After releasing their second album Raconteur in March 2018, The Frank Burkitt Band were announced as the winners of the 2019 Best Folk Artist Tui at the Auckland Folk Festival this evening.

A folk songwriter at his core, Frank Burkitt blends American roots music with hints of jazz, blues and swing in his music.

When he relocated to Wellington with his partner and backing vocalist Kara Filbey, he formed an incredible string band, enlisting the talents of blues and country mandolin player Cameron Burnell and jazz double bassist James Geluk.

The group have made waves during the last 4 years, releasing their debut album Fools & Kings in 2015 and becoming a festival favourite throughout New Zealand.

And 2019 is gearing up to be another exciting year for the group, who are planning a tour to support the release of their new live EP Lost but Alive with shows scheduled in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Recorded Music NZ CEO Damian Vaughan says the diversity of finalists this year show how strong and robust the folk music genre is.

“Congratulations to Frank Burkitt and the band who work together to create such vibrant, interesting music to listen to. Their unique blend of folk with American roots, swing and jazz make for infectious listening.”

The other finalists for the 2019 Tui were two-time Best Folk Artist winners Great North following the release of their album The Golden Age, and Jono Heyes for his 2017 release 9 Pilgrims, which blends world music with high energy folk music.

The 2019 Best Folk Artist Tui was presented at the Auckland Folk Festival, an annual festival of music, song and dance held at Kumeu Showground, northwest of Auckland.

It is organised by members of Devonport Folk Music Club, Titirangi Folk Music Club, Auckland Bluegrass & Traditional Old Time Country Music Club, Gaidhealtachd, and The City of Auckland Morris Dancers.