music and craic.”

And here’s why they joined EFN:

“We believe that we can bring an understanding of folk music and community amongst diaspora communities. We would love to be in more contact with other folk groups across Europe and share challenges and opportunities.”

Learn more on their website.


Welcome also to the Bulgarian Music Association who joined EFN after we met them at Jazzahead in Bremen. This is their introduction:

“Bulgarian Music Association is the biggest representative music organization in Bulgaria. Its main aim is to create the appropriate and efficient cultural environment the Bulgarian performing artists deserve. Today Bulgarian Music Association has more than 750 members – professional musicians of all music genres including rock, jazz, pop, classics, traditional folklore and world music, electronic music, etc.

Bulgaria has a history of 70 years of professional folklore music education, which is of great importance of our culture. BMA has just started a huge 2-year project for mapping and analysing the folklore music sector aiming to provide data to national authorities and announce folklore music as an intangible cultural heritage.

We believe that both our professional experience and knowledge will be beneficial for EFN and its members and we are looking for successful European practices your members can share with us.”

Learn more on their website.


News from EFN members


By Sònia Parra, from Fira Mediterrània de Manresa

The Fira Mediterrània de Manresa includes 24 artistic proposals within the 2022-2023 Roots workshop. The Workshop, which was created last year, is a programme of accompaniment and support for artists who work with popular and traditional culture from a contemporary perspective. In this second year, the international Workshop was created with the aim of fostering relationships and the exchange of knowledge among Catalan artists and foreign artists.

In this space for experimentation, the proposals are given expression in collaboration with 25 institutions and organisations, with the aim of generating synergy and understanding among the various actors in the cultural sector, thereby boosting their viability and mobility. Learn more on their website.



By EFN Editors

Our member Folk Alliance will host their 34th annual conference in May 18-22, in Kansas City and with some online activities. This year's theme is Living Traditions, and will showcase various traditional folk music forms regionally, nationally, and internationally. The theme will be explored through topics of music preservation, migration, evolution, and authenticity, while the Global Summit will highlight the work of folklorists.

While the Folklorist Summit itself will not be broadcast, they will have a Folklorist Summit Summary session scheduled for Saturday May 21 at 2pm CT which will be livestreamed on the conference platform for all delegates, in person or virtual. Virtual access is pay-what-you’re-able. Rates start at $50 for non-members.

Learn more about the conference on their website.



By Gudrun Walter

I’ll be part of a project launched by Rudolstadt Festival alongside 9 other musicians, in which we will try to access German traditional songs in a new way and make them accessible to a broader public -

for some reason the English language site doesn’t work yet, but Google translate might help… here’s the link.

I’m also involved in the German Folk Initiative (Deutschfolkinitiative) ( & and we will host a discussion at the festival about the folk scene in Germany and where it might/should go within the next years. Members of our initiative just attended the Nordic Folk Alliance and came back inspired, and we would love to collaborate more with other European partners.


Featured Member: Simon McKerrell

Dr Simon McKerrell is a Reader in Music and Society at Newcastle University and is an internationally known bagpiper (Scottish and Irish bagpipes). His work focuses on the social impact of music and the creative industries and he is currently working on a book about how best to support music in rural areas.

He has written several books and numerous articles, that include: Focus: Scottish Traditional Music (Routledge), Music as Multimodal Discourse: Media, Power and Protest (Bloomsbury) and Understanding Scotland Musically: Folk, Tradition, Modernity (Routledge).

He has toured, taught and performed throughout the world and recorded 12 albums as a soloist and as part of various groups. You can hear some of his music here:

As one of the earliest members of EFN, Simon worked on behalf of the network to analyse the results of the Stage One Mapping The Folk Sector in Europe survey and to co-write the full Stage One report (access it here).

Simon is particularly interested in helping with the promotion, policy and understanding of European traditional musics and would be interested to hear from anyone who wishes to pursue conversations about research into European folk music. Please get in touch via Newcastle University or his website:


Remember: the Featured Artist section is open to the contributions of the members of the EFN. Is there any folk artist you especially appreciate, someone who was a benchmark on his/her field of work? Don't be shy and tell the world about that person.


