October 2019 – Future of Music on the West Side of LA


This event continues a series of events on Amplify Music in LA exploring how we can create better environments for music and musicians in the greater Los Angeles County area. Earlier events in Feb. and May expanded the conversation around public policy, social change, organizational support, and other issues — maps, audio, and video can be found via musicinla.org.


Welcome and Overview: Shannon Daut, Cultural Affairs Manager, City of Santa Monica Cultural Affairs — Shannon leads the Cultural Affairs Division for the City of Santa Monica, where she works to integrate the arts into all aspects of life in the community. She was previously the Executive Director of the Alaska State Council on the Arts. While there, she re-imagined and re-invigorated the leadership role of the agency in state policy, from tourism and economic development to education and Alaska Native cultural advancement. Prior to moving to Alaska, Daut was Deputy Director of the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF), where she oversaw the organization’s work in the areas of cultural policy and technology. Daut has served on the boards of the National Performance Network, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters and WESTAF. Daut received her bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts/Film from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her graduate degree in Communication/Rhetoric from the University of Colorado-Denver.

Panel: Communities of Creators and Creating on the West Side

Moderator: Jeff Schwartz, Santa Monica Public Library — Jeff is co-leader of the Decisive Instant large ensemble, principal bass of MESTO (the Multi-Ethnic STar Orchestra), a member of the Vicente Chamber Orchestra and Santa Monica Symphony, and is very active in Los Angeles’ improvised and experimental music communities. He has also performed with artists including Anthony Braxton, Glenn Branca, Dana Reason, Nicole Mitchell, Elliott Levin, Lisa Mezzacappa, and Adam Rudolph, and studied at St. John’s College, UC Santa Cruz, Bowling Green State University, the University of Texas at Austin, andf the Creative Music Studio. The author of a popular online biography of Albert Ayler and of Free Jazz: A Research and Information Guide (Routledge 2018), his writing has also appeared in the journals American Music, Popular Music, and Postmodern Culture, and in the 4th edition of A Basic Music Library. His day job is as a reference librarian at the Santa Monica Public Library, where he curates the Soundwaves new music series.

