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

Artists

Confluence aims to highlight Charlotte’s music scene while developing and supporting the city’s music identity. Whitewater invites you to help complete the lineup with local bands and artists you want to see perform. There are six remaining spots in the music lineup. If you know a local Charlotte artist or are interested in performing yourself, please apply below before Monday, July 1.

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
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
Type: Economics of Live Shows
Panelists:
Gregg McCraw

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.

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
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.

Micah Davidson is a founder of Midwood Entertainment, established in 2015. Micah has grown the label into a leading talent and event agency that handles talent buying & festival production for many events around the country including North Carolina Brewers & Music Festival, Deep Roots Mountain Revival, Homegrown Music & Mountain Sports Festival, and Amplify Decatur Music Festival. 

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. 

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
Type: Songwriting & Recording

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.

Catherine Swain is the current Director of Marketing for the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources and a former executive producer for MTV, VH1, CMT. She has an accomplished career in branding that ranges from spearheading digital apps for the Smithsonian, TED, and Univision, to previous roles like the Vice President of artist services for TicketMaster and Live Nation. Catherine now leads the Come Hear NC campaign.

Live Music – Artist TBD

When: August 3, 2:30 pm
Location: South Ridge
Type: Live Music

There are six remaining spots in the music lineup. If you know a local Charlotte artist or are one yourself interested in performing, please submit an band submission form online before Monday, July 1.

Songwriting & Pre-Production

When: August 3, 3:00 pm
Location: Conference Room C
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 JetPlane 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 Jetplane is well on his way to carving out a name in the industry. JetPlane 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 – Artist TBD

When: August 3, 3:00 pm
Location: River Jam Stage
Type: Live Music

There are six remaining spots in the music lineup. If you know a local Charlotte artist or are one yourself interested in performing, please submit an band submission form online before Monday, July 1.

Inside the Mind of a Booking Agent

When: August 3, 4:00 pm
Location: Conference Room D
Type: Booking & Buying Process
Moderator:
Jeff Fissell

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 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.

Live Music – Orquesta Mayor

When: August 3, 4:00 pm
Location: River's Edge Stage
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
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
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. 

Catherine Swain is the current Director of Marketing for the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources and former executive producer for MTV, VH1, CMT. She has an accomplished career in branding that ranges from spearheading digital apps for the Smithsonian, TED, and Univision, to previous roles like the Vice President of artist services for TicketMaster and Live NationCatherine now leads the Come Hear NC campaign.  

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.

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 – Emily Sage

When: August 3, 5:00 pm
Location: River Jam Stage
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
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.

Live Music – Cyanca

When: August 3, 6:00 pm
Location: River's Edge Stage
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 & Leo Solis

When: August 3, 6:30 pm
Location: South Ridge
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 & Saints

When: August 3, 7:00 pm
Location: River Jam Stage
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 – Artist TBD

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

There are six remaining spots in the music lineup. If you know a local Charlotte artist or are one yourself interested in performing, please submit an band submission form online before Monday, July 1.

Live Music – DownTown Abby & The Echoes

When: August 3, 9:00 pm
Location: River Jam Stage
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
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.

Catherine Swain is the current Director of Marketing for the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources and former executive producer for MTV, VH1, CMT. She has an accomplished career in branding that ranges from spearheading digital apps for the Smithsonian, TED, and Univision, to previous roles like the Vice President of artist services for TicketMaster and Live NationCatherine now leads the Come Hear NC campaign.  

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.

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.

Inside the Mind of a Booking Agent

When: August 4, 12:00 pm
Location: Conference Room D
Type: Booking & Buying Process
Moderator:
Jeff Fissell

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 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.

Live Music – Jim Avett & David Childers

When: August 4, 12:00 pm
Location: River Jam Stage
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 – Artist TBD

When: August 4, 12:30 pm
Location: South Ridge
Type: Live Music

There are six remaining spots in the music lineup. If you know a local Charlotte artist or are one yourself interested in performing, please submit an band submission form online before Monday, July 1.

Creating a Home for Music on YouTube

When: August 4, 1:00 pm
Location: Conference Room C
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: River Jam Stage
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
Type: Songwriting & Recording

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.

Catherine Swain is the current Director of Marketing for the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources and a former executive producer for MTV, VH1, CMT. She has an accomplished career in branding that ranges from spearheading digital apps for the Smithsonian, TED, and Univision, to previous roles like the Vice President of artist services for TicketMaster and Live Nation. Catherine now leads the Come Hear NC campaign.

Live Music – Tony Eltora

When: August 4, 2:00 pm
Location: River's Edge Stage
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
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.

Micah Davidson is a founder of Midwood Entertainment, established in 2015. Micah has grown the label into a leading talent and event agency that handles talent buying & festival production for many events around the country including North Carolina Brewers & Music Festival, Deep Roots Mountain Revival, Homegrown Music & Mountain Sports Festival, and Amplify Decatur Music Festival. 

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. 

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 – Artist TBD

When: August 4, 2:30 pm
Location: South Ridge
Type: Live Music

There are six remaining spots in the music lineup. If you know a local Charlotte artist or are one yourself interested in performing, please submit an band submission form online before Monday, July 1.

Live Music – Junior Astronomers

When: August 4, 3:00 pm
Location: River Jam Stage
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
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.

Live Music – Artist TBD

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

There are six remaining spots in the music lineup. If you know a local Charlotte artist or are one yourself interested in performing, please submit an band submission form online before Monday, July 1.

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

When: August 4, 4:30 pm
Location: Conference Room C
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).  

Live Music – Artist TBD

When: August 4, 4:30 pm
Location: South Ridge
Type: Live Music

There are six remaining spots in the music lineup. If you know a local Charlotte artist or are one yourself interested in performing, please submit an band submission form online before Monday, July 1.

Economics of Live Shows

When: August 4, 5:00 pm
Location: Conference Room D
Type: Economics of Live Shows
Panelists:
Gregg McCraw

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.

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: River Jam Stage
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.