Layer 2
Find Your Globalista Friends at SXSW: A World Music Round Up 03/08/2017





SXSW is only days away. We've assembled a list of some of the most interesting speakers, sessions, and showcases that will be relevant to those of us in the world music community. And of course we hope you will join us for an informal conversation and networking session at our yearly meetup of world music folk.



World Music Meetup

Thursday, March 16 5:00 - 6:00 PM Austin Convention Center Austin Suite

Speakers: Garrett Baker from Rock Paper Scissors, Nicole Merritt from Globalfest


How Tech is Changing the LATAM Music Industry

Wednesday, March 15 5:00 - 6:00 PM Austin Convention Center Room 10A

Speakers: Catalina Maria Johnson from Revista Contratiempo/Beat Latino, Andres Martinez Ojeda from La Monareta, Carlos Ardila from Deezer, Tomas Uribe from Stereotheque


Asian Blues: How Desi Sound is Shaping New Music

Thursday, March 16 2:00 - 2:20 PM Austin Convention Center Room 10B

Speaker: Aziz Ibrahim from Indus Records Limited


Tech Innovation in Latin American Music

Thursday, March 16 2:00 - 3:00 PM Austin Convention Center Room 10A

Speakers: Carolina Castilla from Massive Act, Julian Duque from Stereotheque, Roberto Parra from Fauna Producciones, Sergio Pabon from T310/Absent Papa


How To Build a Music City - The Launch

Thursday, March 16 3:30 - 4:30 PM Austin Convention Center Room 17A

Speakers: Amy Terrill from Music Canada, Jesse Elliott from The Music District, Joey Hendrickson from How To Build A Music City, Tamara Kaminska from Institution of Culture Katowice City of Gardens


How Korea is Influencing Global Pop

Friday, March 17 2:00 - 3:00 PM Austin Convention Center Room 10A

Speakers: Chase “ChaCha” Malone from AOMG, Hannah Waitt from moonROK Media Inc


Music Cities Network

Friday, March 17 2:00 - 3:00 PM Austin Convention Center Room 17B

Speakers: Jocelyn Kane from San Francisco Entertainment Commission, Timotheus Wiesmann from Hamburg Music Business Association, Hugh Nichols from City of Sydney, Jesper Mardahl from PROMUS


Demystifying Asia’s Music Industry

Friday, March 17 3:30 - 4:30 PM Austin Convention Center Room 10C

Speakers: Ed Peto from Outdustry, Summer Kim from CI, Justin Sweeting from Magnetic Asia, Sebastian Mair from Music Solutions


Reggae Revival-Impact On Global Music

Friday, March 17 3:30 - 4:30 PM Austin Convention Center Room 10B

Speakers: Aaron Dolores from Mixologi, Janine “Jah9” Cunningham from Steam Chalice Publishing, Kabaka Pyramid from Bebble Rock Music, Walshy Fire from Major Lazer


Americana Without Borders

Friday, March 17 12:30 - 1:30 PM Austin Convention Center Room 16AB

Speakers: Crispin Parry from British Underground, Kasey Chambers, Nash Chambers, Peter Blackstock from Austin American-Statesman, Jed Hilly from Americana Music Association


Passport to Women in Music: A Global Review

Saturday, March 18 12:30 - 1:30 PM Austin Convention Center Room 13AB

Speakers: Guta Braga from Altafonte, Jennifer Newman Sharpe from Women In Music/Sparkplug/Law Offices of Jenner Newman Sharpe, Lara Baker from Association of Independent Music, Samantha Slattery from Women in Music Canada


How the Crazy Dutch Are Innovating Music Discovery

Saturday, March 18 12:30 - 1:30 PM Austin Convention Center Room 11AB

Speakers: Johan Gijsen from Le Guess Who?/Into The Great Wide Open, Mark Minkman from Paradiso, Marlies Timmermans from Into The Great Wide Open


Showcases (a sampling) 

There are more, of course. Seek out and enjoy!


