Episode 40: Western Arts Alliance
Welcome to the 40th Episode of Speaking of the Arts! Today we are featuring Tim Wilson. Tim is the Executive Director of the Western Arts Alliance, or WAA as it is commonly known. Tim has led the arts service organization and performing arts market based in Portland, OR for more than 20 years. I had the opportunity to meet Tim at this years WAA conference and he kindly agreed to be on the show. We talk about all sorts of things including the pros and cons of the exhibition hall model, new ideas for how to improve the overall conference experience, and where Tim sees the future of the conference headed. I learned a lot speaking with Tim and I hope you find this as insightful as I did. Thank you guys for your continued support and please enjoy my conversation with Tim.
30 Sep 2018
Episode 39: Why arts organizations should do podcasts!
Today’s episode is actually a live recording from the recent Arts Midwest conference in Indianapolis. I led a session on podcasting and the arts and I was joined by two experienced podcasters including Colleen Cook and Trevor St. Aubin. We cover all sorts of great topics such as why should an arts organization do a podcast in the first place, what are the technical aspects involved with producing a podcast, how to think about podcast content, and marketing your podcast. Colleen and Trevor, if you guys are listening, thank you so much for your participation in the event, I learned a lot from speaking with you both and I hope we can all connect again soon. So, without further ado, here is my recent session from the 2018 Arts Midwest conference. I hope you enjoy.
10 Sep 2018
Episode 55: Jay Sweet
Welcome to Speaking of the Arts. Today’s guest is Jay Sweet. Jay is the Executive Producer of The Newport Folk Festival ( https://www.newportfolk.org ), The Newport Jazz Festival ( https://www.newportjazz.org/ ) and Newport Festivals Foundation ( https://www.newportfestivals.org/ ), a 501(c)(3) which expands the impact of its Festivals through music education initiatives throughout the United States. During his tenure, the Newport Folk Festival has won five Pollstar awards for Music Festival Of The Year; and America's original music festivals have regained their stature as premier happenings. Our conversation took place approximately 48 hours after Jay and his team had to make the announcement they were cancelling both festivals this year and I am grateful to Jay for taking the time to speak with me during that difficult period. Jay spoke to me about several important things that are very timely for our industry including how we can support artists now, even if you can’t give them money. By the end of our conversation, I was impressed at how positive Jay came across for both the future of Newport and it’s incredible history, and you will hear some great stories from Jay.
22 May 2020
Episode 54: The Future of Performing Arts: Exploring New Scenarios for Live Music and Events
Welcome to a special episode of Speaking of the Arts. Today’s episode will feature the audio from a live panel discussion we recently hosted via Zoom. The topic was on the Future of Performing Arts and our guest speakers explored different scenarios for how to present music going forward. Guest speakers include:Kendra Whitlock Ingram, President and CEO of the Marcus Performing Arts Center, Milwaukee, WI www.marcuscenter.orgMark Jacobson, Senior Programming Manager, UMS/University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI www.ums.orgRyan McMaken, Artistic Director of the Savannah Music Festival, Savannah, GAwww.savannahmusicfestival.orgGillian Friedman Fox, Director of Contemporary and SOLUNA Programs, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dallas, TX www.mydso.comTim Jackson, Artistic Director of the Monterey Jazz Festival and Artistic Director/Co-Founder of Kuumbwa Jazz, Santa Cruz, CA.www.montereyjazzfestival.org www.kuumbwajazz.orgShlomo Lipitz, VP National Programming, City Winery, NY, NYwww.citywinery.comJonathan Winkel, Director of Jazz Ensembles, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, WI www.uwm.eduTom Warner, Director of Performing Arts, Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, PA www.longwoodgardens.orgBrice Rosenbloom, Founder and Producer of the NYC Winter Jazzfest, Jazz Coalition Co-Founder, and Boom Collective Ownerwww.winterjazzfest.com www.jazzcoalition.org www.boomcollective.comYou can tune in and watch the video recording here. https://youtu.be/LWn4iHqbEhk
16 May 2020
Most Popular Podcasts
Episode 53: Artists in Quarantine with Emmet Cohen
