Creative Sonoma recently completed its second year of the Next Level Music program. Designed to help support and advance the remarkable community of professional musicians in Sonoma County, Next Level has two components: professional development and funding resources.
For each of the past two years, we have produced a music industry conference featuring veterans in the music industry from across the country sharing stories, insights and encouragement for local musicians. For an overview of the Next Level program, check out this brief video of the 2017 Pre-Conference and Conference.
Additionally, each year has included a round of grants in which five $2500 grants were awarded to local musicians who are on the cusp of taking their careers to another level. This year’s awardees – Oddjob Ensemble, Alan Hall, DyaTribal Band, Marshall House Project, and Manzanita Falls – reflect a diverse group of musicians whose genres range from world music and jazz, to funk and indie rock. Their projects include recording sessions, touring, composition, marketing and more. For more information on the grants program as well as to learn more about the grantees, visit the Next Level Music Grants page.
Highlights from the two years of this program – some planned, some unanticipated — include:
- Sonoma musician Linda Stonestreet’s original holiday song was included in the annual Amazon Holiday playlist
- Bringing 13 Sonoma songwriters together with renowned songwriter Sam Hollander in a roundtable critique of their original tunes
- Providing a fully professional recording session for Sonoma musician Jimmy Cramer with audio pro Glenn Lorbecki, resulting in a new audio recording as well as a music video for his tune, Make it Right.
We look forward to the evolution that Next Level will take as it looks ahead to year three. Click HERE if you’d like to add yourself to the Sonoma County Musician email list. Stay tuned for more details!
The Next Level program is funded by a generous grant from The Hewlett Foundation.
Pictured in header: 2016 Next Level grantees talk about their projects at the 2017 Conference (l to r, members of Black Sheep Brass Band, Ismay, and Easy Leaves).