A bit of synergy between BMI and CBS Radio led to the creation of this week’s Detroit Singer Songwriters Festival running Wednesday to Saturday, Oct. 19-22, at four area venues.
“As a performing rights organization that collects licensing fees, radio is a big consumer of music and CBS is at the top of that food chain,” says Dan Spears, BMI’s vice-president of Industry Relations/Licensing. “We were trying to figure a way to partner on something that could bring value to their listeners, value to our songwriters and shine a spotlight on the craft of songwriting.”
CBS’ Southfield-based Detroit division was able to convince BMI that the city’s renaissance made it a perfect place to host the event.
“Motown is synonymous with Detroit, and there’s so much more to the city,” Spears says. “It’s a great music town with a lot of great history. So it’s a win-win-win for BMI, CBS, our songwriters and the city of Detroit.
The five festival events will feature a wide array of songwriters both well-known as artists in their own right (Uncle Kracker, Hunter Hayes, Jerrod Niemann, LoCash, Joe Nichols) and figures who work behind the scenes (Michael Ray, Casey Beathard). “This isn’t focused on just one genre of music,” Spears says. “We’re offering something for everything — pop, R&B, not only local Detroit but from around the country, too.”
If You Go
The BMI Singer-Songwriter Series takes place Wednesday through Saturday, Oct. 19-22, in downtown Detroit, with five events in four different venues. The lineup includes:
• Joe Nichols, Michael Ray, Casey Beathard and Wendell Mobley perform at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19, at Hockeytown Cafe, 2301 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Admission is $5. Call 313-471-43400 or visit olympiaentertainment.com.
• Jerrod Niemann and Brett Young perform at Hockeytown at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, while Tinashe and Jacob Whitesides perform 8 p.m. at the Hard Rock Cafe, 45 Monroe St. Call 313-964-7625 or visit hardrock.com. Admission is $5 for each.
• The Detroit Institute of Music Education (D.I.M.E.) will host a free songwriting class with instructor Antea Shelton and a student showcase at 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21. Admission is free. D.I.M.E. is at 1265 Griswold St. Details are TBA. Call 313-223-1600 or visit dime-detroit.com.
• Hunter Hayes, Uncle Kracker, LoCash and more at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, at Coyote Joe’s, 49440 Ryan Road, Shelby Township. Admission is $10. Tickets for the original Fox Theatre show are being refunded. Call 586-254-4666 or visit coyotejoes.com
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