ASCAP Music Cafe at the Sundance Film Festival line-up announced
Bluebird Cafe series will also return
The Park Record
Rooney, Michael Franti and Josh Kelley will be among the artists who
will perform at the 19th ASCAP Music Cafe that will run during the 2017
Sundance Film Festival.
The performances, which start at 2 p.m., will take place at the Rich
Haines Gallery, 751 Main St., from Friday, Jan. 20, through Friday, Jan.
27, and will feature an array of artists that also include SadGirl, Josh
Kelly and Jack Savoretti. See schedule below.
There are many moving pieces that help select the artists who perform at the cafe, said Loretta Munoz, ASCAP assistant vice president and Sundance ASCAP Music Café producer.
“We have our wish list of artists who we want to perform, and we work with our record labels and artist managers to try and see who we can get,” Munoz told The Park Record. “We also have a great staff who keep their ears open and are so keen in watching artists who are emerging that they feel could contribute to the ASCAP Music Cafe stage and live up to the reputation.”
ASCAP also works with music publishers and the artists themselves.
“We pull everything together and look at what we can do,” Munoz said. “This is such a high-profile endeavor. We hold Sundance in our highest regard and respect and work hard to maintain that level.”
The goal for the ASCAP Music Cafe hasn’t changed in the past 19 years.
“By working hand in hand with the Sundance Institute and the Sundance Film Festival, we share this idea to spotlight new discoveries and bringing in established and legacy artists to the festival’s audiences, which is multi-generational,” Munoz said. “We also want to bring filmmakers and film composers to the stage who have collaborated on their projects, and we want to bring that eclectic writer/artist roster to the festival and we want to expose artists to young festival goers or first-time festival goers.”
Last year, the ASCAP Music Cafe featured rapper Sonita, the subject of Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami’s documentary, “Sonita.”
“She’s a great young rapper and the film went on to win the Sundance Grand Jury prize,” Munoz said. “That is a great Sundance moment.”
Another Music Cafe appearance from last year included Sting, who collaborated with composer J. Ralph on a song called “The Empty Chair” that is heard in the documentary “Jim: The James Foley Story.”
“I remember hearing that hauntingly beautiful song for the first time during soundcheck,” Munoz said. “The entire room was brought to tears at a very early moment in the morning.”
This year, we have Fantastic Negrito.
“His real name is Xavier and I’ve been following him for a while,” Munoz said. “As it turns out, he’s Grammy-nominated this year for Best Contemporary Blues album for this record called ‘The Last Days of Oakland.’“
Munoz first heard of Fantastic Negrito on NPR a few years ago.
“He had signed with a record label and suffered a horrific car accident, and rebuilt his life from that to what he’s doing today,” she said. “He’s a wise human being and his music is great.”
As for the elder statesmen of music, Michael Franti is one of those who Munoz had her eye on for years.
“Michael tours frequently and is an amazing artist and activist,” Munoz said. “His dance card fills up quickly, so we were so lucky to have him come to Sundance.”
In addition to individual artists, the ASCAP Music Cafe continues its partnership with Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe series that will start at 4:40 p.m. on
Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 25-26.
This series, which is a partnership with ASCAP and the legendary Bluebird
Cafe in Nashville, showcases award-winning songwriters such as J.T.
Harding, known for songs he wrote for Kenny Chesney and Blake Shelton. Rivers Rutherford, who writes songs for Chesney, Dolly Parton and Tim McGraw, will also be there.
The showcase will also feature newcomer Bret Young.
“We have such a great relationship with the Bluebird and it’s [General Manager] Erika [Wollam Nichols],” Munoz said. “It’s a holy house of music and it’s such a great partner. We’re excited to partner with them again this year.”
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