Newport Festivals Foundation has announced the recipient of the first ever, John Prine Songwriter Fellowship: Leith Ross.
The fellowship was created in partnership with John’s family, to celebrate John’s life and the impact he had on the Newport Folk Festival community. Each year, Newport Festivals will choose one young songwriter that embodies John’s spirit and provide them with their first slot at the Newport Folk Festival. Leith’s intimate, yet relatable songwriting style and clever lyrics remind us of John all while being completely unique.
Newport Festivals Foundation has also partnered with Almanack Arts
to provide Leith with a week-long songwriting retreat on Nantucket this summer. There, Leith will be given the time, resources, and space to hone their craft.
“John Prine has been an important voice in my household since long before I existed and as I grew up” said Leith. “I learned to speak, walk, and sing with his records playing in the background. We would listen to them as a family, and then my parents would talk to me about the lessons within them and about the beautiful way that they painted the world. I learned so much of my love for humanity and its habits from him, and his voice will always live inside my fondest memories.
I’m so, so beyond honored to be the first recipient of the John Prine Scholarship at Newport Folk Festival this year, and I can’t wait to share music and space with all the incredible musicians at Newport Folk. Feeling very weepy about it all to be honest!”
Congratulations, Leith. Enjoy Nantucket and we will see you at the Fort!