Today we are featuring the award winning pianist and composer, Emmet Cohen. The National YoungArts Foundation recently featured Emmet for his weekly live stream concert series called Live from Emmets place. Emmet does this with his trio every Monday night at 7:30PM Eastern and you can tune in and watch via Emmet’s facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/heyemmet/). In this episode, I talk to Emmet about his experience with live streaming and some of the unique challenges that can come up during the process. We also talk about Emmet’s exclusive website membership and what you get when you sign up (https://emmetcohen.com/exclusive), as well as Emmet’s upcoming debut release on Mack Avenue Records. More on Emmet:Emmet Cohen is the winner of the 2019 American Pianists Awards and the Cole Porter Fellow of the American Pianists Association, and Artist-in-Residence at the University of Indianapolis. He placed first in both the 2014 American Jazz Pianists Competition and the 2011 Phillips Piano Competition at the University of West Florida and, as a finalist in the 2011 Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition, he was received in the Oval Office by President Obama. Cohen has appeared in varied international jazz events, including the Newport, Monterey, Detroit, North Sea, Bern, Edinburgh, and Jerusalem jazz festivals, as well as the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia. He has also performed at the Village Vanguard, the Blue Note, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, Birdland, Jazz Standard, London's Ronnie Scott's, Jazzhaus Montmartre in Copenhagen, Lincoln Center's Rose Hall, the Cotton Club in Tokyo, and Washington's Kennedy Center. He is Hammond B-3 organist-in-residence at Harlem's SMOKE jazz club.
11 May 2020
Episode 52: Artists in Quarantine with Delfeayo Marsalis
Speaking of the Arts welcomes NEA Jazz Master Delfeayo Marsalis and Epstein & Company's own Marie Le Claire. In this episode, we talk to Delfeayo to hear more about his new album JAZZ PARTY and what he has been up to during quarantine. Listen as Delfeayo speaks in depth about the conception for his Uptown Jazz Orchestra and the unique approach they take to each show.For the better part of a decade, acclaimed trombonist, producer and composer Delfeayo Marsalis has spent Wednesday nights at the helm of his sprawling Uptown Jazz Orchestra’s residency at Snug Harbor in New Orleans. With Jazz Party, Marsalis’ seventh album as a leader, he delivers an original composition-heavy set of music that showcases the same exuberant energy of those shows, complete with modernized twists on New Orleans songbook gems and musical traditions, and swinging, groove-infused homages to the contributions of modern jazz masters. Spiked with the NEA Jazz Master’s wry wit and visionary production acumen, Jazz Party sees Marsalis – along with Roger Lewis, Terrance Taplin, Khari Lee, and more of the Crescent City’s finest musicians – making a strong musical case for the notion modern New Orleans jazz can and should be as celebratory in nature as it is cerebral in execution.Over the course of his prolific career, trombonist, composer, producer, educator and NEA Jazz Master Delfeayo Marsalis has been hailed as one of the “most imaginative...trombonists of his generation,” a title that reflects decades of musical exploration, preparation and risk-taking, much of which began during his childhood in New Orleans, where his father, Ellis Marsalis, introduced him to jazz in the family home. Eventually, Delfeayo says, he “gravitated toward the trombone,” which felt like “an extension of my personality.” He was simultaneously developing his ear for music production after his brothers, Branford and Wynton Marsalis, piqued his interest in the process, which he continued to develop while producing their demo tapes and interning at Allen Toussaint’s Sea Saint Studio. He’s gone on to produce more than 100 recordings for artists including his brothers, his father, Spike Lee, Harry Connick, Jr., Terence Blanchard, Preservation Hall Jazz Band and others. An exceptional trombonist, Delfeayo has toured internationally with bands led by Art Blakey, Slide Hampton, Abdullah Ibrahim, Max Roach and Elvin Jones, as well as his own groups.Delfeayo recently served as Music Producer for the film “Bolden!,” a mythical account of the life of Buddy Bolden, and has worked extensively in arts education. He holds a master’s degree in jazz performance from the University of Louisville and an honorary doctorate from New England College. He is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts.
