Bringing you world class live music and online events, featuring the very best in Americana, bluegrass, folk and roots
Based in West Yorkshire, Maria Wallace has been successfully promoting live music events under the True North Music banner for eight years now, specialising in Americana, bluegrass, old time, folk & roots. Since 2015 we’ve hosted over 60 gigs in Yorkshire, featuring exceptional artists from the USA, Canada, UK & Ireland, including Sierra Hull, Gangstagrass, Stillhouse Junkies, Molly Tuttle, Jaywalkers, Cahalen Morrison & Eli West and Foghorn Stringband to name just a few (check out the gig archive here). As a booking agent, Maria has brought top flight roots music artists to hundreds of venues across the UK, booking tours for The Slocan Ramblers, Jake Blount, Front Country, AJ Lee & Blue Summit, Bill and the Belles, Mile Twelve, John Reischman, Newberry & Verch and many more. Both in our programming and booking roster, a fair level of gender representation is important to us, and we’re also working to improve the overall diversity of our programme. Maria signed up to the Keychange Pledge in 2021 after years of pursuing this informally. Check out our Keychange page for more on this subject.
The Covid-19 pandemic was a hammer blow for everyone working in live music and the arts. Maria was passionate about keeping the flame of live music burning, so in the absence of our usual live music series in 2020 and 2021, she organised a winter online series in 2020-21 and a summer 2021 online festival with the support of Arts Council England funding. Both featured live streamed concerts and online workshops, and were a big hit with music lovers in the UK and beyond. Click those links above to read more and enjoy the concert videos. We’re excited to have returned to real life tours and concerts over the last 18 months, and hosted a number of outstanding local gigs in 2022 and 2023. We have exciting plans coming together for 2024, featuring many outstanding artists, so stay tuned for more news over the coming months.
Maria’s tireless work to champion grassroots live music has been recognised with various awards and opportunities. She received an Arts Council England DYCP (Developing Your Creative Practice) grant in 2022 to develop her podcast project over the next year, as well as National Lottery Project Grants funding to support True North Music’s local live music series in 2023-24. She participated in the 2021-22 cohort of the Both Sides Now Leaders Network, a leadership development programme for women working in music, run by UK music charity Brighter Sound. In summer 2021 Maria was named as a finalist in the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Momentum Awards, for Industry Involvement. In 2017 she won Yorkshire Gig Guide’s Outstanding Promoter award, and was a 2019 finalist. Maria was invited to the USA in 2018 by South Arts to participate in the American Sounds programme showcasing quintessentially American music to a small group of international presenters. In 2019 Maria was selected for the prestigious Leadership Bluegrass course run in Nashville by the IBMA. These opportunities have all been hugely valuable in building True North Music’s extensive network of world class artists and music industry contacts.
Maria has been active in the bluegrass and folk-roots music community for well over a decade – as a singer, songwriter, musician, volunteer and fan, as well as a promoter and booking agent. Check out her artist website for more on Maria’s music and songwriting. With a former career in marketing, Maria has combined her previous job experience with her passion for roots music to build True North Music into a beacon of excellence, bringing some of the finest acoustic musicians in the world to appreciative audiences across the UK. As well as planning her own forthcoming podcast, Maria writes regular articles and reviews for roots publications including Folk Radio UK and British Bluegrass News.
“Maria has a passion for diversifying the genres she works in, in terms of race and gender, and a true commitment to supporting artist development and high quality live music.” – Remi Harris MBE, Leaders Network coach
After running all her events completely independently for five years, back in 2020 Maria was successful in her first and second ever applications for Arts Council England funding (Project Grants: Supporting Grassroots Live Music strand). True North Music was awarded funding both to run the first Yorkshire Americana & Bluegrass Day festival (subsequently adapted into the Streaming Across the Sea online event) and for the winter 2020/21 virtual series mentioned above. We’re appreciative of this vital support, which helped us to continue to support grassroots artists and present outstanding live music to our audiences.