OurStage.com, a music discovery destination providing professional opportunities for up-and-coming talent, has partnered with Festival Network's Newport Folk Festival and JVC Jazz Festival Newport to help identify best emerging artists for the 2008 line-ups. Six top-ranked artists from OurStage.com have been selected to play opening slots at the nationally acclaimed festivals.
"We were really impressed with the quality of submissions and the level of fan engagement on OurStage," Jason Olaine, Vice President of Programming for Festival Network said. "We found the artist discovery process on OurStage.com to be extremely efficient and reliable and we look forward to using it again in the future."
In March 2008, Newport Folk and JVC Jazz teamed up with OurStage to create an online submission process and competition to find emerging, independent artists to perform at the 2008 Festival. This competition received 2,304 submissions in the past three months. American Babies, The Honors, Ryan Fitzsimmons and Sydney Wayser were all selected to perform at the Newport Folk Festival. Dred Scott Trio and Ameranouche won slots at the JVC Jazz Festival Newport.
Many of the selected artists have strong, successful histories with OurStage: American Babies was selected to play Bonnaroo in 2007; Sydney Wayser won a slot at the New England Starbucks Music Maker competition and an opening for Kaki King at the SXSW official music opening party. Her SXSW performance was followed by a 4 city-tour with Kaki King, who discovered her at her SXSW set, and Ameranouche was a finalist in the New England "College Clash" battle of the bands.
"We are equally excited about supporting all of these great artists as we are about OurStage," adds Olaine. "OurStage is among the few new industry leaders who offers meaningful opportunities for emerging artists to launch and develop their careers — they want and do play an active part in their top acts' development."
At Newport Folk, all of the winning OurStage artists will be allotted performance slots on both the Main and Supporting Stages, sharing the stage with acts such as She & Him, Jakob Dylan, Calexico, Gillian Welch, Kaki King, Steve Earle and Cat Power. The artists performing at JVC Jazz will have similar opportunities to open for the likes of Aretha Franklin, Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock and Soulive.
"Our mission is to help talented artists achieve critical exposure by solving the greatest challenge on the Internet today: sorting quality content from the sea of mediocrity online," Ben Campbell, CEO of OurStage, said. "With the Internet permanently changing the way music is discovered and distributed, we are excited not only to support talented emerging artists, but to work with great partners like the Newport Folk Festival to deliver this music to the fans."
OurStage.com winners performing at the 2008 Newport Folk Festival:
About American Babies:http://www.ourstage.com/fanclub/tomhamilton
Tom Hamilton is only in his mid-20s, but the guitarist/singer commands his nursery of American Babies with all the seasoned know-how of someone twice his age. The band is filled out by some heavy-hitting, Brooklyn-based musicians: guitarist Scott Metzger, bassist Jim Hamilton, vibraphone virtuoso Kevin Kendrick, and the highly praised drummer Joe Russo. Such a line-up could easily create a large, boisterous sound, but the American Babies apply a "less is more" mentality to these rootsy, country-infused tunes. When Hamilton strums his guitar, casually wails into his harmonica, and leads the American Babies in another one of their wistful numbers, he channels a young Gram Parsons (or perhaps a more sober Ryan Adams). And when the American Babies wrap their three-part harmonies around Hamilton's twangy baritone, it's not hard to see this group — and their young leader — enjoying a career as lengthy as those aforementioned luminaries. American Babies will play the Harbor Stage at 11:30am on August 2nd.
About Sydney Wayser:http://www.ourstage.com/fanclub/swayser
Intimate and playful; placid and serene; melancholy and dark, with occasional hints of passing sadness: This is the sound of Sydney Wayser, a twenty-one-year-old singer-songwriter who with her French father and American mother has lived her life between Paris and Los Angeles. Sydney's music is rife with tales and adventure; it quite simply draws you into her world, delicately. Her first album, entitled "Silent Parade," is the ode to simplicity and a nod to grace that truly defines the impact of Sydney's writing and voice. Time spent in Paris only ripened her desire to study the great painters, singers, and iconic figures of both worlds, and fed her mind and soul with a wealth of experience and vision with which to develop her music. "Silent Parade" is a moving collection, showcasing a talented, young, and personable songwriter with a visceral offering of poetry and song that remarks on the beauty of innocence. Sydney Wayser will play the Waterside Stage at 11:30am on August 2nd.
