Archive for June, 2010

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A Guide to EPK’S and Artist Promotion

June 10, 2010

by Simon Miminis

Today we delve into part 1 of a two-part column that will focus on artist self promotion and marketing. Unfortunately, many “non-mainstream” musicians tend to lack the knowledge required to self-promote and help sell their music to fans, concert/festival promoters, bar owners, record labels, etc (and the list goes on). As artists we tend to get caught up in our art forgetting the importance of letting people around us know what we are up to and encouraging them to buy our music and attend our performances. Unfortunately, the old “if you build it they will come” mentality doesn’t work so well if you apply it to musicians. So, let’s start by looking at the primary tool for a musician’s promotion… The EPK.

WHAT IS AN EPK ANYWAYS?

EPK stands for (Electronic Press Kit) and is an extremely useful, inexpensive and convenient tool for self-promotion. It will usually take the form of a website and include things such as news, pictures, bios, audio samples, video samples, tour dates and even stage plots. Many concert organizers (and especially festival organizers) will require these things from you before they even offer you the gig. So having all this information on an easily accessible electronic format such as a website is extremely important. Make it available for download if you can for media, festival promoters, etc. Let’s break it down by category.

BIO

Keep it short but sweet, you want people to get a good feel of where you are professionally in a paragraph or less. After you introduce yourself mention your style of music, how it came to be, who your influences were, who you’ve played with, where you’ve played, places you’ve been showcased and any awards or achievements that you feel have been important in your career. People love stories; you’ll want your bio to be captivating in order to attract people to your music and the stories behind it. Include anything that makes you seem more diverse or any life altering events that you feel people may find interesting. If you can, try and include some quotes and acclaim from SME’s (Subject Matter Expert’s). Maybe Bob Dylan once called you a great songwriter, Herbie Hancock said you had some inventive solo ideas, etc. Include any quotes you have that apply to you from a well respected and well known source, that will quickly and effectively establish your success to a listener (be it a fan or a record label exec, etc). Keep in mind that your bio will usually be read word for word by the media and press so make sure it’s well written, concise, up to date and no more than a page – if it’s longer, have a short version and a long version available. If you still don’t know where to start simply “Google” some of your favorite artist’s bios and start from there.

PICTURES

Went on tour in Rome? Met the President? Take any pictures of these things? Put them up! There’s not much to be said about this section except that you’ll want at least one professionally shot high rez photo (300 dpi) available for download for press or festivals to use in their programs, ads, etc. Chances are, the more readily available your press materials are for promoters, that more promotion you receive!

AUDIO SAMPLES

Obviously the meat and potatoes of your EPK, we won’t delve into this in too much detail because this article would become a thesis but I will mention that you’ll want to pick tracks that represent you well and that are properly mastered for online streaming (i.e. high pass filters at 40 Hz to avoid any buzzing in laptop speakers). Remember that people will be listening to your music through laptops or small speakers so make sure they’re mastered so that they’re audible when you play them through your own laptop speakers.

VIDEO SAMPLE

Similar to audio samples except that these can be rougher recordings so don’t be too concerned with audio quality. If you have any live footage or Television appearances, interviews, etc, just post them up here. Youtube is probably the most convenient way to upload videos to your site as it’s easily imbedded into any website/Myspace that accepts embedding code. For presenters especially, there’s nothing better than being able to get a feel for how an artist handles the stage and interacts with the audience. Having a video might just be the thing that gets you the gig.

NEWS

Keep this updated for fans as much as possible and include any major events happening in your career (cd releases, awards, media exposure, etc). You can also include tour dates in here or have it as a separate section.

STAGE PLOT

If you include this have it available as a download and include a picture (trust me, come set-up time a picture can mean 1000 words) with the instrumentation and positioning of your band. Also include a mic list as well as what instruments should be mic’d and a tracklist. This avoids any confusion for your sound tech and it means a lot to logistics coordinators who are trying to look out for your best interests but have to keep bothering artists for their riders.

These days a web presence is so simple to have. You can easily set-up a Myspace account in a few hours and if you’re feeling brave even set-up your very own website using a website editor such as wix. It will make you (or your band) look far more professional and undoubtedly help attract a larger fan base as well as the eyes of other professionals in the industry.

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2010 WIJBF Artist Profile: Darryl Collins Quartet

June 10, 2010

Friday July 16, @ The Martini Bar, 8:00pm

Darryl Collins graduated from St. F.X. where he achieved an honors degree in Jazz Performance. Since his time at St. F.X., Darryl has written two books, Everything You Need To Know To Survive At University and The Music Of Mike Stern. In the summer of 2000 he moved back to Newfoundland and put together a fusion band, which consisted of Dave Vivian on bass, Romano DiNillo on drums and Craig Noseworthy on sax. The band played gigs around the city doing the music of Mike Stern, John Scofield, Pat Metheny, Miles Davis, etc. This summer the band is back together with the addition of keyboardist Wade Tarling. As a result of this the set list has evolved to include a wider range of tunes that will include the music of Chick Corea and Weather Report.

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Experience and Learn Tango in Newfoundland

June 10, 2010

Tango on the Edge was formed in 2006, to help promote Argentine Tango in NL, as it experiences a resurgence throughout Canada and the world.

We sponsor workshops with national and international guest artists, and invite dancers (of all levels), to come and explore the rich musical history of Tango through dance.

Tango was born in the streets of Buenos Aires in the mid 19th centiry and its roots are wide and varied. The Cuban Habanera, the Spanish Contradanza and the Afro-Argentinian Candombe, have all influnced its evolution. Eventually, the Bandoneon, which originated in Germany, became the main instrument of the Tango.

