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LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER Dear Readers, It’s fun when a really great experience inspires a story idea. That’s exactly what happened during our last visit to Destin Florida. Robin and I had an incredible dinner at the Beach Walk Cafe located in the Henderson Park Inn. While reading the menu, we noticed that Vince Gill had a dinner entree named after him. We wondered, what other Nashville celebrities called Destin and the Emerald Coast their favorite beach destination... from that a great story unfolded. Be sure and check out our Nashville Travel & Entertainment story regarding the Emerald Coast on page 107. In addition to unique content, we continue to try and make Nashville Arts & Entertainment Magazine easily accessible to our readers. If you recently purchased a home and also subscribed to Comcast/Xfinity, you may have received a copy as a special gift. From newsstands to the Nashville CVB or at hotel locations downtown... Nashville Arts & Entertainment Magazine is always available throughout the year. In addition to Nashville Arts & Entertainment Magazine, we also publish the Performing Arts Magazines for TPAC, Nashville Symphony, Nashville Ballet, Nashville Opera, Nashville Repertory Theatre and Studio Tenn Theatre at the Factory in Franklin. For additional information on available arts and entertainment offerings, go to: GloverGroupEntertainment.com Finally, we want to acknowledge our loyal readers and advertisers for making Nashville Arts & Entertainment Magazine a success. Over 90% of our advertisers renewed their annual campaigns for another year... Thank you! We could not do what we do without the tremendous support from the Nashville business community! For advertising information call: 615-373-5557. Enjoy!

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PRESIDENT/PUBLISHER GARY GLOVER GARY@GLOVERGROUPINC.COM MANAGING EDITOR ROBIN GLOVER ROBIN@GLOVERGROUPINC.COM ART DIRECTION & DESIGN BRET D. HAINES BAAHAUS DESIGN BRET@BAAHAUS.COM PRODUCTION MANAGER MATTHEW LANDON GLOVER MATT@GLOVERGROUPINC.COM COPY EDITOR RONNIE BROOKS RBROOKSMUSIC@GMAIL.COM CONTRIBUTING WRITERS JAYLYN CARLYLE WILL ESTELL MATTHEW LANDON GLOVER JANET MORRIS GRIMES BEVERLY KEEL DAN KEEN DEBORAH EVANS PRICE ANGELA ROBERTS SHERRY STINSON JULIETTE VARA LORI WARD TIM WEEKS PHOTOGRAPY ED RODE PROOFREADER GREG OTTARSKI EXCLUSIVE ANNUAL ENTERTAINMENT CALENDAR POWERED BY NOWPLAYINGNASHVILLE.COM ADVERTISING SALES & CIRCULATION GLOVER GROUP ENTERTAINMENT, LLC 5123 VIRGINIA WAY, SUITE C-12 BRENTWOOD, TN 37027

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10 Contents 6 Contributors 10

24

Up and Coming: New Nashville What to Watch For in Music By Tim Weeks

14

36 24

The Nashville Bucket List

29

Performing Arts

By Angela Roberts

Life Behind the Curtain: A Peek Backstage at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center By Lori Ward

The Next Generation of Arts & Entertainment

14 Lipscomb University By Janet Morris Grimes

32

Literary Arts

36

Visual Arts

By Janet Morris Grimes

16 Belmont University By Dan Keen

17 Middle Tennessee State University By Beverly Keel

20

Blurred lines, indeed. The Vision of Jeremy Cowart By Jaylyn Carlyle

Nashville Sports & Entertainment

20 Two Young Guns: The Predators’ Filip Forsberg and Seth Jones Are Armed and Dangerous By Sherry Stinson

21 Aloha, Y’all! QB Marcus Mariota a Big Hit With Titans Fans By Janet Morris Grimes

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42

Nashville’s Restaurant Revolution By Angela Roberts


Letter from the Editor 52

82

107

46

Where Hollywood Meets Family-Friendly Mark Burnett Offers TV Shows With Values By Deborah Evans Price

52

This Year’s Most Interesting People, Places and Things By Tim Weeks, Janet Morris Grimes, Juliette Vara, Matthew Glover, Dan Keen

82 87

Nashville Arts & Entertainment Honors By Sherry Stinson

The Annual Calendar of Events from Now Playing Nashville

107 Nashville Travel & Entertainment

Nashville to Northwest Florida: Music City Loves America’s Favorite Beach Playground By Will Estell

As we begin our tenth edition of Nashville Arts & Entertainment Magazine, we are excited to announce the second annual Nashville Arts & Entertainment Honors. We believe that it is important to call attention to those who have been champions and leaders in the arts and entertainment community… so we are proud to recognize these amazing business champions, philanthropists, and artists whose lives and work in music, the visual and performing arts, business, and philanthropy have impacted our lives in countless ways. Nashville Arts & Entertainment is making a total donation of $4,000 to recognize and honor the tremendous spirit of giving and upliftment each award winner embodies.  Please be sure to check out pages 82-84 to see this year’s honorees. As always, we have included your favorite sections: Nashville’s Most Interesting People, Places & Things starting on page 52 along with our exclusive monthly calendar of arts and entertainment events beginning on page 87.  We hope you enjoy our unique editorial perspective as we bring you the best in performing, visual and literary arts along with a fun and entertaining look at our yearly Nashville Sports & Entertainment section beginning on page 20. Also don’t miss our annual section called Nashville Arts & Entertainment’s Bucket List beginning on page 24! There is much more to explore in this edition.  Thank you for spending time with us, and please feel free to send me your comments and story suggestions. Enjoy and God bless! Robin Glover robin@glovergroupinc.com @NashvilleAandE • www.nashvilleartsandentertainment.com

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Lori Ward

Contributors Jaylyn Carlyle Jaylyn is a freelance co p y wri t er an d journalist focused on helping clients tell their story. She leverages her experience as a former marketing and PR director for a Fo r t u n e 5 0 0 company to craft meaningful and impactful copy that creates conversation starters. Her portfolio includes Cordova, Johns Hopkins, Grunberger Diamonds, the FBI, Ascend Bank, Champions, and the CIA, to name a few. Jaylyn’s work also includes interviews with CEOs and top VPs at companies like Home Depot, AstraZeneca, and SonyPlaystation. In her free time, she enjoys writing fiction, traveling, kiteboarding, running, volunteering, and good company.

Will Estell Will Estell is a multipublished writer with well over 100 magazine articles to his credit. He has been involved in the startup phases of seven new magazines, both for other publishers and himself. Estell is a country music fan too, and in the last year alone has conducted feature magazine interviews with such icons as Kenny Chesney, Darius Rucker, Willie and Korie Robertson, and even Jimmy Buffett, just to name a few. Will is currently the founder and editor-in-chief of the nationally distributed newsstand travel magazine, Beaches, Resorts & Parks, where he has been instrumental in promoting the beaches of the Northwest Florida Gulf Coast to readers around the country. Originally from

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the farmlands of rural Mississippi, Will now splits his time between Beaches, Resorts & Parks headquarters in Destin and his home near Talladega, Alabama. His next venture is songwriting, so if you know of anyone who needs a hit, this is one lyrical wordsmith who would love to share his work.

Lori Ward works at t h e Te n n e ss e e Performing Arts Center, home to a wide variety of performances and one of the most comprehensive education programs in the United States. Her 16 years here have been the highlight of her career in communications, public relations and community outreach for nonprofit arts and education organizations.

Juliette Vara

Janet Morris Grimes

Juliette Vara is a 3X Emmy Award winning Television news reporter who’s work has been featured on FOX, C N N & A X S -T V. She’s also served as a country music journalist, radio host, and video producer in Southern California covering award shows and red carpet events. A storyteller by trade, Juliette was drawn to Music City in 2014 to follow her dream of promoting artists.  An avid traveler, Juliette’s often called a jet setter with a tailored love for anything off the beaten path.  

Janet is the author of the book The Parent’s Guide to Uncluttering Your Home. She has se r v e d a s t h e Devotional Editor for The Christian Pulse, and is also a writer for Christian Woman Magazine and Inspire a Fire, as well as a music reviewer and contributor for Crossroad Magazine. For more information on Janet, please visit her website at http://janetmorrisgrimes.com.

Beverly Keel Beverly Keel is chair of MTSU’s Department of Recording Industry, where she has been a professor since 1995. She is also an awa rd -wi n ni ng journalist who has written for Parade, People, InStyle, New York and many other publications. She currently writes a column for The Tennessean. She was inducted into the Nashville Public Schools Hall of Fame in May.

Angela Roberts Angela is professional food blogger and freelance writer. In this issue she shares h e r p a ssi o n f o r Nashville’s restaurant scene as well as combing the hills, countryside and city streets to once again create Nashville bucket list. As founder of spinachtiger.com, a food and restaurant blog, she creates original recipes and guides you to the best places to eat. She also works with major food brands as a recipe developer and is a regular contributor to an on-line family magazine. Angela dreams to one day complete a novel where food plays a sacred role in the life of an irreverent, dysfunctional Italian


Contributors family. Her personal bucket list included a three Michelin star restaurant in Italy, which she experienced last summer.

