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2 groups pursue powerhouse status for Memphis music

CarleeMcCullough-160ON OUR WAY TO WEALTHY: African-American Music Appreciation Month is in full stride, as are the Memphis Music Foundation and Consortium Memphis Music Town – two organizations committed to Memphis' reemergence as a music-industry powerhouse.

The Memphis Music Foundation (MMF) has drawn a bead on leveling the playing field for Memphis artists in the music business, with myriad programs designed to that end. And The Consortium Memphis Music Town, aka The Consortium MMT, is a national music mentorship non-profit.


The Memphis Music Foundation (www.memphismeansmusic.com) has myriad programs designed to aid Memphis artists. Let's take a peek.

Backstage Pass gives members of the Memphis Music Foundation and Resource Center access to established music industry professionals. Industry newcomers and veterans hear "secrets to success" and learn steps to improve their craft during in-depth conversation.

Memphis Music Foundation Showcases present "the best emerging talent in Memphis" to industry players from diverse genres and local music-loving audiences. A committee of local music professionals selects the bands.

Memphis Ambassadors brings Memphis artists to major music industry gatherings around the country. Launched with a Memphis caravan traveling to represent the city at the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas, the program has continued with groups traveling to the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, as well as continuing appearances at SXSW.

Through the Piggyback Program, Memphis bands merge with established musicians touring cities within close geographical proximity of Memphis. MMF provides the emerging act with tour support and a jumpstart to building a solid regional fan base.

MMF's flagship is The Memphis Music Resource Center (MRC) – a business solutions workspace and information center for Memphis musicians and music industry professionals. Computers, fax machines and telephones are all available, as well as information about publishing, licensing and publicity.

MRC also provides support for creating business plans, production training on Pro Tools and Logic, designing posters, tweaking your video and a range of other needs.

Music Consortium

The Consortium MMT (www.theconsortiummmt.org) is dedicated to developing a new, young talent pool. The idea is to bring back the thriving music industry veterans, who will be passing techniques and improvement processes on to them.

The Consortium MMT's goal is to offer an opportunity for young songwriters, artists, producers and home studio owners to receive information, insight and application steps from professionals with proven track records. The seasoned professionals look to detail what made their careers successful without compromising the gifts and talents of the emerging talents in the program.

"This program is not for talent who are just starting out, but for those who have had a passion and development ongoing and have been performing, writing and producing and who are seeking greater accomplishment on their journey to success," says legendary songwriter David Porter.

NEXT WEEK: Local artists.

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