4 May 2020
Episode 51: Artists in Quarantine with Kat Edmonson
Today is the first episode of a new mini series I will be doing where we will be featuring some of our artists during this time of quarantine. My first guest is Kat Edmonson and we actually had Kat on the show almost exactly 2 years ago so if you like what you hear today then please check out that interview which is episode 34 (http://www.speakingofthearts.com/episode34/). Today, I speak with Kat to learn about some of the unique things she is doing from home to stay creative and active as an artist. For example, Kat has created a new live show that she streams from her apartment in NYC every Sunday night at 7PM Eastern. You can tune into Facebook to catch that and you can also check out her new website http://www.kat.live where she is archiving each episode as well as other new content. Our conversation is wide ranging and covers a lot of topics and emotions that I would imagine many artists are going through right now so I hope everyone finds this helpful.On a side note, I wanted to update everyone who listened to our last episode with Brice Rosenbloom where we highlighted the Jazz Coalition Commission Fund (https://www.jazzcoalition.org/). As I record this, the fund has raised over $25,000 so thank you to everyone who is supporting it. More on Kat:Dreamers Do, Kat Edmonson’s 2020 record, explores the common human struggles around daring to dream, including a range of emotional and psychological consequences. The album begins with a promising invitation to settle in for the night and dream. Joy and magic are revealed before an eventual left turn is taken, and a wild night ensues. A question gets raised in Kat’s vulnerable original, “Too Late to Dream”: “Are the messages we receive as children about following our dreams relevant through adult life?” Self-despair is explored, however all doubts are ultimately laid to rest in a stunning duet with guitarist Bill Frisell on the song “Age Of Not Believing.” Dreamers Do follows the release of 2018’s Old Fashioned Gal, which Billboard calls “an intimate journey from doubt to resolve and implied triumph.” In 2014 Edmonson released The Big Picture, which debuted at 1 on Billboard’s Heatseekers, 1 on Contemporary Jazz Chart, and 2 on Total Jazz Chart. Her 2015 performance on “CBS This Morning: Saturday” garnered the program’s highest rated viewership since 2006. Her 2012 LP Way Down Low was described by The New York Times as “fresh as a spring bouquet,” and her performances at WNYC’s Soundcheck and Daytrotter were included in “Best Live Performances” and “Best Sessions of 2012,” respectively.The Texas native began crafting her signature sound while performing in Austin’s local club circuit for years before releasing her debut LP Take To The Sky in 2009. She went on to tour worldwide with high profile acts including Lyle Lovett, Chris Isaak, Gary Clark Jr., Shawn Colvin, Willie Nelson, Smokey Robinson, Nick Lowe and more.
28 Apr 2020
Episode 50: Brice Rosenbloom
Hello everyone and welcome to Speaking of the Arts. I hope you are staying safe and healthy right now as we enter the second half of April 2020. This is a tough time to be in the arts and there is a lot of uncertainty as to when live music will be allowed to function again. I hope to offer something of value for all of the musicians and presenters listening who are wondering what opportunities may be available to them right now.My guest is Brice Rosenbloom, whom many of you may know from his work as producer and founder of the annual Winter Jazzfest in NYC. Brice has just launched what he is calling the Jazz Coalition Commission Fund (http://www.jazzcoalition.org/). Here is the official description: A collective of industry professionals, musicians, and supporters, the Jazz Coalition identifies global needs affecting the jazz and improvised music community, and strategizes response solutions and opportunities. In this immediate reality of live performance hiatus there is a need to keep artists in our jazz community active and compensated to create new work. United behind the goal to support deserving artists and boost overall morale, we are launching the Jazz Coalition Commission Fund. With an initial silent funding goal of $40K - $50K, deserving recipients will receive $1,000 micro-grants through a nomination and jury process among coalition members. The funding pool will have a secondary stage with a public GoFundMe campaign and additional outreach to grow the fund and