Confluence

Confluence: Where music gathers. Where local musicians meet the stage. Where crowds meet their new favorite band. And where industry professionals meet local artists. Part festival, platform, and conference, Confluence is for musicians to perform and learn, and for music lovers to discover and enjoy. Confluence is presented by Whitewater in association with MaxxMusic and Midwood Entertainment.

Event Details

  • When:
    • August 3 | 11:00a – 10:30p
    • August 4 | 11:30a – 6:30p
  • Where: U.S. National Whitewater Center
  • Cost: Free and open to the public

Lineup

Confluence aims to highlight Charlotte’s music scene while developing and supporting the city’s music identity. With 19 local artists and bands, the lineup is a Charlotte medley of original musicians whose genres span Indie and neo-soul, blues, rock, blends of funk and jazz, Latin rhythms, and more.

Saturday’s lineup features Dexter Jordan, The XMEN, Orquesta Mayor, The Mike Strauss Band, Emily Sage, Cyanca, Dane Page, Sinners & Saints, Chócala, and DownTown Abby & The Echoes. Sunday’s lineup features Jim Avett & David Childers, Jason Scavone, The Hawthornes, Tony Eltora, Jason Jet, Junior Astronomers, AKITA, Lovell Bradford, and RevelWood Mission.

Panel Discussions

While local artists take the stage and music lovers hop from one stage to the next, those interested in the music industry’s behind-the-scenes can engage in Confluence’s talks and panel discussions. Hear from local and national professionals across topics like artist development, branding, songwriting, and recording as well as revenue generation, the booking process, and live music economics.

Panel discussions are free to attend, but require a reservation. Please find reservation links to each panel discussion in the schedule below (within “Information and Description”).

PARTNERS

Midwood Entertainment    Maxx Music

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Creating a Home for Music on YouTube

When: August 3, 11:00 am
Location: Conference Room C (Map)
Type: Marketing & Revenue Generation
Panelists:
Eric Knapp

A look at how YouTube is helping songwriters and producers showcase their portfolio of work to connect and engage with fellow musicians and fans. Gain an understanding of how rights management works on YouTube and learn about strategies and resources you can use to build a presence on the platform. 

Confluence panel discussions have no cost to attend, but have limited space. Please reserve your seat here.

Eric Knapp works for YouTube in North America in Music Publishing Partnerships and Relations. His primary focus is on engaging the communities of publishing and songwriting, growing partnerships with publishers and those who control publishing rights, and improving the YouTube product for music partners overall. Eric is a former touring musician with prior work experience at Universal Music Group and The Orchard.  

Economics of Live Shows

When: August 3, 12:00 pm
Location: Conference Room D (Map)
Type: Economics of Live Shows

Dive into the economics of live shows. This talk expands on how revenue is assigned to cover event production, how to analyze overhead, staff, equipment, merch and product while maintaining a healthy profit and loss balance. If you’ve ever wondered where the $25 service fee goes – this is also for curious minds.

Confluence panel discussions have no cost to attend, but have limited space. Please reserve your seat here.

Gregg McCraw is the owner and founder of MaxxMusic – the largest independent concert promotions company in the Charlotte, NC area. MaxxMusic started as a hobby for a music-loving organic chemist almost 24 years ago. Years later, that chemist woke up to find he owned a company producing 500+ concerts each year with a dedicated staff helping hold everything together and making sure he didn’t drop too many balls. After years of producing concerts in Charlotte at Neighborhood Theatre, Free Range Brewing, Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, Oven’s Auditorium (and numerous other venues), MaxxMusic has gone regional in conjunction with Midwood Entertainment, actively promoting concerts in Asheville, Greensboro, High Point, Wilmington and Lynchburg (VA) and assisting venues in other markets on the east coast with professional buying services. MaxxMusic and Midwood Entertainment anticipate significant growth in the coming years and expansion into other markets.

Michael L. Kitchen is the founder of The Sol Kitchen, an events promotion and production business based in Charlotte and is an expert in branding, marketing, and urban music. Over the course of his decades-long career, Kitchen has successfully worked with a diverse roster of musicians and performers from many different genres to produce concerts and large-scale music festivals designed to bring people together.

Most recently, Kitchen curated stages for both the Charlotte Jazz Festival and Charlotte Shout in collaboration with the City of Charlotte and the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. In addition, in celebration of the musician Prince, he brought “Purple Note 4,” the fourth edition of his much-heralded jazz tribute – featuring local artists and former Prince associates – to Charlotte and Durham. Kitchen is a sought-after consultant in the music business sector, seeks out innovative artists, is a U.S. Navy veteran, and holds a double degree from University of North Carolina, Charlotte in English and Graphic Design.

Jim is currently the Senior Vice President of Southeast Booking for Live Nation Worldwide, Inc/House of Blues Entertainment, Inc. He oversees 18 Live Nation venues’ talent booking across six states. In his 30+ year career there, Jim has booked artists in every genre with artists including John Mayer, Jack Johnson, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, Sheryl Crow, Bob Dylan, Sugarland, Jimmy Buffett to No Doubt, Widespread Panic, The Killers, Avenged Sevenfold, Disturbed, Coheed & Cambria, Korn, Motley Crüe and Dave Matthews Band. Jim has also been the main talent buyer for festival shows such as WJRR’s Earthday Birthday, WHTQ’s Blues BBQ, WMMO’s Downtown Concert Series in Orlando, FL and the multiple-day Azalea festival in Wilmington, NC.

After touring the world with his rock band, Brazen, in the late 70’s / early 80’s, Jim’s first-hand experience in the concert industry catapulted him to becoming the president of Showtime Agency in Raleigh, NC from 1982 to 1992 where he was responsible for the southeast portions of national country tours in over twenty venues. While at Showtime, he booked over 800 events in one year alone and was nominated as Talent Buyer of the Year by Performance Magazine. From there, he went on to partner at Cellar Door Productions in Virginia Beach, VA, the top promoter of talent nationwide at the time. Before his 5 year stint at Cellar Door came to an end in 1997, he was nominated again by his colleagues for the Talent Buyer of The Year award, presented by Pollstar, the concert industry’s leading publication. He joined House of Blues Entertainment, Inc. in 1997 and has been there ever since.

Having spent over 10 years in the industry planning, marketing and executing live music events, Taylor Winchester is also a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. After 6 years with Live Nation as Director of Sales & Special Events and Jr. Talent Buyer at the Fillmore Charlotte, Winchester has also held the role of Executive Director for Queen’s Cup Steeplechase, as well as the Director of Sales & Partnerships for the ACC Football Championship. Taylor currently splits his time between touring with mandolin player Elonzo Wesley, producing concerts & festivals with Midwood Entertainment while running his own freelance marketing company Dubya Creative.

Event Talent Buying

When: August 3, 1:00 pm
Location: Conference Room C (Map)
Type: Booking & Buying Process

Grow your knowledge on sourcing and negotiating talent for your event or venue. This talk is aimed at musicians and bands looking to get booked on regional shows or events and those who book talent for their venue.

Confluence panel discussions have no cost to attend, but have limited space. Please reserve your seat here.

Benton Wharton is the General Manager at Pisgah Brewing, best known for his work as the Events/PR Director and Talent Buyer for the Pisgah Brewing Outdoor Stage since its inception in 2010. Wharton’s background includes a Bachelor in the Arts degree and Minor in Music Theory and Composition from the College of Charleston in Arts Management, after which he operated as co-owner of Mountain Roots Management, a full service Events Management and Consulting Company, with his former business partner, Bob Robertson. MRM served as the subcontractor utilized to buy talent and organize events for Pisgah Brewing, which later led Pisgah to offering Wharton a full-time position running the events in-house.

Tony Arreaza is originally from Venezuela and has been a pioneer in Charlotte’s Latin music movement since 1993. Founder of Carlotan Talents, his efforts in cultivating a vibrant Latin music scene in the region have been featured on NPR, MTV Latino, Paste Magazine, MUN2, and more. For 10 years, Tony was the Cultural Events Director for Charlotte’s Latin American Coalition and in 2017 was invited to participate in FIMPRO, Guadalajara’s prestigious music conference.

 

Leah Ross is the Executive Director of the Birthplace of Country Music. Over the past 18 years, Ross has played an integral role in the development and growth of Bristol establishing its identity as the birthplace of country music. As the Executive Director, Ross leads the Birthplace of Country Music team that oversees the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, and WBCM Radio Bristol.

Ross is very involved in the local community serving on the Board of the Directors for the Bristol Chamber of Commerce, Secretary for Virginians for the Arts, and Executive Board Virginia’s Crooked Road. She has served on panel review committees for both the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Virginia Commission for the Arts.

