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A. Year for Memphis Music Community Message, v3.0
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An aligned, vibrant, and supportive Memphis Music Community in Memphis. We’re All In On It.


We are music industry leaders working collaboratively for an aligned Memphis Music Community that celebrates and supports the people and projects that embrace Memphis music roots, creative future, and one another.

Our Story and Work

Memphis is the birthplace of most American music. Rock and roll, blues, gospel, rockabilly, R&B, soul, even jazz developed critically in Memphis. In the past four decades, indie rock, krunk, gospel jazz, americana, hiphop, hardcore, and metal all grew from the fertile soil of the crossroads of American music history. The emergence of musical genres from the hardship and entrepreneurship in the region is unique in the world and continues to this day with the same principles of shared creativity, front porch storytelling, and startup mentality.

Year for Memphis Music is a project created by the Center for Memphis Music of Visible Music College for 2019 through the vision and leadership of Ken Steorts in Downtown Memphis. Ken and the Center for Memphis Music acknowledge and are indebted to the efforts of numerous music industry leaders in adopting the grassroots and inclusive nature of the Year for Memphis Music. May the legacy and spirit of Memphis music reign, rise, and remain in the work of the aligned Memphis Music Community.

Leadership Team

Year for Memphis Music is aligned in the seven industry areas of Constant AttentionTM (designed by Ken for Madison Line Records) and assigned for volunteer leadership to seven Memphis Music leaders and 21 team members.

  1. Artist Development (Management, Education)

Dr. Ken Steorts, Center for Memphis Music at Visible Music College, Madison Line Records, the beep

Zac Ives, Goner Records

Del Lawrence, Dedicated Music Group, Mr. Del

       2.   Publishing (Songwriting)

Fenton Wright, Consortium MMT (Memphis Music Town)

Elizabeth Montgomery Brown, The Blues Foundation

        Amy Jackson, Amy Jackson Consulting

       3.         Music Production (Studios)

Boo Mitchell, Royal Studios

Jon Hornyak, The Recording Academy, Memphis Chapter

Kirk Smith, Go Make Music

       4.         Marketing (Video, Social)

Amy Wright, Ditty TV

Regena Bearden, Memphis Tourism

Tundrea Lyons, Lyons Group Entertainment, Radio Memphis

       5.        Events (Venues, Booking)

Penelope Huston, Downtown Memphis Commission

Larry Dodson, Jr., LaMarie’s Entertainment Complex, The Bar-Kays

Brian McCabe, Hi Tone Memphis

       6.        Sales (Merch, History)

Pat Mitchell Worley, Stax Music Academy, Beale Street Caravan

John Doyle, Memphis Rock n’ Soul Museum, Memphis Music Hall of Fame

Patrick Bolton, Christian Brothers High School Band, The Handy Band

       7.   Rest (Artist Care, Health)

Dave Bunker, Artist Care, Worship Leader Magazine Editor

Church Health rep (in progress)

        Crosstown Arts rep (in progress)

These Memphis Music Community organizations support these leaders being involved. In addition to these 21 leaders meeting regularly, 7 teams continue to grow with help from independent studios, artists, historians, marketing teams, music educators, and church musicians. We expect the depth of leadership and alignment to grow throughout 2019 and culminate in amplified efforts in all seven areas throughout the year. We focus on People, Planning, and Projects to align and amplify the work of the Memphis Music Community.

People. Planning. Projects.


“Let’s Stay Together”

Memphis Music Circle (Volunteers)

We’re all in on it. Starts with a survey.

Memphis music succeeds when we all pull together as an aligned Memphis Music Community.

Memphis Music succeeds when everyone is empowered to do their passion.

Memphis music succeeds in community.


“Turn on Your Love Light”

Memphis Music Community Survey

Started with visioncast in March 2018.

Surveyed leaders in spring and summer 2018.

Memphis Music Community Survey October 2018.

Announcing seven outcomes for January 1, 2019 and monthly projects throughout the year.

Results and resources from projects and events will be reinvested into the next generation in education.

Additional capital resources put into Memphis music through grants for entrepreneurship and education.


“Hold On, I’m Comin’”

Year for Memphis Music Calendar

Twelve month calendar of wall to wall Memphis music events, ideas, releases, support, and fun.

Existing events and projects receive amplified support as the community becomes more aligned.

In time, resource support is developed for investable startups and artists.

Extra income for Year for Memphis Music is shared in donor-advised scholarship fund for music education.


Year for Memphis Music is aligned with all other civic efforts and for the arts in 2019, including the Bicentennial celebration of Memphis, major events, the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce, and can serve as a communication source for music resources in Memphis. Always welcoming and always growing. Made possible by the Memphis Music Circle. We’re all in on it.


Media and all requests go to Isaac Harper, Center for Memphis Music, or 901.305.3593.