Vermont is a state that excels at creative endeavor and the shore of Lake Champlain is an idyllic venue for showcasing it. A group of local organizations, each with intense respect for Vermont’s vibrant music community, have united to present a monthly music series on Burlington’s beautiful Waterfront.
On Wednesdays once each month through April 2013, a Vermont-based singer songwriter, followed by a band, will perform in the family-friendly Black Box Theater at the Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center on the corner of College Street and Lake Street. With support from presenting sponsor Citizens Bank. Main Street Landing, Big Heavy World, Seven Days and RETN have collaborated to make this concert and broadcast series possible. Additional support is provided by Stowe Mountain Resort, Advance Music, Moreau Theatrical Services, the Vermont Arts Council, and National Endowment for the Arts. The April 17 concert is the last of six concerts in this series. Concerts begin at 8pm sharp, admission is all-ages and suggested $5 donation. Proceeds support the concert series and Big Heavy World.
‘Rocket Shop’ is Big Heavy World’s local music radio hour, every Wednesday night at 8pm on 105.9FM The Radiator. Rocket Shop has hosted hundreds of Vermont musician guests in its five years on-air and this live concert series is a natural direction for the radio program to go. Host Matt Gadouas will MC Rocket Shop Live, and Big Heavy World’s volunteer crew will engineer videography and live streaming of the performances.
THE MUSIC OF MARCH 13: SAMARA LARK BROWN, then PATRICK FITZSIMMONS, 8pm sharp!
SAMARA LARK BROWN: Fresh out of the Los Angeles Music Academy in 2004, jazz vocalist and songwriter Samara Lark migrated to the Green Mountains of Vermont. Her initiation into the Burlington music scene was an invitation to sit in with Big Joe Burrell and the Unknown Blues Band. Playing with such talented and experienced musicians was just the beginning for Samara. She soon began writing her own songs and performing solo at local venues in the area.
Samara Lark sings from the heart. Always tinged with a notion of jazz, her songs possess a feeling of nostalgia with a playful quirkiness and a sincere honesty. Her voice conveys a message of strength through open vulnerability with a sound as tough as it is tender and as spicy as it is sweet. It was the voice of Billie Holiday that first inspired Samara to sing outside of church when she was a teen. Soon to follow in her album collection were the voices of Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James, Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell and Nina Simone. These powerhouse female vocalists energized Samara and ignited her passion for singing, leading her to school in Los Angeles, where she became trained in several styles of music including jazz, blues, bossa nova, rock, pop and soul.
Now, eight years after moving to Vermont, Samara has immersed herself deeply within the music scene in Burlington. She currently performs regularly as a solo act and also with The Wee Folkestra, Wave of the Future, and Mildred Moody. Samara sings yearly during the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival and has been a guest artist for such local talents as Barika, Dr. Ruckus, and the Swingin’ Vermont Big Band. In 2011, she had the honor of singing with piano marvel Marco Benevento and his trio with Andy Borger playing drums (Norah Jones, Tom Waits) and Dave Dreiwitz playing bass (Ween). When she’s not performing live, Samara Lark works hard to pass on the tradition of women in music as Volunteer Coordinator for Girls Rock Vermont, a summer camp whose mission is to teach young women and girls how to empower themselves through playing music.
PATRICK FITZSIMMONS: Vermont singer/songwriter, Patrick Fitzsimmons is a 2011 and 2012 Solarfest national songwriting contest finalist and a three time Ploughshares national songwriting contest finalist. Patrick has just released his sixth CD, ‘Hope Is,’ which has been getting airplay on radio stations all over the country. Relix Magazine called him, “one of the most captivating songwriters around today” and Seven Days wrote, “Fitzsimmons is an immensely talented singer. With a shimmering, silken delivery, he is effortlessly emotive.” Patrick has shared the stage with some of the acoustic music scene’s biggest names including Shawn Colvin, Dar Williams, Roger McGuinn, Ellis Paul and Vance Gilbert.
Fitzsimmons is a founding member of From Good Homes, a roots rock band signed to RCA Records in the mid to late 90′s. He began his solo career in 2001 and continues to tour throughout the northeast building a large and loyal following with his soulful, captivating performances.
FREE MUSICIANS PANEL, 7pm
Preceding these concerts, artists of every genre and experience level are invited to a music industry social hour in the theater, featuring presentations and workshops fostering success of independent, “do it yourself” music careers that so many Vermont artists experience. The workshops, presented by musician peers and supportive organizations like the Vermont Arts Council, are free and begin at 6pm. Topics include Earning Revenue through Live Performances in Rural Locations; Musician Social Networks – Real & Virtual; Creating, Managing, and Seamlessly Coordinating a Multi-Part Web Presence; How to Build a Fan Following in Vermont; How to Apply for Vermont Arts Council Funding for Performances, Tours, and Album Production; and Getting Sponsored and Raising Funds to Tour and Record.
MUSICIANS FOR MUSICIANS PANEL ON 3/13: Talent Buyers Present the Skill to Get Booked with panelists Alex Budney of Nectar’s and Linda Little, Managing Director of the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival.
ABOUT PANELIST LINDA LITTLE: Linda, a jazz saxophonist, brings a vast amount of jazz knowledge in addition to arts administration experience. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Jazz Performance from Berklee College of Music. While at Berklee, she was a member the school’s top ensembles, performing with music legends Joe Lovano, Chaka Khan, Michel Camilo, and Terry Lynne Carrington, to name a few. It’s also where her desire to present jazz began, as she established the college’s first jazz record label. Upon graduating, Linda relocated to London, where she continued to perform and teach for over two years. She has also played at over a dozen jazz festivals, toured Japan, and spent six months performing on a cruise ship. As a high school student, Linda performed at the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival in 1999 and 2000 with the All-State Jazz Ensemble when they opened for Herbie Hancock/Wayne Shorter Duo (’99) and Chucho Valdez (’00). Linda refocused her energy into presenting performing arts after many years of struggling with a chronic injury that made it difficult to perform. Since returning to her home state of Vermont, she has been the managing director of Kingdom County Productions, producing live performing arts in the Northeast Kingdom along with feature and documentary films. She is also no stranger to the Discover Jazz Festival, having managed merchandise for the past three years. In addition, she was the operations manager for the Festival of Fools, and independently produces jazz events at St. Micheal’s College, Catamount Arts, and the Greensboro Country Club.
Panelist Alex Budney.
LARGE-SCALE INDEPENDENT MEDIA SIMULCAST ON RADIO, TELEVISION, & THE WEB
Concerts will be broadcast live on the radio by community media partner 105.9FM ‘The Radiator;’ televised live by RETN on three local cable networks, viewable from Essex to Vergennes, and streamed online with video at www.bigheavyworld.com. RETN is found on channel 16 on cable TV in the cities and towns of Burlington, Essex, Essex Junction, St. George, South Burlington, Williston, Winooski, Charlotte, Ferrisburgh, Hinesburg, Shelburne, and Vergennes (two Comcast cable systems and Burlington Telecom).
The Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center Black Box Theater is located at the corner of College Street and Lake Street in Burlington, VT. For more information about the concert series, visit mainstreetlanding.com or bigheavyworld.com, or contact Mariah Riggs, firstname.lastname@example.org. Performers and workshop topics are subject to change without notice.
About Main Street Landing: Main Street Landing is an environmentally and socially conscious redevelopment company in Burlington, Vermont that has created over 250,000 square feet of built environment on the Burlington Waterfront.
About Big Heavy World: Big Heavy World is a volunteer-run nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting Vermont-made music. Based in Burlington, “Big Heavy’” operates a record label, public listening library, online music shop, community radio station, and special projects that help Vermont music find a wider audience. Bringing Vermont’s music community together since 1996, Big Heavy World is a high-spirited, independent regional music office and advocate for the arts. For more info: email@example.com; www.bigheavyworld.com.