Over the years Ross has also been honored with a number of awards, including, the Service Award for the Bristol Convention and Visitors Bureau, a recipient of the YWCA Tribute to Women for the Arts award, a graduate of the International Bluegrass Music Association Leadership Class, received an Arts Achievement Award from Arts Alliance of the Mountain Empire, and a Paul Harris Fellow recipient.

Tim Scott, Jr. is a musician, manager and industry professional from Buffalo, NY. After graduating from Northwest School of the Arts here in Charlotte, he went on to study Jazz and Music Business at North Carolina Central University before touring with Grammy-nominated group, The Foreign Exchange. During this time, he also shared the stage with Robert Glasper, Fantasia and Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest. He then began work as a production assistant for East Coast Entertainment where he helped produce events for the Carolina Panthers, the Charlotte Hornets and several legendary artists such as The Temptations, Michael Bolton and Steely Dan. Tim currently serves as artist-in-residence at Charlotte Center City Partners and co-owner of TiMar Entertainment, providing music direction for, and connecting the best of Charlotte’s local and regional talent to, some of the city’s most notable events and institutions. Tim also pursues youth mentorship and speaking opportunities focused on music education, personal and professional development as well as advancement in professional music both on and off stage.

Garret K. Woodward was born and raised in the small Canadian border town of Rouses Point, New York. Since 2012, Garret has been the arts/entertainment editor for The Smoky Mountain News, and was named the music editor for Smoky Mountain Living magazine in 2017, both based in Waynesville, North Carolina.

In 2015, he won first place in the North Carolina Press Association (NCPA) awards for “Arts & Entertainment Reporting” for his cover story “Bless Your Heart — The State of Women in Bluegrass.” Woodward was nominated in 2016 for “Bluegrass Print/Media Person of the Year” by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) and the NCPA also recognized him with back-to-back first place awards in 2016 and 2017 for “Lighter Columns” for his weekly column in The Smoky Mountain News, “This must be the place.”

Garret gained his degrees in Journalism and History in 2007 from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. His journalistic beginnings out of college crisscrossed the Atlantic with a stint in Ireland, and America covering backyard get-togethers and renowned festivals like Burning Man, Rothbury, Grand Targhee, Outside Lands and Wakarusa.

Recently, Woodward has become a contributing writer for Rolling Stone, covering such events as Warren Haynes’ Christmas Jam and MerleFest.

Making a Record

When: August 3, 2:00 pm
Location: Conference Room D (Map)
Type: Songwriting & Recording
Moderator:
Wayne Martin

Making a record is never easy. This workshop dissects the elements, processes, layers, and a behind-the-scenes knowledge base of what a day in the studio looks like.

Confluence panel discussions have no cost to attend, but have limited space. Please reserve your seat here.

A native Charlottean, Chris Garges is a drummer and the Owner and Chief Recording Engineer at Old House Studio. Garges has worked with Fred Wesley, Don Dixon, George Hamilton IV, Arthur Smith, General Johnson, Si Kahn, Ryan Martine, Frank Kimbrough, Kai Eckhart, and Oteil and Kofi Burbidge, among others. In addition, Chris has played drums for Mitch Easter since 2006 and is currently a member of the bands Bunky Moon and The Spongetones, as well as a contributing writer for TapeOp magazine. 

As the manager of Echo Mountain Studios, Jessica Tomasin is a cornerstone in the Asheville music community. Jessica co-founded the non-profit Asheville Music Professionals committed to providing education, advocacy, connection, and collaboration in the music community. She is also the Co-Owner of ACME, the 2013 recipient for Entrepreneur of the Year by the City of Asheville/Chamber of Commerce and owns Jet Up Production and is Founder of Connect Beyond Festival. 

Jason Bieler is a highly successful label and studio owner as well as producer and singer-songwriter. On the artist side, Jason has achieved Gold and Platinum albums and singles as an artist and producer with song placement in both the cinema and video game arenas. Bieler has toured with Ozzy, Soundgarden, The Ramones, and Cheap Trick while his work as a producer has landed him studio clientele including Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bieber, Butch Walker, Chris Carraba, New Found Glory, Don Gilmore, and Ron Nevison. Nicknamed Baron Von Bielski, Jason’s production experience extends to labels such as Atlantic, Universal, Warner and Sony and collaborations with other producers/mixers like Bob Clearmountain, Tom Lord Alge, Jack Joseph, Puig, Michael Wagner, and Toby Wright.

Wayne Martin has served the North Carolina Arts Council since 1981. He became executive director of the agency in 2012, where he oversees a $6.7 million grants program serving all 100 counties and raises private funds for statewide arts initiatives. Martin’s career contributions in the areas of community arts development, arts education, and cultural and heritage tourism have made North Carolina a leader in creative placemaking and arts-based economic development at the national level.

Martin has played a critical role in creating cultural tourism projects in Tier 3 counties through is work with the Blue Ridge Music Trails and Cherokee Heritage Trail projects and the creation of African American Music Trails of Eastern North Carolina and the Historic Happy Valley cultural trail. Martin set the stage for the Congressional designation of western North Carolina as the Blue Ridge Heritage Area and received the first Preserve America Presidential Award on behalf of the Blue Ridge Heritage Initiative. He has also helped guide planning and implementation of the Arts Council’s SmART Initiative that spurs arts-driven economic development across the state. In addition, Martin is an accomplished musician having recorded and produced several albums of traditional music for Smithsonian Folkways, Global Music and MusicMaker labels.

Live Music – Dexter Jordan

When: August 3, 2:30 pm
Location: South Ridge Stage (Map)
Type: Live Music

The son of a minister of music and Baptist choir alto, Dexter Jordan has spent his entire life exploring and expressing through music. Earlier this year, Dexter released his debut album, “BLUE”, which delicately unravels layers of grief, growth, coping and resilience through masterful musicianship. Since releasing “BLUE”, Dexter has opened for Grammy Award-winning artist, Anthony Hamilton, been featured on Spotify’s “I Love My Neo-Soul” editorial playlist and was interviewed on Charlotte’s NPR station.

Songwriting & Pre-Production

When: August 3, 3:00 pm
Location: Conference Room C (Map)
Type: Songwriting & Recording
Moderator:
Joni Deutsch

Local songwriters and producers discuss the process of creating and refining their musical ideas, in effort to pre-establish the instrumentation, arrangement, tempo, key signature, and other aspects of crafting a song. This effort reduces time spent, expenses, and enables entering the recording phase of production with the basic and most promising ideas having been already established.

Confluence panel discussions have no cost to attend, but have limited space. Please reserve your seat here.

Dane Page is a singer-songwriter living in Charlotte, North Carolina. Dane has toured throughout the southeast and mid-Atlantic with his independently produced EP City to City. Dane’s music pulls from the contemporary folk genre and weaves his listeners through stories of Greek mythology, 20th Century literature, and American history.

Leonardo (Leo) Solis is an American producer, engineer, mixer, songwriter, label owner, studio owner and multi-instrumentalist based out of Charlotte. As a producer, Solis has worked with several indie label bands, Charlotte local bands and his own band SOLIS. He continues to tour globally as a tour manager and front of house/monitor engineer and musician. Leo co-founded the indie label Four Finger Records in 2017. Solis works from his studio, “Spaceland” in Charlotte working on producing and mixing records.

Iceland native and current Charlottean, Jason Jet has rooted himself in the niche musical style of indie-soul with a sound that transcends a sensual, trance-like and captivating hold over listeners. Gifted with an impressive tenor voice and lyricism skill, and equipped with advanced production prowess, Jason Jet is well on his way to carving out a name in the industry. Jet has already won numerous awards including a NY Urban Music Award, a Carolina Music Award, and has shared stages with the likes of Anthony Hamilton, Dwele, Eric Roberson, Sunshine Anderson, and Dj 9th Wonder. Jason’s upcoming sophomore release is on the horizon, a project centered around Self-Realization and titled ‘The Great Escape’. Be on the lookout for Jet and The Kru.

Joni Deutsch is happy to call Charlotte home as WFAE’s manager for on-demand content and audience engagement, where she helps produce podcasts FAQ City, SouthBound, and She Says. In addition to being an NPR Music contributor, Joni is also the creator and host of WFAE’s Charlotte music podcast Amplifier, named “Best Podcast” by Charlotte Magazine and honored for excellence in arts and music podcasting by the local Edward R. Murrow Awards and The Webby Awards (called “The Internet’s Highest Honor” by The New York Times).

