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Sep 19 2019

Amplify Music on the West Side

Ampliify Music Westside
Santa Monica Public Library

Amplify Music on the West Side

Join a discussion of the past, present, and future of live music, music education, the music industry, and the creative economy in West LA.  Share ideas with artists, organizers, taste makers, educators, business people, fans, and others who help music thrive in our neighborhoods.

Tickets: Free and SHAREABLE at Eventbrite or at the Facebook Event Page.  Space permitting, we also will accept guests at the door.

Hosts: Santa Monica Public Library, City of Santa Monica Cultural Affairs,and Center for Music Innovation at UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music

Background: This event continues a series of events on Amplify Music in LA exploring how we can create better environments for music and musicians in the greater Los Angeles County area. Earlier events in Feb. and May expanded the conversation around public policy, social change, organizational support, and other issues -- maps, audio, and video can be found via musicinla.org.

We will have two community panels exploring these topics for the evening:

  • Grassroots community music
  • Co-creating in community through organizations and education -- playing and teaching music
  • Local audience programming, marketing, community, and relationships
  • Music as social practice in our communities


Enjoy the bios of our speakers and panelists at this link.  

Introductions: Jeff Schwartz, Santa Monica Public Library and Gigi Johnson, UCLA

Challenges and Opportunities of the West Side: Shannon Daut, City of Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Manager

Panel: Communities of Creators and Creating on the West Side

Moderator: Jeff Schwartz, Santa Monica Public Library


  • Koko Peterson, McCabes, Producer/Concert Coordinator
  • Crystal Starr, Little Voices, President/Recording Artist
  • Dr. Deborah How, Westside Music Conservatory, Exec. Director/Owner
  • Patrick Scott, Jacaranda Music, Artistic and Exec. Director
  • Phillip Ong, Vicente Chamber Orchestra, Artistic Community Member
  • Dr. Josephine Moerschel, Elemental Strings, Executive and Artistic Director

Panel: Creating, Communicating, and Marketing to/with West Side Audiences

Moderator: Dr. Gigi Johnson, Center for Music Innovation, UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music


  • Jason Kramer, KCRW (Broadcaster/DJ), Music Advisor & Supervisor, Instructor (Music Marketing)
  • Andrew Wells, Music Producer
  • Michele Riggi, AWAL, Assoc. Director of Label Management
  • Jen Maxcy, Skirball Cultural Center, Assoc. Director of Programming
  • Charles Andrews, Santa Monica Daily Press, Columnist


Enjoy our speakers' biographies below:

Shannon Daut, Cultural Affairs Manager, City of Santa Monica Cultural Affairs -- Shannon leads the Cultural Affairs Division for the City of Santa Monica, where she works to integrate the arts into all aspects of life in the community. She was previously the Executive Director of the Alaska State Council on the Arts. While there, she re-imagined and re-invigorated the leadership role of the agency in state policy, from tourism and economic development to education and Alaska Native cultural advancement. Prior to moving to Alaska, Daut was Deputy Director of the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF), where she oversaw the organization's work in the areas of cultural policy and technology. Daut has served on the boards of the National Performance Network, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters and WESTAF. Daut received her bachelor's degree in Communication Arts/Film from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her graduate degree in Communication/Rhetoric from the University of Colorado-Denver.

Panel 1: Communities of Creators and Creating on the West Side

Moderator: Jeff Schwartz, Santa Monica Public Library -- Jeff is co-leader of the Decisive Instant large ensemble, principal bass of MESTO (the Multi-Ethnic STar Orchestra), a member of the Vicente Chamber Orchestra and Santa Monica Symphony, and is very active in Los Angeles’ improvised and experimental music communities. He has also performed with artists including Anthony Braxton, Glenn Branca, Dana Reason, Nicole Mitchell, Elliott Levin, Lisa Mezzacappa, and Adam Rudolph, and studied at St. John’s College, UC Santa Cruz, Bowling Green State University, the University of Texas at Austin, andf the Creative Music Studio. The author of a popular online biography of Albert Ayler and of Free Jazz: A Research and Information Guide (Routledge 2018), his writing has also appeared in the journals American Music, Popular Music, and Postmodern Culture, and in the 4th edition of A Basic Music Library. His day job is as a reference librarian at the Santa Monica Public Library, where he curates the Soundwaves new music series.


