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Free MUSE conference at UAB aims to help musicians


Musicians looking to succeed in the music industry are invited to a free conference March 9-10 at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Professional and aspiring musicians are invited to a free conference at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The MUSE Conference is happening today and tomorrow at UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center.

Eric Essix is the Director of Programming at the center. He’s also the creator of the event, and he is an Alabama Jazz Hall of Famer.

When asked what he hopes attendees take away from the conference, the jazz guitarist said it’s to “Inspire musicians, whether they’re students or young musicians just starting out. And to give them information through group discussions and hear from musicians who are in the industry and industry professionals.”

The director said featured artists include Meshell Ndegeocello, Victor Wooten and Steve Bailey with Bass Extremes. “We have interviews and workshops with some of the biggest names in the music industry,” said Essix.

According to a release from UAB News, percussionist and producer Ulysses Owens Jr. will lead three sessions today. This includes The Musicians Career Guide, Creative Entrepreneurship and a Shark Tank challenge.

The release says Ricky Schultz of Zebra Records and Essix will present a session on each day of the conference. The first is a discussion of the merging of hip-hop and jazz in the 1990s at 5:30 p.m. tonight. The second is on the changing music industry at 11:15 a.m. tomorrow.

Also happening Friday, jazz drummer John Roberts, pianist West Byrd and bass player Sean Michael Ray will participate in “a moderated panel discussion and demo on how to enter and maintain a career as a sideman.”

UAB News says Essix, Grammy Award-nominated producer Kelvin Wooten and Grammy Award-winning producer, keyboardist and engineer Phil Davis will discuss The Business and Art of Music Production: Beats and Beyond later in the day. Different Musicians Workshops are also scheduled for Friday.

Baillee Majors is the Morning Edition host and a reporter at Alabama Public Radio.
Gabriella Smith is a student intern with the Alabama Public Radio. She is a junior studying Creative Media at the University of Alabama. Gabbi has a passion for storytelling and editing content. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, cooking for herself and friends, and discovering new movies to watch.

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