About Ryan Fitzsimmons: http://www.ourstage.com/fanclub/ryanfitzsimmons
Originally from Syracuse, New York, Ryan first gained attention at age 14 playing lead guitar in Anodyne, an alternative rock band nominated for a Syracuse Area Music Award (SAMMY). But after performing in a number of electric bands, Ryan decided to give up the amplifiers to see what he could do with just wood, steel and voice. Ryan Fitzsimmons' acoustic world runs the emotional gambit; the lyrics of Ryan's songs range from gentle, poetic details to the in-your-face realism of a bar fight and his guitar ranges just as far, from starry night to thunderclap. Winner of the 2007 "Best Male Vocalist" award in the Providence Phoenix, Ryan has been engaging audiences with his distinctive songwriting and dynamic performances. Along the way, Ryan has shared the stage with performers Ben Folds, Dar Williams, Loudon Wainwright III, Greg Brown, and Richie Havens, among others. Ryan expects to release his second solo album in early 2009. Ryan Fitzsimmons will play the Waterside Stage at 11:30am on August 3rd.
About The Honors: http://www.ourstage.com/fanclub/thehonors
The Honors began initially as a union of friendship in 2003, when Brandon met Jay while studying at Regent's College in London, England. Though from different backgrounds, they undoubtedly shared a common interest: good music. Their experiences in London and ambitions as musicians later re-united them in Boston where, after two years performing separately, Jay and Brandon solidified their fate and formed The Honors in January of 2008. Operating out of their indie label, Wolf Den Studio, The Honors is constantly recording new material. Stemming from an interest in writing the perfect song, The Honors brings to the modern musical landscape a sense of value and integrity. Their sound is fresh and accessible, their attention to detail evident in the tightness of the grooves and the sweetness of the harmonies. Members include Brandon Heisler on lead vocals and acoustic guitar, Jay Trikakis on drums and vocals, Andrew Bayardi on lead electric guitars and vocals, and Roland Nicol on bass. The Honors will play the Harbor Stage at 12:10pm on August 3rd.
About Dred Scott Trio: http://www.ourstage.com/fanclub/dredscotttrio
With his seventh album, jazz pianist Dred Scott and his Trio deliver a tasty sampling of the downtown cool that has helped them build one of the most fervent followings on the New York jazz scene. "Live at the Rockwood" reflects over a year of creative energy at one of the East Village's most overachieving live music venues. A long-time cult favorite of the jazz scene, Dred Scott has collaborated with some of the Lower East Side's most sought-after acts, including Norah Jones, Richard Julian, Sasha Dobson, Bill McHenry, Jay Collins, Rene Risque and the Art Lovers, Mudville and many others. He has also recorded on nearly 40 albums and performed with dozens of heavyweights including Anthony Braxton, John Adams, the Berkeley Symphony (Kent Nagano), Rickie Lee Jones, Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Joe Henderson, Moby, Bob Weir (Grateful Dead), Zigaboo Modeliste (The Meters), Mike Clark (Herbie Hancock), Nina Hagen and more. Dred Scott Trio will play the Harbor Stage at 11:10 am on August 9th.
Ameranouche is a virtuosic trio with an inimitable sound composed on two acoustic French guitars and upright bass. The rip-roaring, fast-fingered, U.S.-based ensemble plays acoustic hot jazz and folk rock styles; their music is a portrait of sonic mastery balancing between both World and American roots, constantly brimming with Gypsy and Spanish influence. The musicians are lead guitarist Richard Sheppard, rhythm guitarist Ryan Flaherty and upright bassist Xar Adelberg. Their music is often referred to as Gypsy Jazz, the explosive genre created by the great gypsy guitarist and composer Django Reinhardt. Ameranouche plays original compositions and unique arrangements of American and Gypsy Jazz standards. The trio's repertoire flies beyond familiar Jazz styles, which gives the group limitless access to rearranged songs and original compositions. With the music world's current outbreak of acoustic groups like Rodrigo Y Gabriella and Bela Fleck, it is no surprise Ameranouche is finding a welcoming territory on today's new music map. Ameranouche will play the Harbor Stage at 11:10am on August 10th.