Bret D. Haines Bret D. Haines is a graphic designer,

Sherry Stinson Sherry Stinson has been writing about Nashville’s sports and entertainment arenas for more than 10 years. She is an avid traveler and student of life. She currently resides in Omaha, NE, where she just got her REALTOR’s license, and works in Nashville as a marketing and PR director keeping life interesting! In her spare time she bikes, swims and enjoys a few good glasses of red wine to keep a fresh perspective on life.

8

Tim Weeks art director, and graphic design instructor in the Nashville area. He runs BaaHaus Design, a small advertising and

design business, and is senior graphic designer for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville. Bret is pleased to be included as the art director and designer for Nashville Arts & Entertainment for a fourth year.

Dan Keen Energetic, personable

Deborah Evans Price

and eclectic, Belmont

Deborah Evans Price has spent a lifetime helping people share their stories. From Country Music Hall of Fame members such as the Oak Ridge Boys and Garth Brooks to rock ‘n roll icons the Eagles and Aerosmith as well as gospel greats like Bill Gaither, Deborah has spent three decades chronicling the people and music that provide the soundtrack of our lives. She has written for Billboard for 20 years and also contributes regularly to Country Weekly, FIRST for Women, Rolling Stone Country, Simple Grace, People, UP TV.com and other outlets. She is the 2013 winner of the Country Music Association’s Media Achievement Award and has also been honored with the Gospel Music Association’s Mainstream Contribution to Gospel Music Award. A noted country and Christian music historian, she’s authored The CMA Awards Vault, a history of the Country Music Association Awards as well as a historical retrospective on Word Records—“Word: Six Decades of Hits.” Her latest book, Christmas Country Faith, will be issued in the fall of 2015 from Regnery Faith Publishing.

Presidential Faculty

NASHVILLE ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

University’s 2 time Achievement Award finalist, Dan Keen has enjoyed a multifaceted career in Nashville’s music industry. While Dan was a Vice-President with the American Society of Authors Composers and Publishers (ASCAP) he facilitated dominate market share in his areas of responsibility and received ASCAP’s Award of Excellence. Some of his ASCAP signings include award-winning rock band Paramore, RCA country superstar Chris Young, ASCAP Country Songwriter of the Year Ashley Gorley and bluegrass icons Sierra Hull, Nickel Creek and The Infamous Stringdusters. His songwriting has resulted in an ASCAP Award, a #1 Christian song and songs on Grammy nominated albums. He has served as Secretary and Director of the Gospel Music Association’s Board of Directors and is well known for weaving his faith journey into his Belmont University class discussions. Dan lives in Franklin, Tennessee with his wife and children where they own Advantage Talent Development, a premiere Modeling and Acting school.

Tim Weeks began writing and producing for television in Nashville in 1989. His first production for television was “Lyle Lovett and His Large Band” which aired on The Nashville Network. “I had to learn everything the hard way,” he laughed. He diversified into documentaries and even live sports, but music specials would continue to offer opportunities. His role in PBS hits like “All*Star Bluegrass Celebration” would land him the job of showrunner of “Opry Live” from 2003-09 for High Five Entertainment. During that time, Tim worked with legends like George Jones and Loretta Lynn to the biggest stars in country music today, including Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood. Tim formed his own company after the Opry and is now creating some of his best work. His latest documentary, “The Space Shuttle: Flying for Me,” was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy in 2015. The film is currently airing on PBS affiliates nationwide. “Interviews are an art if you can make them a conversation and people open up,” said Weeks. “From astronauts to actors.”

Matt Glover Matthew Landon Glover serves double duty as bot h project manager and contributor to Nashville Arts & Entertainment Magazine. His four year tenure at Glover Group Entertainment has stretched his business entrepreneurship degree to new limits. In addition to his magazine responsibilities, Matt handles information technology, marketing and oversees new business initiatives.


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NEW

Up and Coming

NASHVILLE

What to Watch For in Music By Tim Weeks

W

ith country music album sales continuing to decline in the digital age, Nashville is forever searching for the next breakout artist. Compared to Taylor Swift, whose pop album 1989 soared past 4 million in sales, everyone else is nibbling on the crumbs of digital singles downloads. That’s not to say Nashville music is not a healthy industry. It’s just the new reality of consumer trends. And the times are a-changing. Radio has always been the dominant force in country music, but record labels and artists are seeing the upside of the Internet now. In late 2014, the Country Music Association released a study that found adults 18+ were far more likely to purchase music after exposure to it on a streaming service like YouTube, in contrast to hearing the song on radio. Music on television channels such as CMT and GAC has gone the way of the dinosaurs, too, so breaking new music online is becoming more critical in the marketing mix. There have been a number of bright spots on Nashville’s radar this past year. In addition to the continued success of mainline stars like Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert and Luke Bryan, some new artists are starting to find traction with fans. Brett Eldredge was signed by Atlantic Records, a division of Warner Music, back in 2010, and after two so-so singles, Eldredge has notched three No. 1 hits in a row from his 2013 debut album,

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Caroline Kole Bring You Back. The platinum success of the song Don’t Ya created a crest that he rode to the CMA New Artist of the Year Award in the fall of 2014. But if awards shows ask, “What have you done for me lately,” Brett didn’t make the cut of the New Artist finalists at the Academy of Country Music Awards in the spring of 2015. By then, MCA’s Sam Hunt, who did make the list of nominees, was gobbling up most of the media attention with his spoken/sung hit single Take Your Time and its music video, which highlighted domestic violence. The former college football quarterback is now scoring new fans with his country, R&B influenced debut album, Montevallo.

It’s a Young Man’s Singer’s Town Eldredge and Hunt are men pushing 30, however, so the discovery of the next Taylor Swift to appeal to album-buying teens remains every record label’s dream—and Caroline Kole may fit that bill for Starstruck Entertainment. Caroline, who just finished high school, has been performing since she was 10. The Clearwater, Fla., native got her first big break at age 12, when Nashville power couple Reba McEntire and Narvel Blackstock heard her sing at the Bluebird Cafe. “I was just trying to think through the set list, think through the chords and how I was going


to interpret this song and what the words were,” Kole recalls. “My mother didn’t tell me they were coming. Probably for the better, because I would have freaked out! But all of a sudden there they were, walking through the door. It was a pretty amazing moment, and I’ve been working with them ever since.” The fairy tale played out from there, with Caroline signing a publishing deal with Sony/ ATV at age 14 and then a recording and management deal with Starstruck. Not a bad deal, since being part of the Starstruck family means you get to open shows for superstars like Reba and Blake Shelton. A 2013 self-titled album put Kole on a number of “artist watch” lists including CMT, SiriusXM and iTunes. But a new album in 2015, featuring all songs she has written or co-written, should make her a serious contender. Her age brings comparisons to Swift, but her voice and material are more mature. Caroline says, “(People say I sound like) Martina McBride or Trisha Yearwood. My stage presence and show are compared to that of Reba, which is humbling. Yeah, I get a lot of Taylor Swift, but more Michelle Branch, really.” Musicianship and songwriting are just as important as style and sound to the perky brunette. “When I was eight years old, I picked up the guitar and I learned three chords, and about a week later, I had written a song,” says Kole. “I just love songwriting. I write every day after school. And if I’m not writing after school, I’m in the studio. If I’m not in the studio, I’m rehearsing. If we’re not rehearsing, then we’re on the road.”

Beauty and the Beat While Caroline Kole may be country’s next sweetheart, Rainey Qualley is attracting attention as Music City’s new glamour girl. The daughter of actress Andie MacDowell came to Nashville in 2014 to launch a singing career, and 2015 is set for her country debut with upstart Cingle Records. Rainey acts, as well; she opened the final season of AMC’s Mad Men as a fur model being ogled by ad exec Don Draper, but she says she’s 100 percent committed to her new music. “Music has really always been my passion,”

Rainey Qualley says Qualley, while on the road for her first radio promotions tour. “It’s what I’ve loved to do since I was a little kid. My dad’s a musician, so he taught me to play guitar as a teenager, and I started songwriting. I feel so grateful to have connected with the people that I have in my life now. It helps me create what I’m doing. It’s what I’ve always dreamed of my whole life.” Rainey’s move from Asheville, N.C., to Nashville has been a process of learning the craft of songwriting under the tutelage of Russ Zavitson, president and CEO of Zavitson Music Group, which is handling A&R duties for Cingle. Zavitson thinks they found the best artist to launch a new record label. “The moment she opened her mouth, I realized this was one of the greatest singers I have worked with my entire life,” he said. The rest of the nation heard her for the first time with her debut EP, Turn Down the Lights. If it’s successful, Qualley could change the way Nashville does business with artists. While many recording contracts today are 360 deals, where labels participate in a share of everything an artist does to recoup their investment, Cingle and Rainey Qualley are partners from Day One, according to Zavitson. “Our deal is a record-

management hybrid to help create and manage an income stream,” he says. “It’s always a meeting of the minds between Rainey and the team we put around her; she’s very much in charge, because she’s a true artist and we help manage that. We don’t dictate.” Rainey adds, “It feels like a cooperative team effort. All of the decisions are made together . . . from the artwork to deciding which song to put on the album and the order of the songs on the album. It’s a group effort and everyone feels like equals, which is a great environment. It’s definitely not dominating. I don’t feel like I’m being forced to do things that I don’t want to do. I think it’s reciprocal for Russ and everybody else on the team. Whenever we make a move, everybody is on board.” Another new artist vying for Taylor Swift’s vacated country throne is Knoxville native Kelsea Ballerini, whose debut album was released by Black River Entertainment in May 2015. Ballerini has a leg (maybe two) up on the competition, however. One, her debut single, Love Me Like You Mean It, was a huge hit on radio this year. And two, she actually has Swift’s endorsement. “Driving around with @KelseaBallerini EP on repeat . . . so lovely,” tweeted Taylor. That’s huge;