  • Koko  Peterson, McCabes, Producer/Concert Coordinator
  • Crystal Starr, Little Voices, President/Recording Artist — Crystal Starr is a singer, songwriter, director, and producer. With her background singers “The Bowties”, Starr’s 300+ performances have captivated audiences around the globe, from receiving standing ovations in Japan, South Africa, Budapest, and Mexico, to touring with Paul Stanley, “KISS”, Ariana Grande, Andra Day, Kanye West and Drake. As an eclectic retro pop, R&B, indie and soul artist, Starr’s single, “I Still Love You”, has made the Top 100 Billboard Charts. As the Founder of Little Voices, established in 2011, Crystal Starr produces quality concerts for children in the foster care system and inner cities while providing internship opportunities with industry professionals. Serving more than 6,000 at-risk youth by inspiring and mobilizing, Little Voices uses entertainment and media production as a platform to give voice to those who lack adequate support and resources needed to thrive. “She Sessions” concerts have featured renowned artists and performers, such as Judith Hill, Common, Andra Day, and Destiny’s Child’s Michelle Williams. By sharing the message “You Are Enough”, and with a new partnership with Green Dot Public Schools (Los Angeles) in March 2019 to serve approximately 250 youth at 5 school sites in 2019, Little Voices has an opportunity to establish educational implementation, build awareness and generate resources for the at-risk, fostered and adopted communities through concert programming and economic development programs.
  • Dr. Deborah How, Westside Music Conservatory, Exec. Director/Owner – Deborah H. How received her PhD from the USC Thornton School of Music, MA from the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, and BA (music & theater) from Swarthmore College. She also holds an MBA from the UMass Amherst Isenberg School of Management and is a member of The Honor Societies of Pi Kappa Lambda, Phi Kappa Phi, and Beta Sigma Gamma. She is a graduate of Santa Monica High School, Lincoln Middle School, and Franklin Elementary School, and a proud product of the SMMUSD Music Program. Dr. How maintains a private independent music studio with national-level competition winners in performance, theory, and composition; and she is the owner/executive director of the Westside Music Conservatory in Santa Monica. As a classically trained pianist and flutist, she concertizes regularly in ensemble groups and as a concerto soloist for community outreach concerts and fundraising events. Dr. How is widely known as a connection builder and fundraising architect for music education and performing arts organizations. She travels throughout the U.S. giving lectures/workshops on both studio management and pedagogy topics. She is president/co-founder of the Westside Music Foundation, a 501c3 public benefit charity for music education. She is also executive director/co-founder of the Moments of Music Foundation Piano Concerto Competition for Amateur Adults & Teachers; the executive director/co-founder of Poetry in Music; and the CEO/co-founder of BRAVURA innovations, a consulting company dedicated to virtuoso management, marketing, and branding solutions for the performing arts.
  • Patrick Scott, Jacaranda Music, Artistic and Exec. Director -Patrick Scott, Artistic & Executive Director of Jacaranda Music, studied at UC Irvine, where he received the Chancellor’s Award and President’s Fellowship for painting, graduating cum laude. His schooling in the visual arts, dance, and stage design led to a 15-year career as a designer and craftsman for film, television, stage, opera, ballet, and video. Extensive work in arts education and arts advocacy followed. After years of board service (National Alliance for Media Arts & Culture, Long Beach Museum of Art, National Campaign for Freedom of Expression), he devoted a decade to honing his fundraising skills. As chief development officer of LA’s BEST after school enrichment program in the City of LA mayor’s office, he initiated artists’ residencies now in over 180 public elementary schools that have served over 19,000 students to date. He curated Found Horizon: Stravinsky in LA’s Progressive Music Scene 1949-66, a Pacific Standard Time event of the Colburn School Conservatory of Music.
  • Phillip Ong, Vicente Chamber Orchestra, Artistic Community Member –
  • Dr. Josephine Moerschel, Elemental Strings, Executive and Artistic Director – Dr. Josephine Liu Moerschel is the Executive and Artistic Director of Elemental Music and directs the Elemental Strings Chamber Orchestra. She has been on the faculty of the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach, and the Long Beach City College. Josephine has also served as co-director of the Los Angeles branch of Junior Chamber Music and ViolaFest Los Angeles, and has served on the boards of the Southern California Viola Society and the Greater Los Angeles Area branch of the American String Teachers’ Association. Josephine can frequently be heard in the viola sections of many southern California ensembles. She is a member of the New West Symphony, and has performed with many other groups in LA, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Opera, Opera Pacific, Pacific Symphony, Los Angeles Master Chorale and Long Beach Symphony. As a highly sought after private teacher and instructor, she has maintained a violin and viola studio on the west side for fifteen years. Josephine has taught for the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified District in a variety of capacities, including as a sectional coach for Santa Monica High School and sectionals coach at John Adams Middle School and Lincoln Middle School. Her students have been heard performing in leading youth orchestras in Los Angeles, as well as conservatories and music festivals across the country. Josephine has also served as a consultant for the LA Phil Education Department. Josephine received a doctorate in viola performance from the University of Texas at Austin in 2003. Her primary teachers include Roger Myers, Donald McInnes, Masao Kawasaki, and Catharine Carroll.


Panel: Creating, Communicating, and Marketing to/with West Side Audiences

Moderator: Dr. Gigi Johnson, Center for Music Innovation, UCLA Herb Alpert School – Gigi Johnson launched the Center for Music Innovation at UCLA Alpert in 2014 to explore how innovation changes social connections and human systems around music and with music. Johnson hosts the Innovating Music podcast at UCLA Alpert and teaches classes changing music industry business models and data-driven music marketing. Previously, she ran programs and was a lecturer at UCLA Anderson in subject ranging from digital disruption in media to action research for company change. As the Executive Director of the Maremel Institute, she runs executive programs and transformative conferences on Possible Futures — on how companies can mix science, tech, scifi, and social change to rethink futures of sectors ranging from creative arts to higher education and workforce development. She received her EdD from Fielding Graduate University; her MBA from the UCLA Anderson; and her BA in Cinematic Arts (Film and Television Production) from USC.


