Next Level 2017 Full-Day Conference

Visit Next Level 2017 Pre-Conference Sessions for descriptions of the Saturday, May 6 competitions and hands-on workshops, or return to the main page HERE



Click on Workshop/Panel Titles for Full Descriptions

Coffee and Registration (lite breakfast provided)
Opening Remarks with County Supervisor Shirlee Zane
Reflections from a Philosopher/Musician/Author/Maker of Great Beer
Keynote by Tony Magee, Musician and Founder of Lagunitas Brewing Co.
What Could $2500 Do for Your Career?
Panel of 2016 Next Level Music Grantees (Black Sheep Brass Band, Bootleg Honey, The Easy Leaves, Ismay, and Shaun Hunter Wagner)
Moderated by Kristen Madsen, Creative Sonoma
Lunch (provided) and Networking
Case Studies in Creativity
Workshop with Glenn Lorbecki, Sam Hollander, and Winning Local Bands and Songwriters from the Pre-Conference
Moderated by Rob Senn, Gibson Foundation
Breakout Sessions (Choose 1 of 3 – all three repeat at 3:15)

Get Your Digital Life Together
Workshop with Eric Steuer

Up Your Gig Game
Panel with Thomas Cussins, Patrick Malone, and Sheila Groves-Tracey
Moderated by Jim Jacobs, Lagunitas Brewing Co.

When is a Handshake Not a Handshake?
Workshop with David Helfant
Break (snacks provided)
REPEAT Breakout Sessions (Choose 1 of 3 – see 2:00-3:00 Breakout Sessions)
Resource Roundtables
Including Notable Talent (Sheila Groves-Tracey), SoCoDance Beat, Balanced Breakfast, Rocking Causes, KRCB and more!




KEYNOTE: Reflections from a Philosopher/Musician/Author/Maker of Great Beer

Tony Magee, Musician, and Founder of Lagunitas Brewing Company

Lagunitas Brewing Company founder and Chicago native, Tony Magee, has pursued his passion for music for most of his life. In grade school through high school, he played in both concert and jazz bands. After a year of design school at IIT, he continued to follow his passion changing to music composition and performance at NIU. After leaving school, he toured with a reggae band, then worked at various jobs. Upon homebrewing his first batch of beer in 1993, he saw a direct connection with creating a recipe and creating a piece of music. Eight months later he opened the doors to the Lagunitas Brewing Company in Forest Knolls, eventually moving the brewery to the current location in Petaluma. Besides running the brewery, he is back writing music and performing in a band that recently returned from a tour in Europe.


What Could $2500 Do For Your Career?

MODERATOR: Kristen Madsen, Creative Sonoma
Black Sheep Brass Band:  Kevin Cole, Chris Cory, Tony Mineers
Bootleg Honey:  Mark Tarlton
The Easy Leaves:  Kevin Carducci
Ismay:  Avery Hellman
Shaun Hunter Wagner

This panel is comprised of the winners of the 2016 Next Level Grants. They will share their experience as grantees discussing how they used the funds and the impact it has made on their careers. The award also included 10 hours of one-on-one consulting on music industry issues which will also be discussed. This session should be informative for any potential applicants for the 2017 round of Next Level Grants, details for which will be announced at the Conference.


Case Studies in Creativity

MODERATOR:  Rob Senn, The Gibson Foundation
Sam Hollander, Songwriter/Producer
Glenn Lorbecki, Producer/Engineer
Local Musicians TBD

On Saturday, May 6th, local musicians spent half the day at Prairie Sun Studios in one of two Pre-Conferences: a recording session or a songwriters’ workshop. Our musicians, who had submitted demo tapes in order to participate, received very personalized guidance on improving their creative choices in the songwriting and recording processes. This panel will present the “highlights” from Saturday’s work including listening to the “before” submissions and the “after” results.


Get Your Digital Life Together

Eric Steuer, Creative Commons, and Board Member, CASH Music

Eric represents two different online sectors that are critical to today’s musician. Both organizations boast terrific, free resources for musicians ranging from tools to help you sell your music, manage your mailing list, protect your intellectual property and get your contract house in order. Regardless of whether these specific online tools resonate with you, this workshop will help you think through the choices you need to make to be sure that your digital presence is exactly what you want it to be.


Up Your Gig Game

MODERATOR: Jim Jacobs, Lagunitas Brewing Co.
Thomas Cussins, The Mystic
Sheila Groves-Tracey, Notable Talent
Patrick Malone, Hopmonk

Live performance is an essential element of building a fan base, a reputation, and a career. And yet, building a performance strategy and being able to execute it is a serious challenge. Hear some of our region’s most experienced professionals who book some of our most respected music venues.


When is a Handshake Not a Handshake?

David Helfant, entertainment attorney and manager, Arpeggio Entertainment

Taking care of the basic legal issues facing every musician does not have to be intimidating or complicated. This session is designed to put some of the fundamentals of entertainment law into perspective – and into bite-sized pieces – so attendees will feel more confident about what they can do on their own to protect their music and their careers.


Resource Roundtables

Including Sheila Groves-Tracy, SoCoDance Beat, Balanced Breakfast, Rocking Causes, KRCB, Creative Sonoma and more!

We’re picking up the pace to close out the day with Resource Roundtables. This is your chance to get individualized attention from people and organizations that are here to work with and help musicians. You can move from table to table at your own pace. Networking encouraged!