Lifetime Achievement Award

In 2008, David was awarded the Folk Tradition in the Midwest Lifetime Achievement Award from the Folk Alliance Region Midwest [FARM].

In their nomination letter, the Yellow Room Gang said “As both performing songwriter and booking agent for over 30, years, this man never waivers in his determination, kindness, humanity, generosity, enthusiasm, humility and pure love of the genre and its profound effect on so many. He is in awe of the artists he represents, who are anything but a meal ticket to him. He shares his experience and knowledge freely with any all who ask.”

David Tamulevich is recognized throughout the Midwest, as well as nationally and internationally, for the work he has done with artists and presenters to foster acoustic music and the communities it serves. One of the best known and respected agents in Folk Music, he has given thousands of hours of free consultation/advice/management direction over the past 25 years to many hundreds of aspiring artists, fledgling festivals, and would-be promoters as well as established venues.

He is also credited with being a major player and influence in establishing the folk touring circuit as it exists today, and education the arts and commercial worlds about folk music, the artists, and values that exist within the field, and helping bring those artists to a wider audience. His passion, and what many promoters and artist/managers have come to recognize and look to him for, is taking great but little recognized talent and constructing a long term, sustainable touring career based on their art and connection with an audience. He consistently looks for, and invests in, artists for whom the art and community comes first.

As article he wrote for the publication, Performing Songwriter has become a touchstone throughout the folk community worldwide, constantly read, recommended and used as a template and benchmark for how to build a career in the field.

He also was among the first, if not the first, agent/managers to start offering workshops at major folk festivals on the business of music, giving the community and artists a chance to ask questions. It was his experience that much of the information he had learned over the years was just not easily available, at least not without a lot of work and/or money, and he wanted to share what he knew and perhaps keep people from reinventing the wheel. These workshops have proven very popular and are not done by a n umber of other professionals at a wide range of festivals and camps.

He serves on the advisory board of several folk music-related organizations, including The Ark (the nationally recognized concert hall in Ann Arbor, Michigan). In 1988, he met with a group of people from within the folk community and helped found The International Alliance of Folk Music and Dance, an organization whose membership has now grown to over 10,000 members.

As an artist in the duo Mustard’s Retreat, David has performed an estimated 4,000 shows from 1975 through the present, many of which have been in Michigan. Mustard’s Retreat released their 10th full length recording this past Summer. Highly respected as performers, recording artists, and writers, they consistently receive play on folk radio shows throughout the world, and have for years. At one point their popularity was such that they had their own radio show. The Mustard’s Retreat Show ran for 5 years on WFBE in Flint, MI, where they performed songs, as well as hosted and interviewed other Michigan singers and songwriters. Mustard’s Retreat has performed for numerous and various benefits and fund raising events throughout the state over the entire length of their career.

In 2005, he was a founding member of the Yellow Room Gang, a song writing collective of 8 of the most highly respected acoustic songwriters in southeast Michigan. They meet monthly to hone their craft. Often these meetings have been held at regional libraries and clubs, and have been very popular. The audience actually has the chance to see how songs are constructed and crafted, and are given the chance to make suggestions, debate the points, be involved in the process, and find out what they can do to establish a similar group on their own. The Yellow Room Gang also performs throughout the state as an ensemble.

(as written by Susan Urban, FARM Board Member, 2008)