Comedian Hannibal Buress will host and perform at the 2023 edition of the independent artist-focused Libera Awards, which will be handed out June 15 at Town Hall in New York. Also confirmed to take the stage are Margo Price, blues veteran Shemekia Copeland, Dawn Richard and Spencer Zahn, Sudan Archives, Seratones, Gaby Moreno, Tamtam, and Buress’ Eshu Tune project.
Motown legend Martha Reeves and 98-year-old Marshall Allen and the Sun Ra Arkestra will receive the Independent Icon awards, and both will perform. Reeves will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of her breakthrough smash with the Vandellas, “Heat Wave.”
Richard and Zahn will be backed by a full orchestra for a performance from their 2022 collaborative album Pigments. Tickets for the event are on sale now.
“I haven’t hosted anything in a while, so this will be an interesting night,” Buress admits. “I’m not sure if I’m crossing WGA picket lines by doing this gig. If I am, my apologies. I stand with the writers, but I also got some shit to do. I’m wearing steel toe boots just in case anyone wants to run onstage unexpectedly.”
“Independence isn’t about a genre — it’s about choosing your own path,” says Lisa Hresko, the GM of Libera organizers the American Association of Independent Music, Inc. (A2IM). “The Libera Awards showcases independent music’s top talent, represented across both the amazing slate of nominees and dynamic performers. A2IM couldn’t be more excited to bring this year’s Libera Awards, traditionally an industry-only event, to the historic Town Hall to demonstrate the collective power, artistry, and community of independent music.”
Wet Leg had a leading six Libera nominations this year, while Sudan Archives, Allison Russell, Fontaines D.C., and Soul Glo have three each. In the days before the awards, A2IM will host Indie Week at the InterContinental New York Times Square.