Deutsch has been working in public radio and podcasting for nearly a decade, starting with her work as music director and assistant general manager of WLUR 91.5FM in Lexington, Virginia, and continuing at West Virginia Public Broadcasting (West Virginia’s NPR station) as the creator and host of the weekly music program A Change of Tune and the critically-acclaimed 30 Days of #WVmusic interview series. While in West Virginia, Deutsch became assistant producer for NPR Music’s legacy public radio music program Mountain Stage, as well as the program’s youngest (and first female) guest host in the show’s 32 years, making her the youngest host of a nationally-syndicated public radio program (heard on more than 270 radio stations) at the age of 24.

This has led to national features by NPR, Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Poynter, and local spotlights from CharlotteFive, the Charlotte Agenda, Creative Mornings Charlotte, The Gantt Center, The Blumenthal Performing Arts, and the Carolina School of Broadcasting.

A supporter of innovative media and a mentor to digital women leaders, Deutsch has been recognized as an Emerging Voice Scholar by the Alliance for Women in Media, the West Virginia State Journal’s “40 under 40,” the Online News Association’s Women’s Leadership Accelerator, the Charlotte Agenda’s “30 under 30,” The United Way of Central Carolina’s Young Leader Awards, Duke University TiP’s Early Achievement Award, and receiving the Alliance for Women in Media’s Gracie Awards.

Deutsch earned her Bachelor of Arts from West Virginia University and Master of Arts in Strategic Communication from American University.

Live Music – The XMEN

When: August 3, 3:00 pm
Location: Main Stage (Map)
Type: Live Music

The XMen is a songwriting and production group turned band from Charlotte. Comprised of virtuoso musicians, singers and come from a line of pedigree artists, Evan Brice, CJ Mercer, Chris Kee, CJ Thompson and Ahji Love formed The XMen. Their original music fuses together R&B, Trap Music, Jazz and Fusion, and has led the collective to share the stage with Maimouna Youssef, Derrick Hodge, The HamilTones and Leela James. Individually, the members have toured with the likes of Anthony Hamilton, Usher, SWV, Tamia, JoJo and Deborah Cox.

Inside the Mind of a Booking Agent

When: August 3, 4:00 pm
Location: Conference Room D (Map)
Type: Booking & Buying Process
Moderator:
Jeff Fissel

This discussion uncovers the thought process a booking agent goes through, what they look for, and their main priorities when selecting an artist to join his or her roster. Learn about their process for negotiating compensation rates and deal structures for various types of events, and how you can leverage their knowledge to get stage time.

Confluence panel discussions have no cost to attend, but have limited space. Please reserve your seat here.

Missouri native Kevin Hopkins is a Senior Artist Representative with Intrepid Artists, Int’l who oversees the Northeast United States and Eastern Canada aspect of his client’s touring. Kevin worked previously as a Talent Buyer, Production Assistant, Promotions Manager and just about any other position that put him in the middle of the live music experience enabling him with a variety of experiences spanning far-reaching sectors of the music industry.

Ellie is currently a managing partner at EastCoast Entertainment, the largest full-service entertainment agency in the country. She currently co-manages the Charlotte, Asheville, and Columbia, SC offices. Over the last decade, ECE Asheville has become a go-to entertainment resource for the Western NC, Eastern TN, and Upstate SC regions. From the beginning, Ellie’s goal was to open an office in Asheville, NC and her dream was realized a mere nine months after her hire in 2007 as an agent. She credits her success to immersing herself in an industry she loves along with solid networking and relationship-building – with clients and artists alike. Ellie feels that the secret to her success has been her unique combination of real life experience as a band member and producer along with her ability to educate musicians about the importance of promotions and visibility.

A Georgia native, Keith graduated from Nashville’s Belmont University in 2008. After chasing his wife around the country for a couple years, he landed back in Nashville in 2010 working at Elite Talent Agency launching and building the contemporary division with clients like Colony House, Son Talk, Green River Ordinance, Apollo LTD, Elenowen, and Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes.

After two and a half years at Elite, Keith took his roster to Fleming Artist Agency before becoming Director of Touring and Live Events at Warner Music/Word Music. During his time there, Keith launched Brave World Artist Agency, advising tours launching out of the labels and participating in signing meetings. An opportunity to work with Paradigm in the Fairs & Festivals division presented itself, where Keith currently works, representing the entire roster of 2,200 clients to festivals on the American East Coast.

Jeff Fissel is the current Executive Director of the Ashe County Arts Council where he oversees a variety of events, galleries, and a performing arts venue. Jeff is also the former Executive Director of Historic Rural Hill in Huntersville and founder of the North Carolina Brewers and Music Festival.

Live Music – Orquesta Mayor

When: August 3, 4:00 pm
Location: River's Edge Stage (Map)
Type: Live Music

North Carolina’s finest Salsa band, Orquesta Mayor. With a trio of vocalists, a killer horn section and director Helder Serralde, Orquesta Mayor has been performing straight up salsa since 2006, the way it was meant to be enjoyed.

Whether they are covering classic hits from the Fania All-Stars, the energy of El Gran Combo, or the contemporary style of Gilberto Santa Rosa, Orquesta Mayor gets the crowd dancing with its powerful, rich sound.

Thanks to the experience, ability and talent of its members, Orquesta Mayorhas had the opportunity to accompany several internationally recognized salsa artists such as: Jerry Rivera, Ismael Miranda, La India, Maelo Ruiz, Raulin Rosendo, N’Klabe, Paquito Guzman, NG2, Luis Enrique, among others.

Live Music – The Mike Strauss Band

When: August 3, 4:30 pm
Location: South Ridge Stage (Map)
Type: Live Music

The Mike Strauss Band has a reputation as a well-oiled, malleable machine. Musically the band is an amalgamation of its parts, mixing styles of classic American music. Strauss’ songwriting and matter-of-fact delivery centers the group in folk and blues. His gruff vocals echo Mark Knopfler and Tom Waits. They’re a band that’s comfortable as a trio or a sextet, on a stage at a large theater, in an auditorium, or crammed in the corner of a local bar. They may squeeze in a 30 minute festival set or play a three-hour marathon. The core of Strauss, Kim, Jay, bassist Jon Schigoda, and electric guitarist Randolph Lewis have been together for over a decade. “Escalating Blues” is guitarist Troy Conn’s first album with the group. Strauss has opened for the legendary Taj Mahal, Ry Cooder, Idina Menzel, Chris Whitley, Joe Bonamassa, Ruthie Foster, and Robert Cray, among others, both with the band and as a solo artist.

Music instructors by day, Jay and Conn share backgrounds in jazz and classical. Kim, Lewis, and Schigoda are veterans of Charlotte’s rock scene with tenure in Les Dirt Clods, the Mannish Boys, and Temperance League.

Branding in the Music Industry

When: August 3, 5:00 pm
Location: Conference Room C (Map)
Type: Marketing & Revenue Generation

Learn how to create a brand, why it matters, and what to brand around. This clinic will also look at examples of branding stereotypes and the audiences that are attracted to particular genres and music types.

Confluence panel discussions have no cost to attend, but have limited space. Please reserve your seat here.

Adam Bratton is currently the Marketing Director for the Whitewater Center and has held various roles over his 8+ year career with the Whitewater organization. Utilizing his work experience and an MBA in Sports Marketing and Sports Management, Adam is charged with leading the department in a brand first approach. Whitewater’s live music platform River Jam, along with multiple and various other products and offerings throughout the year provide a unique opportunity for brand development.

As the manager of Echo Mountain Studios, Jessica Tomasin is a cornerstone in the Asheville music community. Jessica co-founded the non-profit Asheville Music Professionals committed to providing education, advocacy, connection, and collaboration in the music community. She is also the Co-Owner of ACME, the 2013 recipient for Entrepreneur of the Year by the City of Asheville/Chamber of Commerce and owns Jet Up Production and is Founder of Connect Beyond Festival. 

Wayne Martin has served the North Carolina Arts Council since 1981. He became executive director of the agency in 2012, where he oversees a $6.7 million grants program serving all 100 counties and raises private funds for statewide arts initiatives. Martin’s career contributions in the areas of community arts development, arts education, and cultural and heritage tourism have made North Carolina a leader in creative placemaking and arts-based economic development at the national level.

