Joan Baez to receive 'Spirit of Americana' Free Speech Award

Katrina-Kasey Wheeler

The Americana Music Association has announced that cultural icon and seminal American recording artist Joan Baez will receive the "Spirit of Americana" Free Speech Award at the organization's 7th Annual Honors and Awards ceremony. This will take place on Thursday September 18 at Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium. Artist of the Year nominee and previous "Spirit of Americana" recipient Steve Earle will present the award. The award is quite an honor. Baez is of course known for marching on the front line of the civil rights movement and bringing the Free Speech Movement into the spotlight. She also took to the fields with Cesar Chavez and organized resistance to the war in Southeast Asia. The "Spirit of Americana" award recognizes artists that have incited discussion and worked against the status quo through their music and their actions. Previous recipients include, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Mavis Staples, Judy Collins, and Charlie Daniels.

The 9th Annual Americana Festival and Conference will also offer seminars, panels and networking opportunities at the Nashville Convention Center by day, while the evenings will bring over 80 Americana showcases.

For the latest additions to showcase lineups, ticket purchasing and more information about the Americana Music Festival and Conference, please visit Tickets are available at $45 for the Americana Honors & Awards show at and the Ryman Box office. Showcase wristbands granting admission to all four evenings of live music showcases are now available for only $35 via and Grimey's New and Preloved Music (1604 8th Ave. South, Nashville). Registration for the Americana Music Festival & Conference is $350 for AMA members and $450 for non-members until August 13. Fees will increase after that date.

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