  • Jason Kramer, KCRW (Broadcaster/DJ), Music Advisor & Supervisor, Instructor (Music Marketing) – Jason is an award-winning music supervisor and longtime on-air host for famed radio station KCRW. He started his music career working in the set up of Fox Sports Music Department and with management for the band Sublime. He has worked as Head of Music Supervision for Elias Arts, where he worked on high profile advertising projects. He is also an adjunct professor and instructor of music and media at USC, UCLA Extension ,Musician Institute and speaks at multiple institution and seminars. He has worked in management, pitching his own catalogs/ rosters and music supervision.
  • Andrew Wells, Music Producer –Andrew Wells is a platinum selling producer and multi instrumentalist from Los Angeles. At only 23 he’s worked with artists spanning all genres including Halsey, Celine Dion, Fitz and the Tantrums, James Bay, X Ambassadors, 5 Seconds Of Summer, Ellie Goulding, Bebe Rexha, Young the Giant and many more… He’s also most recently produced the entire last Jason Mraz album, Know. He started his career in his late teens as a touring musician playing with everyone from Justin Bieber to Jessie J and quickly made his way into production. He is currently published by Sony/ATV.
  • Michele Riggi, AWAL, Assoc. Director of Label Management – Michele Riggi is an Associate Director of Label Management at AWAL, Kobalt Music Group’s Recorded Music Division. In her role as Label Manager, Michele oversees marketing strategy, creative and release management for a wide roster of artists including Omar Apollo, Finneas, Rezz, Johnny Utah, Wild Belle and Des Rocs, among others. Michele first joined Kobalt Music in New York in 2014 before advancing to her current role as Label Manager. A graduate of SUNY Potsdams Crane School of Music and Buffalo Bills loyalist, Michele relocated to Kobalt’s Los Angeles office in 2017.
  • Jen Maxcy, Skirball Cultural Center, Assoc. Director of Programming – As Assistant Director of Programs at the Skirball Jen oversees programming across multiple disciplines including music, theater, film, literary, and large festivals. The Skirball Sunset Concert series—now in its third decade– has featured musical artistry spanning Los Angeles, the US, and the globe. Prior to programming for adult audiences Jen served as the Head of Family Programs at the Skirball and curated a music series each summer featuring mostly west coast artists. Before becoming a cultural programmer/educator, Jen occupied several leadership roles in SMMUSD—including PTA President at Roosevelt Elementary School, and was a professional actor for fifteen years both in New York and here in Los Angeles.
  • Charles Andrews, Santa Monica Daily Press, Columnist – Charles’ love of music got its first spark from seeing Elvis uncensored on TV on The Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey Show, as a very wee lad. Unlike many, he never outgrew rock and roll, and rolled along adding blues, big band, rockabilly, ranchera, classical, country, cajun, Celtic, Hawaiian, gospel, jazz, ska and everything he could unearth. He believes the more you’ve listened to a genre and the more you know about it, the more delicious it becomes. He’s seen well over 2,000 live shows and used to have 7,000 LPs. He always loved to discuss music with friends, then in college discovered that if you have a newspaper column you can reach 1000s, not just two or three. He’s been a published/paid music journalist ever since, now knocking out his NOTEWORTHY column every week for the SMDP. He interviewed Dr. John about learning Aramaic to become a bishop in the Church of Voodoo, wrote the history of LA reggae for BAM magazine, was a guest of The Master Musicians of Jajouka in the Atlas mountains of Morocco, got Eek-a-Mouse and Brian Wilson to record phone messages for him, had Bill Bruford, Wild Man Fischer and Mick Taylor on his cable TV show, and has many sordid tales from handling all the club ads for the LA Weekly in the early to mid-’80s. His license plate reads RNR4VR.


We began this project in 2017 with an eight-student project to explore music in Los Angeles,  We interviewed and recorded 40 music professionals, ranging from club owners to long-time performers to artists new to LA to songwriters.  Each held view of a very different Los Angeles.

Our core question started as how was changing technologies, esp. the growth in streaming, affecting live performance and communities.  We became intrigued by the many Music Cities projects and conferences with other cities around the world. We spoke with music cities researchers and public policy folks in many cities, and spent a fair bit looking to the North with the people up in San Francisco, where gentrification has taken a large cut at their performing arts spaces and lifestyles.

We began to ask “what about LA”?

What is LA? What is happening in its diverse music cultures?  How does technology impact clubs vs. large venues vs. festivals — and who is using changing tech well to embrace and remind its audiences?  How are the various local music communities changing and embracing connecting technologies? How is our quirky confluence of music supervisors, co-writers, influencers, labels, and other power brokers affecting our new clubs, popups, and communities?  LA is the city. Or is it the county? Do people in LA even know which LA they are in, or in LA at all? What is happening in West Hollywood vs. DTLA vs. the beach cities? Where our people migrating to as rents increase?

