February 09, 2011 09:00 ET

Alan Lomax Archive and IODA Create Global Partnership to Disseminate More Than 17,000 Historic Recordings of Folk and Traditional Music

International Field Recordings Spanning 60 Years of Lomax's Legendary Work Advance Public Appreciation of the World's Musical Traditions

NEW YORK, NY and SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - February 9, 2011) -   IODA, the global leader in digital distribution, marketing, and technology solutions for the independent music industry, and the Alan Lomax Archive today announced a partnership to make thousands of traditional and vernacular music recordings available worldwide. As part of a global grassroots campaign, Lomax and IODA will disseminate Lomax's recordings digitally to an international network of retailers. The partnership comes on the heels of the recently released Alan Lomax: The Man Who Recorded the World -- John Szwed's comprehensive biography.

The recordings -- many previously unreleased -- are drawn from Lomax's fieldwork from 1933 to 1991, during which time he sought out and recorded hundreds of hours of music from a huge diversity of cultures. They will be released on the Archive's new label, Global Jukebox.

"No one has come close to Alan Lomax in illuminating the intersecting musical roots of an extraordinary range of cultures, including our own," commented Nat Hentoff, renowned American historian, novelist, jazz and country music critic.

"Without Lomax it's possible that there would have been no blues explosion, no R&B movement, no Beatles and no Stones and no Velvet Underground," said Brian Eno, English musician, composer, producer, singer and visual artist, best known as one of the principal innovators of ambient music.

America's Legendary Folklorist

Alan Lomax (1915-2002) is considered America's foremost folklorist. He dedicated his life's work to the documentation of music and cultural traditions across the world and is perhaps best known for making the debut recordings of American legends like Lead Belly, Muddy Waters, and Woody Guthrie on behalf of the Library of Congress. But his independent explorations into the world's traditional music took him beyond his outstanding recordings in the American South to song hunting throughout the British Isles, Spain, Italy, Morocco, Romania, the Caribbean, and the former Soviet Union, and won him a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award from the Grammy Foundation.

"It still remains for us to learn how we can put our magnificent mass communications technology at the service of each and every branch of the human family." - Alan Lomax

A Global, Grassroots Campaign

Collaborations with folklore institutions like the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress and Spain's Muséu del Pueblu d'Asturies, indie record labels Mississippi Records and Dust-to-Digital, among others, and university presses including those of the University of Nebraska and the University of Wisconsin will enable the Archive to make its more than 17,000 recordings available to diverse audiences worldwide. Through IODA's international distribution network, Global Jukebox releases will be available at hundreds of digital retailers including iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, MOG and Rdio, and through mobile providers such as AT&T, Nokia, T-Mobile, Sprint, Telefonica and Verizon.

Among the most highly anticipated, never-released recordings are:

  • The Newport Folk Festival Preview Concert at New York City's Central Park was held at the height of the Civil Rights era, in the summer of 1965. Alan Lomax produced and MC'd the concert. The concert featured seminal figures of the Folk Revival era including Reverend Gary Davis, Ed Young, Bessie Jones, Mable Hillery, and the Georgia Sea Island Singers.

  • Alan Lomax in Morocco, 1967. Lomax recorded the traditional music of both urban and rural Morocco, setting up his tape machine in the historic metropolises of Fes and Marrakech as well as in remote rural villages in the Atlas Mountains.

  • Irish folksongs sung by famed Irish playwright Brendan Behan for Lomax in London in 1951.

"By enabling digital access to these recordings by the cultures and people whose legacies they represent, we expect this global collaboration to promote greater understanding of the diversity of the world's music," commented Erik Gilbert, VP of Client Strategy at IODA. "Our enthusiasm for this project is aligned with the enormous potential we believe it has to make a significant cultural contribution to the world's music library."

About Global Jukebox
Global Jukebox is the Alan Lomax Archive's first independent imprint. Its inaugural releases are five albums commemorating the 50th anniversary of Lomax's storied "Southern Journey" in the American South -- the first-ever stereo recordings made of traditional music in the field. Albums forthcoming in 2011 include Lomax's debut recordings of bluesman Mississippi Fred McDowell; a hardback book and two-CD set dedicated to Alan's trip through Asturias, Spain -- "the land at the end of everything"; and the launch of a series of artist curated compilations, for which guest musicians "Play the Global Jukebox," and include an exclusive recording of their own.

About Alan Lomax Archive & the Association for Cultural Equity
In 1983 Alan Lomax founded the Association for Cultural Equity (ACE) to explore, preserve and disseminate the world's intangible expressive traditions. After Alan Lomax's retirement in 1996, ACE assumed the care of his vast archive of ethnographic documentation, and in 1997 began the preservation of his legacy of sound recordings, photographs and videos, films, field journals, correspondence, and research projects. ACE has maintained an active program of disseminating the recordings by making them commercially available through various labels, while also donating copies of materials to appropriate repositories including universities and cultural organizations.

ACE's goal, when possible, is to repatriate materials directly to the communities that they were recorded in. The ACE Caribbean Repatriation Program has been carried out in collaboration with the Center for Black Music Research at Columbia College, Chicago, for the Eastern Caribbean, and the Green Family Foundation for Haiti. High-quality digital copies of Alan Lomax's Caribbean collections are presented to repositories in the Caribbean.

This past year the Alan Lomax Archive produced the 9-CD Alan Lomax in Haiti 1936-1937 box set, which is part of its Caribbean Repatriation Program to return copies of the music to its sources. The music is being presented to museums and schools in Haiti and to other Caribbean repositories; lesson plans are also being created from it. To offer some level of comfort and healing, local Haitian welfare organizations have taken Lomax's recordings directly to temporary settlement camps, where groups have heard and sung along to them -- the sounds of their traditions and past. The commercial releases are created to promote a greater understanding of the diversity of the Haitian culture to a global audience of music lovers. The Alan Lomax Archive website is

About IODA
IODA, the Independent Online Distribution Alliance, is one of the industry-leading digital distribution companies for the global independent music and video community. IODA provides comprehensive services to record labels, physical distributors, artists, and filmmakers, including license negotiations; media encoding and metadata management; royalty payment administration and reporting; and marketing and promotional support. Founded in 2003, IODA represents a rapidly expanding roster of more than two million music tracks and over 5,000 independent film and video titles. IODA distributes its music and video catalog to hundreds of digital storefronts worldwide, including all major digital music services like iTunes®, Amazon MP3 and MySpace Music and mobile carriers and outlets such as Verizon Wireless, Sprint and Nokia. The company's website is

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