  • Koko  Peterson, McCabes, Producer/Concert Coordinator
  • Crystal Starr, Little Voices, President/Recording Artist -- Crystal Starr is a singer, songwriter, director, and producer. With her background singers “The Bowties”, Starr’s 300+ performances have captivated audiences around the globe, from receiving standing ovations in Japan, South Africa, Budapest, and Mexico, to touring with Paul Stanley, “KISS”, Ariana Grande, Andra Day, Kanye West and Drake. As an eclectic retro pop, R&B, indie and soul artist, Starr’s single, “I Still Love You”, has made the Top 100 Billboard Charts. As the Founder of Little Voices, established in 2011, Crystal Starr produces quality concerts for children in the foster care system and inner cities while providing internship opportunities with industry professionals. Serving more than 6,000 at-risk youth by inspiring and mobilizing, Little Voices uses entertainment and media production as a platform to give voice to those who lack adequate support and resources needed to thrive. “She Sessions” concerts have featured renowned artists and performers, such as Judith Hill, Common, Andra Day, and Destiny’s Child’s Michelle Williams. By sharing the message “You Are Enough”, and with a new partnership with Green Dot Public Schools (Los Angeles) in March 2019 to serve approximately 250 youth at 5 school sites in 2019, Little Voices has an opportunity to establish educational implementation, build awareness and generate resources for the at-risk, fostered and adopted communities through concert programming and economic development programs.
  • Dr. Deborah How, Westside Music Conservatory, Exec. Director/Owner - Deborah H. How received her PhD from the USC Thornton School of Music, MA from the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, and BA (music & theater) from Swarthmore College. She also holds an MBA from the UMass Amherst Isenberg School of Management and is a member of The Honor Societies of Pi Kappa Lambda, Phi Kappa Phi, and Beta Sigma Gamma. She is a graduate of Santa Monica High School, Lincoln Middle School, and Franklin Elementary School, and a proud product of the SMMUSD Music Program. Dr. How maintains a private independent music studio with national-level competition winners in performance, theory, and composition; and she is the owner/executive director of the Westside Music Conservatory in Santa Monica. As a classically trained pianist and flutist, she concertizes regularly in ensemble groups and as a concerto soloist for community outreach concerts and fundraising events. Dr. How is widely known as a connection builder and fundraising architect for music education and performing arts organizations. She travels throughout the U.S. giving lectures/workshops on both studio management and pedagogy topics. She is president/co-founder of the Westside Music Foundation, a 501c3 public benefit charity for music education. She is also executive director/co-founder of the Moments of Music Foundation Piano Concerto Competition for Amateur Adults & Teachers; the executive director/co-founder of Poetry in Music; and the CEO/co-founder of BRAVURA innovations, a consulting company dedicated to virtuoso management, marketing, and branding solutions for the performing arts.
  • Patrick Scott, Jacaranda Music, Artistic and Exec. Director -Patrick Scott, Artistic & Executive Director of Jacaranda Music, studied at UC Irvine, where he received the Chancellor’s Award and President’s Fellowship for painting, graduating cum laude. His schooling in the visual arts, dance, and stage design led to a 15-year career as a designer and craftsman for film, television, stage, opera, ballet, and video. Extensive work in arts education and arts advocacy followed. After years of board service (National Alliance for Media Arts & Culture, Long Beach Museum of Art, National Campaign for Freedom of Expression), he devoted a decade to honing his fundraising skills. As chief development officer of LA’s BEST after school enrichment program in the City of LA mayor’s office, he initiated artists’ residencies now in over 180 public elementary schools that have served over 19,000 students to date. He curated Found Horizon: Stravinsky in LA’s Progressive Music Scene 1949-66, a Pacific Standard Time event of the Colburn School Conservatory of Music.
  • Phillip Ong, Vicente Chamber Orchestra, Artistic Community Member -
  • Dr. Josephine Moerschel, Elemental Strings, Executive and Artistic Director - Dr. Josephine Liu Moerschel is the Executive and Artistic Director of Elemental Music and directs the Elemental Strings Chamber Orchestra. She has been on the faculty of the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach, and the Long Beach City College. Josephine has also served as co-director of the Los Angeles branch of Junior Chamber Music and ViolaFest Los Angeles, and has served on the boards of the Southern California Viola Society and the Greater Los Angeles Area branch of the American String Teachers' Association. Josephine can frequently be heard in the viola sections of many southern California ensembles. She is a member of the New West Symphony, and has performed with many other groups in LA, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Opera, Opera Pacific, Pacific Symphony, Los Angeles Master Chorale and Long Beach Symphony. As a highly sought after private teacher and instructor, she has maintained a violin and viola studio on the west side for fifteen years. Josephine has taught for the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified District in a variety of capacities, including as a sectional coach for Santa Monica High School and sectionals coach at John Adams Middle School and Lincoln Middle School. Her students have been heard performing in leading youth orchestras in Los Angeles, as well as conservatories and music festivals across the country. Josephine has also served as a consultant for the LA Phil Education Department. Josephine received a doctorate in viola performance from the University of Texas at Austin in 2003. Her primary teachers include Roger Myers, Donald McInnes, Masao Kawasaki, and Catharine Carroll.