Featured Artist: Lines vejo

By Araceli Tzigane

Lines Vejo has not been an international celebrity. At a national level, although she achieved some recognition, she is unknown to the vast majority of the population. But she has undoubtedly been a reference and a source of pride for her region, Cantabria. In fact, her influence has gone beyond the borders of her homeland, but more through some versions of pieces recorded by her, in the voice of other artists, than through her own work as a popular artist. However, she has been a living legend of popular knowledge and she was always grateful for the support of the people who encouraged her to sing, to play her tambourine and to tell her stories.

Mrs. Angelines "Lines" Vejo was born in 1931 in Caloca, a village of less than 60 inhabitants, which was not reached by road until 1992, in the municipality of Pesaguero (which currently has less than 300 souls), in the Liébana region. When she was 5 years old, an aunt gave her a tambourine as a present, and from then on, the little girl was determined to learn from her elders.

Vejo performing “¿Cómo no vas, cómo no vienes?" (jota a lo pesao style):

But her art remained confined to the private sphere until 1975, when she performed with another of her aunts in Potes in a tribute to a local violinist. From then on, she would appear on many other stages, even on very occasional occasions outside Spain. However, she never dedicated herself professionally to music; she spent her life raising her seven children (she had her first child at the age of 20) in a rural environment where most of the necessary products were handmade and working in small-scale livestock farming. The only album she recorded is 'Cantares de Lines Vejo' (Cantabria Tradicional label, 2006).

In 2010 the Spanish Council of Ministers awarded him the Gold Medal of Labour.

Lines passed away on 3 July 2020. It is fortunate that her album and many videos of her speaking are available on Youtube. I hope you enjoy her very special art.

The tonada, a cappella style, was also mastered by Lines:

Picture of Lines, by courtesy of Pedro Álvarez.


Special Contents


21 June is the International Make Music Day – Fete de la Musique – and for a second year there is an opportunity for folkies around the world to share their songs and learn songs from another tradition.

The simple process – all of which is given in clear detail on the Make Music Day website - is this:

  • Submit your chosen song from your country or region’s folk music tradition (in any language) on this link by the 23 May deadline.

  • Keep it relatively simple so that other musicians can pick it up easily. You can share documents and/or links (e.g. written music, lyrics, performance video, audio recording, background information, performance tips) – plus an audio recording of the song for other musicians to learn from.

  • And then – learn and perform a song from another tradition.

  • After 23 May Make Music Day will share the submitted songs (and the contacts with the people who have submitted them) with all of the participating musicians/groups – so anyone can select a song and then perform it on Make Music Day, 21 June.


HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS NEWSLETTER Are you already a member? Then, remember that you can submit contents for this monthly newsletter. Email your content to, for these sections:

· News from EFN Members. Brief announcements – of around 100 words and a link.

· Featured artist. A profile with around 200 words, an embedded video and one link. Members are invited to submit profiles, considering solo and ensemble living or not living artists who have achieved lifelong artistic and technical quality or historical significance in the field of folk art from/developed/settled in Europe. If you have any artists in mind that you'd like to feature, please ask in advance, just to be sure there is no other member already doing it.

And whether you are a member or not, you can participate in this section:

· Special sections. For instance, an interview with someone from an institution that is not a member or a thematic article by a guest writer or anything that can appear and be considered as interesting. This section can also host guest writers that are not members. If you'd like to share any content, contact us in advance to schedule it, in

Of course, self promotional articles lacking interest won't be accepted. In case of doubt, the board will be consulted and it will decide.


BECOMING A MEMBER? EFN membership is growing rapidly – why not join the network of traditional arts organisers and artists that stretches across Europe from the Irish Sea to the Baltic, the Mediterranean to the Black Sea? Find out more about membership and download an application form from


DO YOU WANT TO SUPPORT THE EFN MORE? The EFN welcomes donations. We do a lot with little money. Imagine what we can do with a little more :) Let us know how much do you want to donate and we'll issue an invoice for your organization.

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