Music agents and managers lean on Congress for small-business relief
Friday, September 11, 2020
By John Garelick, Globe Staff
With Congress back in session, a lot of independent music venues, managers, agents, and producers find themselves in the same boat as hair salons and hardware stores. All are small businesses facing a coronavirus-induced existential crisis. All are hanging on hopes of a generous bill to replace the CARES Act relief package that expired July 31.
For many small music venues, that means the Save Our Stages bill, which would provide loans and other relief. But many are also looking to the broader bill dubbed RESTART, sponsored by senators Michael Bennet, a Colorado Democrat, and Todd Young, an Indiana Republican. RESTART offers generous relief to small (fewer than 500 employees) and mid-size (fewer than 5,000 employees) independent businesses.
The appeal of RESTART is in its long-term repayment program — up to seven years in some cases — and its generous forgiveness for losses suffered in 2020. Its provisions are crucial to the many independent players in the concert music business.
“Our business was one of the first to have to close down,” said talent agent Ted Kurland, who runs Boston’s Kurland Agency. “And we will be one of the last to come back.”
Kurland, who books blue-chip jazz acts like Pat Metheny, Wynton Marsalis, and Cécile McLorin Salvant, pointed out that tours and performances originally scheduled for 2020 were at first moved to 2021 and are now being scheduled for 2022.
The live music business, said Wayne Forte, who runs New York’s Entourage Talent Associates, needs “a long runway before we are back in business.”
“That is to say, if the all-clear is given in the spring of next year, it will take 6-12 months to coordinate, organize, book, and then market and promote client/artist tours,” he wrote in an e-mail. “We do not have the luxury of opening our doors, turning on the lights, and being back in business.” And revenue won’t be generated until those newly booked shows play — anywhere from another nine to 18 months, he said.
With all that on the line, indie music industry professionals have found themselves in an unusual position: building support in Congress. And to that end, they’ve formed a nonprofit coalition, the National Independent Talent Organization, and hired a lobbyist.
“I’m a political junkie,” said Frank Riley of High Road Touring, a founding member of the new organization whose clients include Aimee Mann, Amanda Palmer, and Brittany Howard. “I always thought, ‘Oh, well, I know about politics.’ Well, it turns out, I didn’t know anything about politics until I got involved in this. Votes are currency in D.C., the currency that allows you to get reelected.”
The group has provided tools at its website, www.nitolive.org, for e-mailing and writing to members of Congress and getting the word out on social media.
Based in California, Riley made his comments last month at a town-hall-style Zoom meeting of the Boston Managers Group, an organization founded 27 years ago by Watertown artist manager Ralph Jaccodine and former Aerosmith manager Tim Collins. The meeting also included Kurland and Forte.
“If you say this is important to you, your representative will register that,” Riley said at the meeting, which was open to journalists. “It might sway them to incorporate aspects of the various bills that are in front of Congress right now that are meant to get us through this terrible time, to get us to a place where we can all resume our very successful, profitable, and productive businesses.”This last is an important talking point for the group. All of them were running robust small businesses before they were throttled by the coronavirus.
“We’re not looking for a handout,” said Forte, another NITO founding member, whose clients have included David Bowie, Tom Petty, and the Clash.
During the Zoom meeting, and in separate conversations, the NITO members spoke hopefully of their alliance with the related National Independent Venue Association, and a word that came up often was “ecosystem” — lighting and sound technicians, venue staff, touring crews, and the importance of live music to dozens of related industries, from restaurants and parking lot attendants to hotels.
The common denominator for performing arts businesses, of course, is the necessity for public gatherings.
Live performance, says singer-songwriter Livingston Taylor, is about “how to be around, literally, dozens, hundreds, thousands of people.” The Massachusetts native, a Jaccodine client, has taught stage performance at Berklee College of Music for years. He calls live shows “the absolute antithesis of the coronavirus mitigation solution.”
“I’m deeply concerned about people living paycheck to paycheck,” said Taylor. He says he is lucky enough to have the resources to weather a year of unemployment. But the people on his management team, like Jaccodine and his booking agent, work on commission. “And if I’m not generating an income, it ain’t happening.”
Ralph Jaccodine & Jeremiah "Ice" Younossi @ Boston Calling
Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Photo Credit: Michael Spencer Photography
Ralph Jaccodine Management Welcomes Stu Kimball
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
For the past 25+ years I have managed the careers of some great artists such as Livingston Taylor, Ellis Paul, Martin Sexton, The Push Stars, Magic Dick & Shun Ng and many others. Helping musicians has been my passion.
It is not often that I add artists to my roster but, today, I have some exciting news... I have recently teamed up with my 20+ year friend the multi-talented Stu Kimball who has a long and varied career as a band member, sideman and producer and, for the last 15 years, as the guitarist for Bob Dylan.