The history of Tango is filled with legend, romance and mystery; it is a passionate expression of the full range of human emotions; from hope, disappointment and joy and everything in between.

Esto es Tango-This is Tango

www.tangoontheedge.ca

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2010 City of St. John’s Lunchtime Outdoor Concert Series

June 10, 2010

Concert Line-up – July 2 – August 27, 2010

Date Band/Ensemble
July 2, 2010 – Maryem Tollar performing with Ernie Tollar, Ian de Souza and Deb Sinha – Sound Symposium
July 9, 2010 – Karla Pilgrim – country rock
July 16, 2010 – Skylarks – Wreckhouse International Jazz & Blues Festival
July 23, 2010 – Dana Parsons Band – adult contemporary
July 30, 2010 – Dzolali (Alison Carter) – multi cultural
August 6, 2010 – Jim & Fergus –folk/traditional
August 13, 2010 – Boo Darby (Jean Hewson) – folk
August 20, 2010 – Matthew Hornell & The Diamonds – folk rock
August 27, 2010 – Duane Andrews – contemporary

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2010 Festival Performer: King Pierson’s Bridge

June 10, 2010

Thurday July 15, @ Murray Premises Courtyard, 12:30

King Pierson’s Bridge is a local free jazz trio with short funky heads and a lot of free improvising. Grant King – Guitar, Dave Bridger – Bass, and Alex Pierson – Drums.

Grant King has a Bachelor of Music from Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA; a Master of Music from Longy School of Music, Cambridge, MA; and has studied with Jazz Guru Charlie Banacos for four years. Grant has had performances with several big names in Jazz from the New York and Boston Jazz scenes,

including: George Garzone; Dave Bryant; John Tchicai; Lisle Ellis; Patrick Brennan; and Charlie Kolhase.

He has recorded with several local artists including, Pathological Lovers, the Discounts, Andrew Pike, and the Monday Nights. He has also composed, performed and produced several albums on his own, including Other People, Exit Party, and Low Stakes Environment, and recently scored a short film called Countdown.

Dave Bridger originally comes from Labrador city but learned to play bass in Montreal while studying jazz at Concordia University. While there, he played in many different groups of varying genres playing both electric and stand-up bass. After completing his degree at Concordia, he moved to St John’s to study music education, while being an active musician around town playing jazz, folk, bluegrass and rock.

Alexander Pierson has been active in the music community of St. John’s for over 10 years as a percussionist, drummer, freelance designer, and educator. Alexander has had the privilege of private lessons in drums and percussion under Rob Power and Sonny Hogan. He has developed a deep knowledge and respect for the many forms of music, and is comfortable playing within most styles. As percussionist and drummer, Alexander has played an integral role in many musical groups, including, but not limited to; Pathological Lovers, Exit Party, Shanneyganock, Encuentro Flamenco, Dzolali Drum and Dance Ensemble, Geinus, John Lennox, The Origin of the Sound, Sheavy, Glenn Nuotio, and Nuke Neck. When he is not rehearsing or gigging, Alexander teaches drums full time at Rock City School of Music, and is also a freelance designer of both print and web media.

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Volunteer of the Week: Brad Lambert

June 8, 2010

Each week, WJB profiles one of its volunteers as part of its commitment to recognizing all their selfless contributions to our cause. This week, our featured volunteer is Brad Lambert.

Since the WJB organization began its volunteer program, Brad has been at the front lines contributing to the success of the Festival and year-round events. His experience and expertise over the years have helped shape our volunteer program, bringing safety to the forefront of the entertainment industry. Although Brad has filled nearly every role during previous WJB events, he has a specialty in security and security coordination, safety supervision, and box office attendance.

We’re lucky to have Brad on board because of his experience in organizing large-scale events such as the Wreckhouse International Jazz & Blues Festival. Brad is one of the principal organizers and directors of the Sci-Fi On The Rock conference, which recently enjoyed a banner year. He has also coordinated several events one the ground such as concerts by Rod Stewart, Donald K Donald and Shaggy. Plus, he volunteers with the Janeway Telethon, St. John’s Boys & Girls Club, and St. John’s Ambulance.

At age 52, Brad is a safety coordinator for HSC Integrated, travelling and instructing first aid and setting safety protocols.

WJB would like to extend its gratitude to Brad, this week’s Volunteer of the Week!

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Week 13, Unlucky for some, but it could be lucky for you! Win a 2010 Festival Pass

June 8, 2010

It’s week Thirteen of the great Wreckhouse Jazz and Blues giveaway contest!

This week’s contest prize is a 2010 Wreckhouse International Jazz and Blues Festival Pass and a copy of “Now and Then” by 2010 Festival Performers Griffith Hiltz Trio.

Week twelve’s contest winner is Keith Elms. Keith wins a 2010 WIJBF Pass and a copy of “Cimarron” by Luis Mario Ochoa & Friends. Congratulations to Keith. Thank you to all entrants.

The answer to last weeks Question was Rowdy Blues and Matt Andersen.

To win the a 2010 festival pass and CD this week you have to answer the following question:

Name the artists featured in the Wreckhouse International Jazz & Blues Festival promo? (As posted on the WJB blog).

Email your answer to contests@wreckhousejazzandblues.com

Keep up to date with the latest news from Wreckhouse Jazz and Blues;

Thanks to all the people who have signed up to our social networking sites as well as the newsletter. Winners of week thirteen’s contest will be drawn at random on Tuesday June 15th. Contest details and winners will be posted on our blog (https://wreckhouse.wordpress.com/). Good Luck! We look forward to hearing from you!

NB: Unfortunately, we are only able to offer this contest to residents of Canada.

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