Maria is steeped in the world of roots music as a performer, writer and enthusiast, and also as a promoter and booking agent. Under the True North Music banner, Maria has organised around 50 concerts in Yorkshire over the last five years, specialising in Americana, bluegrass, old time, folk and acoustic roots. This very special concert series has hosted gigs in Meltham, Marsden and Sheffield, featuring some world class Americana, bluegrass, folk and roots artists including Sierra Hull, Foghorn Stringband, Cahalen Morrison & Eli West, Jaywalkers, Molly Tuttle, Pharis & Jason Romero and many more. Maria won the Outstanding Promoter Award at the Yorkshire Gig Guide Grassroots Awards in 2017, and was a finalist in the 2019 Awards.
Since 2016 Maria has also been booking nationwide UK tours for some of the very best American and Canadian musicians working in bluegrass, Americana and roots, with artist clients including Front Country, The Slocan Ramblers, Joe Newberry & April Verch, Bill and the Belles, The Honey Dewdrops and Mile Twelve to name just a few. Visit True North Music’s booking agency website for more details. Maria is particularly committed to improving gender parity in roots music, in both her event programming and booking roster. Read more about her track record in this regard here.
Maria’s reputation as a promoter and agent has continued to grow over the last couple of years. In March 2019, Maria completed the prestigious Leadership Bluegrass management training course run by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) in Nashville. In early 2020, Maria was successful in her very first application for Arts Council funding (at the first attempt!) to help support the first True North Music festival – the Yorkshire Americana & Bluegrass Day was set to take place in May 2020, but sadly had to be cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Thankfully we have been able to defer the ACE funding to support the postponed event which is now scheduled to take place in June 2021.
Along with everyone else in the live music sector, True North Music has been hard hit by the pandemic, with all tours and gigs for at least a year having to be cancelled, many of which had already required months of work. So Maria decided to put together the Fall into Autumn Virtual Festival in October 2020. Featuring a stellar line-up of Americana, bluegrass and roots artists, there were two live streamed concerts on Facebook and YouTube (you can watch the concert videos at the link above), as well as ticketed Zoom workshops in dance, songwriting and guitar. Maria’s application for Arts Council England funding was successful, and the grant from ACE’s Project Grants: Supporting Grassroots Live Music strand helped to ensure a decent minimum fee for the 24 participating musicians. The grant will also underpin two upcoming concerts planned for February and March 2021.
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