27 Jan Mariposa Young Singer/Songwriter Workshops off to a Strong Start
There are benefits to being one of the oldest and most-respected folk festivals in the world, especially when it comes to giving back. Artists recognize the importance of the Mariposa Folk Foundation, and are often ready and willing to offer support beyond their time spent on the stage. This has proven true with the launch of the Mariposa Young Singer/Songwriter Workshops – an interactive, free opportunity geared towards musicians ages 14-21.
Participants are given insight on the industry from veteran music journalist and Mariposa Board Member, Larry LeBlanc. LeBlanc facilitates the workshops, offering his unique perspective on the music business of which he has been a part for decades. He’s also very persuasive, getting some of Canada’s top musicians to co-facilitate the workshops with him.
In the fall of 2013, Bruce Good of The Good Brothers fame was our inaugural host artist. Good built genuine connections with the participants, offering important advice for the aspiring musicians. He also performed a few tunes himself in a rare private performance. With LeBlanc emphasizing the importance of collaboration, the youth were sent home with some ‘homework’, and the beginnings of a musical peer network were formed.
The second workshop took place on January 14 of this year and, for artistic variety, the host artist was 23-year old Arianna Gillis. Despite her age, Gillis spoke and performed like a veteran that had graced stages all over the world. Having already received numerous awards for singing and songwriting, Gillis was a perfect fit for inspiring and assisting youth in attendance as they continue to work on their craft. Like Good, Gillis performed a number of tunes and discussed her road to success, then the participants had a chance to share the stage with her. On some tunes, Gillis even offered additional guitar and harmonies.
Creative types put tremendous thought and effort into their art. Often, this is a very personal process. The Mariposa Young Singer/Songwriter workshops provide youth with a safe and supportive environment to share their creations – a necessary step of growing as a musician.
Mariposa Folk Foundation plans to continue offering these workshops several times a year, and speculation about who the next big-name artist will be has already begun. Watch for future announcements!