Between joining Bob Dylan’s “Never Ending Tour” in 2004 and leaving it in 2018, Stu strapped on his guitar for 1,323 shows; the most that any guitarist has ever played alongside the iconic singer-songwriter. He has made significant contributions to seven Dylan albums, including 2006’s Grammy-winning, Platinum-selling "Modern Times," and has been hailed by preeminent Dylanologist Peter Stone Brown as “One of the top five guitar players to play on-stage with Bob Dylan — easily.”
Besides working with Bob Dylan, Stu has played with a variety of amazing talent. Check out the list here.
Welcome Stu Kimball! We will be looking to get Stu back out on the road touring as a sideman, playing sessions and producing for his next chapter.
I look forward to hearing from you if you have any questions about Stu.
Culture Shocks with Barry Lynn - 3.14.19 Episode with Ralph Jaccodine
Friday, March 15, 2019
Cultureshocks is a podcast and blog that takes a sometimes serious, sometimes comedic, look at the politics and culture of today. Barry Lynn’s goal is to do just the opposite of David Letterman’s new podcast “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction”. He introduces folks to people they well might not know because our media has a tendency to recycle “famous people” and ignore innovative voices out there.
Barry Lynn was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. His family moved to nearby Bethlehem when he was a child. He attended Bethlehem's Liberty High School, graduating in 1966.
Lynn received his B.A. in 1970 from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and his theology degree from Boston University School of Theology in 1973. After attending law school at night, he received his J.D. degree from Georgetown University Law Center.
After law school, Lynn continued to work with the United Church of Christ to gain amnesty for young men who refused to fight in the Vietnam War. Later, Lynn held various positions related to religious liberties.
From 1974 to 1980, Lynn held positions within the national offices of the United Church of Christ, including two years for the Church's Office of Church in Society in Washington, D.C., as legislative counsel
In the mid-to-late 1980s he was legislative counsel for Washington's ACLU office, where he frequently worked on church–state issues.
From 1992 until his retirement in 2017, the Rev. Barry W. Lynn served as executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a Washington, D.C.-based organization dedicated to the preservation of the Constitution’s religious liberty provisions. In addition to his work as a long-time activist and lawyer in the civil liberties field.
Lynn is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, offering him a unique perspective on church-state issues. An accomplished speaker and lecturer, Lynn has appeared frequently on television and radio broadcasts to offer analysis of First Amendment issues.
In 2006, Lynn authored Piety & Politics: The Right-Wing Assault On Religious Freedom (Harmony Books). In 2008 he coauthored (with C. Welton Gaddy) First Freedom First: A Citizen’s Guide to Protecting Religious Liberty and the Separation of Church and State (Beacon Press).
His latest book is God & Government: Twenty-Five Years of Fighting for Equality, Secularism, and Freedom Of Conscience (Prometheus Books), published in 2015.
Lynn has appeared frequently on radio broadcasts and television to debate and discuss First Amendment issues, including The MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour, NBC's Today Show, Nightline, Fox Morning News (Washington, D.C.), CNN's Crossfire, The Phil Donahue Show, Meet the Press, CBS Morning News, ABC's Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, ABC World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, and Larry King Live. He is also a weekly commentator on church-state issues for UPI Radio, and served for two years as regular co-host of "Pat Buchanan and Company" on the Mutual Broadcasting System.
Lynn hosted the radio program Culture Shocks, from 2005 until 2013, which could be heard from Washington, D.C., to Southern California on AM and FM radio stations. The show was syndicated nationally by "GCN Live", The Genesis Communications Network.
In October of 2018, Barry Lynn returned to the airwaves with a weekly podcast of Culture Shocks. The show airs at 3 p.m. Pacific Time, every Friday on Radio Station KCAA AM-FM, Loma Linda, California.
TO LISTEN, CLICK THE LINK BELOW, SELECT THE PLATFORM OF YOUR CHOICE, AND FIND EPISODE 3.14.19
MBJ Cut Time: Episode 1 - Interview with Ralph Jaccodine
Friday, March 8, 2019
Exclusive interview with industry professional and Berklee professor Ralph Jaccodine discussing current industry management techniques and trends.
Tuesday, January 1, 2019
Ralph Jaccodine Receives the Club Passim Legacy Award!
Tuesday, October 23, 2018
For Immediate Release
Contact: Adam Klein
Ralph Jaccodine Recognized with Passim Legacy Award
Award Recognizes Individuals Who Have Demonstrated Extraordinary Commitment to the Organization
Cambridge, MA, October 30, 2018 – Recognizing years of dedication to the organization, Passim announced that it has bestowed the Passim Legacy Award on Ralph Jaccodine, founder of Ralph Jaccodine Management and faculty member at Berklee College of Music.