Martin has played a critical role in creating cultural tourism projects in Tier 3 counties through is work with the Blue Ridge Music Trails and Cherokee Heritage Trail projects and the creation of African American Music Trails of Eastern North Carolina and the Historic Happy Valley cultural trail. Martin set the stage for the Congressional designation of western North Carolina as the Blue Ridge Heritage Area and received the first Preserve America Presidential Award on behalf of the Blue Ridge Heritage Initiative. He has also helped guide planning and implementation of the Arts Council’s SmART Initiative that spurs arts-driven economic development across the state. In addition, Martin is an accomplished musician having recorded and produced several albums of traditional music for Smithsonian Folkways, Global Music and MusicMaker labels.

Brand strategist. Graphic designer. Illustrator. A Charlotte native, Sara has lived in cities dotted around the globe from London to Sydney to Montreal to San Francisco. Creator of CLT Loft Sessions and The Brand Academy, Sara is back in the Queen City freelancing and working with musicians as a brand manager and event curator.

Garret K. Woodward was born and raised in the small Canadian border town of Rouses Point, New York. Since 2012, Garret has been the arts/entertainment editor for The Smoky Mountain News, and was named the music editor for Smoky Mountain Living magazine in 2017, both based in Waynesville, North Carolina.

In 2015, he won first place in the North Carolina Press Association (NCPA) awards for “Arts & Entertainment Reporting” for his cover story “Bless Your Heart — The State of Women in Bluegrass.” Woodward was nominated in 2016 for “Bluegrass Print/Media Person of the Year” by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) and the NCPA also recognized him with back-to-back first place awards in 2016 and 2017 for “Lighter Columns” for his weekly column in The Smoky Mountain News, “This must be the place.”

Garret gained his degrees in Journalism and History in 2007 from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. His journalistic beginnings out of college crisscrossed the Atlantic with a stint in Ireland, and America covering backyard get-togethers and renowned festivals like Burning Man, Rothbury, Grand Targhee, Outside Lands and Wakarusa.

Recently, Woodward has become a contributing writer for Rolling Stone, covering such events as Warren Haynes’ Christmas Jam and MerleFest.

Live Music – Emily Sage

When: August 3, 5:00 pm
Location: Main Stage (Map)
Type: Live Music

Emily Sage is a Charlotte-based Independent artist with strong leanings in jazz and soul. Her romantic and lullaby-like songwriting style is largely influenced by her time spent growing up in Portugal. Emily is currently recording her debut full length album.

In Conversation with Paul Lohr and Dolph Ramseur: Artist Development

When: August 3, 6:00 pm
Location: Conference Room D (Map)
Type: Artist Development
Moderator:
Joni Deutsch

Join Paul Lohr, President and Agent of New Frontier Touring, and Dolph Ramseur, Owner and Founder of independent label Ramseur Records and current manager of The Avett Brothers and David Childers, as they go in depth on artist development. Covering topics from what makes an artist and how they spot talent to what they look for and how to succeed as an artist, the panel discussion aims to uncover and highlight knowledge all artists should know.  

Dolph Ramseur is the Owner and Founder of independent label Ramseur Records and currently manages The Avett Brothers, Bombadil, David Childers, and Samantha Grain.  

Paul Lohr is the President and Owner of New Frontier Touring with a diverse roster of 85+ artists that includes The Avett Brothers, Highly Suspect, Rodney Crowell, The Steep Canyon Rangers, DeVotchKa, and Reckless Kelly.  Paul has been the day-to-day agent for The Avett Brothers since 2003. 

Confluence panel discussions have no cost to attend, but have limited space. Please reserve your seat here.

Paul Lohr is a two-time Pollstar “Third Coast Agent of the Year”, a veteran booking agent, and Nashville staple for more than 35 years, known for representing a “Who’s Who” of Rock, Americana, Country, Bluegrass, Blues and Roots artists.

Born in Baltimore, Paul earned his bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. After leaving his radio day job to start a regional booking agency in Delaware, the move led him to accepting a booking agent’s position at Nashville country music agency, Buddy Lee Attractions, in 1984. In his 20 year tenure there, Paul booked legends including Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Emmylou Harris, and Garth Brooks in addition to discovering and developing The Dixie Chicks into a national touring power-house.

After departing Buddy Lee Attractions, Paul opened The Agency Group, where his journey with The Avett Brothers began. When the Nashville office of The Agency Group closed, Paul opened New Frontier Touring which now has offices in Nashville and Atlanta and a roster of 80+ artists including The Avett Brothers, Rodney Crowell, Riders In The Sky, Paul Thorn, Reckless Kelly, Darrell Scott, Steep Canyon Rangers, and Band of Heathens, as well as, a bumper crop of newer artists that includes Highly Suspect, Slothrust, The Brothers Landreth, Lilly Hiatt, Remember Jones, Jared & the Mill, The Ballroom Thieves and The Quebe Sisters.

Dolphus (Dolph) Ramseur hails from Concord, NC and was raised on a healthy diet of classic country music and early rock & roll.

Dolph opened Ramseur Records in July 2000 after leaving his tennis profession behind to focus on nurturing musicians to the next level in the industry. Since then, Dolph has helped foster the creative and artistic visions of The Avett Brothers, Bombadil, David Childers, Samantha Crain, The National Reserve, and Ruen Brothers. Artists on his label include Grammy winners and performers, Coachella, Bonaroo, and Austin City Limits festival headliners, and artists who sell out Madison Square Gardens and Radio City Music Hall in NYC and Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado.

Dolph has cultivated his artists to reach national acclaim and helped grow their presence in nearly every avenue of pop culture from late night talks shows with Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel, and Jimmy Fallon to hit NPR shows like Fresh Air with Terry Gross and A Prairie Home Companion.

Behind the success of Ramseur Records, Dolph credits it to always putting the music first and to having fun while doing it.

Joni Deutsch is happy to call Charlotte home as WFAE’s manager for on-demand content and audience engagement, where she helps produce podcasts FAQ City, SouthBound, and She Says. In addition to being an NPR Music contributor, Joni is also the creator and host of WFAE’s Charlotte music podcast Amplifier, named “Best Podcast” by Charlotte Magazine and honored for excellence in arts and music podcasting by the local Edward R. Murrow Awards and The Webby Awards (called “The Internet’s Highest Honor” by The New York Times).

Deutsch has been working in public radio and podcasting for nearly a decade, starting with her work as music director and assistant general manager of WLUR 91.5FM in Lexington, Virginia, and continuing at West Virginia Public Broadcasting (West Virginia’s NPR station) as the creator and host of the weekly music program A Change of Tune and the critically-acclaimed 30 Days of #WVmusic interview series. While in West Virginia, Deutsch became assistant producer for NPR Music’s legacy public radio music program Mountain Stage, as well as the program’s youngest (and first female) guest host in the show’s 32 years, making her the youngest host of a nationally-syndicated public radio program (heard on more than 270 radio stations) at the age of 24.

This has led to national features by NPR, Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Poynter, and local spotlights from CharlotteFive, the Charlotte Agenda, Creative Mornings Charlotte, The Gantt Center, The Blumenthal Performing Arts, and the Carolina School of Broadcasting.

A supporter of innovative media and a mentor to digital women leaders, Deutsch has been recognized as an Emerging Voice Scholar by the Alliance for Women in Media, the West Virginia State Journal’s “40 under 40,” the Online News Association’s Women’s Leadership Accelerator, the Charlotte Agenda’s “30 under 30,” The United Way of Central Carolina’s Young Leader Awards, Duke University TiP’s Early Achievement Award, and receiving the Alliance for Women in Media’s Gracie Awards.

Deutsch earned her Bachelor of Arts from West Virginia University and Master of Arts in Strategic Communication from American University.

Live Music – Cyanca

When: August 3, 6:00 pm
Location: River's Edge Stage (Map)
Type: Live Music

Born and raised in Smithfield, North CarolinaCyanca’s artist presence encompasses a soulful voice matched with eccentric style, deep bass, and electric pianos with a splash of synth that commands attention. Her sound is influenced by acts like D’Angelo, Erykah Badu, and A Tribe Called Quest, perpetuating the crossover between Jazz and R&B. Cyanca has played in three music festivals and was recently awarded “Best Musician 2019” by Charlotte Magazine.  

Live Music – Dane Page

When: August 3, 6:30 pm
Location: South Ridge Stage (Map)
Type: Live Music

Dane Page is a singer-songwriter living in Charlotte, North Carolina. Dane has toured throughout the southeast and mid-Atlantic with his independently produced EP City to City. Dane’s music pulls from the contemporary folk genre and weaves his listeners through stories of Greek mythology, 20th Century literature, and American history.

Live Music – Sinners and Saints

When: August 3, 7:00 pm
Location: Main Stage (Map)
Type: Live Music

“We’re all sinners and we’re all saints, and we’re all in it together.” Sinners and Saints infuse their acoustic, country-tinged tunes with compelling harmonies and foot-powered percussion on repurposed drums from an abandoned kit. The band has shared the stage with bands and artists including Flogging Molly, Shovels and Rope, Robert Earl Keen, Daniel Romano, St Paul & the Broken Bones, SUSTO, Sun Kil Moon, Bombadil, and many others.

Live Music – Chócala

When: August 3, 8:00 pm
Location: River's Edge Stage (Map)
Type: Live Music

Chócala is a sonic amalgamation of Latin rhythms, rock, and jazz with a touch of tropical psychedelia resulting in an experimental yet approachable sound with an infectious groove. Their varying backgrounds have inspired them to create music that honors their roots while putting a twist on traditional sounds.

Live Music – DownTown Abby & The Echoes

When: August 3, 9:00 pm
Location: Main Stage (Map)
Type: Live Music

DownTown Abby & The Echoes captures the spirit of old soul while emphasizing its youthful energy and songwriting. Taking influence from the titans of soul, blues, and southern rock, the band’s EP is full of powerful vocals, guitar licks and groovy rhythm sections.

Branding in the Music Industry

When: August 4, 11:30 am
Location: Conference Room C (Map)
Type: Marketing & Revenue Generation

Learn how to create a brand, why it matters, and what to brand around. This clinic will also look at examples of branding stereotypes and the audiences that are attracted to particular genres and music types.

Confluence panel discussions have no cost to attend, but have limited space. Please reserve your seat here.

Adam Bratton is currently the Marketing Director for the Whitewater Center and has held various roles over his 8+ year career with the Whitewater organization. Utilizing his work experience and an MBA in Sports Marketing and Sports Management, Adam is charged with leading the department in a brand first approach. Whitewater’s live music platform River Jam, along with multiple and various other products and offerings throughout the year provide a unique opportunity for brand development.

Wayne Martin has served the North Carolina Arts Council since 1981. He became executive director of the agency in 2012, where he oversees a $6.7 million grants program serving all 100 counties and raises private funds for statewide arts initiatives. Martin’s career contributions in the areas of community arts development, arts education, and cultural and heritage tourism have made North Carolina a leader in creative placemaking and arts-based economic development at the national level.

Martin has played a critical role in creating cultural tourism projects in Tier 3 counties through is work with the Blue Ridge Music Trails and Cherokee Heritage Trail projects and the creation of African American Music Trails of Eastern North Carolina and the Historic Happy Valley cultural trail. Martin set the stage for the Congressional designation of western North Carolina as the Blue Ridge Heritage Area and received the first Preserve America Presidential Award on behalf of the Blue Ridge Heritage Initiative. He has also helped guide planning and implementation of the Arts Council’s SmART Initiative that spurs arts-driven economic development across the state. In addition, Martin is an accomplished musician having recorded and produced several albums of traditional music for Smithsonian Folkways, Global Music and MusicMaker labels.

Brand strategist. Graphic designer. Illustrator. A Charlotte native, Sara has lived in cities dotted around the globe from London to Sydney to Montreal to San Francisco. Creator of CLT Loft Sessions and The Brand Academy, Sara is back in the Queen City freelancing and working with musicians as a brand manager and event curator.

As the manager of Echo Mountain Studios, Jessica Tomasin is a cornerstone in the Asheville music community. Jessica co-founded the non-profit Asheville Music Professionals committed to providing education, advocacy, connection, and collaboration in the music community. She is also the Co-Owner of ACME, the 2013 recipient for Entrepreneur of the Year by the City of Asheville/Chamber of Commerce and owns Jet Up Production and is Founder of Connect Beyond Festival.

Garret K. Woodward was born and raised in the small Canadian border town of Rouses Point, New York. Since 2012, Garret has been the arts/entertainment editor for The Smoky Mountain News, and was named the music editor for Smoky Mountain Living magazine in 2017, both based in Waynesville, North Carolina.

In 2015, he won first place in the North Carolina Press Association (NCPA) awards for “Arts & Entertainment Reporting” for his cover story “Bless Your Heart — The State of Women in Bluegrass.” Woodward was nominated in 2016 for “Bluegrass Print/Media Person of the Year” by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) and the NCPA also recognized him with back-to-back first place awards in 2016 and 2017 for “Lighter Columns” for his weekly column in The Smoky Mountain News, “This must be the place.”

Garret gained his degrees in Journalism and History in 2007 from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. His journalistic beginnings out of college crisscrossed the Atlantic with a stint in Ireland, and America covering backyard get-togethers and renowned festivals like Burning Man, Rothbury, Grand Targhee, Outside Lands and Wakarusa.

Recently, Woodward has become a contributing writer for Rolling Stone, covering such events as Warren Haynes’ Christmas Jam and MerleFest.

Inside the Mind of a Booking Agent

When: August 4, 12:00 pm
Location: Conference Room D (Map)
Type: Booking & Buying Process
Moderator:
Jeff Fissel

This discussion uncovers the thought process a booking agent goes through, what they look for, and their main priorities when selecting an artist to join his or her roster. Learn about their process for negotiating compensation rates and deal structures for various types of events, and how you can leverage their knowledge to get stage time.

Confluence panel discussions have no cost to attend, but have limited space. Please reserve your seat here.

Missouri native Kevin Hopkins is a Senior Artist Representative with Intrepid Artists, Int’l who oversees the Northeast United States and Eastern Canada aspect of his client’s touring. Kevin worked previously as a Talent Buyer, Production Assistant, Promotions Manager and just about any other position that put him in the middle of the live music experience enabling him with a variety of experiences spanning far-reaching sectors of the music industry.

Ellie is currently a managing partner at EastCoast Entertainment, the largest full-service entertainment agency in the country. She currently co-manages the Charlotte, Asheville, and Columbia, SC offices. Over the last decade, ECE Asheville has become a go-to entertainment resource for the Western NC, Eastern TN, and Upstate SC regions. From the beginning, Ellie’s goal was to open an office in Asheville, NC and her dream was realized a mere nine months after her hire in 2007 as an agent. She credits her success to immersing herself in an industry she loves along with solid networking and relationship-building – with clients and artists alike. Ellie feels that the secret to her success has been her unique combination of real life experience as a band member and producer along with her ability to educate musicians about the importance of promotions and visibility.

A Georgia native, Keith graduated from Nashville’s Belmont University in 2008. After chasing his wife around the country for a couple years, he landed back in Nashville in 2010 working at Elite Talent Agency launching and building the contemporary division with clients like Colony House, Son Talk, Green River Ordinance, Apollo LTD, Elenowen, and Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes.

After two and a half years at Elite, Keith took his roster to Fleming Artist Agency before becoming Director of Touring and Live Events at Warner Music/Word Music. During his time there, Keith launched Brave World Artist Agency, advising tours launching out of the labels and participating in signing meetings. An opportunity to work with Paradigm in the Fairs & Festivals division presented itself, where Keith currently works, representing the entire roster of 2,200 clients to festivals on the American East Coast.

Jeff Fissel is the current Executive Director of the Ashe County Arts Council where he oversees a variety of events, galleries, and a performing arts venue. Jeff is also the former Executive Director of Historic Rural Hill in Huntersville and founder of the North Carolina Brewers and Music Festival.

Live Music – Jim Avett & David Childers

When: August 4, 12:00 pm
Location: River's Edge Stage (Map)
Type: Live Music

Jim Avett is a life-long musician and father of The Avett Brothers. Jim is a native of Concord, NC and has performed in listening rooms and festivals nationwide with his beloved country tunes and original ballads. 

David Childers is a prolific local singer-songwriter, poet, and painter with strong folk influences and six solo albums. 

Live Music – Jason Scavone

When: August 4, 12:30 pm
Location: South Ridge Stage (Map)
Type: Live Music

Over the course of a decade as singer/songwriter for Charlotte’s The Noises 10, Jason Scavone found many musical successes. Signing two major label deals, mentoring under super-producer Eric Valentine, and recording a duet with Grammy-winning Brandi Carlilie of his song “My Repair” are among them. After the band’s split in 2010, the former frontman took some time away from performing to start a family and hone his skills as a producer and engineer in studios around the country. Amid his work producing records for other artists, Scavone found time after hours crafting songs that would become his debut solo EP, “Find Today” (2016). What resulted were 5 heart-stirring, evocative, and cleverly orchestrated songs arranged in his classic pop aesthetic. Jason is joined by fellow musician Matt Branniff on piano.