Riot Artists

Wednesday March 15th at 8:00 Speakeasy 412 Congress Ave


Betty Bonifassi

Pussy Riot Theatre




Thursday, March 16th at 8:00 Flamingo Cantina 515 East 6th Street

Line up includes:

Monareta (Colombia) 

Hanba! (Poland) 

United Vibrations (UK) 

Throes + The Shine (Angola/Portugal) 

La Dame Blanche (Cuba/France) 

Troker (Mexico) 



presented by globalFEST, Tamizdat, PRI's The World, and rock paper scissors

ContraBanned: #MusicUnites

Friday, March 17th Palm Door on Sixth 508 Sixth St

Music builds new communities. It tells the unheard stories. It creates bridges over walls. We are producing a showcase of artists from the seven banned nations. Live on stage. This is a call to action: #MusicUnites

Confirmed Artists:

Mamak Khadem Ensemble

Ash Koosha


Khaled M


globalFEST SXSW 2017

Friday, March 17 at 7:00 PM Palm Door on Sixth 508 Sixth St

DakhaBrakha (Avant-theatrical Ukrainian folk)

Tribu Baharu (Afro-champeta party from Colombia)

Vox Sambou (Politically-minded Haitian hip-hop) 

Sarathy Korwar (Contemporary jazz response to Indian classical music) 

Qawalistan (Rock’n’roll infused Qawali from Pakistan)

Liniker e os Caramelows (Afro-Brazilian music with a groove) 



Gather with the World Music Clan at SXSW 03/02/2017



SXSW attendees! We hope you will join us for our yearly meetup of world music folk. Gather with your friends, your kindred spirits, new faces and old. Join us for an informal conversation and networking session. You will meet lots of managers, labels, booking agents, and other musicians in loud and chaotic venues this week, but here is a chance to gather in a calm space and meet new music industry friends who support your kind of music.

Ask the pros! Put your most pressing question in a hat and professionals from the global music publicity, concert promotion, and booking realms will answer.

March 16. 5:00pm - 6:00pm. Austin Suite, Austin Convention Center. Hosted by: Garrett Baker from rock paper scissors, Nicole Merritt from GlobalFest and Alex Walter from WOMEX.


7 Tips to Increase International Touring Viability 01/11/2017

Wavelengths panel

 (L to R: Dmitri Vietze, Carlos Tortolero, Matthew Covey. Joining panel later: Kerry Clarke. Photo by Max Pollak of RumbaTap.)

by Dmitri Vietze, rock paper scissors PR firm

It’s never been easy for international artists to make a profit touring in North America. The costs of travel, accommodations, and visa processing are higher for international artists, yet ticket sales and booking budgets are not higher than for other artists. While international artists and their teams may face offers they consider low from presenters, here are 7 tips to increase the viability of touring in North America that came out of the Wavelengths: APAP World Music Preconference:

1. Cut Back on Your Entourage.

While you may be used to touring your home continent with multiple technicians, a tour manager, and a larger band, each person on tour becomes a multiplier on expenses including airfare, accommodations, visas, meals, and more. You crew can double the cost of your tour. Think about how you certain people can double up on roles. A combined sound person and tour manager can make the difference between making money and losing money. If you are playing festivals, remember that they often have a stage and sound crew to fill in holes. Think about bringing a pared down version of your band to North America. Additional backup singers and dancers may need to be added back in after you are further along with your reputation here and can command higher fees. Consider having certain players residing in North America come on tour versus bringing them from home.

2. Seek Out Funding (with the Help of North American Presenters).

Many countries have funds to support the export of local music around the world, including in the form of touring. If you are putting together a tour that is tight on budget, discuss with your hosting presenters if they have worked with any funding related to your country of origin. Artists willing to do a little extra work on this front, might get financial help to make a tour possible.

Though it is rare for U.S. and Canadian grants to pay for international artists, the Canada Council also has some money for artists touring Canada. Programs like Center Stage, supported by the State Department and New England Foundation for the Arts, Southern Exposure, supported by the national Endowment for the Arts and the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, and OneBeat (for individual artists to collaborate in a specific multi-artist program), funded by the State Department, all include subsidised touring to America. But they all have very specific criteria and long timelines, that may not fit your touring goals or requirements.

3. Develop Educational Workshops and Residencies for Weekdays.

Most anchor dates happen on the weekend. Look to schools and community organizations that can host you for a residency during the weeklong gap between festival or city performances that need to take place on the weekend. It may take time to develop these relationships, but over time you might be able to develop an annual or bi-annual event that allows you to tour again and again. Educational workshops can focus on musical performance or cultural awareness. In addition, workshops can help you command higher fees within a given festival or series.

4. Fill in “World Music” Performances with “Community” Performances.

If you come from a country with a population of potential fans from your home country in North America, develop relationships with community-based leaders to present you in between your anchor festival or performing arts center dates. You may need to negotiate with anchor presenters to waive exclusivity, which is something you might consider doing in the earliest stages of an offer, saying that you can take their fee as long as you are able to perform at other community events; that if they are requiring exclusivity, you need a higher fee. You can explain that even though they are paying a good fee, it’s hard to make the tour happen at all without being able to add additional concerts within the community of your fellow nationals.

5. Get Creative with Visas.

The cost of visas and having specialists to process visas can stop a tour from happening. But there are several ways you can save money on visas:

Plan ahead. One of the most expensive parts of getting a visa is the extra $1225 “Premium Processing” expedite fee. If you plan further ahead, filing your petition early can save a bunch of money.

Don’t get a visa if you don’t need one. If you are playing academic performances or showcases, you might not need a visa! Make sure to to get good advice on this.

Get a P3 instead of an O1/O2 Visa. Many people like the sound of getting a visa for having “extraordinary abilities.” But some acts could alternately seek a P3 visa, which can cost a lot less money. Put the ego aside and get the visa that will cost less and be easier to attain.

Get a One or Three Year Visa Instead of a One Month Visa. If you can get a little more organized, you might be eligible to get your visa to last longer, up to one year for P visas and up to three years for O visas.  This could allow you to come back multiple times over a longer period of time.

Save Money By Skipping an Attorney (But Be Careful!). If you are an organized person, it is possible to use the information at Artists From Abroad to handle the process yourself. Obviously, if your case is more complicated, you might need to hire the big guns to get the job done. If you get stuck along the way, Tamizdat Avail can help you at no cost.

Get Visa Help from SOME Presenters. Some presenters and festivals can help you with visas. Letters from government-related presenters have a great track record for visa approval, so consider that when building your tour. Those same presenters may go even further with becoming your anchor date and their visa savvy could be the linchpin in a successful tour. They also may be able to help you get a longer term visa (see above). Consider that when negotiating fees. That can be worth money and save you from other headaches. If you are working with a block of collaborating presenters they may be able to all chip in towards the cost of the visa.

6. Know the World Music Circuit’s Timing and Routing. Before saying yes to an individual performance, make sure you understand how you are going to route to and from that city. Newer festivals frequently book in isolation and if they are at a time period when there is nothing else going on, your tour is more likely to lose money or become impossible to fulfil. Ask the presenter who else is nearby for routing. If they have no ideas, you might consider touring at a different time or to a different region.

7. Find New Presenters That Fit Your Timing and Route. On the other hand from tip #6, there are many smaller presenters or universities that are not on the regular world music touring circuit that might book you if you ask. Universities with relevant educational departments, might be glad to host you as a special one off event. You’ll only know if you ask.

These tips came from the panel titled “Changing America’s Global Music Touring Economy: Booking for Artist Sustainability” at the Wavelengths: APAP World Music Preconference on January 6, 2017, co-organized by globalFEST and rock paper scissors. Panelists were Matthew Covey of Tamizdat Inc., Carlos Tortolero of the Chicago World Music Festival, and Kerry Clarke of the Calgary Folk Music Festival. The panel was moderated by Dmitri Vietze of PR firm rock paper scissors, inc. Videos of the preconference are archived on the globalFEST Facebook page.

Public Spaces: Fiona Black Combines Passion with Practicality 10/19/2016

Fiona Black, director of programming at Capilano University's Centre for the Performing Arts, is unfailing in her commitment to hosting great performances, sometimes putting in years to schedule a performer.  She shares her experiences with musicians who want to be able to perform in the BlueShore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts, as well as a sharp perception to the ever changing music culture.

Fiona Black speaking to attendees.
Photo by Paul Winstanley

RPS: When you get a solicitation email from an artist or artist rep, what elements make you want to become more involved?

Fiona: Familiarity with artist or agent.  By familiarity with the artist, I mean that I’ve seen the artist perform or have been hearing feedback from colleagues that I trust.  If I’m familiar with the agent and have respect for their roster and tastes, then I’ll be more apt to check out an unknown artist.  If I get a cold pitch meaning no familiarity with artist/agent, then it would need to be a rare or specific style of music that I’d want to check out.  If it’s a cold pitch, but the agent/artist has done their homework and know the kind of acts that I book then I appreciate that effort and will be more likely to give the act some attention.

RPS: When you are watching an artist live, what elements do you look for that could make you consider booking them?

Fiona: Exceptional artistry, authenticity, a natural rapport with the audience, a feeling that the artist is in total command and you’re in good hands.  There is an element that I call “specialness” for lack of anything better to call it.  I always ask is this act special enough?  I often see short showcases of 30 minutes or less so try to imagine if they can sustain an audience for a full show.  Some artists make time stand still, those are the extra special ones.  Then there are those that make me feel that the show will never end!  One thing that is a turn-off for me is when artists try too hard at the beginning of the show to ingratiate themselves to the audience.  I’ve seen acts try to get audience participation in the first tune.  That’s ok if you have a devoted fan base who know your work but I’ve seen new artists do this, probably out of nerves and fear.  The act needs to win the audience over, first and foremost, and only then test those boundaries.  

RPS: What are three artists that are new discoveries to you that you are particularly excited about from any genre?


Derek Gripper - World

Dan Tepfer - Jazz

Martin Harley - Roots

RPS: What are 2 to 3 major shifts in the live music world that you think are important for artists to consider?


Post 9/11, touring internationally has only gotten more challenging with regard to visas and tax issues, especially it seems for foreign artists touring North America.  The artist fees have not kept pace with the rising costs of travel and all the expenses of bringing artists here.  I see many international artists taking a loss for North American tours or at best breaking even.

I have witnessed vast changes with merch sales for artists from quite robust to steadily dwindling sales to the point that many artists do not bother taking CD’s/vinyl on tours anymore.  For the larger acts, soft merchandize seems to be a big seller still.

RPS: What's changed in the last 10 years in the world music scene in your experience?

Fiona: The music has evolved into more global music, a mix of different influences, genres and cultures.  It’s rare for world music bands to be homogeneous.  World music is influencing pop/rock as much as pop/rock is influencing world music.  The musical boundaries are more than blurred, they are disappearing.

RPS: What is one piece of advice would you give to all artists or artist reps?

Fiona: Be realistic.  It can take years to break through and make any kind of living in music.  Be respectful.  There are so many deserving artists and only so many opportunities.  It can be frustrating but don’t take it out on those who can help you.  


Public Spaces: The World is a Stage 07/20/2016

David Chavez, Arts Programming Coordinator with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, rarely has the same day twice. Coordinating performances from artists such as Maceo Parker, King Sunny Ade, DJ Spooky, iLe, Femi Kuti + The Positive Force, and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble has given David valuable insights into the world of booking and performance artistry.

David Chavez by Chris Sanders August 2015


RPS: When you get a solicitation email from an artist or artist rep, what elements make you want to become more involved?

David: I look them up and do some research on who the artist is and what they sound like. I look at live YouTube videos and I look at what their assets are, like if they have intriguing photos or an interesting story. I look at where they have performed and try to get a full scope of their work. Once my mind is made up on the artist and their skill and interest to me and possibly the public, I then start to look at how I can help sell this artist to a public that is not familiar with them. That is where good photos and good videos come in, all those things go into the mix that take it to the next level from being interested to how can I convince the public that this is an artist they need to see.

RPS: When you are watching an artist live, what elements do you look for that could make you consider booking them?