@NashvilleAandE • www.nashvilleartsandentertainment.com

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JEREMY RYAN

Kelsea Ballerini it’s the musical equivalent to Oprah endorsing a book. Ballerini says the seismic tweet was not engineered by her people. “It was the coolest, most random thing,” she recalls. “I started writing songs when I was 12, and she (Swift) was the one I modeled my dreams after, so to have someone you look up to like that essentially endorse you is a very flattering thing.” Indeed. Beyond the tweet and meet (which came afterward), Kelsea seems to have Taylor’s blueprint for success. Love Me Like You Mean

The 12 children of The Willis Clan

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NASHVILLE ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

It is right out of Swift’s playbook. “For people who just want a feel-good song, it has the groove and the beat just to roll down your windows and jam to it,” Ballerini explains. “But for the people who want lyrics, it’s there … it’s really a message of girls being confident and saying, ‘Don’t play games with me,’ which becomes a theme for the whole album.” It’s definitely a catchy tune with hip-hoppy vocals and minimal instrumentation. Kelsea laughs, “It is crazy how many people know that song now, and when I perform it live, I love

seeing grown men jamming to it or singing it to their girlfriend. And on Instagram (at the song’s hashtag), there are all these selfies of girls with such sassy faces. I love it!” Ballerini is hoping the debut album, The First Time, will keep up the momentum. Many of the songs are biographical for the blonde girl next door, who turned 21 this year. “My parents got divorced when I was 12 and I started writing songs, so Secondhand Smoke bookmarks the beginning for me, and then Underage talks about life before you’re 21, and that song marks the end of writing for this album.” All of the songs are from Kelsea’s heart— with the help of her songwriting buddies. The Centennial High graduate who moved to Nashville at age 15 finds that writing alone still has its benefits. “Writing with others really helps with the groovy, upbeat songs, but if I have something really personal and vulnerable to write about, I usually save that to write by myself.”

Beyond Country Another new Nashville act charting its own success is The Willis Clan, which debuted as a new reality show on TLC in May 2015 and ran through the summer. Known for its popular shows Jon & Kate Plus 8 and 19 Kids and Counting, based on uber-sized families, TLC is banking on the musical abilities of The Willis Clan to create another hit series. The Willis family includes Toby and Brenda Willis and their 12 gifted children, who perform their own brand of Irish influenced music and dance. The past few years have been a rush for the Willis family. Their first foray into reality TV was a six-episode series on Great American Country (GAC) in 2012. Then the bigger breaks came. They won a Sound of Music competition on the Today show in late 2013 and performed live on the long-running NBC show. That led to a nice run on America’s Got Talent in 2014, which put them on TLC’s radar. “One of the executives, Marjorie Kaplan, saw us on America’s Got Talent,” recalls mom and band manager Brenda Willis. “She’s over TLC, Velocity and Animal Planet, and she called up


Lennon and Maisy TLC and said, ‘I want them working on TLC.’ That’s how we got the deal, so we started filming at the end of last year.” Their story is not one of an overnight success, however. Inspired by the athleticism and beauty of a live “Riverdance” performance, Toby and Brenda started buying musical instruments and placing their children in dance class. Their first professional appearance as a group was at Dan McGuinness in Nashville, on St. Patrick’s Day in 2005. “I certainly wouldn’t say that we were professional, but that was our very first gig. We did that same gig for eight years in a row,” Brenda says. Today, The Willis Clan performs throughout America and Ireland, with cameras in tow documenting their musical adventures. Their first two albums were independent, selfdistributed projects. But their latest record, Heaven, has a larger presence in retail giants like Wal-Mart. “We are partners with Thirty Tigers, which is a label services organization here in Nashville,” says Brenda. “They don’t own your masters, they don’t own your music, but they help you do all the things that a label would normally do for you. And they are partners with Sony RED, our distribution company, so they’re the ones that

got us the Wal-Mart deal, in addition to iTunes and Amazon.” You won’t hear The Willis Clan on country radio, but that doesn’t bother them a bit. Brenda surmises, “Yes, the Irish is very, very strong, and that was the base for everything. But our children didn’t stop there . . . they perform classical, pop, rock, bluegrass and country. This third album is really the product of a musical journey that the kids have had over the last 15 years. It kind of all comes together on this album.”

Double Threat Other up-and-coming artists are finding their audience outside of the standard record company deal. Sisters Lennon and Maisy Stella, who star as Maddie and Daphne Conrad in ABC’s primetime country music soap Nashville, create their own music as Lennon & Maisy and stream it to the world on YouTube. The duo has attracted almost 700,000 subscribers. Raised in an entertainment household by singer/songwriter parents Brad and MaryLynne Stella, the girls are having fun creating and managing their own social media universe. Lennon, age 16, says their idea for posting music on YouTube was just for family at first. “We moved to Nashville in 2009, so we were doing

it just to stay in touch with our family in Canada and let them hear the music we were making. Somehow, crazy, it just blew up,” she says. “When we got a lot (of views), we thought our family was looking at it quite a bit more. Then, when it got into the millions, we were like, this is actually insane and it wasn’t our grandma,” laughs Maisy, 11. “Yeah, it was so amazing. It was such a shock, too. It wasn’t ever planned.” Songs like Ho Hey, performed by Lennon & Maisy on the TV show, have been issued on “Nashville” soundtracks by Big Machine Records. But in 2012, the sisters published a collection of songs on their own as the Live YouTube Sessions. Even with their mass popularity and visibility on network television, a major-label record will have to wait on the girls. Lennon says, “We’re writing right now. We’re hopefully going to produce some sort of album soon enough. Right now we’re just kind of taking it easy and figuring out the style we like and what kind of music we want to produce. But there’s no rush to make a record.” In the meantime, the Lennon & Maisy YouTube catalog of performances continues to grow, as “Nashville” maintains a solid audience heading into its fourth season.

@NashvilleAandE • www.nashvilleartsandentertainment.com

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The

The 46th Annual GMA Dove Awards at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena took place October 2015

Clare Bowen and Chip Esten perform at Lipscomb’s annual fundraiser to benefit new initiatives at the College of Entertainment & the Arts.

SHELBY SMITH

KRISTI JONES

of

Lipscomb University By Janet Morris Grimes

“N

ashville is our campus, and the world is our classroom.” This is a frequent saying by Lipscomb University President Randy Lowry, referring to his staunch belief that Lipscomb should benefit the community of Nashville, as the city influences the university in return. With the recent debut of Lipscomb’s College of Entertainment & the Arts (CEA), this statement will come to life in ways that compel the global entertainment community to take notice. The CEA blends the departments of music, visual arts, cinematic arts and theatre into a multilevel network of instruction for the next generation. With five new undergraduate

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programs and several degrees available on the graduate level, including a Master of Fine Arts in Film, many are exclusive degrees for this region. “What makes us different,” says Mike Fernandez, dean of the CEA, “is our missional approach. As servants and storytellers, we believe artists are the gatekeepers of social consciousness. To a culture that desperately seeks meaning, we have a responsibility to tell stories that matter.” Fernandez and his family relocated to Nashville from Texas in 2008, and his still-fresh focus easily spotlights what Lipscomb has to offer. He refers to a current study by Southern

Methodist University, which names Nashville as the No. 2 city for the arts in the nation. “We are 10 minutes from the action, which provides the best internship opportunities imaginable. Here, you can perfect your art while strengthening your faith. We truly believe you can honor God and be a leader in the industry of entertainment and the arts.” In the spring of 2015, Lipscomb reached another benchmark in excellence for its music program by attaining All-Steinway School status, one of only eight institutions in the state to achieve this designation. “We’re making a statement that we are serious about music and will foster a natural collaboration between


KRISTI JONES KRISTI JONES

Charlie Peacock, director of contemporary music and industry outreach, Filmmaker in Residence Steve Taylor, and Mike Fernandez, dean of Lipscomb’s College of Entertainment & the Arts.

Charlie Daniels and Luke Bryan perform on stage at Lipscomb’s Allen Arena

classical and contemporary art forms,” says Fernandez. With the Artists in Residence program, Fernandez has drawn seasoned professionals, still actively practicing their craft, to further develop his students. The program will allow Lipscomb’s millennials to perform and train alongside Dove and Grammy Award–winning artists, Broadway professionals and even a former Disney animator.

