Maria Dunn Wins Edmonton Music Prize

Maria Dunn - The GatheringMaria Dunn won the top Edmonton Music Prize on Thursday evening at the Garneau Theatre for her 2016 album Gathering. The annual award is sponsored by the City of Edmonton through the Edmonton Arts Council, and administered by Alberta Music.

“I’m very grateful and proud to be part of the supportive, inspiring, vibrant arts community that we have here in Edmonton, in no small part due to the work of the Edmonton Arts Council, Alberta Music and my fellow artists. I’m humbled and honoured to be recognized for something that I love to do and and that I feel compelled to do. Thank you to my producer Shannon Johnson, engineer Jerry Woolsey, all the musicians who contributed their considerable talents to recording Gathering and all the people who inspired the songs.”

Maria’s music has received critical acclaim over the years, both at home and abroad. Her song “Malala” (inspired by the courageous young activist for education rights, Malala Yousafzai) recently won a 2016 Independent Music Award in the Social Action Song category. On February 18 (7 pm), the Maria Dunn Trio will perform an Official Showcase at the 2017 Folk Alliance International Conference, Benton’s (20th Floor) in Kansas City, MO.

Long known for her storytelling through song, Maria’s sixth recording, Gathering, highlights stories of love—not songs of romantic love, but songs of family, community, humanity and the love that connects us and fires our actions to make the world a better place. Recorded at DanLyn Studios in Sherwood Park, Gathering was produced by Shannon Johnson (Juno award winner with The McDades for 2007’s Bloom) and continues to expand Maria’s musical palate with contributions from Sufi singer Karim Gillani and jazz saxophonist Jeremiah McDade.

The 11 songs on Gathering range from “Malala”, a buoyant call to action inspired by Malala Yousafzai, to “When I Was Young”, a flowing old-time ballad inspired by Alberta indigenous leader Dorothy McDonald-Hyde. “How I Live” shares the quiet courage of families supporting their children with disabilities, while “When The Grandmothers Meet” celebrates women across the globe, with its exuberant vocals and joyful horn lines. The recording finishes with “Music In The Meadow”, a bluesy bow-driven wordplay on the wonder of the Rocky Mountains.

A wonderful collection of new songs from one of our most important and vital songwriters…If it doesn’t bring a lump to your throat, you’re already beyond help. Essential listening, then, this Gathering. – Penguin Eggs Magazine (March 2016)

Thank you to the following for supporting this recording project: The Province of Alberta through Alberta Foundation for the Arts, The Edmonton Arts Council and the City of Edmonton.

For upcoming performances and more on Maria Dunn visit her website.