David: If they are skilled musicians and as a group they work well together. Is the music interesting and somewhat unique from any other artist in the same genre? How they interact with the audience and how they perform and their stage presence.

RPS: What is a major shift in the live music world that you think is important for artists to consider?

David: Being good at social media. Those are things that I feel that some artists aren't good at for whatever reason and it does go a long way at moving your career forward. If you can have that kind of engagement with the public and being on the edge of the industry.

RPS: What’s changed in the last 5 years in the world music scene in your experience?

David: Everything is about video now and having good videos, either good music videos or good live videos. Everything is about where people hear you, whether it's Pandora or Soundcloud or Spotify. The more presence you have on those things, the more convinced that I am that you are on top of your career and the more interest the public has because there are different points of exposure for them. The more that you can be real and put yourself out there, the fans and the public become more interested in you and become a deeper fan, a true fan of you and your work. You are your product.

4 The Jay Pritzker Pavilion at night


RPS: What is one piece of advice you would like to give to all artists or artist reps?

David: I would say the one thing that I feel like has been disdained since I have been in the business is the lack of research and not becoming familiar with who they are approaching for a booking. To just send out cold, mass emails never works. When you can actually do your homework and see what kinds of artists have performed there and find out who is involved in putting on the festival, the better you can pitch yourself. There are so many artists who are just pitching and expect the producers to come jumping at them. It just doesn't work that way. A lot of people still don’t understand that there is a disconnect between musicians and the industry of music. Musicians can't go out there and think I'm the artist and I will just do the art. It's a business and you have to be savvy and have to be well informed. I am still puzzled by how that is still an issue. Definitely think strategically and do your research and do your homework.


DubMC is brought to you by rock paper scissors, inc. Have an event or project you'd love to talk to us about? Get in touch here.

Public Spaces: The World of Free Stages 06/29/2016

The David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center features a free performance every week, with musical performances varying from hip-hop to soul to spoken word to jazz. Jordana Phokompe, Meera Dugal, and Viviana Benitez are the people behind the curtain who take the empty stage and fill it with international flavor and diverse talent. They shared what they look for in a performer and how musicians can up their game as they pitch venues like the Atrium.

Atrium Team
L to R: Meera Dugal, Jordana Phokompe and Viviana Benitez

RPS: When you get a solicitation email/phone call from an artist or artist representative, what elements make you want to become more involved?

Jordana, director of the Atrium: It is not one thing that makes me want to be involved. It is important for artists and their representatives to do research on who they are pitching. Email solicitations stand out when they tailored to our venue and series.  Often I’ll receive solicitations for shows that are way too large to present or completely off genre.  I can’t stress it enough to do research on the venue/series first before making the pitch.  Also, we get tons of emails on a daily basis, so I encourage people to follow up and check-in. If it's a cold call, I think it is about getting to the point directly about who the artist is. It is important for representatives or artist to research who they are pitching. If they have done their research, they can write to me succinctly.

Viviana, associate producer: We have gotten so many solicitations where there isn't a link to the music, which is so crucial. It doesn't make sense to solicit without making it easy to listen to or find their music. Any live video is great, upcoming dates in our area is also awesome.

Meera Dugal, Programming Coordinator: It always helps if the artist is pitching a specific project or fresh release. If our show can be part of a larger movement going on in their career, it’s definitely a plus. We want our artists to feel comfortable using our stage as playground and are thrilled to support new works or collaborations.

RPS: When you are watching an artist live, what elements do you look for that could make you consider booking them?

Meera: I pay attention a lot to the chemistry between the band members. There’s something to be said for a band that is a real band and not a group of people that just come together for shows. The level of tightness, familiarity and joy of playing together – I really appreciate it and I have more fun when I can tell the band is too.

Jordana: When I see a live performance, I am touched by the overall experience. I am touched by the artist’s stage presences, audience engagement, seeing who is in the audience. But first and foremost, how do they sound? Is it a good-quality performance? Is it high-standard artistry? Once I establish that they know what they are doing, I would be proud to present then at Lincoln Center. Being proud of what I do is always my litmus test.