increase the number of overall recipients. Recipients will live-stream their works-in-progress and will eventually premiere their music at partner venues when public assembly is safe and possible again.Coalition members support the Commission financially by contributing to the fund directly and/or by attracting new donors. Coalition members will participate in the nomination and juried selection process of recipients. Presenter coalition members will offer recipients opportunities to premiere the new works at their venues.My conversation with Brice goes in depth into the fund and you will learn more about it including how to participate or apply for a grant.Presenting an eclectic mix of concerts and festivals for over twenty years in New York City, Brice Rosenbloom is proud to utilize his extensive booking experience and resources towards live music projects that align with messages of progress and social justice. For over a decade Brice led the programming team as Senior Music Director at the West Village music venue Le Poisson Rouge (LPR) where he presented the likes of Andrew Bird, Anthony Braxton, Beck, Brad Mehldau, David Byrne, Erykah Badu, Esperanza Spalding, Flying Lotus, Four Tet, John Zorn, Kamasi Washington, Little Dragon, Lou Reed, Meshell Ndegeocello, Mos Def, Mumford & Sons, Nils Frahm, Norah Jones, Rufus Wainwright, St. Vincent, Tegan and Sara and many more.Prior to LPR, Rosenbloom launched and is currently running the NYC Winter Jazzfest. Now in its 16th year, it is praised by the NY Times as “the city’s most renowned jazz festival”. From its early years at the Knitting Factory in Tribeca, Winter Jazzfest has grown into a 10-day, multi venue, citywide festival that featured over 700 musicians, 170 groups, and welcomed more than 18,000 attendees in January 2020. Recognized for its three-fold mission of supporting new artists, continually expanding audiences, and amplifying messages of social justice, Winter Jazzfest redeems jazz as a musical beacon towards progress both on stage and off. Brice's early programming aesthetic was developed while working at Jazz at Lincoln Center, 92nd Street Y, The Knitting Factory, Central Park SummerStage, and at MAKOR, where he presented a residency featuring Norah Jones just before her Grammy takeover. In 2016, Rosenbloom received the Bruce Lundvall Visionary Award for extraordinary leadership and vision in expanding the audience for jazz.
20 Apr 2020
Episode 49: Outer/Most Agency
Speaking of the Arts welcomes Todd Walker. Todd recently launched a new agency called Outer/Most. They represent a ton of great artists including Flor de Toloache, Anoushka Shankar, Madison McFerrin, and many more. In this episode we talk about Todd's background as an agent, his goals for his new agency, his thoughts on signing and developing new artists, working with managers, and a lot more. Be sure to check out https://www.outermostagency.com/.
25 Feb 2020
Episode 48: Prism
Speaking of the Arts welcomes Joe O'Neil! Joe currently works for the music software company Prism, a unique platform for promoters and talent buyers. In their own words, "Prism was founded by venue managers, promoters and artist reps committed to simplifying the complex process of booking shows, managing rooms, and routing tours through music promoter software." In this episode we talk about Joe's role at the company, some of the major problems the software is aiming to solve and some of the exciting things they are working on for the future. This episode is a must listen for promoters, talent buyers, agents, managers, and artists who are interested in learning about new technology that can simplify your life in the music industry. Joe joined the Prism team in December 2019 after nearly ten years in the music agency world, including with Columbia Artists Management, CAMI Music, and Opus 3 Artists. As an agent, Joe represented some of the biggest names in music and performing arts, including Yo-Yo Ma, Marvin Hamlisch, Branford Marsalis, Lang Lang, and the Chieftains, among many others. As one of the newest members of the Prism team, Joe is based in Austin TX where Prism is headquartered and can be reached at email@example.com.
28 Jan 2020
Episode 47: Remembering Fred Taylor
Fred Taylor was one of the most respected and genuine people I've ever worked with in the music industry. He passed away at the age of 90 on Saturday after dedicating his life to promoting the artists he worked with. Here we pay tribute to Fred and we will miss him.
