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Wasserman Music, Black Music Action Coalition and TN State University Announce Speaker Lineup for Music Accelerator Program

Wasserman Music, Black Music Action Coalition and TN State University Announce Speaker Lineup for Music Accelerator Program

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NASHVILLE (CelebrityAccess) – Wasserman Music, Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC), and Tennessee State University (TSU) launch their inaugural Music Accelerator Program, alongside Nashville Music Equality, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and YouTube.

The Music Accelerator Program is a three-week educational program at TSU that runs from May 9-26, providing approximately 20 TSU students with an intensive curriculum in a multitude of disciplines across the music business, from songwriting and copyrights to publishing, labels, marketing, touring, publicity, and beyond. The program will feature guest lectures from music executives and entrepreneurs along with case studies. The program will provide paid internships with companies including Wasserman Music and Quality Control Music.

The Music Accelerator Program offers students the opportunity to hear from subject experts across industry disciplines. Confirmed guest speakers and sessions include:

Life of a Song: Dre London (Post Malone manager), Rachel Whitney (Spotify), Janishia Jones and Tina Davis (EMPIRE), and Shay Lawson (Lawson McKinley)

Marketing 101: Tuma Basa (YouTube), Shawn Holiday (Full Stop), Mallory Smith and Chappel McCollister (Wasserman Music), and Ashaunna Ayars (Ayars Agency)

Record Label 101: Russell Barrett (EMPIRE), Jon Loba and Tim Reid (BMG), and Rachel Fontenot (UMG)

Live Touring 101: Alex Maxwell (Live Nation), Jamil Davis (Revels Group), Callender (Wasserman Music), and Andrew Lieber (MAC Agency)

Talent Buying/Event Promotion: Marcus Allen and Brandon McEachern (Broccoli City), Marcus Johnson (Goldenvoice), and Bryan Benson (Live Nation)

Guest Artist Session and Original Content: singer/songwriter/record producer Breland, artist services executive Nada Taha (GoodCopBadCop and Apple Music), and Stephanie Davenport (Warner Music A&R)


PR/Media Relations: Max Gousse (Founder, Artistry Group), Kenny Smoov (Cumulus), Didier Morais (Vital Versatility), and Ashley Eicher (Personality and Host)

Networking/Leadership: Cameo Carlson (mTheory), Farrah Usmani (Nixon Peabody), Shannon Sanders (BMI)

Artists & Teams: Amber Grimes (LVRN)

Art 101: Singer/songwriter Joy Oladokun and team

This initiative is one of Wasserman Music’s commitments via its partnership with Color of Change and their #ChangeMusic platform. Wasserman and BMAC plan to expand the program to additional Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the coming years. YouTube and 353 Media Group will support this effort by capturing content from the program to showcase its impact and encourage additional partners and universities to participate in the future.

“We’re delighted that this prestigious and accomplished group of speakers have chosen to be part of our effort to train the next generation of music industry leaders,” says Denise Melanson, Director of Social Impact at Wasserman. “We’re proud to work with all of them, along with our partners, to make this an outstanding program for these students.”

“Nashville has, for decades, largely ignored the rich history of Black artists and Black music coming out of the city. Music Row, specifically, has shut out almost any ‘outside’ artists, songwriters, producers, and musicians. This accelerator program is an opportunity for the next generation to get a start right in Nashville, which will hopefully provide them an advantage,” says Naima Cochrane, BMAC Board Member.

“I am truly honored to come to speak with a live audience of music lovers at Tennessee State University. The Music Accelerator Program is an incredible resource for aspiring young creatives, a program I would have loved to be a part of when I was starting out on my music journey, so I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to share what I’ve learned and to help in any way that I can.” – Dre London, BMAC Executive Leadership Council & Post Malone Manager

The Music Accelerator Program opens with an introductory session featuring program partners: Dr. Mark Crawford of Tennessee State University’s Commercial Music Program; Wasserman Music executives Lee Anderson, Lenore Kinder; Wasserman’s Senior Director, Inclusion, Equity & Diversity, Lindsay LaBennett, and Director, Social Impact Denise Melanson; BMAC Co-Founder/Co-Chair Willie “Prophet” Stiggers; Nashville Music Equality’s Brian Sexton; RIAA’s Jackie Jones; and Google’s Margaret Hart.

The closing session will be held at the National Museum of African American Music on May 26th and feature Dallas Austin, SIR THE BAPTIST, Catherine Brewton, and museum President/CEO Henry Hicks.


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