Two-time finalist Mel Parsons is up again to win Best Folk Artist | Te Kaipuoro Taketake Toa alongside Kiwi songstress Victoria Vigenser & Lindsay Martin and husband-and-wife duo Paper Cranes 折り鶴 at the 2020 Auckland Folk Festival on 26 January.

Mel Parsons

Recorded in Los Angeles with legendary producer Mitchell Froom, Mel Parson’s fourth studio album Glass Heart was a finalist for the 2019 Taite Music Prize and Top 20 finalist at this year’s APRA Silver Scroll Award.

Parsons is no stranger to the limelight. Both her debut and sophomore album (Over My Shoulder and Red Grey Blue, respectively) were finalists for Folk Album of the Year.

The full-time touring artist also garnered a Silver Scroll finalist nod for ‘Get Out Alive’ in 2015 and the 2016 NZCMA Best Song for ‘Alberta Sun’.

Victoria Vigenser & Lindsay Martin

The long-awaited collaboration between Kiwi songstress Victoria Vigenser and Australian producer and composer Lindsay Martin has resulted in a nod for 2020 Best Folk Artist.

When they first met at Wellington Folk Festival, Martin offered to help record a few of Vigenser’s socially aware, gritty originals. Two years later, they spent four days recording 13 tracks that would become The Gap.

The response to the album was extremely positive. Since then, the duo has become a staple of the Australasian festival circuit and have continued to create and perform as the duo We Mavericks. A new album is planned to be released in 2020.

Paper Cranes 折り鶴

Husband-and-wife team Fraser and Naomi Browne are the musicians behind Paper Cranes 折り鶴, creating songs that ponder the meaning of life and love with captivating and dynamic live performances.

The duo have gigged regularly and have been on several nationwide tours in support of their releases, Oh, Love!, The Road Home, and their latest album Voices – a slice of folky pop goodness that brings a mixture of Japanese, Swedish and Australasia influences.

Recorded Music NZ chief executive Damian Vaughan says the Best Folk Artist category is brimming with talented musicians this year who are each deserving of their accolades.

“All three finalists have recorded great albums that do justice to the diverse nature of the folk genre – the judges I’m sure had a hard task in picking the finalists and eventual winner. Congratulations again to each of the finalists!”

The Auckland Folk Festival is held over Anniversary Weekend in January, with the Best Folk Artist Tui presented on the Sunday evening.

Tickets are available from

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