29 Oct 2019
Episode 46: How to structure ticket pricing
Welcome to Episode 46 of Speaking of the Arts! Today we feature Jeff Kane from Live Nation/Ticketmaster. In this episode we talk about all things related to tickets including how to determine ticket pricing, how data is influencing an artist's ability to structure their ticket pricing, what some of the differences are between older generations of ticket buyers and younger millennial buyers, and how technology is changing the way concert venues create unique experiences for patrons.
17 Oct 2019
Episode 45: Brian O'Neill on Analytical Data and being an Independent Musician
Brian T. O'Neill leads the acclaimed dual-ensemble, Mr. Ho's Orchestrotica and has performed at prestigious venues in the US including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the Montreal Jazz Festival. In addition to being a busy independent musician, Brian is also a product designer and founder of the consultancy, Designing for Analytics, which helps enterprise companies turn data into indispensable information products and services. For over 20 years, he has worked with companies including DELL/EMC, Tripadvisor, Fidelity, NetApp, MITRE, JP Morgan Chase, ETrade and numerous SAAS startups. Today Brian focuses on helping clients create more useful, usable, profitable, and engaging decision support software and information products. Brian is also an international speaker and podcast guest, having appeared at multiple O'Reilly Strata conferences, Predictive Analytics World in Berlin, and on the IBM Analytics podcast, Making Data Simple. He also authored the Designing for Analytics Self-Assessment Guide for Non-Designers, maintains an active mailing list, and hosts the new podcast, Experiencing Data. Earlier in 2018, Brian joined the International Institute for Analytics' Expert Network as an advisor on design and UX.Our conversation covers the intersection of music, data, and technology and I hope you find it as fascinating as I did!Episode Links:http://crashandboom.com http://orchestrotica.com/presskit | firstname.lastname@example.org | @orchestrotica https://www.designingforanalytics.com | email@example.com | @rhythmspice https://www.designingforanalytics.com/podcast-subscribe/
17 Jul 2019
Episode 44: Our Artist Growth Process
Speaking of the Arts goes under the hood and discusses Epstein & Company's Unique Process for working with artists!
25 Jun 2019
Episode 43: Brian Camelio and ArtistShare
Brian Camelio founded ArtistShare in 2001. The platform is now recognized as the Internets first fan-funding platform. ArtistShare enables fans to not only fund their favorite artist’s projects, but to truly become participants in the creative process. Brian was a visionary in that he saw the internet’s potential as a way to connect fans and artists directly. Since 2003, ArtistShare projects have received countless awards and accolades including 30 Grammy nominations and 10 Grammy award wins. In March of 2019, Brian was contacted by the Web Foundation, which was founded by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who is credited with helping to invent the internet. The Web Foundation was celebrating the Web’s 30th birthday and they complied a select timeline of events which included “the launch of ArtistShare which has had a significant contribution to the web.”I learned a lot in my conversation with Brian and hope you find this applicable to your own corner of the arts universe. In particular, we talk about Brian's unique approach to what he calls "fan relationship marketing." This is particularly relevant for artists and arts organizations right now as everyone is trying to make sense of how to use their data to better connect with fans and patrons. There is also a great marketing story about what Brian learned from Trey Anastasio, the guitarist from the widley popular group Phish. Thanks again to Brian for taking the time to speak with me. Please enjoy our conversation and thanks everyone for listening to Speaking of the Arts!
29 Apr 2019
Episode 42: Fred Hersch
Speaking of the Arts features the 14X Grammy Nominated pianist, composer, and activist Fred Hersch! In this episode we discuss many aspects of Fred's incredible career including lessons learned from legendary artists such as Stan Getz and Joe Henderson, how Fred approaches lessons with private students, what makes his current trio so special, his approach to solo piano performances, how Fred determines whether or not to accept a gig, what you should know as a presenter about Fred's performances, and so much more.
