How I Got into the Showcase

By Alexander Clark Campbell

Ray Rizzo, booking agent for the Rudyard Kipling, approached me last spring with regard to doing some sort of a Louisville Music News Festival. This opened up a great opportunity for all of LMN's writers, who cover all the various LMN music genres, to put together their own showcases in the future for the Rud but I'm honored to be getting the ball rolling with hosting a Worldbeat showcase at the Rudyard Kipling on Friday, Aug. 5.

Since doing this column, I've found there are numerous accomplished musicians, dancers, and performers from other countries now residing in Louisville, but who are unknown in the City outside the very small circle of people in their own immigrant communities. Worldfest, which showcases international and Worldbeat acts, mainly features people from out of town, and/or performers mainly working into an interest in world cultures and world music, but coming out of an American background. I wanted to reverse this: and find a way to introduce to the LV community its own musical performers who come out of indigenous, international backgrounds and are working to integrate themselves and their art into the American musical scene.

So you can probably see how excited I was with the prospect of being able to put together a Worldbeat show for the Rud as a way in to doing exactly this.

And not just a show a showcase — (it is more than just a variety show or vaudeville): of as many performers as could reasonably be, well, showcased in a single evening, in order to give those attending an idea of how rich and varied the hidden talent in international music in Louisville really is.

And not just a one-night stand: a springboard to these artists' being asked to perform elsewhere around our City. And as a result of putting together the Rud's showcase, the Bard's Town contacted me just this morning about their possibly scheduling a World Music Night once a month. (They are looking at perhaps the first Wednesday of every month for this proposed regular event.)

Just what I was hoping would start to occur; and it is happening already.

I have also been hoping that an event, or events, of this sort would serve as a way for musicians & performers of all stripes to meet and mingle with new collaborators, performers, and friends and I think that may be taking root, as well.

So as you can see, I sort of fell into the Showcase; but, once there, I have used it to pursue what I really feel is an important opportunity for everyone here in the City.

The list of performers can be found on my blog at http://www.louisvillemusic.org/terrabeat/2011/07/22/august-moon/