A few Manitoba residents will be escaping the spring slush and cold with a trip to Los Angeles at the end of April. Two local bands will be heading south to perform for some the music industry’s most influential players at MUSEXPO 2008. MUSEXPO – which runs April 27 to April 30 in West Hollywood -- is one of North America’s most important music business conferences, attended by top international industry professionals, label execs, A&R big wigs, and major television and movie music supervisors.
MUSEXPO selected only 36 acts from around the world for coveted official showcase spots. Rock quintet The Nods were chosen by MUSEXPO to join this year’s line-up, which includes some of the hottest buzz bands from the U.S., Europe, Asia, and beyond. The Nods have been building up a buzz since the October release of their latest CD, Static Pop. In addition to hitting the top 200 CMJ college radio charts, the band landed in Austin, Texas for an energetic showcase at the RedGorilla Music Fest as well as a showcase at Toronto's Canadian Music Week in March. The band has just signed a licensing agreement with MTV that could see their music placed in shows including Life of Ryan, The Hills, and The Real Life series as well as a new series from the newly launched cable network M Cable TV.
For the second year, MARIA and MANITOBA FILM & SOUND will present a special luncheon on April 29 for all the conference delegates at the Hyatt West Hollywood. This year features an acoustic performance by acclaimed roots duo Twilight Hotel, who have been enjoying a wave of success since the January release of Highway Prayer, produced by award-winning producer Colin Linden (Bruce Cockburn, Blackie & The Rodeo Kings). They were recently nominated for the Emerging Artist trophy at this year’s Folk Alliance Awards in Memphis and Highway Prayer was just licensed to European label Corazong Records, which will release the album this May in the UK. The duo will head across the pond to perform at the giant Canada Day London celebration in Trafalgar Square on July 1.
The Manitoba hospitality continues with a special networking dinner with Alicen Catron Schneider, VP of Music Supervision and NBC Universal Television Music, on May 1. At the dinner, Manitoba’s artists and industry will have the opportunity to schmooze with Schneider’s invited guests, including key music publishers and supervisors.
This year’s MUSEXPO delegates include heavy-hitters like Nic Harcourt (Music Director, KCRW Los Angeles), Alexandra Patsavas (Founder/Music Supervisor, Chop Shop Music – “Grey’s Anatomy” etc.), Kathleey Carey (Sr. VP International, Sony/BMG), Carter Armstrong (VP of Music, Warner Bros. Pictures), Steven Stewart (Manager, Nokia Music Solutions), Diane Warren (award-winning songwriter), and many more.
The Manitobans making the trip this year include Sara Stasiuk and Danielle Strueby of MARIA, Carole Vivier and Barbara Sedun of MANITOBA FILM & SOUND, Chris Burke-Gaffney and Jewls Dengl of CBG Artist Development, Brandon Friesen of 441 Studios, Jack Shapira of Unison Studios, artist Kelly Fairchild, and David Kennedy of Manitoba Trade and Investment. Singer/songwriter Scott Nolan and acoustic pop duo Keith and Renee will also be in L.A.
Many of the Manitoba delegation received travel assistance from the Market Access Program, a funding program jointly administered by MARIA and MANITOBA FILM & SOUND with the purpose of supporting Manitoba artists and music industry professionals in professional development, and attending and enhancing their presence at professionally organized music industry conferences and showcases.