21 Dec 2018
Episode 41: Artist Scorecards
Hi everyone and welcome to speaking of the arts. Today’s episode will be different from our usual format of interviewing a key promoter, presenter, agent, artist or manager. I’m going to be talking about something we’ve created internally here called Artist Scorecards. If you go to our website at http://www.epsteinco.com, you will see a tab at the top appropriately labeled Artist Scorecards, where you can download one and follow along. This is a tool we came up with to help artists think about their thinking, as it relates to 7 core aspects of their career and I thought it would be a good idea to describe how the tool works. So, if you are looking at the card you will see we’ve listed each one of these aspects as a mindset including Touring, Recording, Technology, Fan Management, Management, Business, and Marketing. This is not to say that these are the only mindsets which an artist needs to think about, but rather, what are arguably some of the most important. This tool is designed to give you, the artist, a baseline measurement of where you are currently at with each one. Here is how to use it. First, enter in the current date in the cell at the top right, followed by your target date. Your target date should be exactly 90 days, or one quarter, from the current date. The reason being, is that 90 days is a very measurable amount of time from which to work with and you can actually take very simple actions within that amount of time to help move you to a higher score. The great thing about this, is that you are able to see your progress over time fairly quickly. Eventually your first target score will becomes your current score once you create a new card for the next 90 days and so on. Simple enough, right?
9 Oct 2018
Episode 38: Social Media Tips and Tricks with GroundUP Music
I could not be more excited to share this episode with you. I had the opportunity to speak with Jamie Marguiles today who is the label director at GroundUP Music. GroundUP is known for releasing incredible music from groups like Snarky Puppy, Bokante, Banda Magda, and so many more. I wanted to hear from Jamie all about how she and her team approach social media. If you haven’t checked out GroundUP music on Instagram or Facebook you are missing out. They do a fantastic job rolling out killer content each day and have developed a very loyal fan base. In our conversation, we cover all sorts of useful things like how to manage a content schedule, best practices for Facebook and Instagram and why Instagram is the best platform for musicians now. We talk about ways to effectively promote tour dates through each platform and much more.Here are just a few of the themes we cover:*How to manage social media content and plan content schedules in advance*Best practices for Facebook and Instagram*Killer tips for how to promote tour dates*How to utilize Instagram Stories*Why Instagram is the best platform for musicians to be on now*The importance of authenticity*Why Twitter is generally less important for new musicians now*Do artists still need a website?*Email lists for bands on tour and what not to doGet your pen and paper ready because you are going to come away with great tips and tricks. So, without further ado, please enjoy my conversation with Jamie Marguiles.
23 Aug 2018
Episode 37: What are Presenters Saying?
"What are presenters saying?" This is the question displayed on the cover of our new artist data books for the 2019-2020 season.We are taking a look under the hood here at our agency and will be talking about new artists projects for the 2019-2020 fine arts booking season. You will learn about which artists are doing what, when they are available, and much more.Here to talk with me is Matt Morrell, our East Coast booking agent. Matt also books our artists in Asia and South America. One of our goals this year was to produce an artist brochure that presenters will hopefully find very useful and not simply discard at the conference hotels. So what is different about it this year? For starters, we are calling these our artist data books. We’ve included artist gross ticket sales information, configurations, availability, and select touring history so people can see who else is booking these artists. There are also no press quotes and instead we’ve included testimonial from presenters who have previously booked the artist. Listen as we discuss our new artists projects for the 2019-2020 presenting season!
10 Aug 2018
Episode 36: Can we fix the performing arts booking system?
Is the current performing arts system broken? How is the digital revolution affecting the way we approach our industry? What are traditional performing arts centers doing to try and reach younger audiences? Why do performing arts centers continue to spend significant resources on printed brochures? Are the annual booking conferences even necessary? These questions, and more, on today’s episode of Speaking of the Arts.Hi everyone this is Mike Epstein and joining me today are two veterans of the industry – Jeremy Ganter, Associate Executive Director and Director of Programming at the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts at UC Davis and the esteemed and highly experienced IMN booking agent the one, the only, Alycia Mack.This episode questions many of the traditional ways in which business is done in the world of performing arts. Listen as Jeremy and Alycia weigh in on what can be done to make for a better system.
17 Apr 2018