Creating a Home for Music on YouTube

When: August 4, 1:00 pm
Location: Conference Room C (Map)
Type: Marketing & Revenue Generation
Panelists:
Eric Knapp

A look at how YouTube is helping songwriters and producers showcase their portfolio of work to connect and engage with fellow musicians and fans. Gain an understanding of how rights management works on YouTube and learn about strategies and resources you can use to build a presence on the platform. 

Confluence panel discussions have no cost to attend, but have limited space. Please reserve your seat here.

Eric Knapp works for YouTube in North America in Music Publishing Partnerships and Relations. His primary focus is on engaging the communities of publishing and songwriting, growing partnerships with publishers and those who control publishing rights, and improving the YouTube product for music partners overall. Eric is a former touring musician with prior work experience at Universal Music Group and The Orchard.

Live Music – The Hawthornes

When: August 4, 1:00 pm
Location: Main Stage (Map)
Type: Live Music

A staple in the Charlotte music scene, The Hawthornes are a step towards music-retro. Fusing imaginative, melodic hooks with sultry vocals, fiery guitars, and luscious grooves, The Hawthornes color the musical winds with a rare and unique blend of rock, soul, funk, and jazz.

Making a Record

When: August 4, 2:00 pm
Location: Conference Room D (Map)
Type: Songwriting & Recording
Moderator:
Wayne Martin

Making a record is never easy. This workshop dissects the elements, processes, layers, and a behind-the-scenes knowledge base of what a day in the studio looks like.

Confluence panel discussions have no cost to attend, but have limited space. Please reserve your seat here.

A native Charlottean, Chris Garges is a drummer and the Owner and Chief Recording Engineer at Old House Studio. Garges has worked with Fred Wesley, Don Dixon, George Hamilton IV, Arthur Smith, General Johnson, Si Kahn, Ryan Martine, Frank Kimbrough, Kai Eckhart, and Oteil and Kofi Burbidge, among others. In addition, Chris has played drums for Mitch Easter since 2006 and is currently a member of the bands Bunky Moon and The Spongetones, as well as a contributing writer for TapeOp magazine. 

As the manager of Echo Mountain Studios, Jessica Tomasin is a cornerstone in the Asheville music community. Jessica co-founded the non-profit Asheville Music Professionals committed to providing education, advocacy, connection, and collaboration in the music community. She is also the Co-Owner of ACME, the 2013 recipient for Entrepreneur of the Year by the City of Asheville/Chamber of Commerce and owns Jet Up Production and is Founder of Connect Beyond Festival. 

Jason Bieler is a highly successful label and studio owner as well as producer and singer-songwriter. On the artist side, Jason has achieved Gold and Platinum albums and singles as an artist and producer with song placement in both the cinema and video game arenas. Bieler has toured with Ozzy, Soundgarden, The Ramones, and Cheap Trick while his work as a producer has landed him studio clientele including Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bieber, Butch Walker, Chris Carraba, New Found Glory, Don Gilmore, and Ron Nevison. Nicknamed Baron Von Bielski, Jason’s production experience extends to labels such as Atlantic, Universal, Warner and Sony and collaborations with other producers/mixers like Bob Clearmountain, Tom Lord Alge, Jack Joseph, Puig, Michael Wagner, and Toby Wright.

Evan Brice is a member of a songwriting and production group turned funk/soul group called The XMen. Born out of Charlotte, the group has toured globally with artists ranging from Pastor John P. Kee to Usher. The XMen has continued to produce and program live shows while still performing shows, perhaps most notably when they headlined the Soul Junction festival with Derrick Hodge, a Grammy Award winning jazz bassist. Brice’s most recent work was in producing “Did It for Love” with Leela James.

Wayne Martin has served the North Carolina Arts Council since 1981. He became executive director of the agency in 2012, where he oversees a $6.7 million grants program serving all 100 counties and raises private funds for statewide arts initiatives. Martin’s career contributions in the areas of community arts development, arts education, and cultural and heritage tourism have made North Carolina a leader in creative placemaking and arts-based economic development at the national level.

Martin has played a critical role in creating cultural tourism projects in Tier 3 counties through is work with the Blue Ridge Music Trails and Cherokee Heritage Trail projects and the creation of African American Music Trails of Eastern North Carolina and the Historic Happy Valley cultural trail. Martin set the stage for the Congressional designation of western North Carolina as the Blue Ridge Heritage Area and received the first Preserve America Presidential Award on behalf of the Blue Ridge Heritage Initiative. He has also helped guide planning and implementation of the Arts Council’s SmART Initiative that spurs arts-driven economic development across the state. In addition, Martin is an accomplished musician having recorded and produced several albums of traditional music for Smithsonian Folkways, Global Music and MusicMaker labels.

Live Music – Tony Eltora

When: August 4, 2:00 pm
Location: River's Edge Stage (Map)
Type: Live Music

A Hickory resident for almost 20 years, Tony Eltora’s music is best described as Bluesy Americana Soul. His sounds are influenced by blues, rock, and jazz music, telling stories of love, loss, and rebirth.

Event Talent Buying

When: August 4, 2:30 pm
Location: Conference Room C (Map)
Type: Booking & Buying Process

Grow your knowledge on sourcing and negotiating talent for your event or venue. This talk is aimed at musicians and bands looking to get booked on regional shows or events and those who book talent for their venue.

Confluence panel discussions have no cost to attend, but have limited space. Please reserve your seat here.

Benton Wharton is the General Manager at Pisgah Brewing, best known for his work as the Events/PR Director and Talent Buyer for the Pisgah Brewing Outdoor Stage since its inception in 2010. Wharton’s background includes a Bachelor in the Arts degree and Minor in Music Theory and Composition from the College of Charleston in Arts Management, after which he operated as co-owner of Mountain Roots Management, a full service Events Management and Consulting Company, with his former business partner, Bob Robertson. MRM served as the subcontractor utilized to buy talent and organize events for Pisgah Brewing, which later led Pisgah to offering Wharton a full-time position running the events in-house.

Tony Arreaza is originally from Venezuela and has been a pioneer in Charlotte’s Latin music movement since 1993. Founder of Carlotan Talents, his efforts in cultivating a vibrant Latin music scene in the region have been featured on NPR, MTV Latino, Paste Magazine, MUN2, and more. For 10 years, Tony was the Cultural Events Director for Charlotte’s Latin American Coalition and in 2017 was invited to participate in FIMPRO, Guadalajara’s prestigious music conference.

Leah Ross is the Executive Director of the Birthplace of Country Music. Over the past 18 years, Ross has played an integral role in the development and growth of Bristol establishing its identity as the birthplace of country music. As the Executive Director, Ross leads the Birthplace of Country Music team that oversees the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, and WBCM Radio Bristol.

Ross is very involved in the local community serving on the Board of the Directors for the Bristol Chamber of Commerce, Secretary for Virginians for the Arts, and Executive Board Virginia’s Crooked Road. She has served on panel review committees for both the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Virginia Commission for the Arts.

Over the years Ross has also been honored with a number of awards, including, the Service Award for the Bristol Convention and Visitors Bureau, a recipient of the YWCA Tribute to Women for the Arts award, a graduate of the International Bluegrass Music Association Leadership Class, received an Arts Achievement Award from Arts Alliance of the Mountain Empire, and a Paul Harris Fellow recipient.

Tim Scott, Jr. is a musician, manager and industry professional from Buffalo, NY. After graduating from Northwest School of the Arts here in Charlotte, he went on to study Jazz and Music Business at North Carolina Central University before touring with Grammy-nominated group, The Foreign Exchange. During this time, he also shared the stage with Robert Glasper, Fantasia and Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest. He then began work as a production assistant for East Coast Entertainment where he helped produce events for the Carolina Panthers, the Charlotte Hornets and several legendary artists such as The Temptations, Michael Bolton and Steely Dan. Tim currently serves as artist-in-residence at Charlotte Center City Partners and co-owner of TiMar Entertainment, providing music direction for, and connecting the best of Charlotte’s local and regional talent to, some of the city’s most notable events and institutions. Tim also pursues youth mentorship and speaking opportunities focused on music education, personal and professional development as well as advancement in professional music both on and off stage.

Garret K. Woodward was born and raised in the small Canadian border town of Rouses Point, New York. Since 2012, Garret has been the arts/entertainment editor for The Smoky Mountain News, and was named the music editor for Smoky Mountain Living magazine in 2017, both based in Waynesville, North Carolina.