The Mambo Legends Orchestra
The Mambo Legends Orchestra. Photo by Kevin Yatarola

RPS: What are three artists that are new discoveries to you that you are particularly excited about from any genre?

Jordana:  Pierre Kwenders. I saw him at WOMEX and then presented him at the Atrium in January. He's based in Montreal and is originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. His work is described as electropop and he is definitely a strong contemporary voice representing Africa and the Diaspora.  He is an amazing artist and gives a powerhouse performance.  There are many layers to his music both in style and the context he is working within. 

Another artist is Alsarah. She is Sudanese and currently based in Brooklyn. Simply put she has an amazing voice. Her work is described at Nubian/Sudanese inspired East-African Retro-Pop.  Her music combines both songs and styles of traditional Nubian works, music of the 1970’s, and her own contemporary voice. 

Blick Bassy – He is originally from Cameroon now based in France and is a champion of his culture singing mostly in his Bassa language.  I’ve been listening to his current album Akö (a lot) his voice haunts me- it has both a delicate beauty and longing that touches me.   

Viviana: We presented a female trumpet player named Maite Hontelé. Prior to her show at the Atrium, she was in NYC visiting from Colombia and we were able to meet up for a coffee and she shared her music and story with us.  I feel like she has already been discovered, her trajectory is just up, up, up. She has been nominated for Latin Grammys and she has played with so many big names already in the salsa world. It is a rarity to have a female in a salsa band, let alone a horn player and not a singer. She was really lovely to work with, which always makes me love someone more. 

Lakecia Benjamin. Her instrument is the saxophone and she leads her band. She is an incredible performer. So sassy and so funny and her live show just has such an incredible vibe.

Vox Sambou. I got to see him live during APAP week and he is definitely an artist that is doing something new with old Haitian rhythms and bringing a contemporary sound and a strong sense of community to his lyrics and that resonates with me and our overall mission at the Atrium.

Meera: First up, Sara McDonald and The NYChillharmonic. Sarah is 24 years old and she leads a 22-person progressive rock orchestra. She has composed and arranged all original music for the group and just released her debut album this year. We had her here at the Atrium in December and she put on an incredible show featuring live abstract animation on our huge media wall. She is a fearless bandleader and a composer to really keep an eye on.

Arooj Aftab is also an emerging composer and singer to check out. Hailing from Pakistan and now based in Brooklyn, Arooj is at the forefront of a genre she calls “neo-Sufi” that mixes ancient Indian and Pakistan forms with jazz and electronic instrumentation for a very ambient and fluid sound. She also has a completely stunning voice. She’ll be performing at the Atrium this August 11th on a bill with Alsarah & The Nubatones.    

Lastly, I am ecstatic about the NYC-based band Innov Gnawa. Only a few years old, this ensemble is made up of 6 Moroccan expats led by Maalem (Master) Hassan Ben Jaafer and they’re bringing the ancient African trance music to new audiences all across the city in a mix of clubs and sacred spaces. We had them here at the Atrium last July in what was hands down one of my favorite shows here.

RPS: What are 2 to 3 major shifts in the live music world that you think are important for artists to consider?

Meera:  One thing that Innov Gnawa is doing that I think is really effective is “going live” on Facebook during their shows. One live video from a recent show reached over 75,000 people without any boosting. Many viewers tuned in from Morocco which was really special and helps international artists connect to their communities back home. Don’t underestimate how well expat communities are organized on Facebook.

RPS: What's changed in the last 5 years in the world music scene in your experience?

Meera:  There are so many artists taking traditional music in new directions that give them access to more venues that don’t necessarily have anything to do with “world music”. “New music” clubs, jazz clubs, hipster Indie clubs – that’s where I’m seeing music with global influences.

Viviana: Something I have been seeing a lot are groups and niche groups and collectives forming their own festivals. There has been an explosion of scenes growing and I feel like people who feel marginalized have learned to become collectives and create spaces for their voices and unique sound and culture and that is happening more and more - not just in world music.

RPS: What is one piece of advice would you give to all artists or artist representatives?

