High School Nation donates more than $1.5 Million to improve the arts and music at High Schools in the US

High School Nation organized tours to High Schools around the Nation
High School Nation organized tours to High Schools around the Nation
High School Nation Donating Millions to Arts and Music Budgets as Schools See Huge Shortfall

Recording Studios to be Built in Every School

CAMARILLO, CA–(Marketwired – Apr 12, 2017) – High School Nation, the country’s largest secondary school touring music festival, will top the $1.5 million mark in donations to high school arts and music programs this year when it kicks off its 2017 60-city Festival Tour. The goal of High School Nation is to promote the arts and music programs in high schools across the country, and this year the Festival will expand its donation program to include the establishment of recording studios in each of the schools where it appears.

“We believe that building recording studios will be a major step forward in high school music programs,” says Jimmy Cantillon, CEO and co-founder of High School Nation. “High school teachers and principals are very excited about this addition to our program. It’s a huge undertaking but we have companies in the industry who see the value and want to participate in any way they can.”

During the Festival Tour, High School Nation will take over football stadiums on each of the campuses and present a two-hour concert and events that will celebrate the arts in public schools. In addition to music programs, the Festival supports journalism, film, fine and performing arts, fashion, photography, and stage production.

Corporate sponsorships for the Festivals are being provided by over a dozen companies including Sparkling Ice, Guitar Center, Crayola, and Mars. PepsiCo, Microsoft, and Sony have all participated in the tours. As part of the Festival, students will visit interactive zones to interact with products and educational programs including the truth Zone, the Full Sail University Media Zone, the Hollister Style Zone, Guitar Center Music Zone, and the Crayola Sidewalk Chalk Zone.

The Festival Tour kicks off next week and will feature platinum selling rock band Plain White T’s. “We’re stoked to be headlining the High School Nation 2017 spring tour,” said band member Tom Higgenson. “We love the idea of playing our music and at the same time being able to help High School Nation donate to public school music programs. We believe it is a very important time to be assisting music programs as much as possible.” The band originally formed in 1997 by high school friends Higgenson and Dave Tirio.

“We are excited to be joining the High School Nation tour for the second year,” say Nina Morrison, vice president PR and community relations, of Talking Rain Beverage Company, the makers of Sparkling Ice. “The arts are a very important pillar of the high school experience and we’re honored to be able to help support the various programs.”

In addition to the above, one of this year’s leading sponsors is Truth Initiative, a national public health organization that is inspiring tobacco-free lives and building a culture where all youth and young adults reject tobacco through the proven-effective and nationally recognized truth® public education campaign. “Young people are using their creativity, through arts and music, to change the world and that’s why being part of High School Nation is so important to truth. The teen smoking rate is down to a historic low of 6 percent and this tour is an opportunity for us to give teens the tools they need join us in getting the rate to zero, because we believe they are the generation that can end smoking for good,” says Eric Ashe, Chief Marketing Officer, Truth Initiative.

“We are extremely thrilled to partner with High School Nation with its mission to make the musical instruments easily accessible to students,” says Brian Berman, Vice President of Marketing at Guitar Center. “Ensuring people have a creative outlet to express themselves in the form of music is very important to us at Guitar Center. High School Nation is doing a great job of providing opportunities for children across the U.S. to experience the invaluable gift of learning and playing a musical instrument.”

“Consumers naturally associate Crayola tools with coloring; it made sense for us to embrace that association essentially with kids of all ages, including teens and tweens, and be there for them,” says Kimberly Rompilla, Director of Platform Marketing at Crayola. “We have been involved in new product introductions and new initiatives with High School Nation and this Spring, we are excited to provide a colorful twist to teen outdoor activities, helping kids to express themselves throughout the season.”

The tours also feature a number of young, emerging performers brought in by record labels that see the benefits in being a part of this movement. RCA, Capital, Warner Bros. Records, and DreamWorks, are among the half dozen labels that have participated in the success of the Festival Tours.

“At the center of our Festivals are performances by some of the music industry’s hottest young rising stars,” Cantillon adds. “It’s one of the only opportunities for record labels and consumer products companies to come together to entertain, engage, and give back.” High school students, who spend over $260 billion per year on consumer products, are a significant audience for both the music industry and corporate sponsors.

About High School Nation:

High School Nation keeps music and arts programs alive for students across the country with donations, equipment and facilities.

Our Festival and Concert Tours are the largest events in the nation donating recording studios, musical equipment and funding for schools through on-campus sponsored live music concerts, and hands on activities. To date we have provided nearly $2 million to more than 200 schools and 600,000 students across the country.

Our culture is built around the development of innovative activities with significant and lifelong impact on teens. Through HSN, teens gain the chance to make music and the arts a significant part of their personal and, in some cases, future professional lives. Schools receive much needed funding to continue their educational programs, recording artists gain exposure to their biggest fans and brands make favorable and trusted impressions on a huge, underserved group of young consumers.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Nicolas Bearde’s China tour commences May 28, 2017 at Beijing National Theatre

 Nicolas Bearde
Nicolas Bearde

Nicolas Bearde’s China debut performance wll be at the Beijing National Theatre on May 28, with sax legend Vincent Herring. Bassist and promoter for this event, Peng Ji, one of the new generation of Chinese Jazz musicians, received his degree in Jazz bass performance in the Netherlands, and his MA degree from Queens College in New York.

He has also studied with legendary musicians Ron Carter and Antonio Hart, and performed with James Moody, George Cable, Don Braden and the like.  The group also includes, pianist, Moreno Donadel, drummer, Anthony Vanacore and vocalist, Paulette McWilliams.

We wish Nicolas Bearde much enjoyment on his next new adventures in this part of the world.

What an amazing venue!

Beijing National Theatre
Beijing National Theatre

 

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Interview with world-renowned Musical Diva – N’Kenge

N'Kenge enchants Broadway Musical Audiences around the world
N’Kenge enchants Broadway Musical Audiences around the world

Recently we had the pleasure of a personal interview with N’Kenge, one of the most accomplished musical artists of this century.  Her accomplishments are too numerous to mention. First opera singer to win the Lena Horne Vocal Competition,  first opera singer to win the New York State talented teen, starred in the world tour of Man in the Mirror Tribute Show to Michael Jackson, starred on West End London in the production of the Genius of Ray Charles, was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award for outstanding lead actress in arena stage’s production of 3 Mo Divas, she sang for Obama, Kofi Annan, Bill Clinton, did 140 shows in 2014 alone and received a proclamation from New York City Hall for her community work. Oh, she sings in 11 different languages.  So it is a genuine honor to have her give us a personal interview.  Enjoy!

What are your favorite upcoming projects?

I’ve started rehearsals this week for The Golden Apple musical which will be performed next month in the encore series at New York City Center. I’m excited to play the principal role of Mother Hare that doubles as Circe.

This summer will be filled with some exciting projects. In June, I will play the role of Tonya in a Showcase of the Broadway bound “54 The Musical.

I also join Maestro Steve Reineke and the Philadelphia Orchestra in the concert Sophisticated Ladies/Ella Fitzgerald at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

What were your favorite performances?

Probably a combination of making my debut as Musetta in Puccini’s La Bohème at Virginia Opera and originating the role of Mary Wells in the Broadway’s MOTOWN: The Musical.

How did you get started in the entertainment industry?

I started singing at 10 years old at my elementary school in the Bronx PS 95. I landed the role of Patty in Snoopy, the Musical, and I got the music bug. All I ever wanted to do from that time onward was to sing and to make people happy through my music. I got a scholarship to get my Bachelor’s Degree at the Manhattan School of Music and a Master’s Degree at the Juilliard School. I was immediately singing with New York City Opera, Virginia Opera, and Seattle Opera once I graduated. Then I got cast in a show called 3 Mo Divas about opera singers who can sing in  eight styles of music. That was the show that transitioned me into the Musical Theater and Pop World.

You have classical training, do you miss performing classical music or do you still work on it?

I still perform classical music with symphonies around the world and was the lead in a Wagner Opera during a vacation break from MOTOWN: The Musical, on Broadway. Probably the first and last time I would ever perform Wagner immediately after doing an eight show week of Motown music. Ha, ha.

When did you realize you wanted to become a singer / performer?

At 10 years old. My fifth grade teacher gave me a chance to perform on stage, and I’ve been addicted ever since. My mom was a huge supporter and was giving me every opportunity to perform – once she realized I had this gift.

Do you have advice for any young people who dream to become singers.

Turning dreams into reality comes with a recipe of hard work, perseverance and passion. Stay focused and develop a circle of people that will support you. Music is a hard career to break into, but if it’s what you LOVE then every step of your journey is worth it.

N’Kenge is such an amazing woman, such an amazing artist, and a genuine role model for kids all around the world.  Learn more about her on her website:   www.nkengemusic.com

PERFORMANCE LINKS

FEVER- LIVE ON WEST END, LONDON in The Genius of Ray Charles

“DEFYING GRAVITY” AT IWF- Performed by N’Kenge

SKYFALL at the Legendary BIRDLAND JAZZ CLUB in NYC

Enjoy more shows on her very own Youtube Channel.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Artist Highlight – Shambhu

Shambhu released Soothe CD in February this year
Shambhu released Soothe CD in February this year

In today’s modern world, people are feeling more disconnected and stressed than ever. Shambhu transforms the stillness and silence of meditation into calming sounds. An acclaimed guitarist and composer, Shambhu delivers a deeply soulful and self-reflective experience with his third studio album, Soothe, was released on  February 1, 2017.