In 2015, he won first place in the North Carolina Press Association (NCPA) awards for “Arts & Entertainment Reporting” for his cover story “Bless Your Heart — The State of Women in Bluegrass.” Woodward was nominated in 2016 for “Bluegrass Print/Media Person of the Year” by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) and the NCPA also recognized him with back-to-back first place awards in 2016 and 2017 for “Lighter Columns” for his weekly column in The Smoky Mountain News, “This must be the place.”

Garret gained his degrees in Journalism and History in 2007 from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. His journalistic beginnings out of college crisscrossed the Atlantic with a stint in Ireland, and America covering backyard get-togethers and renowned festivals like Burning Man, Rothbury, Grand Targhee, Outside Lands and Wakarusa.

Recently, Woodward has become a contributing writer for Rolling Stone, covering such events as Warren Haynes’ Christmas Jam and MerleFest.

Live Music – Jason Jet

When: August 4, 2:30 pm
Location: South Ridge Stage (Map)
Type: Live Music

Iceland native and current Charlottean, Jason Jet has rooted himself in the niche musical style of indie-soul with a sound that transcends a sensual, trance-like and captivating hold over listeners. Gifted with an impressive tenor voice and lyricism skill, and equipped with advanced production prowess, Jason Jet is well on his way to carving out a name in the industry. Jet has already won numerous awards including a NY Urban Music Award, a Carolina Music Award, and has shared stages with the likes of Anthony Hamilton, Dwele, Eric Roberson, Sunshine Anderson, and Dj 9th Wonder. Jason’s upcoming sophomore release is on the horizon, a project centered around Self-Realization and titled ‘The Great Escape’. Be on the lookout for Jet and The Kru.

Live Music – Junior Astronomers

When: August 4, 3:00 pm
Location: Main Stage (Map)
Type: Live Music

Junior Astronomers seek to achieve more than just reactions from onlookers; the band itself tries to document the human experience. With a gritty post-punk indie rock style, this quartet is high-energy, loud, impulsive, and exciting.

In Conversation with Paul Lohr and Dolph Ramseur: Artist Development

When: August 4, 3:30 pm
Location: Conference Room D (Map)
Type: Artist Development
Moderator:
Joni Deutsch

Join Paul Lohr, President and Agent of New Frontier Touring, and Dolph Ramseur, Owner and Founder of independent label Ramseur Records and current manager of The Avett Brothers and David Childers, as they go in depth on artist development. Covering topics from what makes an artist and how they spot talent to what they look for and how to succeed as an artist, the panel discussion aims to uncover and highlight knowledge all artists should know.  

Dolph Ramseur is the Owner and Founder of independent label Ramseur Records and currently manages The Avett Brothers, Bombadil, David Childers, and Samantha Grain.  

Paul Lohr is the President and Owner of New Frontier Touring with a diverse roster of 85+ artists that includes The Avett Brothers, Highly Suspect, Rodney Crowell, The Steep Canyon Rangers, DeVotchKa, and Reckless Kelly.  Paul has been the day-to-day agent for The Avett Brothers since 2003. 

Confluence panel discussions have no cost to attend, but have limited space. Please reserve your seat here.

Paul Lohr is a two-time Pollstar “Third Coast Agent of the Year”, a veteran booking agent, and Nashville staple for more than 35 years, known for representing a “Who’s Who” of Rock, Americana, Country, Bluegrass, Blues and Roots artists.

Born in Baltimore, Paul earned his bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. After leaving his radio day job to start a regional booking agency in Delaware, the move led him to accepting a booking agent’s position at Nashville country music agency, Buddy Lee Attractions, in 1984. In his 20 year tenure there, Paul booked legends including Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Emmylou Harris, and Garth Brooks in addition to discovering and developing The Dixie Chicks into a national touring power-house.

After departing Buddy Lee Attractions, Paul opened The Agency Group, where his journey with The Avett Brothers began. When the Nashville office of The Agency Group closed, Paul opened New Frontier Touring which now has offices in Nashville and Atlanta and a roster of 80+ artists including The Avett Brothers, Rodney Crowell, Riders In The Sky, Paul Thorn, Reckless Kelly, Darrell Scott, Steep Canyon Rangers, and Band of Heathens, as well as, a bumper crop of newer artists that includes Highly Suspect, Slothrust, The Brothers Landreth, Lilly Hiatt, Remember Jones, Jared & the Mill, The Ballroom Thieves and The Quebe Sisters.

Dolphus (Dolph) Ramseur hails from Concord, NC and was raised on a healthy diet of classic country music and early rock & roll.

Dolph opened Ramseur Records in July 2000 after leaving his tennis profession behind to focus on nurturing musicians to the next level in the industry. Since then, Dolph has helped foster the creative and artistic visions of The Avett Brothers, Bombadil, David Childers, Samantha Crain, The National Reserve, and Ruen Brothers. Artists on his label include Grammy winners and performers, Coachella, Bonaroo, and Austin City Limits festival headliners, and artists who sell out Madison Square Gardens and Radio City Music Hall in NYC and Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado.

Dolph has cultivated his artists to reach national acclaim and helped grow their presence in nearly every avenue of pop culture from late night talks shows with Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel, and Jimmy Fallon to hit NPR shows like Fresh Air with Terry Gross and A Prairie Home Companion.

Behind the success of Ramseur Records, Dolph credits it to always putting the music first and to having fun while doing it.

Joni Deutsch is happy to call Charlotte home as WFAE’s manager for on-demand content and audience engagement, where she helps produce podcasts FAQ City, SouthBound, and She Says. In addition to being an NPR Music contributor, Joni is also the creator and host of WFAE’s Charlotte music podcast Amplifier, named “Best Podcast” by Charlotte Magazine and honored for excellence in arts and music podcasting by the local Edward R. Murrow Awards and The Webby Awards (called “The Internet’s Highest Honor” by The New York Times).

Deutsch has been working in public radio and podcasting for nearly a decade, starting with her work as music director and assistant general manager of WLUR 91.5FM in Lexington, Virginia, and continuing at West Virginia Public Broadcasting (West Virginia’s NPR station) as the creator and host of the weekly music program A Change of Tune and the critically-acclaimed 30 Days of #WVmusic interview series. While in West Virginia, Deutsch became assistant producer for NPR Music’s legacy public radio music program Mountain Stage, as well as the program’s youngest (and first female) guest host in the show’s 32 years, making her the youngest host of a nationally-syndicated public radio program (heard on more than 270 radio stations) at the age of 24.

This has led to national features by NPR, Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Poynter, and local spotlights from CharlotteFive, the Charlotte Agenda, Creative Mornings Charlotte, The Gantt Center, The Blumenthal Performing Arts, and the Carolina School of Broadcasting.

A supporter of innovative media and a mentor to digital women leaders, Deutsch has been recognized as an Emerging Voice Scholar by the Alliance for Women in Media, the West Virginia State Journal’s “40 under 40,” the Online News Association’s Women’s Leadership Accelerator, the Charlotte Agenda’s “30 under 30,” The United Way of Central Carolina’s Young Leader Awards, Duke University TiP’s Early Achievement Award, and receiving the Alliance for Women in Media’s Gracie Awards.

Deutsch earned her Bachelor of Arts from West Virginia University and Master of Arts in Strategic Communication from American University.

Live Music – AKITA

When: August 4, 4:00 pm
Location: River's Edge Stage (Map)
Type: Live Music

Akita, the funk-child of drummer Patrick Buckley & bassist Zak Ferrel, infuse a new twist, incorporating reggae and elements of funk-rock into their songs, stacked with horns by saxophonist Charlie Lamprecht, trombonist Dan Hamalainen, Heated by guitarist Sam Farnham and dipped in molten Swirling Organs by Tomi Gulden. You can’t help but move your body to this 6 piece funk band out of North Carolina, taking cues from legends such as James Brown, The Meters, Lettuce, Maceo Parker, Vulfpeck, Sly & The Family Stone, George Clinton, Tower of Power.

In Conversation with Jim Avett and David Childers: Songwriting & Producing

When: August 4, 4:30 pm
Location: Conference Room C (Map)
Type: Songwriting & Recording
Moderator:
Joni Deutsch

Jim Avett (musician and father of The Avett Brothers) and David Childers (prolific local musician), will talk about what goes into songwriting and producing a song. From creating bridges to constructing chords, Jim and David will draw from their experience to illuminate topics of lyrical prose, word choice, and how to navigate the production process.

Confluence panel discussions have no cost to attend, but have limited space. Please reserve your seat here.

Jim Avett, of Concord, North Carolina, is the son of a Methodist minister and a classical pianist who grew up in a home full of love and music; a home where he learned the importance of hard work and honest living. He and his wife instilled these same values in their children, tempered with a lot of fun, and of course, music. Jim’s guitar was an ever-present instrument, and there was always singing.  

As much as he enjoyed writing and performing music, Jim put his family first and spent 35 years running his welding company before returning to music.  

Now you can find Jim performing in listening rooms and at festivals around the country. His shows are a combination of beloved country tunes, his original ballads, and the stories he tells to introduce them. Jim’s shows are like spending the evening on the front porch singing and talking with a good friend. 

Singer-songwriter David Childers is the proverbial study in contradictions. A resident of Mount Holly, North Carolina, he’s a former high-school football player with the aw-shucks demeanor of a good ol’ Southern boy and a well-read poet and painter who cites Chaucer and Kerouac as influences. David fell in love with folk as a teen, and listens to jazz and opera. 

Childers’ new album, Run Skeleton Run, released May 2017 on Ramseur Records, is filled with the kinds of songs that have made him a favorite of fans and fellow artists including neighbors the Avett Brothers. Scott Avett contributes to four tracks, and Avetts bassist Bob Crawford co-executive-produced the effort with label head Dolph Ramseur. Crawford kickstarted this album, Childers’ sixth solo effort, by suggesting he reunite with Don Dixon (R.E.M., the Smithereens), who’d produced Crawford’s favorite Childers album, Room 23 (done with his band the Modern Don Juans).  

Joni Deutsch is happy to call Charlotte home as WFAE’s manager for on-demand content and audience engagement, where she helps produce podcasts FAQ City, SouthBound, and She Says. In addition to being an NPR Music contributor, Joni is also the creator and host of WFAE’s Charlotte music podcast Amplifier, named “Best Podcast” by Charlotte Magazine and honored for excellence in arts and music podcasting by the local Edward R. Murrow Awards and The Webby Awards (called “The Internet’s Highest Honor” by The New York Times).

Deutsch has been working in public radio and podcasting for nearly a decade, starting with her work as music director and assistant general manager of WLUR 91.5FM in Lexington, Virginia, and continuing at West Virginia Public Broadcasting (West Virginia’s NPR station) as the creator and host of the weekly music program A Change of Tune and the critically-acclaimed 30 Days of #WVmusic interview series. While in West Virginia, Deutsch became assistant producer for NPR Music’s legacy public radio music program Mountain Stage, as well as the program’s youngest (and first female) guest host in the show’s 32 years, making her the youngest host of a nationally-syndicated public radio program (heard on more than 270 radio stations) at the age of 24.

This has led to national features by NPR, Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Poynter, and local spotlights from CharlotteFive, the Charlotte Agenda, Creative Mornings Charlotte, The Gantt Center, The Blumenthal Performing Arts, and the Carolina School of Broadcasting.

A supporter of innovative media and a mentor to digital women leaders, Deutsch has been recognized as an Emerging Voice Scholar by the Alliance for Women in Media, the West Virginia State Journal’s “40 under 40,” the Online News Association’s Women’s Leadership Accelerator, the Charlotte Agenda’s “30 under 30,” The United Way of Central Carolina’s Young Leader Awards, Duke University TiP’s Early Achievement Award, and receiving the Alliance for Women in Media’s Gracie Awards.

Deutsch earned her Bachelor of Arts from West Virginia University and Master of Arts in Strategic Communication from American University.

Live Music – Lovell Bradford

When: August 4, 4:30 pm
Location: South Ridge Stage (Map)
Type: Live Music

Pianist Lovell Bradford, originally from Gary, Indiana, had his first musical influences in the church where his grandmother played every Sunday. His connection with Jazz emerged during his studies at Central State University and on the up and coming jazz scene in Columbus, Ohio before moving to Charlotte, North Carolina in 2002. Bradford has performed with artists such as Jennifer Holiday, Pharez Whitted, Slide Hampton, Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Wes “Warmdaddy” Anderson, Ronnie Burrage, and many others. He is the Adjunct Jazz Piano Instructor at Davidson College and currently serves on the faculty of Jazz Arts CHARLOTTE (JAC) Youth Ensembles & Workshops and is a frequent performer at The Jazz Room in Charlotte, NC.

Economics of Live Shows

When: August 4, 5:00 pm
Location: Conference Room D (Map)
Type: Economics of Live Shows

Dive into the economics of live shows. This talk expands on how revenue is assigned to cover event production, how to analyze overhead, staff, equipment, merch and product while maintaining a healthy profit and loss balance. If you’ve ever wondered where the $25 service fee goes – this is also for curious minds.

Confluence panel discussions have no cost to attend, but have limited space. Please reserve your seat here.

Gregg McCraw is the owner and founder of MaxxMusic – the largest independent concert promotions company in the Charlotte, NC area. MaxxMusic started as a hobby for a music-loving organic chemist almost 24 years ago. Years later, that chemist woke up to find he owned a company producing 500+ concerts each year with a dedicated staff helping hold everything together and making sure he didn’t drop too many balls. After years of producing concerts in Charlotte at Neighborhood Theatre, Free Range Brewing, Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, Oven’s Auditorium (and numerous other venues), MaxxMusic has gone regional in conjunction with Midwood Entertainment, actively promoting concerts in Asheville, Greensboro, High Point, Wilmington and Lynchburg (VA) and assisting venues in other markets on the east coast with professional buying services. MaxxMusic and Midwood Entertainment anticipate significant growth in the coming years and expansion into other markets.

Michael L. Kitchen is the founder of The Sol Kitchen, an events promotion and production business based in Charlotte and is an expert in branding, marketing, and urban music. Over the course of his decades-long career, Kitchen has successfully worked with a diverse roster of musicians and performers from many different genres to produce concerts and large-scale music festivals designed to bring people together.

Most recently, Kitchen curated stages for both the Charlotte Jazz Festival and Charlotte Shout in collaboration with the City of Charlotte and the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. In addition, in celebration of the musician Prince, he brought “Purple Note 4,” the fourth edition of his much-heralded jazz tribute – featuring local artists and former Prince associates – to Charlotte and Durham. Kitchen is a sought-after consultant in the music business sector, seeks out innovative artists, is a U.S. Navy veteran, and holds a double degree from University of North Carolina, Charlotte in English and Graphic Design.

Jim is currently the Senior Vice President of Southeast Booking for Live Nation Worldwide, Inc/House of Blues Entertainment, Inc. He oversees 18 Live Nation venues’ talent booking across six states. In his 30+ year career there, Jim has booked artists in every genre with artists including John Mayer, Jack Johnson, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, Sheryl Crow, Bob Dylan, Sugarland, Jimmy Buffett to No Doubt, Widespread Panic, The Killers, Avenged Sevenfold, Disturbed, Coheed & Cambria, Korn, Motley Crüe and Dave Matthews Band. Jim has also been the main talent buyer for festival shows such as WJRR’s Earthday Birthday, WHTQ’s Blues BBQ, WMMO’s Downtown Concert Series in Orlando, FL and the multiple-day Azalea festival in Wilmington, NC.

After touring the world with his rock band, Brazen, in the late 70’s / early 80’s, Jim’s first-hand experience in the concert industry catapulted him to becoming the president of Showtime Agency in Raleigh, NC from 1982 to 1992 where he was responsible for the southeast portions of national country tours in over twenty venues. While at Showtime, he booked over 800 events in one year alone and was nominated as Talent Buyer of the Year by Performance Magazine. From there, he went on to partner at Cellar Door Productions in Virginia Beach, VA, the top promoter of talent nationwide at the time. Before his 5 year stint at Cellar Door came to an end in 1997, he was nominated again by his colleagues for the Talent Buyer of The Year award, presented by Pollstar, the concert industry’s leading publication. He joined House of Blues Entertainment, Inc. in 1997 and has been there ever since.

Having spent over 10 years in the industry planning, marketing and executing live music events, Taylor Winchester is also a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. After 6 years with Live Nation as Director of Sales & Special Events and Jr. Talent Buyer at the Fillmore Charlotte, Winchester has also held the role of Executive Director for Queen’s Cup Steeplechase, as well as the Director of Sales & Partnerships for the ACC Football Championship. Taylor currently splits his time between touring with mandolin player Elonzo Wesley, producing concerts & festivals with Midwood Entertainment while running his own freelance marketing company Dubya Creative.

Live Music – RevelWood Mission

When: August 4, 5:00 pm
Location: Main Stage (Map)
Type: Live Music

With a style that is raw and powerful yet intricately woven, RevelWood Mission delivers a soulful, driving sounds and musical tapestry that is rich with dynamic guitars, atmospheric keys, three-part harmonies, and a commanding rock’n’roll rhythm.