For the past 10 years, The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation has held the Sync Up Conference – a business development initiative for the music industry – during the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell. Now the Foundation has made the conference a year-round program, with a series of monthly presentations on topics of interest to independent artists. The next installment of Sync Up takes place on February 28. The topic is “Booking a Tour” and will cover the do’s and don’ts of this crucial step in an artist’s career, and how to get started with the booking process. A slew of music industry experts will come together to present this workshop, including Tavia Osbey (manager of Tank and the Bangas), Mousa Hamdan (manager of Curren$y, Corner Boy P., and T.Y.), guitarist Paul Sanchez and Lou Hill, drummer and bandleader of the local group Water Seed.
The foundation just announced a very special event that will take place during the February 28 installment. A keynote interview has been added, thanks to a special collaboration with the Trombone Shorty Foundation’s Fredman Music Business Institute and the GRAMMY Museum’s Public Programs Series. Longtime music manager Elliot Roberts, whose current and former clients include Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Talking Heads and the Eagles, will be interviewed by Tom Petty biographer Warren Zanes. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Jazz & Heritage Center (1225 N. Rampart Street, New Orleans, LA 70116). Admission is free but seating is limited; RSVP here.
In its original incarnation, Sync Up has connected and provided networking opportunities for local music industry veterans. Each conference workshop included presentations from visiting producers, artists, label managers, web designers and other professionals offering up their two-cents to budding artists and local music industry businesses. Last year’s Sync Up Conference featured panels from a diverse range of speakers in both the music and film worlds. Last year’s event included a presentation from production designer Hannah Bleacher, who worked on Moonlight and Beyonce’s Lemonade film, and discussions with popular New Orleans bands The Revivalists and Tank and the Bangas.
Following the “Booking the Tour” workshop on February 28, four more workshops will take place throughout the season: “Band Web Sites” on March 21, “How Much to Spend on a Music Video” on April 11, “Social Media Strategies” on May 16, and “Your Band as a Business” concluding the series on June 27. All workshops will take place on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at the George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center. Admission is free, but participants must register online to secure their spot.