Shambhu recorded his new CD, “SOOTHE,” at Magic Cottage Studios (Lagunitas, CA) with producer Todd Boston. Artists featured on the CD include Shambhu on acoustic and electric guitars, Michael Manring on bass, Jeff Haynes on percussion, Frank Martin on piano, Paul McCandless on reeds, Premik Russell Tubbs on soprano sax and wind synth, George Brooks on soprano sax, Ravichandra Kulur on bansuri flute, Kristin Hoffmann on vocals, and Gurumurthy V on tabla.

As noted album reviewer, John Apice, states in his stellar review: “At first, unfamiliar ears will find this particular tune of Shambhu’s too dreamy. Upon closer listen it will reveal subtle instrumental nuances that weave equally beautifully as Reverberi, Morricone, and Kaemphert had — through every measure. This at least, is my interpretation and where I believe the greatness of Shambhu could possibly lie. If it becomes true, he would occupy quite a respectable space beside these musicians. “Time Travel,” has a sprightlier guitar — similar in nature to Pat Metheny — and the horns are smooth as silk. The strum of the acoustic guitars is Kaemphert in nature. But overall, the style is brilliantly developed by Shambhu – who plays acoustic and electric guitars, adds voice, tosses in a 6-string ukulele, e-sitar and e-pads.”

John Apice goes on to say: “The title track “Soothe,” opens with pristine and pensive acoustic guitar. At times this kind of music is similar to passages performed by The Moody Blues at their height. However, Shambhu is not just offering a sample, but an entire piece with female vocals just under the surface, soaring benevolently. The tone is similar to acoustic guitar master Leo Kottke and is intricately beautiful in the same way as many of his classic instrumentals.”  Full Article

Shambhu invites you into his “Soothe” sound scapes of perfect harmony. He provides an energetic field that is conducive for a deep meeting with your Self, a space and a time conducive to integrate your ID with your Higher Self. His spiritual music of Soothe, his knowledge of meditation, and expertise in harmonizing energies allows you to shed the stresses of every day life. Join him on this spiritual journey to get in tune again with Gaia Nature and your own Nature from a spiritual sense. Feel as mellow as though you were sitting on the beach in Maui, right in the heart of NYC or where ever you are burdened with a hectic schedule.

As a successful business man Shambhu (Neil) Vineberg knows all about the pressures of dealing with time, traffic, presentations, deadlines, family commitment, investments, health and changes in politics and trends. To stay calm and balanced Shambhu began at a very young age to learn how to meditate. He now will share his ability to harmonize his energy body with you to allow you to benefit from his many years of studying and practicing the spiritual teachings of the Sri Chinmoy, Jack Kornfield, and many more.

The Shambhu Harmonics allows you to breathe deep, let go of everyday stressors, smoothe out the wrinkles of the many challenges you face and allows you guilt free “me time” guiding you back to you centered self. Come join us and experience the harmony that is created when like-minded people join together and focus on peace and harmony. Give your heart and mind a tune-up on a cell level.  The next Shambhu Harmonics event will be held in San Diego on May 23rd at the Pilgrimage Yoga.  You may also enjoy his upcoming concerts at a variety of San Diego wineries.

To buy the CD visit Amazon, Itunes or your favorite store. It is also available on Spotify, or purchase it right on Shambhu’s store.

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Kerry Gordy’s Producer Midi Jones signs with multi-year contract with SyncStories

Kerry Gordy with Reggie Benjamin
Kerry Gordy with Reggie Benjamin 

LOS ANGELES, April 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — As a producer, engineer and musician, 23 year old, Midi Jones began making music at 12 and professionally at 18 years old under Motown Records legend Berry Gordy and his son, esteemed record exec Kerry Gordy. Growing up with notable industry family figures that included Norman Whitfield, (a Motown legend with hits including Marvin Gaye’s “Heard It Through the Grapevine” and The Temptations “Papa Was a Rolling Stone”), it’s no surprise that Midi developed an ear for a classic sound that would transform his evolving pop electronic style throughout his career.

SyncStories A&R & Operations Manager, Shannon Nicole Roc states, “I heard about a producer named Midi Jones and when I listened to his records, I knew I found a hidden gem.  The level of his production and the intensity of his sound was enough for me to know that SyncStories had to work with him.  I shared his music with our founder, Eric Vasquez, and SyncStories signed him immediately.”