Viviana: I have a better insight now into the presenter world, and as an artist manager in the past, it is a sales job to a degree and you get a lot of rejection. I can now understand the myriad of reasons why a presenter doesn't reply or says no. For the most part, they are really reasonable reasons why you don't get a response or rejection. There is something to be said about follow up or persistence in a tactful way, but for nonprofit presenters, it is an overwhelming amount of work and giving attention to the email solicitations, especially unsolicited ones, is not always easy.  I would say to artists and artist reps that you have to stay positive and keep trying and not to take things personally.

Jordana: Maintain your integrity.  So often in this business we are asked to make concessions and sacrifices and through that we sometimes lose our voice.  I think what’s important at the end of the day is to not compromise your artistry. Make sure your representatives and presenters are treating you and your work with respect.  We are all part of this community and all have the responsibility to achieve the highest level of performance possible.

Meera: A lot of venues are always working on increasing their community engagement and often struggle with bringing in audiences for more obscure performances. Artists, especially those coming from lesser known musical backgrounds or countries, are consistently asked to add an educational or engagement activity to their tours and preparing a “menu” of talks/workshops/activities the ensemble is comfortable doing is a good idea. This helps a presenter see more access points for an audience to connect with the performance and can make her more confident inviting the artist to perform.

The Art of the Plan in Interesting Times 02/23/2016

"May you live in interesting times." This infamous curse is one many world musicians feel acutely. Times are indeed interesting for the music business: The old ways have collapsed. The new ways are opaque, untested, and fragmented. As an artist, they feel both demanding and distracting. It's hard to know where to focus your energy and attention. It's hard to figure out how to run what is essentially a small business, when what you really want to do is make music.


Though money has always been a factor for international artists, most didn't get into this business as entrepreneurs. But some amount of business planning is necessary. And you don't have to violate your personal integrity or sacrifice artistic vision to attract an audience. You don't have to do everything--post on every platform, respond to every message or tweet--to do enough things well.

You do, however, need a plan. That plan can be an extension of your art. It can be a part of your work, not merely an extra load of to-dos to slog through.

As publicists, we've seen these interesting times hit our community hard. We've seen label and other budgets shrink. We've watch artists shoulder the burden of promotion and marketing themselves, all while physical sales stagnate or contract. We've longed help artists plan, with more intention and with longer-term goals in mind. We've struggled to find good ways to connect artists with a wave of new opportunities out there, things unimaginable fifteen years ago when rps opened its doors. Because interesting is good, as well as challenging.

Which is why rock paper scissors has teamed up with industry veteran and online career advocate Dave Kusek and his resource-rich platform, New Artist Model, to offer a series of master classes designed to guide world music artists toward greater career clarity and more successful ventures. We'll cover every aspect of your business--touring, merch, licensing, publishing, you name it--with a special emphasis on the cross-cultural issues and opportunities world musicians have. Tristra Newyear Yeager will even hold a press release workshop, where you can bring your working drafts and discuss the nitty-gritty of compelling storytelling.

To learn more about registration, sign up here. Spots are limited, classes start in April.

Wavelengths Twitter Flashback: Some Takeaways from our APAP World Music Pre-Conference 02/15/2016

It’s almost been a month, but we still can’t get over how exciting the Wavelengths Pre-conference was. The two-day event, which rps co-produced for the first time with globalFEST, took place right before the APAP conference in New York. Artists, agents, managers, and arts presenters gathered to listen to speakers share their advice and experience in the music industry.

We decided to bask in the afterglow (and gather some good advice and food for thought) via #wavelengths on Twitter.

@NYUDArtsCenter tweeted out, “’I don’t deal with the institutions. I deal with the individuals inside the institutions,’ Toshi Reagon.”  Reagon also reminded all of us to “be willing to step across all of the BS.. Find your people,” which was tweeted out by @globalFest_NYC.

@Meeradugal enjoyed Amir ElSaffar’s quote about connection. “It’s about connection on a human level. It’s the only reason we do this – to keep the humanity in us alive.”

Lev ‘Liova’ Zhurbin left @MichelaMusolino tweeting about the things he was mentioning. “Look away from the screen,” and “Never say ‘no.’ Keep in touch; follow up.”

