We are thrilled to announce that the BBC’s “Whispering Bob” Harris and Mumford & Sons’ Ben Lovett will join the organisation’s Board.
The two long-term supporters of the genre join British singer-songwriter and Americana trailblazer Billy Bragg, Grammy-nominated American folk singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier and renowned record producer and multi-instrumentalist Ethan Johns as Artist Ambassadors for the ever-growing Association.
As Artist Ambassadors, Harris and Lovett will support the Association and advocate for UK Americana both at home and internationally. Using their wealth of experience, they will help guide the Board in their respective areas of expertise. Harris, considered by many as a national treasure, brings fifty years’ worth of experience in national and international broadcasting; he has established a worldwide reputation as one of the most trusted and influential broadcasters of his generation.
Lovett has had global success with the award-winning British folk rock band, Mumford & Sons. He is also the co-founder of Communion, the independent record label, promotions and publishing company, which has supported the careers of notable artists, including Michael Kiwanuka, George Ezra, Lucy Rose and many more. Lovett is also the Chief Executive of Venue group, which he established in 2016, developing the venue Omeara to be one of London’s most popular grassroots concert spaces and with a new venue Lafayette which has just opened its doors right in the heart of London’s King’s Cross.
Founded in 2012, the Americana Music Association UK is a professional trade association representing and advocating for the voice of American Roots music in the UK. It’s 900-strong membership comprises musicians, both from the UK and overseas, and professionals from all sectors of the music industry, including as agents, promoters, venues, festivals, labels, distributors, retailers, management, touring, journalists, broadcasters and publicists.
The Association, led by Stevie Smith since its incorporation, aims to generate greater recognition of Americana music in the UK, nurture and support UK artists in the community, and build a network for the genre in the UK and overseas. In January 2020, the Association celebrated its 5th annual Americana Music Awards UK at East London’s Troxy, celebrating the genre’s success with awards going to the legendary Joan Armatrading, rising star Jade Bird, Grammy-nominated YOLA, renowned singer and producer Nick Lowe, Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter and member of the Highwomen Brandi Carlile, amongst others.
Commenting on his appointment as an AMA-UK Artist Ambassador, Ben Lovett said,
“It’s a pleasure to be asked to join the Americana Music Association Board as one of the Artist Ambassadors. I believe in Stevie and her Board and all the good work they do to bridge community through the Americana Music Awards UK and throughout the year, with both artists and the wider industry. I feel honoured to now be able to contribute in a small way.
Bob Harris OBE added,
“I am so happy and proud to be joining the Ambassadors board of AMA-UK and to be a representative for the warmth and creativity of the wonderful UK Americana music community”.
Responding to their comments, AMA-UK Chief Executive Stevie Smith said,
“We are thrilled to welcome Bob Harris and Ben Lovett as Artist Ambassadors to the Board of the Americana Association here in the UK. Their distinguished careers and overwhelming support for our work have helped the Association and the wider genre to go from strength to strength in the UK in the last few years.
“At these difficult times, we need strong individuals to be flying the flag for artists and the music sector and we are over the moon that they will officially be advocating for our community and working with us to promote, profile and empower the wealth of Americana talent across the UK.”