 

As an in-demand emerging producer, Midi’s quickly becoming a “go-to” for major label artists. Recent releases include Jadagrace (Capitol Records), slated Smokey Robinson release (Motown Universal) and Avalon Young (American Idol Season XV top 8) featuring Xavier Omår which charted #2 on the iTunes R&B album charts and twice featured in Billboard. Midi is also a regular collaborator with songwriter, Sam Hook (The Game, Miley Cyrus, Nick Jonas) and worked on records for Kurupt, Brillz, Kyan, Esta (Soulection) and Ronnie DeVoe (New Edition, Bel Biv DeVoe).

In early 2017, SyncStories signed Midi to a multi-year publishing deal. The relationship began naturally through company A&R efforts in late 2016. With momentum and excitement beyond the horizon, 2017 is as bright as ever for this budding wonder kid.

About SyncStories:
SyncStories is a hybrid music group servicing TV, Film, Interactive Media and Commercial Recording Artists. The company’s activities include Music Publishing, Artist Management, A&R, Music Production, and Global TV & Film licensing operations as a commercial artist division of 5 Alarm Music – N. America.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

First Annual Philadelphia Jazz Festival, April 23 – 30

Headliners Include Terri Lyne Carrington, Madison McFerrin,
Bob Dorough, Jeff Bradshaw, Jaguar Wright,
Orrin Evans, Gerald Veasley, and more
Philadelphia Jazz Festval 2017
Philadelphia Jazz Festval 2017
The Bynum Brothers–Robert and Ben Bynum, creators of popular restaurants/jazz venues including SOUTH, Paris Bistro, RELISH,  Warmdaddy’s, as well as the former internationally recognized Zanzibar Blue–are proud to announce, in conjunction with Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy, The Philadelphia Jazz Festival. The Festival, which will be presented as part of Jazz Appreciation Month, is set to take place in multiple venues across the city from Sunday, April 23 through Sunday, April 30.
The Bynum Brothers, have created a new non-profit organization whose mission is to support local, national, and internationally recognized artists. The festival will strive to create an impactful annual event that will resonate throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and to preserve and promote the emblematic jazz history of Philadelphia. “We support Philadelphia’s diverse pool of musicians 52 weeks a year in four different locations across the city,” explains Robert Bynum. “This Philadelphia Jazz Festival, along with the PJE, is about strengthening the fabric of our community and cultivating future generations of fans, artists, and jazz admirers.”
In their inaugural year, the Philadelphia Jazz Festival will present a comprehensive mix of artists across a broad musical spectrum. Multiple Grammy® Award-winning drummer and composer Terri Lyne Carrington; Madison McFerrin, daughter of Bobby McFerrin; original member of thefamed Saturday Night Live band Steve Turre; 93-year-old pianist/singer/composer Bob Dorough, and others will perform throughout the week while locals includingLil John Roberts, Jeff Bradshaw, and Jaguar Wright are also set to appear. The Philadelphia Jazz Festival will support the return engagement of esteemed alumnus and newly signed Mack Avenue Records recording artist Joey DeFrancesco (who recently received a star on the Philadelphia Walk of Fame) as part of a local All-Star band, Randy Brecker, E-Lew(Eric Lewis), and others. Pianist Orrin Evans and bassist Gerald Veasley, both of whom helped launch a pair of weekly series at SOUTH, are also slated to perform.
While the music certainly stands on its own, the Festival will also offer an important Education & Outreach component with several events throughout the week. Partnered with organizations such as the Kimmel Center, Jazz Lives Philadelphia, and Jazz Journeys, youths and seniors have been invited to attend a “Meeting with the Masters” program, various meet and greets, discussions, luncheons, and more with artists like Leon Jordon Sr., Orrin Evans, and Gerald Veasley.  The Festival will have a strong charity component targeting the Food Connect Group, Big Brothers and Big Sisters and the North Broad Street Renaissance as beneficiaries of this year’s festival.
The Festival’s partnerships include the following venues: SOUTH, Chris’ Jazz Club, World Café Live, Warmdaddy’s, RELISH, The Philadelphia Clef Club, The Paris Bistro, Ardmore Music Hall, and the new Michael Nutter Theater at the Philadelphia Convention Center amongst others. Sponsors and supporters for the festival include Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, PECO, Stella Artois, Brown Foreman, Promixo Beverage, Penn Beer, Breakthru Beverage, Southern Wines & Spirits, among others.
For a full schedule of events please go to
Shared from Press Release by D.L. Media
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail