We were talking about a musical showcase at Baker Lumber. We thought Tuesday, November 26 made a good date. We thought it would work well to alternate weeks with Strings & Things at Seven Steps Up, which meets next week, Tuesday, November 19. Attending gives a good idea what a Nashville showcase looks like. Gary Hanks has a simple formula. He has a few people from the community who lead. He provides electricity to power the electric pianos, speakers and guitars. He selects a leading musical performer from the musicians who approach him for opportunities. That's what makes it a showcase; there's a headliner.
Beginning is simple. We invite musicians and audience from Seven Steps Up and from the network of open mikes around town. There's plenty of people looking for an open mike, especially since the open mike at Tip-A-Few with Joel Toppen crashed due to many different factors. It's not easy to have an open mike in a place that serves intoxicating beverages and hasn't an exclusive focus on music. Speaking about politics, I see Toppen teaches that at Hope College and I'm carbon copying him. He would be the right guy to lead if he were willing.
Publicizing is as simple as passing a card next Tuesday and setting up a Facebook event. I'll set up a Facebook event once we are all green light.
The key is to make the musical session different from the start. It's a safe, alcohol free space. Should one focus on young musicians? We spoke about the idea of working in a luthier angle, since we are in a lumberyard that purveys fine wood. To have a luthier angle, one looks for a luthier. At the Livery Brewing Company, J. Burda of Berrien Springs performed with his family weekly and a talent like him could be a great place to start. However, he's more than a mile away. Would Baker Lumber retain a luthier and begin a market in fine woods for instruments by appointing a luthier in residence? I think of Wayne Johnson of Jazz Woodworks, and he might be tempted to grow in the luthier arts. If we go for this angle, then announcing a call for luthiers might make the next positive step.
Looking forward to your thoughts.