Panel 2: Creating, Communicating, and Marketing to/with West Side Audiences

Moderator: Dr. Gigi Johnson, Center for Music Innovation, UCLA Herb Alpert School - Gigi Johnson launched the Center for Music Innovation at UCLA Alpert in 2014 to explore how innovation changes social connections and human systems around music and with music. Johnson hosts the Innovating Music podcast at UCLA Alpert and teaches classes changing music industry business models and data-driven music marketing. Previously, she ran programs and was a lecturer at UCLA Anderson in subject ranging from digital disruption in media to action research for company change. As the Executive Director of the Maremel Institute, she runs executive programs and transformative conferences on Possible Futures — on how companies can mix science, tech, scifi, and social change to rethink futures of sectors ranging from creative arts to higher education and workforce development. She received her EdD from Fielding Graduate University; her MBA from the UCLA Anderson; and her BA in Cinematic Arts (Film and Television Production) from USC.


  • Jason Kramer, KCRW (Broadcaster/DJ), Music Advisor & Supervisor, Instructor (Music Marketing) - Jason is an award-winning music supervisor and longtime on-air host for famed radio station KCRW. He started his music career working in the set up of Fox Sports Music Department and with management for the band Sublime. He has worked as Head of Music Supervision for Elias Arts, where he worked on high profile advertising projects. He is also an adjunct professor and instructor of music and media at USC, UCLA Extension ,Musician Institute and speaks at multiple institution and seminars. He has worked in management, pitching his own catalogs/ rosters and music supervision.
  • Andrew Wells, Music Producer -Andrew Wells is a platinum selling producer and multi instrumentalist from Los Angeles. At only 23 he's worked with artists spanning all genres including Halsey, Celine Dion, Fitz and the Tantrums, James Bay, X Ambassadors, 5 Seconds Of Summer, Ellie Goulding, Bebe Rexha, Young the Giant and many more... He's also most recently produced the entire last Jason Mraz album, Know. He started his career in his late teens as a touring musician playing with everyone from Justin Bieber to Jessie J and quickly made his way into production. He is currently published by Sony/ATV.
  • Michele Riggi, AWAL, Assoc. Director of Label Management - Michele Riggi is an Associate Director of Label Management at AWAL, Kobalt Music Group's Recorded Music Division. In her role as Label Manager, Michele oversees marketing strategy, creative and release management for a wide roster of artists including Omar Apollo, Finneas, Rezz, Johnny Utah, Wild Belle and Des Rocs, among others. Michele first joined Kobalt Music in New York in 2014 before advancing to her current role as Label Manager. A graduate of SUNY Potsdams Crane School of Music and Buffalo Bills loyalist, Michele relocated to Kobalt's Los Angeles office in 2017.
  • Jen Maxcy, Skirball Cultural Center, Assoc. Director of Programming - As Assistant Director of Programs at the Skirball Jen oversees programming across multiple disciplines including music, theater, film, literary, and large festivals. The Skirball Sunset Concert series—now in its third decade-- has featured musical artistry spanning Los Angeles, the US, and the globe. Prior to programming for adult audiences Jen served as the Head of Family Programs at the Skirball and curated a music series each summer featuring mostly west coast artists. Before becoming a cultural programmer/educator, Jen occupied several leadership roles in SMMUSD—including PTA President at Roosevelt Elementary School, and was a professional actor for fifteen years both in New York and here in Los Angeles.
  • Charles Andrews, Santa Monica Daily Press, Columnist - Charles' love of music got its first spark from seeing Elvis uncensored on TV on The Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey Show, as a very wee lad. Unlike many, he never outgrew rock and roll, and rolled along adding blues, big band, rockabilly, ranchera, classical, country, cajun, Celtic, Hawaiian, gospel, jazz, ska and everything he could unearth. He believes the more you've listened to a genre and the more you know about it, the more delicious it becomes. He's seen well over 2,000 live shows and used to have 7,000 LPs. He always loved to discuss music with friends, then in college discovered that if you have a newspaper column you can reach 1000s, not just two or three. He's been a published/paid music journalist ever since, now knocking out his NOTEWORTHY column every week for the SMDP. He interviewed Dr. John about learning Aramaic to become a bishop in the Church of Voodoo, wrote the history of LA reggae for BAM magazine, was a guest of The Master Musicians of Jajouka in the Atlas mountains of Morocco, got Eek-a-Mouse and Brian Wilson to record phone messages for him, had Bill Bruford, Wild Man Fischer and Mick Taylor on his cable TV show, and has many sordid tales from handling all the club ads for the LA Weekly in the early to mid-'80s. His license plate reads RNR4VR.