Every January BRIC’s intrepid performing arts team disappears from our office in DUMBO and resurfaces in midtown for the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) Conference. Since just about every performing arts presenter and artist from around the world are in town for this meeting-of-the-minds, it’s a great time to hear good music, spend time with much-missed colleagues and lay the groundwork for bringing artists to our stages.
This year’s conference was quite special for us. Not only are we getting ready for Celebrate Brooklyn this summer, we are also celebrating our 35th anniversary and planning for our inaugural season in our future home BRIC House. Needless to say, we had a lot of exciting news to share and a lot of artists to check out.
If you’ve ever thought about attending APAP or just curious about what it’s like to be a producer, our Associate Producer of Performing Arts Diane Eber was kind enough to give us the highlights of her whirlwind APAP weekend. Enjoy!
Thursday evening, January 10
We started things off right at The Highline for Shuggie Otis and hanging with our friends from Summerstage. I was most excited about Shuggie Otis, and I loved seeing “Inspiration Information” live. The keyboardist, Brandon Coleman, was amazing. Brooklyn Vegan has some good photos from the night.
The highlight for me that night was actually kosher gospel singer Joshua Nelson.
Friday, Jan 11
We attended the World Music Pre-conference and were excited to learn from Shanta Thake, Director of Joe’s Pub, about their residency programs. They will be featuring Abigail Washburn next…awesome stuff!
Saturday, Jan 12
The APAP conference was in full-swing this morning and I was excited to check out the Pecha Kucha (pronounced pe chah-k cha) presentation. Pecha Kucha is a presentation style in which speakers get six minutes and forty seconds and twenty slides to tell their story. Theater artist Young Jean Lee’s unplanned presentation was especially powerful. I loved hearing about her approach to theater making: Do exactly what makes you the most terrified. In her case, it was getting up in front of hundreds of people without knowing what she is going to say. Luckily, she totally nailed it.
That evening, we had our annual Thai food dinner, which was a great time to catch up with friends who also happen to work in this crazy business.
Next up that night was Winter Jazzfest. Being a jazzhead, I was in heaven. My special moments included seeing Ari Hoenig at Sullivan Hall, drummer Dan Weiss (finally!) play live at the Culture Project Theater with Michael Formanek’s Cheating Heart, Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Gamak, and James Carter Organ Trio, who was like candy for my ears and my heart.
Sunday, Jan 13
Back at the conference. Can’t express how amazing it was to watch Reggie Watts kill it in a hotel ballroom at eleven o’clock in the morning. Reggie Watts is a genius, so it was a great way to start the day.
We ended the day at Globalfest. My favorite showcase being Oliver Mtukudzi & The Black Spirits. I have such a soft spot in my heart for afropop; it makes every bone in my body happy. My friends and I from Jazz at Lincoln Center tore up the dance floor.
Christine Salem was also amazing, but the dance floor was too hot and crowded to bust any good moves.
Monday Jan 14
Exhaustion has set in, but we have one more day to go. After attending a few sessions and making my rounds in the expo hall, we headed to Joe’s Pub for the Concerted Efforts showcase with The Relatives and Debo Band. I am in love with The Relatives. They are so authentic and amazing and they even got the audience at Joe’s Pub up and dancing!
Tuesday Jan 15
After much needed sleep, we returned to our desks in our DUMBO offices with a lot of musical arsenal in our back pockets for what is going to be a great 35th year for BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn.