World Folk Music Association

The World Folk Music Association is a non-profit organization[1] formed in 1983 by folk singer/songwriter Tom Paxton and Dick Cerri, a radio host from Washington D. C.[2] The first chairman of the board was Paxton[3] and Cerri served as president.[4]

Paxton and Cerri declared that the WFMA was "dedicated to promoting contemporary and traditional folk music, spreading the word to fans, and keeping the folk community informed and involved".[2]

WFMA presents a monthly showcase in Bethesda, Maryland,[5] and from 1984 to 2011 hosted an annual benefit concert. The WFMA presented its Lifetime Achievement Award, Kate Wolf Award, and John Denver award at its annual concert through 2006.[6] The Washington Post described the 6th annual concert as "nostalgic and topical, competent and compelling".[7]

To celebrate Woody Guthrie's 82d birthday, WFMA presented a Woody Guthrie Tribute Concert in 1994.[8] A two-night concert in tribute of The Kingston Trio's 45th anniversary was held by WFMA in 2002.[9] In 2013, WFMA hosted a benefit concert to support the Madison House Autism Foundation.[10] WFMA also sponsored the final Chad Mitchell Trio concert in 2014.[11]

WFMA Lifetime Achievement Award

The first recipient of the WFMA Lifetime Achievement Award was Odetta in 1994. Other winners include:[2]

Kate Wolf Memorial Award

Established in 1987 to honor the memory of Kate Wolf, a singer/songwriter who died from leukemia, the Kate Wolf Memorial Award is presented "to the performer who best epitomizes the music and spirit of Kate Wolf." It has been awarded to:[2]

John Denver Award

Established in 1998, the John Denver Award was awarded in 1999 to Denver's original publisher and producer, Milt Okun. Other recipients include:[2]

  • Kenn Roberts, 2000
  • Bill Danoff, 2001
  • Tom Wisner, 2003
  • Greg Artzner and Terry Leonino (Magpie), 2004
  • Dawn Publications, 2006


  1. College & Research Libraries News. Association of College and Research Libraries. January 1996. p. 206.
  2. Noble, Richard E. (2009). Number #1 : the story of the original Highwaymen. Denver: Outskirts Press. pp. 142–161, 265–267. ISBN 9781432738099. OCLC 426388468.
  3. "Changing Scene". Music Educators Journal. 70 (2): 22. 1983. doi:10.2307/3401206. ISSN 0027-4321.
  4. "Dick Cerri (obituary)". Washington Post. 30 Oct 2013. Retrieved 9 Nov 2019.
  5. "Showcase Series". World Folk Music Association. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  6. "WFMA Past Events". World Folk Music Association. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  7. Joyce, Mike (21 Jan 1991). "Folk's Global Gathering". Washington Post.
  8. Adamarczyk, Peg (1 Jul 1994). "Woody's music is our music and will be played today". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2019-11-17.
  9. "If I had a camera". The Washington Times. Retrieved 2019-11-17.
  10. "Collaborating with World Folk Music Association". Madison House Autism Foundation. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  11. "Concerts". Chad Mitchell Trio: Then & Now. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
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