Tom Bancroft, author of the popular art instruction book Creating Characters With Personality, will lay the groundwork for the interactive media program, which combines students from multiple disciplines (filmmakers, writers, game developers, coders, small business, advertisers, etc.) to educate them in gaming, animation and mobile app development. Grammy Award winner Charlie Peacock serves as the director of contemporary music and industry

outreach. Named by Billboard’s Encyclopedia of Record Producers as one of the Top 500 of all time, Peacock is anxious to expand his influence. “I arrived at Lipscomb eager to see how I might fit into the amazing developments on campus,” says Peacock. “I couldn’t be more excited or grateful.” Fernandez echoes Peacock’s enthusiasm. “What I love about Charlie’s approach to music education is that he wants to help the student achieve artistic freedom—freedom from inhibition, limitation and even expectation.” Steve Taylor, with two Grammy nominations and more than 1 million album sales to his credit as a recording artist, has produced gold- and platinum-certified albums for Newsboys and Sixpence None the Richer. As founder of Squint Entertainment, creating and directing music videos for his artists naturally propelled him to an equally successful career as a filmmaker. Taylor won the 2013 Wilbur Award in the Best Feature Film category for Blue Like Jazz, which was later released nationwide. As Filmmaker in Residence, Taylor leads the cinematic arts program, which has become a production company in its own right, premiering a Web-series sitcom in the fall of 2015. His students have already won multiple awards for their creations, and additional feature-length ideas are in the works. Taylor is moved by the sense of collaboration found on campus. “I love seeing our filmmakers pull from Lipscomb’s talent pool of actors, writers and even musicians.” But as a seasoned veteran of the business, he’s noticed something more profound. “There’s a serious commitment here to serve the city and all its citizens, even immigrant communities and the poor,” says Taylor, describing that “missional approach” in action. Plans will soon be revealed for a state-ofthe-art performance facility and additional partnerships with production companies filming on-site. But Lipscomb has no intention of keeping its unique brand of “believer artists” within the confines of its borders. For these students, Nashville may provide the opportunity, but the world will surely become their stage.

@NashvilleAandE • www.nashvilleartsandentertainment.com

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Brad Paisley visited his alma mater to provide students with an “Insider’s View” of life in the entertainment business.

funding. “The best course of education for a young person wanting to pursue country music is to go to college at Belmont,” he says. “I speak from experience. I wouldn’t be in position to offer a scholarship if I had not gone to Belmont.”

Defining the Future

Belmont University By Dan Keen

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ometimes futuristic change, even ginormous (yes, that’s in the dictionary now) change, is subtle and you don’t see it coming. Other times it’s visibly. . . ginormous! If you could fly your camera-equipped drone from the east toward Belmont University (right at the top of Music Row), you’d see the future coming from miles away. Since 2003, Belmont, led by visionary President Dr. Bob “The Builder” Fisher, has erected 10 ginormous buildings for housing and for challenging students to explore the extremes of their dreams and capabilities. Two former church sanctuaries have been renovated into exquisite performance halls. The capital investment amounts to half a billion dollars. Belmont’s Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business (CEMB) holds classes on Music Row in the historic Quonset Hut, where the Nashville Sound was created in the ’60s; in legendary Columbia Studio A; and in Ocean Way Studios. In the former Sony Records building, the innovative songwriting major is taught by a faculty of successful songwriters, led by Dove Award winner James Elliott. Belmont also has facilities in Los Angeles and New York for its Curb College.

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Like a kid at Christmas who knows he’s been good, Provost Dr. Thomas Burns exudes confident excitement as he states, “We are empowering our graduates to innovate so that they may have the most positive and transformative impact on our culture possible.” The stats are solid: The U.S. News & World Report regional rankings list Belmont in the top five universities in the South. It’s the second-largest private university in Tennessee, yet it offers a 13:1 student-toteacher ratio. Grammy Award–winning producer Dann Huff (Bon Jovi, Taylor Swift, Jewel, Dolly, Keith Urban) sent two of his super-talented children there. “There’s a fluidity in entertainment that you can’t get by reading a book,” Huff says. “Proximity is everything. I wanted my kids to be immersed in Belmont’s environment of realworld knowledge, from faculty who are active in the industry.” To prove Huff’s point: Two of America’s hottest new buzz bands, Florida Georgia Line and Striking Matches, have emerged from this environment. Country superstar Brad Paisley echoed Huff when he announced the scholarship he was

Where are the entertainment frontiers in Nashville today? Belmont recently opened a state-of-the-art 134,000-square-foot building that includes its new motion pictures program. Provost Burns states, “Our students will soon lead in the fields of motion pictures, television, video gaming and audio/visual arts yet to be discovered, just like they do now in popular music. Our students will define the future instead of just reacting to it after it happens.” The new building contains several state-of-the-art facilities, including a full soundstage, motion capture laboratory, Foley and Automated Dialogue Replacement (ADR) facility, color correction suite, TV production studio, more than 30 editing bays, and two theaters. Roll! Action! Belmont also continues to push the tech envelope with its master’s degree in the science of audio recording technology and research. Provost Burns iterates, “Our graduates have a deeper understanding of the science of sound so that they are better positioned to guide the present into the future.” The campus and entertainment industry alike celebrated the recent appointment of Doug Howard as the new dean of the CEMB. Industry leader Howard, publisher of Eric Clapton’s Grammy Award winner Change the World, cofounded Disney’s Nashville label and publishing company before coming to Belmont. “In addition to exposing students to practical concepts of enterprise and entrepreneurship, my personal goal is for every student to understand that integrity is essential for achieving long-term success,” says Howard. Other industry leaders populate Belmont’s faculty. The entertainment industry studies program is chaired by the delightful genius of Mark Volman, founding member of the Turtles and a close compadre of the late Frank Zappa. Nashville has long been a center of book,


church and educational material publishing, too. Belmont’s new publishing degree program for publishing fiction, nonfiction and poetry launched a new literary magazine. An entertainment journalism minor in the media studies department took flight this fall, also. Ever heard the moniker Health Care City? Maybe it hasn’t caught on, yet Nashville is a hub for that industry, too. Is there a connection to music? Well, there wasn’t one until Belmont launched the perfect mashup: a degree in music therapy. Located in a city and a university that are centers of music and health care, it’s a ginormously perfect fit!

The new Dining and Academic Center pictured here will house the state-of-the-art film and theater facilities.

Middle Tennessee State University By Beverly Keel

Photos (clockwise from top left): MTSU students listen to Bonnaroo organizers discuss the festival’s music and programming (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli); MTSU theatre students Erin Davidson, left, Dominic Gillette and Harley Walker during rehearsals for “American Tall Tales,” (MTSU photo by Darby Campbell); Members of the MTSU Dance Theatre troupe perform a lift in “Moments of Awakening” (Photo by Martin O’Connor); Torrance Esmond and Beverly Keel – Torrance, The Grammy award-winning Tennessee Native and former MTSU student has produced for the likes of Rick Ross, 2 Chainz, Meek Mill, Yo Gotti, Lecrae and more. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt); Abbey Road Studios engineer/producer Ken Scott, who worked with the Beatles in their prime, makes a point during a March 2014 lecture at MTSU. Behind him is the iconic album cover of the Fab Four’s 1969 “Abbey Road” release (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

M

aking a living in the performing arts is always a challenge, even with a college degree. Now Middle Tennessee State University is exploring innovative technology and new partnerships to help prepare students for the next generation in arts and entertainment. MTSU’s College of Mass Communication, which includes the journalism, recording industry and electronic media communications departments, is truly one of a kind, says Ken Paulson, the college’s dean. “It encompasses everything that informs you, engages you, entertains you or makes you want to dance. “Our goal is actually to develop master communicators with hybrid skills,” says Paulson. “We want filmmakers who can do investigative reporting. We want musicindustry students who can apply their audio skills to every possible medium. Crosspollination is critical to their future and ours.” The School of Music’s music industry majors can now have a jazz/pop or classical emphasis, making this a one-of-a-kind degree in the South. School director Michael Parkinson says, “Students will get skills in improv, ensemble scoring and arranging. And students can play any instrument and be a jazz major at MTSU, which is also very uncommon. “A new Improv Ensemble is starting right away in response to national trends,” Parkinson adds. “This will give students from any background and on any instrument, that have never had any experience in improv, a broad swath of training

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Partnering With Professionals A partnership with the Nashville Repertory Theatre allows interns to receive professionallevel experience in the areas of costume, stage management and acting. “Death of a Salesman had two of our current students as acting interns,” Gibson says, “and there were also two alumni of our program in that show, as well as an alumni stage manager and resident costume designer.” MTSU also has partnerships with Bonnaroo and the Americana Music Association. Last fall,

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Bonnaroo’s founders and entire management team participated in an unprecedented symposium on how to run a music festival. This year, the students will help manage one of the Bonnaroo stages, while roughly a dozen student journalists will report on Bonnaroo for The Tennessean. The college’s Seigenthaler News Service, which provides music coverage for Nashville media, is allowing the school to emerge as a nationally prominent home for entertainment journalism. It recently hired pop culture and popular music columnist Whitney Matheson as its journalist-in-residence. Students from several departments collaborate on music videos, recording sessions, branding and social media projects. Shows may feature a student band, along with students

providing live sound, lighting and digital animation for the screens. Students will work in a mobile truck to record the show, while another set of students works in a second mobile unit to capture the performance on video. A new music-business-focused MBA is in the works and will join the recording industry department’s MFA in recording arts and technologies. “The future of our college and our students will depend upon embracing the newest techniques and technology, and the oldest of values,” Paulson says. “That means they will have the work skills necessary to become competitive in a shifting media environment. But they will also have the kind of well-rounded and substantive education that will allow them to lead rich lives and be engaged citizens.”

“MTSU ARTS” PROMOTES AND SHOWCASES DIVERSE OFFERINGS

MTSU PHOTO BY J. INTINTOLI

in a variety of improvisational styles. It will offer training on what the blues is about and also teach about melodic embellishment and ensemble interaction. It is wide-open.” Graduate students are getting an extra edge, too. The music department has converted its master’s degree in arts, which is viewed as a liberal arts degree, to a master’s in music, a professional degree. The switch has been so successful that it has doubled the number of applicants in a year. As the live entertainment field continues to grow, MTSU is adding courses in sound system optimization and sound reinforcement, and covering topics including event safety, digital concepts and wireless technology (such as microphones, in-ear monitors and frequency coordination). The newly renamed Video and Film Production program provides an education in a combination of narrative films, music videos and documentary films, as well as multicamera productions. “The big change that is happening right now is the way Nashville has become the de facto capital of live-event entertainment,” says Billy Pittard, chairman of the electronic media communication department. “We’re working with a lot of those companies.” This is the first year of MTSU’s stand-alone theatre major, and here too, the university is taking an innovative approach. The Theatre & Dance Department has created a new motorized lighting technology class and a course on acting for the camera. “They are learning both sides of the camera—how to act on camera and how to shoot a camera and communicate with actors in that environment,” says department chair Jeff Gibson.

MTSU continues to promote its amazing offerings in the arts each year through “MTSU Arts.” The brand launched in 2011 to better showcase student and faculty achievement in dance, music, theatre and visual arts through the College of Liberal Arts. Results include a centralized website (www. mtsuarts.com) to better promote arts programs; searchable digital calendars of events; creation of the MTSU Arts Patron Society to boost financial support; and expanded community partnerships. The upcoming season features unique arts

opportunities almost daily. Events include a special exhibit at the Todd Gallery, “Still Life: The Art of Moonshine,” in MTSU Theatre’s presentations of “Uncle Vanya” and “West Side Story” and the Tennessee Jazz Collective’s performance of “The Jazz Nutcracker.” “One of the outstanding advantages of living near a great university is the access the local community has to numerous high-quality music and dance concerts, plays and art exhibits,” said Dr. James “Jim” Brooks, former chair of the MTSU Department of Speech and Theatre and Patron Society member.


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Two Young Guns The Predators’ Filip Forsberg and Seth Jones Are Armed and Dangerous By Sherry Stinson

Filip Forsberg

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he magic hasn’t let up for Nashville Predators forward Filip Forsberg this year. His shots have been flying fast and straight. The 20-year-old Swede, who was on fire all year, assisted on two goals and blistered one into the net himself in the Predators’ 4-3 win against the Washington Capitals that assured the team’s eighth playoff berth in franchise history. Not to be lost in the storyline, it was the Capitals who traded Forsberg to the Predators in 2013.

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NASHVILLE ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Seth Jones

The Predators had been absent from the Stanley Cup race for the past two years. They had lost Barry Trotz as head coach after 15 years; player favorite David Legwand was traded to the Detroit Red Wings; and it just seemed the Predators needed a little somethin’ somethin’. The chamber loaded and the hammer fell when they got Rookie of the Year contender Forsberg, defensive young gun Seth Jones and new head coach Peter Laviolette in 2014. Laviolette’s

aggressive attack style clicked for both young players and the team as a whole. The year 2014 brought a new energy. Forsberg attributes his and the team’s success to “just hard work. We might not be the most skilled team in the league,” he says, “but I think we are one of the hardest-working teams for sure. I think that has been the keystone in our game.” Continued on page 22


Aloha, Y’all! QB Marcus Mariota a Big Hit With Titans Fans By Janet Morris Grimes

Marcus Mariota

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ith the second overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the Titans select Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota.” With those somewhat unexpected words from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s podium on April 30, the world that spans from Nashville to Oregon to Oahu took notice. As leis were passed out to the 20,000 fans gathered at LP Field for the annual NFL Draft Party, the celebration began. A native of Honolulu, Hawaii, 2014 Heisman Winner and 2015 Rose Bowl Offensive MVP Marcus Mariota launched himself and his Oregon Ducks into the NCAA National Championship Game this past January. At 21 years old, Mariota carries a fresh brand of confidence and excitement the Titans have been missing for the past few years. He wears the national spotlight well, and according to the slew of electronic billboards that popped up overnight around town, he doesn’t look too bad in the Titans blue and navy. Continued on page 22

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Continued from page 21

Continued from page 20 A 6-foot right wing, Forsberg was a 2012 first-round draft pick. He spent most of the 2013-2014 season in the minors— which, while disappointing, he says prepared him for this level of play. “I wanted to be playing here in Nashville, but looking back, it was good to play a lot of games in a short period of time, because that’s what it is basically like here.” Accolades include comments like “nose for the net,” “creative playmaker” and “someone who will sacrifice himself to make a play.” He credits his father as the person who introduced him to the game and continues to provide guidance and support. His family has been to Nashville twice to see him, and they follow his spectacular career from Sweden. “I like living in Nashville because it’s not a crazy city, like with the traffic. You can go anywhere at any time. It’s just really convenient.” In contrast to Forsberg’s offensive fire is a defensive wall of ice named Seth Jones. But don’t be deceived by the cool demeanor, says defenseman Jones. “I play calmly but obviously there is some fire, and I am a very competitive person. I’m a mix of my mom and dad.” Dad is former NBA player Ronald “Popeye” Jones, and Seth, the middle child of three boys, remembers being impressed with his father’s world of professional athletes.

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“I got to be around locker rooms and NBA players quite a bit, so it taught me about professional athletes and the sacrifices I have to make,” he says. Seth remembers watching the Colorado Avalanche team play while the family lived in Colorado, and becoming more fascinated with hockey than basketball. Fast-forward to the 2013 NHL draft, where Jones was selected fourth overall behind three offensive players. The 6-foot-4-inch, 205-pound player brings size and speed to the game, even though he has struggled with consistency— nothing uncommon for young players who step onto the ice in the fast-paced NHL. The talent is there, and so is the faith. Jones was slotted next to Roman Josi as the top defensive pair, while Shea Weber recovered from a lower-body injury during the Preds’ run to the playoffs. Jones scored 25 points in his rookie year for the Predators and has caught on quickly to Laviolette’s fast offense. “The defense gets a little more involved in the offensive zone, which is something all the defense loves,” says Jones. His biggest challenge, he says, is “knowing who you’re playing against—and it makes a big difference if it’s the first, third or fourth time you play them.” He says his only goal is to get better every year. Both players are on tap for hockey stardom and have even signed with Nashville’s Creative Artists Agency. The 2014-2015 season was an exciting one; expect even more fireworks for next year.

“Aloha, Y’all,” read the greeting above his photo, sporting the No. 8 Titans jersey. A surge of Internet hits and orders of Mariota jerseys soon followed, as Nashville was already smitten. But when he hit the cover of Sports Illustrated the next week (his fifth SI cover appearance), fans’ piqued curiosity was replaced with the thrill of pride and hope of big things to come. Granted, Mariota has yet to take his first snap, but the attention and respect he has garnered from high-profile officials, based on his work ethic, athleticism and personality, cannot be ignored. His image and record of performance on and off the field are spotless, and he arrives with a maturity rarely seen from someone fresh out of college—proven by the fact he managed to graduate from Oregon in just three years, with a bachelor’s degree in general sciences. In his time spent training and waiting for the draft, Mariota established a scholarship at his alma mater, Saint Louis School, an all-boys Catholic high school in Honolulu. “Saint Louis School and my family made me who I am today. I want future generations of student-athletes in financial need to know they can become the best they can be in a strong, supportive environment,” says Mariota. Mike Keith, director of broadcasting, adds, “He really has everything that you’re looking for that makes him a star coming in. The reaction since has been tremendous.” Mariota is ready to embrace his relationship with the city that already adores him. We’re known for our music, and he considers himself a country fan, growing up listening to it with his parents in the car. He lists his favorites as Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney. He also has extended family already in place in the area, which he says will help as he adjusts to his new home. There are many remaining questions still to be answered for the Titans franchise and its newest star, but Mariota appears primed for the challenge. “Pressure, to me, is when you’re not prepared. I’ve prepared myself for this moment, and I’m looking forward to it,” he says. “Nashville is a great city, a passionate city about football, and that’s all you can really ask for.”


At Bridgestone Americas, performance is full page ad in our blood. That’s why we’re proud to call Nashville home. You’ll find more than 2,300 Bridgestone teammates hard at work and play in the communities we call home. Interested in joining us? Be great. Be Bridgestone.

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The Nashville

B cket List By Angela Roberts

1. Opening to national acclaim, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s exhibition Dylan, Cash, and the Nashville Cats: A New Music City is a must-see for anyone who wants to understand how this city’s music scene exploded across genres. The 5,000-square-foot exhibit tells the story of Bob Dylan coming to Nashville in 1966 to record Blonde on Blonde, when his type of

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music wasn’t made here. You’ll learn how he hooked up with Johnny Cash, and the impact their relationship had on popular music. You’ll also remain in awe of Cash, who was instrumental in getting the old guard to embrace other types of music. The exhibit features listening booths, video clips, manuscripts and much more, including the contributions of the Nashville Cats, the group of A-list

NASHVILLE ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

musicians who played on hundreds of big albums—not limited to country artists—and their integral part in attracting outside artists to record here. This exhibit runs through December 2016, and we suggest this go on your short list. countrymusichalloffame.org ____________

great-great-great-grandfather’s

2. Take two unique Whiskey Tasting Tours at local artisan whiskey distilleries a short walk from each other: Corsair and Nelson’s Green Brier.

greenbrierdistillery.com

brand (Charles Nelson’s original bourbon production was closed due to Prohibition). It’s a story worth hearing and a whiskey worth tasting. Cost is $10 and includes a threeflight tasting. Bourbon by the bottle is sold seven days a week. 1414 Clinton St. (Photo: Doug Roberts)

Corsair Distillery, located in the Marathon Motor Works Village, Green Brier Distillery produces Belle Meade Bourbon. Andy and Charlie Nelson have revived their

3:30 to 6:30 p.m. and weekends 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Prices vary from $2 to $10, with a five-flight tasting option, which will impress any spirits lover. 200 Clinton St. #110 corsairdistillery.com (Photo courtesy of Corsair) ____________

produces award-winning, smallbatch, artisan-crafted spirits. Tour times run every hour, Tuesday-Friday

3. Visit Grimey’s legendary record store for new and preloved music. Local in-house live music is frequent, always free and open to all ages. And Grimey’s Too, housing Howlin’ Books and Frothy Monkey coffee, is right next door. Records,


books, local coffee, music artifacts, live music—all in one visit. 1604 Eighth Ave. S. grimeys.com (Photo: Josh Anderson) ____________

4. Experience a Hollywood moment at Sinema, a stunning and glamorous restaurant and bar, located in the former Melrose movie theater. Ascend the winding staircase to what was once the theater’s balcony, to the lounge, adorned with the photography of Robert Knight and Mary Ann Bilham. Sit on a velvet sofa and sip on a seasonal cocktail (try the Rhubarba Streisand or a Suze and Sarandon). 2600 Franklin Pike sinemanashville.com (Photo courtesy of Sinema)

5. Attend the annual Antiques & Garden Show. Considered one of the finest gatherings of antiques in the country, the seminar speaker list reads like a Who’s Who in home design and sells out quickly (this year’s keynote was Diane Keaton!). Visit over 150 antique exhibits amid fern-covered sofas, and expertly designed garden landscapes. Takes

place at the Music City Center, Feb. 11-14, 2016. 201 Fifth Ave. S. antiquesandgardenshow.com ____________ 6. Experience the intimacy of Nashville’s songwriter nights. Here are two of the most well-known and popular venues showcasing new and established talent every day of the week.

The Bluebird Cafe is an iconic nightspot known the nation over for its prominent part in the ABC TV series Nashville. Here, the newest talent debuts, and you may be among the first to hear the next No. 1 song. Reserve for shows, except for Sunday and Monday nights, which are first come, first served. 4104 Hillsboro Pike bluebirdcafe.com (Photo: Michael Jones)

7. The Listening Room Cafe – Opened in 2006, this music and food venue, jam-packed with nightly entertainment, is so popular that it has outgrown two locations. Monday night, The Listening Room features the Song Suffragettes, showcasing female singer/songwriters, followed by Moonshine + Music—a tribute

to what we all know happened in the backwoods in the middle of the night. Nightly shows and food. 217 Second Ave. S. listeningroomcafe.com ____________

8. Test your wits and spirit of adventure at The Escape Game Nashville, the first venue of its kind in the South, offering three different rooms to choose your escape. Our pick: the Music City–themed room, which accommodates 2-7 players. The room locks, the clock starts and the fun begins as you decipher clues, crack codes and solve puzzles to escape in under one hour. 510 E. Iris Drive nashvilleescapegame.com ____________

years, favors the mixed grill medley. Corner of 21st Ave. S. and Wedgewood Avenue (Photo: Doug Roberts) ____________

10. Grab a date and take free dance lessons, taught nightly at the Wildhorse Saloon. The Wildhorse has always been about a good time, going back to the nightclub’s opening week, when a herd of cattle stampeded past the doors—led by no other than Reba McEntire—and the fun hasn’t stopped since. Located right in the heart of the honky-tonks, this ought to be your first stop for an early dance lesson. See where your feet take you! 120 Second Ave. N. wildhorsesaloon.com ____________

9. Take an afternoon at Hillsboro Village. Visit favorite local stores BookManBookWoman, Davis Cookware and A Thousand Faces. And you haven’t had breakfast in Nashville if you haven’t eaten at the Pancake Pantry. Open since 1961, it’s a down-home place where locals and celebrities gather without fanfare. Taylor Swift loves the sweet potato pancakes, but Mrs. Mary, who has served customers for over 30

11. Eat Nashville Artisan Chocolate. We won’t have to bend your arm to go on a chocolate hunt, but it might be hard to pick a favorite. Ever since Goo Goo made that first candy bar in Nashville over 100 years ago, Nashville has had a chocolate sweet tooth. Find your fave:

Special-effects artist turned chocolatier, Andrea Smith of Chocolate F/X, will tickle your edgy

side with zombie chocolates, blood orange caramels and more. A mustsee (and taste!) experience. 1006 Fatherland St. chocolatefx.net (Photo: Angela Roberts)

Former “Hee Haw” star Mackenzie Colt is known nationwide for her Colts Bolts. 609 Overton St.

A bean-to-bar factory, Olive & Sinclair produces unusual flavors like Salt & Pepper Chocolate and Duck Fat Caramels. You can find their chocolate bars just about everywhere in Nashville, and for good reason. O&S offers Saturday tours at their East Nashville factory. 1628 Fatherland St. oliveandsinclair.com

Tempur Chocolate Shoppe, in Germantown, is a Europeanstyle chocolate shop, where each

@NashvilleAandE • www.nashvilleartsandentertainment.com

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Seventh avenues North

confection is made by hand, including truffles, caramels, chocolates and more. The only cafe of its type that pairs chocolate, cheese and wine— the three loves of life. 1201 Fifth Ave. N. tempurchocolate.com ____________

(Photo courtesy State of Tennessee Photographic Services)

____________

12. Head to Studio Tenn at The Factory in historic Franklin. Studio Tenn offers rare, intimate audience experiences, while producing Broadway-quality performances such as The Wizard of Oz and It’s a Wonderful Life, in addition to musical tributes to such icons as Johnny Cash. The Factory at Franklin, Building 8 230 Franklin Road, Franklin, TN studiotenn.com (Photo courtesy of Studio Tenn)

13. Tennessee is one of the most beautiful places to be outdoors. Head to Ashland City for the Cumberland River Bicentennial Walk/Bike Trail, a rails-to-trails nature hike. Half of the trail allows biking; half is reserved for walking. Northwest on Highway 12, turn left after the bridge by Deerfield Inn, onto Chapmansboro Road, Ashland City, TN cumberlandrivertrail.org

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14. Take pictures of historic buildings. Start in Germantown with the Church of the Assumption, the city’s oldest Catholic church, dedicated in 1859. Head east past the Farmers’ Market to capture a full view of the Capitol building, and swing into town. Start at Union Station on Broadway, heading north, viewing the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, the Customs House on the right and Hume-Fogg on the left (the city’s oldest school, which opened in 1855 and continues to prepare the next generation of Nashvillians). Stop for one last picture of all the Nashville honky-tonks you can view in one shot. Don’t forget to Instagram #Nashville. Church of the Assumption: 1227 Seventh Ave. N. (Photo: Doug Roberts)

15. Walk across the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge (formerly the Shelby Street Bridge) and take in the view of Riverfront Park, the Nashville skyline and LP Field, the Tennessee Titans’ stadium. A bridge of many memories (we witnessed a man getting down on one knee and a woman saying yes as we shot this picture!). (Photo: Angela Roberts) ____________

The Tennessee State Museum is located in the basement of the Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC). Admission is free. TuesdaySaturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday: 1 to 5 p.m. Closed Mondays. 505 Deaderick St. tnmuseum.org ____________

17. Take a guided or self-tour of City Cemetery. Established in 1822, City Cemetery is listed in the 16. Visit the State Capitol and the Tennessee State Museum. The State Capitol sits on beautiful grounds adorned with statues of Tennessee statesmen, including Andrew Johnson and Andrew Jackson. Most interesting are the burial tombs of the building’s architect, William Strickland (buried inside), and President James K. Polk and his wife in a small monument on the Capitol grounds. Guided tours for the State Capitol are available Monday-Friday, starting at 9 a.m. Charlotte Avenue between Sixth and

National Register of Historic Places because of its historical and architectural

significance.

