A Way Around Nashville

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“If  Nashville wants to put up roadblocks, we’ll build a by-pass” ~ Alan Shephard, Sr. 

There are ways around everything in this day and age of independent publishing! Alan Shephard, Sr., has seen enough talented country western musicians to know that Nashville doesn’t have them all. This radio DJ, lyricist, light and sound man and radio co-host for WBTN  decided there needs to be other ways for gifted artists to be found. He is fulfilling that need through his newly formed Independent Country Music Association, LLC.  

Independent Country Music, LLC is helping to promote independent country western artists who have talent but need a break in getting started by setting up a database where musicians can be located, getting promotional CDs of it’s members out to other radio stations around the world and providing assistance with setting up concerts. 

All in the same spirit of how other independent publishing associations are helping writers, filmmakers, photographers, professionals and non-profits become visible in the marketplace. I support this idea! For more information on ICMA, please visit the website http://www.icmanet.com/.

Roadblocks are only roadblocks if we don’t work around them. With any independent publishing project  persistence,  courage and creativity will help you attain your goals. Alan Shephard seems to have found a helpful way to detour the traditional path.

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Fabulous and Fulfilling!

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The artist does not see things as they are, but as he is.  ~Alfred Tonnelle 

Now that’s what I call a talented artist and that’s what I call making it all worthwhile! I spent a few hours of my evening, last night, volunteering as an usher at Strings in the Mountains – a beautiful venue set high in the mountains of Steamboat Springs, CO. www.stringsmusicfestival.com. We were treated to a fabulous concert of jazz trumpeter Chris Botti and his extarodinarily talented company of musicians.  

It is no mystery why Chris Botti has become such a successful artist at the young age of 47!  What a charmer he is! And so too, is his music. Three of his albums have reached #1 position on the Billboard of jazz album charts. He holds Gold and Platinum  and Grammy Awards and travels the world entertaining audiences 300 days a year. Just last week, he played to a sold out audience at Carnegie Hall and his August tour schedule includes stops in Victoria, Australia and Johannesburg, South Africa. Now that’s one busy artist!  

 Kudos to Strings in the Mountains for attracting an artist of this quality to Steamboat Springs, CO. Thanks to Mary Brown and John Tomasini for sponsoring this evening of art and entertainment.  

Can’t wait till Sunday when “Classical Meets Jazz” in a free community concert – available to all!  

For more information on jazz musician Chris Botti, and to listen to a sample of his music, please go to  http://www.chrisbotti.com.

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Ride a Indie Publishing Express

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“Art is not a thing, it is a way.” ~ Elbert Hubbard

Imagine what disadvantaged kids could do if given a chance. Wife of the late and great, John Lennon is giving a ticket to many children to hop aboard the publishing express! Helping kids write and record songs, is what the mission of the John Lennon Educational Bus Tour is all about.

In honor of John Lennon’s 70th birthday in October, the bus is traveling the country to continue John’s legacy and to provide music education and mentorship opportunities for underserved kids.

It is from opportunities such as this, that kids often discover their true talents and passions in life. I say “Kudos to Yoko Ono for this inspiring idea and for providing a roving space for kids across the country to experiment with independent music production.”

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Cultural Understanding

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“Things go wrong because people build walls instead of bridges”   ~Unknown

For those who do not work in the arts industry, understanding the value of a creative industry is difficult to understand. When you understand the scope of how many are employed in creative industry, how the Arts help to build the fabric of community life, how arts education touches the lives of children and how Art provides for cultural exchange between countries, supporting Americans for the Arts Action Fund www.artsactionfund.org is not a hard pill to swallow.

Mayer Michael Nutter recently testified about  the importance of the Arts in his city of Philadelphia. His testimony and arguments for the importance of the Arts, could be echoed by cities, big and small, across America. To listen to Mayor Nutter’s testimony, please go to http://bit.ly/bZetCV.

Even in small cities, like Steamboat Springs, Colorado (population 9600), the Arts are very important. The Macedonian Mission for Humanity (Colorado based non-profit organization 5013(C) is focused on humanitarian assistance and cultural exchange between Macedonian and U.S. artists.

On May 15, the non-profit will be hosting a Concert, at the United Methodist Church in Steamboat, between an international award winning concert pianist, Kalina Mrmevska from Macedonia, and soprano soloist, Keri Rusthoi from the U.S. It is bound to be a beautiful evening of entertainment between two artists who come from very different backgrounds.

All proceeds from the concert will go toward the expense of shipping no longer needed medical supplies from the U.S. to Macedonian children’s hospitals. For more information on this non-profit, please visit http://bit.ly/askllQ.

The Macedonian Mission for Humanity is building bridges between culture and humanitarian needs. What vision this represents!


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