“For more than a decade, Ralph has been a part of the Passim family, serving on both our Board of Directors and our Advisory Council,” said Jim Wooster, Executive Director of Passim. “His unwavering commitment, depth of knowledge and willingness to help guide the organization over the years has been unmatched. We are thrilled to honor him with this award and publicly recognize his contributions.”
The Passim Legacy Award recognizes individuals who have shown extraordinary commitment and dedication to the organization, and whose contributions have had a profound and lasting impact on Passim, its members, and the community served by Passim. These contributions have enriched the lives of members of our community, consistent with Passim’s mission of helping the performing arts flourish by providing exceptional live musical experiences, nurturing artists at all stages of their careers, and building a vibrant music community.
Jaccodine’s work with Passim traces back to the organization’s transformation from a music club, under the leadership of Bob and Rae Ann Dolin, to a non-profit organization. He served as a member of the Board of Directors for twelve years, ensuring the financial stability of the organization while helping to expand the mission to serve a greater community. He currently serves as a member of the Passim Advisory Council.
“Passim has been an integral part of my life, first as a fan and then throughout my career where many of my musicians began to play. Over the years, I began to see my support of the organization as a way to give back to the music community that has shared so much with me,” said Jaccodine. “Like many members of the Passim community, I view the organization as a national treasure. I am honored to receive this award and look forward to continuing to share Passim’s mission to the greater music community.”
As founder of Ralph Jaccodine Management, Jaccodine has emerged as an important voice in the music community in Boston, helping musicians build lasting careers by focusing on hard work and doing things for the right reasons. Jaccodine is also a full-time faculty member in the Music Business/Management Department at Berklee College of Music.
The mission of Passim is to provide truly exceptional and interactive live musical experiences for both performers and audiences, to nurture artists at all stages of their career, and to build a vibrant music community. Passim does so through their legendary listening venue, music school, artist grants and outreach programs. As a nonprofit since 1994, Passim carries on the heritage of our predecessors-the historic Club 47 (1958-1968) and for-profit Passim (1969-1994). We cultivate a diverse mix of musical traditions, where the emphasis is on the relationship between performers and audience and teachers and students. Located in Harvard Square, Passim serves Cambridge and the broader region by featuring local, national and international artists. Our ultimate goal is to help the performance arts flourish and thereby enrich the lives of members of our community. For a complete schedule, visit www.passim.org.
Ralph Jaccodine Management Partners with Kemp Harris!
Saturday, September 1, 2018
- Tom Ashbrook, Host of NPR's On Point
Kemp Harris is a composer, musician, children’s author, actor, and teacher. Born in North Carolina, Kemp taught himself piano and was writing songs at age 14. As a musician and composer, Kemp has shared the stage with Taj Mahal, Gil Scott-Heron, and blues artist, Koko Taylor. He wrote and performed “If Loneliness Was Black” for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Complexions Dance Company. Kemp has also composed for WGBH Public Television/Boston.
Kemp’s album, “Sometimes In Bad Weather”, is a thoughtful tapestry, exploring the intersection of American Roots music, Jazz, and African Folk influences. Kemp’s second release, “Edenton” is a blues inspired journey, featuring the Grammy-nominated Holmes Bros providing additional vocals. Kemp composed the credit soundtrack for “An Unreasonable Man”, a documentary about the life and career of Ralph Nader. It is now the theme song for Mr. Nader’s weekly radio talk show.
Kemp taught kindergarten and 1st grade in the Newton Public Schools system for 38 years. He wrote the
children’s book/song “Snow”. He has since retired yet continues his storytelling in elementary schools. Kemp
looks forward to exploring all aspects of his artistic interests.
"Earthy, insightful, haunting... sacred and profane. Harris is in perfect communion with the Holmes Brothers and his earthy band."
- Frank-John Hadley, Downbeat
"Harris has his finger on the pulse of the modern world, with an intensity born of awareness and he writes with an understanding of what our lives lack. He delivers this wisdom with a timeless voice."
- Art Tipaldi, Blues Revue
Live From The David Bieber Archives : 082418
Friday, August 24, 2018
Ralph Jaccodine was featured on the August 24, 2018 episode of "Live From The David Bieber Archives".
Check it out here!
Livingston Taylor Joins The APA Roster!
Monday, April 23, 2018
For booking information on Livingston, please contact Seth Rappaport: firstname.lastname@example.org
Flynn & Robert Mueller
Friday, April 20, 2018
Flynn and Robert Mueller (Director of the FBI)
Flynn performed at the Fraternal Order of Police Memorial Service. July 2004.