City

Cemetery is Nashville’s oldest final resting place for many people of diverse backgrounds, including Civil War generals and Revolutionary War soldiers. Open for public visitation from dawn to dusk. A Guided Living Tour takes place yearly. 1001 Fourth Ave. S. thenashvillecitycemetery.org ____________

18. Combine a historic walk of East Nashville with some of the best East Nashville culinary options on the Walk Eat Nashville Food Tour. Six tastings—over three hours of walking and cavorting with chefs, restaurant owners and food artisans—have made this tour the most talked-about food outing in town. 5 Points (intersection of Woodland Street and Main Street), East Nashville walkeatnashville.com ____________

19. Nashville’s largest independent toy store, Phillips Toy Mart, is a traditional Easter-time destination. For about five weeks, families flock to see the live bunnies—not for sale but for friendly, careful petting and picture-taking. Amid the huge toy selection, you’ll find Paddington Bears, science kits, puzzles, games, specialty dolls, a complete selection of Lionel electric trains and a moving train track that includes Thomas! Phillips Toy Mart has been making kids of all ages happy since 1946. Monday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 5207 Harding Pike phillipstoymart.com ____________


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musiccityroots.com (Photo courtesy of Music City Roots) ____________

or beer—or just get drunk on the entertainment from the Jugg sisters. Ages 15 and over. Book online only at nashtrash.com Starts and ends at Nashville Farmers’ Market, 900 Rosa L. Parks Blvd. nashtrash.com

20. Tour the Belle Meade Plantation. The authentically aristocratic estate boasts a deep, rich history as a horse farm, center of hospitality and host to five presidents. Homemade wine was always served, leading up to the recently opened Belle Meade Winery, which is part of the tour. Most famous for breeding thoroughbreds, it’s the place to celebrate the Kentucky Derby in style. 5025 Harding Pike bellemeadeplantation.com (Photo courtesy of Belle Meade Plantation) ____________

this free event, which takes place on Lower Broadway between First and Sixth avenues. The music note will drop slowly from a 125-foot structure, followed by fireworks and confetti cannons at midnight. Happy New Year! (Photo courtesy of Jack Daniel’s) ____________

23. Take a Blue Heron Cruise up the Cumberland River amid 30,000 acres of wildlife refuge—of course, guaranteed to spot the Great Blue Heron. Between March and November, this scenic nature cruise offers a relaxing and adventurous pastime for the entire family. Cruise times vary from morning to sunset. Book your cruise online at www. blueheroncruises.com or call 615385-7007. 591 Tennessee Waltz Parkway, Ashland City, TN Check website for best directions. ____________

(Photo courtesy of NashTrash) ____________

25. Visit the Union Station Hotel, once the major transportation hub in the South, where nearly 3 million servicemen passed through during World War II. Gaze at the breathtaking barrel vaulted, stained glass ceiling and stunning artistic craftsmanship. Walk next door to the Flying Saucer, for any of over 200 global beers and a game of pool, and reflect on the history under your feet. 1001 Broadway unionstationhotelnashville.com (Photo courtesy of Doug Roberts) ____________

27. Combine the love of wine, food and music at City Winery, which features over 400 wines, a fine-dining restaurant and a concert venue. As if this wouldn’t be enough for foodies who love wine, you can choose dinner and a show in their adjacent 300-seat venue. The concert menu features unique dishes like smoked gouda ravioli and leg of lamb flatbread accompanied by a full bar,

22. Tour the Jack Daniel’s Distillery. Believe it or not, Jack Daniel’s is located in a dry county, but the tour is anything but dry. You can choose the free tour or the $10 tasting tour. Make this a day trip, explore Lynchburg, see how 21. Why go to New York City when you can stand on Broadway at midnight and watch the drop of a 15-foot red music note, covered in more than 150 feet of LED lights, at the annual Jack Daniel’s New Year’s Eve Bash. Nashville’s biggest stars line up to perform at

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whiskey is made, and lean in to hear the stories about Jack. Tours daily, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 182 Lynchburg Highway, Lynchburg, TN jackdaniels.com/visit (Photo courtesy of Jack Daniel’s Distillery) ____________

24. Music City Roots. Recently relocated from the Loveless Barn to the historic Factory at Franklin, Music City Roots is one of the most affordable live radio shows around, a sort of modern-day version of the beloved Grand Ole Opry. Live performances take place every Wednesday night, with a surprising and eclectic array of artists. Doors open at 6 p.m. for the 7 p.m. show, which will broadcast live on Hippie Radio, 94.5 FM. The Factory at Franklin 230 Franklin Road, Franklin, TN

including at least 15 wines by the glass. The winery will be producing bottles for service in-house by 2016. Bring your latest crush to Crush Hour, which includes seven 26. Take the NashTrash Tour, the tour the locals love. While Christie Hauck of Goozy wants to jump on a tour to see where the stars live, his wife, Melissa, couldn’t say enough good things about the NashTrash tour. Laugh until you wet your pants as you ride by Nashville landmarks on Music Row. Bring a lap-sized cooler of wine

wines and seven plates for $7 each, seven nights a week from 5 to 7 p.m. That’s a happy hour not to miss. Find

specific

hours,

concert

information and ticket reservations at their website. citywinery.com/nashville 609 Lafayette St. (Photo courtesy of City Winery)


REED HUMMELL

Life Behind the Curtain REED HUMMELL

A Peek Backstage at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center By Lori Ward

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t times, the comedy and drama behind the scenes at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) are almost as entertaining as the action on the stage. Celebrating 35 years in Nashville, TPAC has hosted nearly 300 Broadway tours, more than 300 productions for students, and thousands of performers, from locally based professional artists to international celebrities. Here’s an exclusive glimpse into the everyday work of art and entertainment as TPAC staff members share a few favorite stories and take you backstage.

Get It in Writing Nearly all artists’ contracts contain riders indicating the items TPAC is required to

supply in the dressing rooms. Some of the more unusual requests have included: six toothbrushes in their original plastic wrap; a dressing room painted chocolate brown; and a venti soy latte with two Splendas and two McDonald’s hamburgers immediately before and after every show (more than one a day) over several days. One celebrity insisted on the creation of a personal backstage tunnel with pipes and drapes to provide a completely private walkway from dressing room to stage. Yet another required maximum air conditioning to maintain a cool temperature beneath the hot stage lights. Because of this, Jackson Hall became so cold and uncomfortable for some audience members that TPAC requested a donation of flight blankets

The crew for Nashville Opera’s Aida managed the challenge of leading two camels up the elevator and onto the stage for their impressive appearance in the lavish production. from American Airlines to pass out to patrons. Over the years, illusionist David Copperfield traveled with various animals, including a large pig, chickens and ducks. For one of many Copperfield appearances in Nashville, TPAC was responsible for supplying the ducks he used in his show. “His visit to TPAC coincided with mating season, which presented an extreme challenge just to find a farmer who would sell them,” recalls Teresa Ellithorpe, TPAC’s vice president of event sales and services. “The runner had to make a three-hour trip to get them. We put

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JOAN MARCUS

The dogs of 101 Dalmatians traveled in their purple “Puppy Palace,” a bus with a grooming station.

Kevin Casey, Music Director/Conductor for Mamma Mia

JOAN MARCUS

Momma Mia cast members

MATTHEW MURPHY

Doing the Heavy Lifting

The one ton chandelier used for The Pantom of the Opera.

MATTHEW MURPHY

The Tavern Scene in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

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the ducks in a dressing room with hay all over the floor. Later we realized they had fleas. It’s not hard to imagine the cleaning crew’s challenge after the ducks left the building.” As for Copperfield’s magic, even the publishers of Nashville Arts & Entertainment Magazine, Gary and Robin Glover, have their own special story about one night the illusionist appeared in Nashville. Gary had attended the show with his son Matt—a young boy at the time—and was randomly selected from the audience to take part in the act. Glover and other audience members magically, dramatically disappeared. The show ended. Matt waited and waited for his dad to reappear, finally placing a frantic call to his mother to report, “Mom, David Copperfield made Dad disappear, and I can’t find him!” Glover eventually turned up, but he and the others who played along with Copperfield signed a pledge never to reveal how the magic was made, a standard practice for illusionists. Beyond Copperfield’s ducks, stories about animals in show business are some of the staff’s most memorable. The crew for Nashville Opera’s Aida managed the challenge of leading two camels up the elevator and onto the stage for their impressive appearance in the lavish production. Dogs have delighted local audiences in Oliver!, 101 Dalmatians and, of course, the four engagements of Annie at TPAC. Most of these were rescued from animal shelters, including Annie’s original dog (who was given the same name as his character—Sandy—when he was rescued and trained for the very first production of the family classic). The dogs, very often with their own understudies, travel with loving trainers who address their needs on the road. The tour of 101 Dalmatians included 15 dogs that lived and traveled in their own bright purple “Puppy Palace,” a roomy bus with a grooming station.

