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2007, February/March

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Blues Foundation Awards Nearly $200,000
The Blues Music Foundation, a non-profit organization launched during 2003’s Year of the Blues celebration, announced today that it has awarded $191,650 in grants to non-profit organizations and museums that celebrate and preserve the blues. Established in 2003, the Foundation set out to dedicate the net proceeds from the “Salute to the Blues” benefit concert to underwrite projects that promote blues education, assist organizations with special blues-related needs, and support other worthy blues causes. The benefit concert was produced by Experience Music Project at Radio City Music hall in New York in February, 2003.

The Radio City Music Hall concert is recognized by many blues fans to have been one of the greatest onstage assemblages of blues luminaries ever. Both the concert and the film that came from it paid tribute to the blues and presented many of its top performers, including B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Natalie Cole, Ruth Brown, Robert Lockwood, Jr., Robert Cray, the late Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Gregg Allman, the Neville Brothers, Dr. John, Mavis Staples, and many more.

Additionally, the Foundation committed the net proceeds from “Lightning in a Bottle” – the concert film that resulted from “Salute to the Blues” – to help fund the blues grants. The film was produced by Martin Scorsese and directed by Antoine Fuqua and had its theatrical and DVD/CD release in 2004.

For more information, visit: www.emplive.org/bmf.

Correction: In the Dec/Jan issue of CD, Michael Ehrlich’s photo was incorrectly listed as that of Michael O’Hern; Gaye Klopack is the director from Illinois.

MakeMusic Partners With Music For All
MakeMusic, Inc., has joined forces with Music for All, Inc., in their mission to support music and the arts in education. MakeMusic’s corporate sponsorship represents MFA’s first partnership agreement since the September 2006 merger of Bands of America and the Music for All Foundation. MFA is one of the largest and most influential national music education organizations in support of active music-making.

At the core of this partnership is MakeMusic’s SmartMusic#174; – learning software for students of all levels in band, orchestra and choir. Equipped with more than 30,000 accompaniments, 50,000 skill-building exercises and recording capabilities, students play or sing their part with accompaniment and receive, in real-time on the computer, detailed feedback on their performance. Musicians can control tempo, key, practice loops and tuner, and they can even record their performances and assessments and e-mail or burn assignments onto a CD.

Beginning in spring 2007, student musicians auditioning for MFA’s honor ensembles will use SmartMusic as an audition tool and receive a 90-day trial subscription and a SmartMusic microphone. Those students placing in the ensembles will receive a one-year subscription to the program. Additionally, students participating in the MFA Summer Symposium concert, jazz and orchestral tracks will also receive a 90-day trial and microphone.

For more information, visit: www.makemusic.com or www.musicforall.org.

Conn-Selmer Launches Music Community
Conn-Selmer has partnered with the Panjea Network to launch a new online community for Conn-Selmer artists and musicians at large. The new community is the first social media network that allows artists to express themselves in music and video, while earning rewards for participation and cash for their creative contributions.

Through the Conn-Selmer Web site, as well as through the Bach, Selmer and Ludwig sites, Panjea provides the first social media network to share wealth by providing a marketplace and economy to its members. A member earns a percentage of advertising revenue when others visit the member’s page and the member makes money when visitors download the member’s music and videos.

It’s a new Social Media Network, which combines the best features of social networking and Web broadcasting with a true digital economy and where the world’s creative people come together to make a living. Panjea empowers users to easily express themselves online in words, music, photos, and videos, while earning rewards for participation and cash for creative contributions.

Visit www.conn-selmer.com for additional information.

Opera Diva Sued
An Australian firm is suing opera diva Dame Kiri Te Kanawa for up to $1.55 million for pulling out of three scheduled concerts in 2005 with pop singer John Farnham after she learned his fans threw undergarments at him.

A Sydney court recently heard that Dame Kiri thought Farnham’s live shows were “absolutely horrendous,” according to the Australian Associated Press. She had been scheduled to appear with Farnham at Melbourne and Sydney concerts billed as “Two Great Voices,” AAP said, but canceled in March 2004 despite assurances by concert organizers Leading Edge Events that no underwear would be thrown on stage.

English-born Farnham, 57, is one of Australia’s best-known performers with a career spanning four decades. But he lacks the international renown of New Zealand’s Dame Kiri who sang at the 1981 wedding of Britain’s Prince Charles to Diana Spencer. Source: Reuters

Free Copies of Vocal Book
Free promo copies (factory sealed) of the popular text, Contemporary Singing Techniques, by Bob Rose are currently available to non-profit educational organizations.

The books are absolutely not for resale and interested parties must take a two-box minimum and pay for shipping costs. For details, contact Bob Rose at (650) 355-5075 or bob@bobrosevocal.com.

Frankie Laine: 1913-2007
Frankie Laine, the crooner popular in the 1950s for such hits as “I Believe” and the theme to the Western television series, “Rawhide,” died of a heart attack on February 6, 2007 at the Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego. In Laine’s long and varied career in music and dance, he charted dozens of songs and had 21 gold records. His last big hit in the US came in 1957, with “Love is a Golden Ring,” although younger generations may recognize him from the theme song of the Mel Brooks Western spoof, “Blazing Saddles.” He was 93.

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