Jacob Edgar ending our #wavelengths on a good note with his quote, tweeted by @Globalfest_NYC, “Music is not just about the sound. It’s about the air, the setting, the noises around the music.”

@NYUADArtsCenter  “Everybody on stage is a part of a community…Producing means not just producting me. @biglovely1 on artists empowerment #APAPNYC #wavelengths.”

Meeradugal: “We are the mystical warriors for peace! @biglovely1 at #wavelengths”

NYUADArtsCenter  “I don’t deal with the institutions. I deal with the individuals inside the institutions – Toshi Reagon @biglovely1 #APAPNYC #wavelengths”

@MichelaMusolino “Find your people!” –Toshi Reagon #wavelengths

Meeradugal – it’s about connecting on a human level. It’s the only reason we do this – to keep the humanity in us alive. @amirElSaffar

MichelaMusolino – Look away from the screen – Lev ‘Liova’ Zhurbin #wavelenghts

Michelamusolino – “Never say ‘no.” Keep in touch; follow up.” – Liv ‘Ljova; Zhurbin

michelaMusolino – “Music is THE equalizer,” Limor Tomer (MET Musuem music programmer)

Globalfest_NYC – Music is not just about the sound. It’s about the air, the setting, the noises around the music. Jacob Edgar on context at #wavelengths

Unofficial Guide to APAP and CMA Ready for Your Showcase Listing Submissions 11/03/2015

The 4rd annual Unofficial Guide to Music at APAP and CMA is now accepting listings for showcases and concerts in New York City from January 6 to January 20, 2016. It takes a few minutes to add your showcase and concert information. Note that this is not the official guide for either conference. Each conference maintains official showcase schedules of their own. This is an additional feature to include both official and unofficial events and to make it easy for music presenters and agents to easily navigate music-specific performances during the two events. 

You have until November 30 to submit your event for the guide that will be distributed in early December; anything submitted before December 15 will be included in the final version of the guide.


WHAT IS IT? The Unofficial Guide aggregates music events at CMA and APAP in New York City January 2016. It is widely distributed to attendees of both conferences and is the only site that lists all of the music events and showcases (both official and unofficial) happening in New York 1/6 to 1/20. This Unofficial Guide grew from a World Music guide and now includes multiple genres. 

WHO IS THE AUDIENCE? This guide is meant to be a useful tool for presenters who are trying to plan what shows they see while in town. The guide is easy to filter so presenters can explore only world music, only classical, only jazz, or only family. You can also view events by venue, see multiple showcases by an individual performer, or view by date. The mobile website guide also allows you to click a "heart" button to build your own personal schedule. 

HOW CAN MY EVENT BE INCLUDED? If you are producing or promoting a music showcase or concert in New York 1/6 to1/20, we would like to include information about your event. Click here for step by step instructions.


WHAT EVENTS ARE APPROPRIATE? Any music showcase, concert or event happening in New York City area from 6 January – 20 January 2016 is appropriate. Non-musical events and event outside of the NYC metro area will be deleted. Showcases with any use of ALL CAPS will be deleted completely. 

WHEN IS THE GUIDE DISTRIBUTED? The guide is distributed in the beginning of December 2015 and beginning of January 2016. Submissions received by Nov 30 will be included in the early distribution of the guide; those received by December 15 will be included in the final version of the guide.

WHAT FORMAT DOES THE GUIDE TAKE? You can see last year's guide here: (best viewed on your smart phone). This year's guide has been updated and will look a little bit different but function similarly. 

WHO IS PUTTING THIS TOGETHER? This guide is being put together by Rock Paper Scissors (who produce the APAP World Music Pre-Conference with globalFEST) in coordination with classical presenters, agents, promoters, and advocates for classical music and the JazzConnect conference, as an unofficial supplement to the APAP and CMA conferences. This is not the official document of anyone or any organization, though we are grateful to the APAP Classical Connections Committee and Chamber Music America for helping to promote it, and to Rendezville for building the app for free for the music community at APAP and CMA.