UK base artist development specialist and music business tutor, Jeff Thompson, who is the co-founder of Un-Convention, a UK-based global music network and development agency established in 2008, has arrived in Liberia for a two-day music conference for emerging artists and stakeholders in the Liberian music industry.
Mr. Thompson, who is in the country at the invitation of the Liberia National Academy of Music (LINAM), will lecture at the conference, which runs from on from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., July 11-12, 2019, on topics ranging from intellectual property rights in the digital age and monetization strategy for musical artists.
Other speakers for the conference are Bai Best, Managing Editor, Liberian Observer Corporation; Dr. Preious Omuku, chair University of Port Harcourt (Nigeria) department of music; Jean Dogbe, CEO of Soprano Events in Togo and Courtney Renken, founder of cultural arts development organization, À Dyà-Zù-Zù.
The conference, which is the first music conference of its kind in post-war Liberia, is expected to bring together over 200 professional and upcoming musicians, record executives, entertainment journalists, radio professionals, industry decision-makers, streaming curators, artist managers, songwriters and producers.
Maestro Bobbroh said the music conference is just one of the two activities marking the academy’s 5th anniversary, which will be climax with a live concert under the theme: “Nyeswah Mor Sieh Nyon” (God is so Good).
“This two-day interactive workshop, featuring inspiring keynotes and learning sessions from experienced music experts and is designed to nurture the careers of emerging electronic music industry professionals and creatives.
On Day 1 panelists will discuss: Music as a job for life; Music copyright; Music Education and Business, and Artists and Choirs Entrepreneurship.
On Day 2, panelists will present on: How to Be Creative and forming Collaboration/ Co-operative; and Making the World a better place and Challenges faced by Artists. Later in the day, attendees will have some general interaction with the panelists on how the music industry can contribute to the development of Liberia.
“Our goal is to organize this event on a yearly basis in order to improve and protect independent music businesses through education, and build lasting connections, learn from the best, and together, we will propel our scene forward,” Mr. Bobborh added.
Mr. Thompson, who lives in the UK, organizes music events across five continents aimed specifically at the grassroots of the industry. Through its events and projects, Un-Convention brings together artists, labels, promoters and other practitioners from all levels of the industry to share knowledge and expertise and, in turn, looks to develop new and innovative approaches to building sustainable careers and alternative models for the music industries.
As a result, Jeff’s current work includes a long-term music project with young people in Manchester, the development of a number of music co-operatives in Africa, and a revolutionary new UK-based touring model called Off Axis. On top of this, Jeff also runs a number of independent record labels in Manchester, including Fat Northerner Records.
The two-day conference, according to LINAM Executive Director, Maestro Wilmot K. Bobbroh, will be held at the LINAM headquarters on 13 Street, Sinkor, Behind Boulevard Palace Hotel. Admission to the conference are L$500 for an individual and L$3000 for institution.
In a related development, Maestro Bobborh has disclosed that the “Nyeswah Mor Sieh Nyon” concert, which will climax LINAM’s 5th anniversary celebration, will take place at the Monrovia City Hall, featuring Dr. Preciuos Omuku, sensational tenor from Nigeria; Mr. Thompson, who is also a musician; Georgia Mitchell Quaye; Bobby Lee Billy; and the Liberia Premier Choral Society.
Maestro Bobborh also disclosed that the concert at City Hall will start @ 5:30 pm with a cost ranging from US$5 for ordinary, US$20 for sponsor and US$50 for patron.