We will be looking at “whose LA?” and “whose futures?” — and how we make take actions to work together to help more than just the main players in the space

  • We will look at genres, have/have not issues, socioeconomic challenges, immigration and racial opportunities and frictions, generational changes, and live/work cultures, and even impacts of traffic and increasing traffic and car services

Core Topics

  • What is “Los Angeles”? — rich history and narrative of LA in creative arts
  • Major forces of change
  • Map of Los Angeles – geography over time
  • LA’s changes in comparison to other great Music Cities
  • Future Trends
    • Big Trends — Projected Drivers Overall for 2030 and 2040
    • Big projected trends in recorded music
    • Future real estate and economic trends for LA County and California
      • Populations and Migrations
  • Roles of “The Business”
    • Role of LA in Recorded Music Taste-making and Community-building
    • Music in the Heart of Motion Pictures and TV
  • Live music trends
    • Big Venue – trends
    • Small venue – trends
    • Cultural and Popular music contrasts
    • Futures of Genres
    • Ages and Demographics
    • Transportation Trends
    • Pop Ups and Non-Traditional Spaces
    • Roles of Festivals in the Local Market
  • Life and Role of the Local Artist and Community
    • Lifestyle and community trends
    • Role of collectives and communities
    • Ecosystem of managers and professional support
    • Migration in as The Place (or one of The Places)
    • Social support as artists get older in community
  • Organizations as Catalysts for Change
    • Public Policy – organizational efforts
    • Communities as catalysts
    • Future Role of Schools and Universities as Community Hubs
  • Role of Technology in Social Change and Futures of Live Events
    • Role of VR and Immersive Media
    • Silicon Valley, Silicon Beach, DTLA, and points beyond as tech hubs
    • Music 3.0 — systemic change under streaming music — and LA’s role
    • Role of the future Olympics and arts cooperation

Music x Ideas x Space = Compose LA

The Future of Music in Los Angeles

A Symposium for the Music Scene of Los Angeles

Wednesday, February 6, 2019
12 noon – 6 pm
The Bootleg Theater – 2220 Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90057


2019 marks the rise of Los Angeles as an unprecedented leader in music composition and performance. While streaming music has expanded to 75% of recorded revenue, live music communities are where we explore, live, enjoy, and create.

This symposium pushed the questions of how we can support live and robust music community(s) in Los Angeles that benefits all parties. Other cities are struggling with economics and the health of live music, while some cities are creating massive, city-wide musical support systems to stave off displacement and drive the economy. How can Los Angeles’ music scene(s) be supported and work together to continue to create something robust, diverse, and dynamic in this changing era?

The Future of Music in Los Angeles Symposium was planned in conjunction with the inaugural presentation of COMPOSE LA 2019 occurring throughout the month of February 2019. With the theme What is Human, What is Race? as inspiration, the first edition of this festival will surface and address a unique myriad of topical issues as they relate to the future of the City of LA and its thriving music scene.

Symposium Schedule (Link to Full Recording)

12 noon – 1:00 pm

Welcome: Danielle Brazell, General Manager, Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles

Special Presentation: The Future City

Conni Pallini-Tipton, Senior City Planner Citywide Planning and Policy Division, Department of City Planning (link to recording) (link to PDF of slides)

The City of Los Angeles will experience massive changes over the next 20 years. Come hear from City of LA Senior Planning Official, Conni Pallini-Tipton on how the city of LA will be tackling the most difficult issues in the years ahead and its impact on the music and cultural landscape of LA. Using the latest in trends in forecasting and data analysis, you will see how the city is dealing with issues of environment, space, permits, density, aging, housing, growth, noise, diversity, and employment. This fascinating presentation will offer insights on how the City of LA is planning for our musical future.

1:00 pm

Symposium Overview: Dr. Gigi Johnson, Executive Director, Center for Music Innovation, UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music

1:15 pm

Provocations: The DNA of New Music in LA

In the spirit of a multi-faceted and diverse Los Angeles, the opening “provocations” will offer six brief interpretations of the varied influences and histories that make up today’s music scene.


  • Josh Kun, Director, Annenberg School for Communication Professor and Chair in Cross-Cultural Communication;
  • Gloria Cheng, Award-winning pianist and recording artist; Adjunct Professor of Performance, Herb Alpert School, UCLA;
  • Dexter Story, Musician, composer, music director, producer and Artivist in Residence / Event Producer at Community Coalition of South Los Angeles;
  • Judy Mitoma, President, Foundation for World Arts and Emerita Professor, Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance, UCLA;
  • Kristen Martinez (Yaqui / Yoeme / Chicanx) M.A. student, UCLA American Indian Studies
  • MJ Brown aka Miss Barbie Q, Drag Performer /Speaker/Storyteller/ Event & Radio Host/Producer/Programmer/Actor/Writer

2:00 – 2:55 pm

Panel 1: COMPOSE LA ROUNDTABLE: A Candid Conversation about Composing and Music Making in Los Angeles (link to recording)

Making and composing music in Los Angeles is filled with many unique challenges and opportunities, but ultimately LA has emerged as one of the most exciting music cities in the world. Several composers featured in Compose LA 2019 will offer their candid experiences and observations about what it means to be an “LA composer” working in the music scene today.

Moderator: Leigh Ann Hahn, Grand Performance

Featured composers:

  • Andrew Norman
  • Astronautica
  • Bapari
  • Derrick Spiva Jr
  • Howard Ho
  • James H. Leary
  • Juan Pablo Contreras
  • Linafornia
  • Maral Mahmoudi
  • Reena Esmail

3:00 – 3:55 pm

Panel 2: LA Night Time Economies — New Models in Music Programming and Festivals (link to recording)

The models for festival production, venue programming, and music distribution have radically changed over the last 10 years. Los Angeles, in many ways, is leading the way in reinventing the models that make music happen and thrive across our city. This panel will explore the latest trends, technologies, and influences on how music is being programmed and how artists are being supported.

Moderator: Fabian Alsultany, RChain Cooperative


  • Eui-Sung Yi, Director, UCLA IDEAS Architecture Lab/The NOW Institute
  • Kristin McElwain, Red Bull Music Academy
  • Devin Landau, Paradigm Talent Agency
  • Ed Patuto, The Broad
  • Erika Nuno, Champion City
  • David Peterson, This Is Who We Are Now
  • Marie Kellier, Los Angeles Carnival

4:00 – 4:55 pm

Panel 3: LA is NOW: Music Cities and Music Venues (link to recording)

Los Angeles is now at the forefront of the musical world. The city is filled with music venues, concert halls, festivals, underground spaces, backyard parties, and incubators, and all of them contribute vibrancy to our quality of life. This panel will examine what the City of LA needs to put into place to sustain and grow our music community and will investigate what other international cities are doing to ensure that music will continue to be an important part of the creative economy.

Moderator: Gigi Johnson, UCLA Center for Music Innovation


  • Ross Gardiner, Black Circle Media
  • Vickie Nauman, Cross Border Works
  • Michael Rogers, Eventbrite Music/Ticketfly
  • Liz Garo, Spaceland Presents/EchoPlex/Stories Books and Cafe
  • Elizabeth Peterson-Gower, Founder/CEO, Elizabeth Peterson Inc.
  • Alejandro Cohen, dublab

5pm – 5:55 pm

Panel 4: Space Control: Conversation with LA’s Incubator Spaces about Surviving in LA (link to recording)

Los Angeles is a land of DIY new music spaces and creative activation, but at the same time, many venues are being lost to gentrification, lack of affordable live/work space, and rampant displacement. This panel will focus on the critical issues facing some of LA’s leading artist-run music spaces and will offer creative strategies for survival and perseverance.

Moderator: Alison De La Cruz, Japanese American Community & Cultural Center


  • Dwight Trible, The World Stage
  • Julia Meltzer, Clockshop
  • Andrew Young, the wulf.
  • Alicia Adams, Bootleg Theater
  • Betty Avila, Self Help Graphics & Art
  • Addy Gonzales Renteria, 11:11 Creative Collective
  • Rob Simonsen, The Echo SocietyMasato “Maz” Baba, TAIKOPROJECT


The Future of Music in Los Angeles Symposium was planned in conjunction with Bootleg Theater, The Broad, and the Center for Music Innovation – UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.

Compose LA was a city-wide new music, new ideas festival planned in conjunction with Department of Cultural Affairs – City of Los Angeles (DCA), American Composers Forum of Los Angeles, University of California Humanities Research Institute, and the Center for Music Innovation – UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. 

The Department of Cultural Affairs recognizes Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar (Los Angeles basin, So. Channel Islands) and is grateful to have the opportunity to work for the taraaxatom (indigenous peoples) in this place. As a City municipality, we pay our respects to Honuukvetam (Ancestors), Ahiihirom (Elders), and eyoohiinkem (our relatives/relations) past, present and emerging.

Past and Future Events

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