LAFAYETTE – (PRESS RELEASE) Civic leaders, music industry representatives and academics from around the world will gather in Lafayette Oct. 10-12 for the Music Cities Convention. A city steeped in Zydeco and Cajun music history and bubbling over with new ideas and artists, Lafayette is a prime location for the event. Attendees traveling to Lafayette from six continents will get an inside look at the emerging hub of new music during the convention that’s focused on diversity and music.
“When we began planning the Music Cities Convention in Lafayette, we wanted to showcase existing programs and events that make us a music city,” said Mayor-President Joel Robideaux. Since launching the cultural economy initiative CREATE in 2017, he believes the project is an invaluable opportunity to share Lafayette’s diverse and deep music culture with the world. “I am proud to showcase Lafayette Parish on a global stage as the host city for the convention.”
Ben Berthelot, CEO of Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission, stated Lafayette has a “wow” factor that will make a great first impression on attendees. Local organizers are working to ensure those coming to the convention will have an opportunity to experience all that Lafayette has to offer to artists and industry representatives. “I am really pleased with the way the programming has come together. With the schedule we have in place, culminating with Festival Acadiens et Créoles, I have no doubt that we will achieve those objectives and that attendees will leave here as great ambassadors for our area.”
The public is invited to help kick off the convention on Wednesday, Oct. 10 at the Cajun Jam at Blue Moon, starting at 8 p.m. The weekly event attracts some of the area’s best musicians, as well as folks from around the globe. Open to all, the jam allows players of all skill levels to sit in and play Cajun tunes the way they used to be played (comme dans l’vieux temps), all-acoustic on the back porch.
Music Cities Convention, though it moves to a new city each year, is always scheduled adjacent to a local festival to encourage attendees to stay in the host city for a weekend of live music and culture.
On Thursday, Oct. 11, the public is invited to join “An Evening of Lafayette Music Highlighting the Caesar Vincent” with nearly 30 local musicians and the unofficial kick-off of Festivals Acadiens et Créoles.
On Friday, Oct. 12, the Boudin Cutting festivities in Girard Park serve as the official commencement of Festivals Acadiens et Créoles.
The conference programming will take place during the day on Oct. 11-12 at Acadiana Center for the Arts. The event is hosted by the Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission and the CREATE, with generous support from The Recording Academy and American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation.
· Clara Barbara, Director for Student Affairs, Diversity and Inclusion at the Valencia campus, Berklee (Spain)
· Austin Barrow, President, MAD/Murphy Arts District, (Arkansas, USA)
· Al Bell, Former Chairman & Owner, Stax Records, Former President, Motown Records Group, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Al Bell Presents (Arkansas, USA)
· Ben Berthelot, President & CEO, Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission (Louisiana, USA)
· Anya Burgess, Owner, SOLA Violins & Band member of “Magnolia Sisters” and “Bonsoir, Catin” (Louisiana, USA)
· Sung Cho, Founder & CEO, Chartmetric.io (California, USA)
· Cary Clarke, CEO, Young Audiences (Oregon, USA)
· Sari Delmar, Program Director, The Participation Agency (New York, USA)
· Greg Deshields, Executive Director, PHL Diversity Philadelphia Visitors & Convention Bureau (Philadelphia, USA)
· David Dudley, Executive Editor, CityLab (New York, USA)
· Kate Durio, CREATE Initiative and Assistant to Mayor-President Joel Robideaux, Lafayette Consolidated Government (Louisiana, USA)
· Abed Hathot, Co-Founder, Palestine Music Expo (California, Palestine)
· Mike Henry, CEO, Paragon Media Strategies (Colorado, USA)
· Tara Hernandez, President, JCH Properties+ (Louisiana, USA)
· Alyssa Kelley, Project Manager, Property Development, Artspace (Minnesota, USA)
· Carmen Gloria Larenas, Artistic Director, Teatro del Lago (Chile)
· Jordan Lee, Program Director, Radio Milwaukee (Wisconsin, USA)
· Margaret Lioi, CEO, Chamber Music America (New York)
· Matt McArthur, Executive Director, The Record Co Boston (Massachusetts, USA)
· Joel Robideaux, Mayor-President, Lafayette (Louisiana, USA)
· Warwick Sabin, Senior Director for U.S. Programs, Winrock International, Arkansas House of Representatives, 2018 Little Rock mayoral candidate (Arkansas, USA)
· Pena Schmidt, Music Producer (Brazil)
· Tim Scott, Artist in Residence, Charlotte Center City Partners (North Carolina, USA)
· Laura Simpson, Co-founder & CEO, Side Door (Canada)
· John Sommerlad, Director Business and Community, Tamworth Regional Council (Australia)
· Joey Stuckey, Official Music Ambassador, Macon, Georgia (Georgia, USA)
· Dr. Liana Valente, National Federation Of Music Clubs Representative To The United Nations Department Of Public Information & Classical Voice Area Coordinator, Howard University (Washington, D.C.)
· Kelly Wells, Executive Director, KDHX (Missouri, USA)
· Johnathan Peter Williams, Founder/CEO, Quality Of Life Services & Founder/President, Love Of People (Louisiana, USA)
· Nolfris “Slim KuttaR” Williams, Musician, Music Executive & Former Pro Basketball Player (Louisiana, USA)
· Sharon Yazowski, Executive Director, Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation (California, USA)
Learn more, access speaker bios and purchase conference passes here.