Maria Wallace is a singer, songwriter and music promoter based in Yorkshire. She performs both original and traditional music – folk/roots, bluegrass and Americana, with a broad range of influences. Maria’s powerful voice can be big and bluesy or sweet and mellow as the song demands, but it’s always compelling and distinctive. In recent years, Maria has performed at numerous festivals with her bluegrass/ Americana band The Reckless Abandoners and more recently with duo partner Phil Stott in Phrase & Fable. She has a powerful alto voice and performed at Celtic Connections festival in 2011 as part of Tim Eriksen’s concert featuring a group of shape note singers.
Maria is also an award winning grassroots music promoter and booking agent under the True North Music banner. Since 2015 she has hosted over 50 gigs in Yorkshire (and a series of livestreamed concerts and workshops during the pandemic), and has also booked over 40 nationwide tours, working with some of the finest bluegrass, Americana and folk artists from the USA, Canada, UK & Ireland. Maria’s tireless work to champion grassroots live music has been recognised with many awards and opportunities. She received an Arts Council England DYCP (Developing Your Creative Practice) grant this spring, to develop her podcast project showcasing women in roots music. Maria was selected for the 2021-22 cohort of the Both Sides Now Leaders Network, a leadership development programme for women working in music, run by UK music charity Brighter Sound. In summer 2021 Maria was named as a finalist nominee in the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Momentum Awards (for Industry Involvement).
Maria is committed to improving gender parity and diversity in roots music – in her own event programming and booking roster, and across the wider music scene. True North Music was awarded Arts Council England Project Grants funding twice in 2020 to deliver online live music events. In 2017 Maria won Yorkshire Gig Guide’s Outstanding Promoter award, and in 2018 she was invited to the USA by South Arts to participate in the American Sounds programme. In 2019 she was selected for the prestigious Leadership Bluegrass course run in Nashville by the IBMA. These opportunities have all been hugely valuable in building Maria’s extensive network in the folk-roots music scene.
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