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More often, the staff and crew contracted for major productions, including Broadway tours, are contending with tractor-trailer trucks on the loading dock behind the stage of Andrew Jackson Hall. Most tours average five or fewer trucks, but over the course of two days, 20 trucks will arrive in Nashville carrying everything it takes to mount The Phantom of the Opera, the blockbuster returning to TPAC March 9-20, 2016. The trailers are packed full with clearly labeled black crates holding more than 1,200 costume pieces, 50 wigs, 200 speakers, 85 moving lights, and the electronic equipment used to create four different haze and smoke effects. The massive set includes a main scenic wall that weighs 10 tons and rotates around the stage. One of the most memorable design elements is the chandelier, created for the new production by Howard Eaton (who designed the Olympic rings for the London ceremonies). Draped with over 6,000 beads, the chandelier weighs 1 ton, which is easily supported by TPAC’s complex system of grids and cables, capable of holding up to 60 tons of scenery eight stories above the stage. “Safety is always the top priority,” TPAC Technical Director J.R. Hutchins emphasizes.


“We borrow just about all of our technology from other fields—shipping, construction, mining and aircraft manufacturing,” he says, noting that technical theater consultants and architects specialize in the unique needs of performing arts spaces nationwide. “After manufacturing and rigid testing, everything is rated and stamped with a load rating of how much weight it can hold. Then we downgrade that to one-fifth of the ultimate strength.” In addition to suspending the most famous chandelier in show business, the cables and grids above the stage allow characters like Peter Pan or Mary Poppins to fly, and hold the set pieces and drops that fly in and out of a typical Broadway tour. Known for extraordinary attention to detail, Disney Theatrical Group went to great lengths to incorporate a Latvian embroidery design included in the drop for the Tavern Scene in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. The designers also had some fun by placing a Hidden Mickey in that same drop. When you come to the show, see if you can spot the iconic mouse ears symbol in the Tavern Scene. Another favorite returning to Nashville this year is Mamma Mia!, set on a mythical Greek island where a young girl is about to be married. The story is woven into the songs of ABBA, one of the most internationally successful bands of the 1970s and ’80s. The show’s creator and producer, Judy Craymer, worked closely with original band members Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, who stipulated that the music had to sound as close to the original ABBA songs as possible. “The music had not been written down, so first, Benny and Bjorn transcribed all of the instrumental parts on the recordings just for this show,” said Kevin Casey, the highly experienced music director/conductor for Mamma Mia!, noting that the four ABBA artists—two men and two women—had layered on background vocals during the recording process. “To re-create those harmonies for the live performance, company members are also singing backstage, watching the conductor on monitors. They have video and audio of what’s happening onstage and sing into the same microphones they use throughout the show,” says Casey, who was not familiar with ABBA until he started working

for the show and admits, “I’m a fan now. I listen to all of their music, not just the hit songs. It’s been an incredible revelation. It’s extraordinary and impressive—how the songs of four Swedes writing in English became international hits.” ABBA hits in the musical include Dancing Queen; The Winner Takes It All; Knowing Me, Knowing You; and, of course, Mamma Mia!

Leave Them Laughing Show in and show out, the camaraderie of the good-humored staff and crew enlivens the hard work and quick thinking it takes to make sure the show goes on—even on the night that the colossal, life-sized helicopter in Miss Saigon malfunctioned during the most dramatic moment of the performance. Practical jokes are not uncommon, including one prank that turned into a saga. A TPAC stagehand repeatedly set his coffee mug down, losing track of it in various locations backstage. The cup was “kidnapped” by a co-worker, who took photographs and sent ransom notes, including pictures of the coffee mug in the hands of Vice President Al Gore and President George H.W. Bush when they visited TPAC. The prankster even took it with him on an international tour of a rock band, sending back ransom notes and pictures of the coffee mug in front of sites ranging from Mount Rushmore to Buckingham Palace. More than 10 years later, TPAC staff members are still laughing. Speaking of politicians, a group of former U.S. secretaries of state assembled on the TPAC stage for an insightful panel discussion on international issues, back when cellphones were not widely used. The staff was asked to “pipe and drape” the public telephones to help keep one of the distinguished guests on schedule. Apparently, Henry Kissinger would abruptly stop to make a call whenever he spotted a pay phone. Dozens of other celebrities and touring artists have made memorable impressions on TPAC staff, especially Dolly Parton, who was often onsite during the rehearsals of 9 to 5: The Musical for the 2010 premiere of the national tour of her Broadway show. “She was friendly to everyone—warm, downto-earth, generous with her time and actively

As a pratical joke, this coffee mug belonging to a TPAC stage hand was “kidnapped” and taken all over the world.

involved while the show was rehearsed in Nashville,” says Kathleen O’Brien, TPAC’s president and chief executive officer. “She repeatedly brought in goodies for the cast and company, including some of her homemade fudge. Everyone called her ‘Dolly.’ Everyone loved her. “One of my favorite photographs of any celebrity at TPAC pictures her (Parton) just behind the curtain, watching a rehearsal of a big song and dance number in 9 to 5. She just glowed,” says O’Brien. “We’re very proud to have presented her with our Applause Award and to have launched the tour that year. Dolly herself was what made the experience so special to all of us at TPAC.” O’Brien first joined TPAC in 1988, serving as president since 2005. “I’ve had the opportunity to meet and work with so many interesting, wonderful people at TPAC over the years—from artists to our employees,” she says. “I think I speak for most everyone on our staff when I say that our work is generally fun and exciting, as we juggle the challenges and the demands of the live performance. We laugh a lot. We enjoy and appreciate the art and entertainment presented at TPAC. On the stage and off, there really is no business like show business.”

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By Janet Morris Grimes

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Blurred Lines

Brad Thor

“There is a hint of truth in every piece of fiction.” This old adage is especially true for the literary heartbeats of some of Nashville’s favorite authors. As they perch themselves in hidden corners of our local establishments, they scrutinize their surroundings, including those at the next table. They pretend not to listen to nearby conversation, then draw their own conclusions. It should be no surprise, then, if that kid with dreadlocks—the one who catches your attention as he weaves on a skateboard through pedestrian traffic down the sidewalk, a guitar over one shoulder—ends up with a cameo appearance in the next novel on the bookshelf Nashville has reserved for those prized authors we claim as our own. Someone is always watching, and the line between truth and fiction is forever blurred. These authors walk and talk among us, in search of the next encounter that leaves them wondering “What if . . . ?” And the answers they discover jolt us to the prospects of an alternate universe, buried in the pages of their books, beneath the blood, sweat and tears that drain from each writer’s soul.

A Brad Thor novel averages about 100,000 words. He lists 15 novels to date, with more in the works. Add the numerous articles and frequent appearances as a pundit on national radio and television shows, and you find someone who crams an immeasurable amount of knowledge and wisdom into his carefully chosen words:

NASHVILLE ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT


And then came this follow-up: “We set the bar very high and Nashville exceeded our expectations. No doubt they’ll treat this author very well.” Thor fuses front-page realities of terrorism that stretch across the globe into thrillers that have been coined as “faction” rather than fiction. It’s no wonder. In 2008, he shadowed a Black Ops team in Afghanistan and later became a member of Homeland Security’s Red Cell Unit, which focused on the worst-case scenarios of possible attacks on American soil. “I write a novel a year, and two of my hallmarks are that the action always starts on Page 1, and you will close my books smarter than when you started. People tell me they read my thrillers with their laptops open because they can’t tell where the facts end and the fiction begins. I love that!”

His latest release, Code of Conduct, like the others, is rooted in reality. “A couple of years ago, I learned of a highly secretive retreat in the Alps that discussed how to become the dominant world governing power. I found it chilling—and the perfect jumping-off point for this novel.” Thor never backs down from a fight on behalf of freedom. This is obvious from his daily presence on Facebook or Twitter. “Social media allows me to keep in touch with the people I work for—the readers. Twitter is where I push the envelope. My tweets have been reprinted in major newspapers and talked about on television. It’s amazing to think that you can make news from Twitter, but you can.” With the announcement that his first novel, The Lions of Lucerne, is in the process of being made into a movie, Thor welcomes the chance

to be heavily involved in every aspect of filmmaking, from the screenplay to the finishing process. Warner Brothers is also working on an adaptation of The Athena Project. Thor’s approach to such a stellar, multifaceted career is simple. “Opportunity abounds. Grab it, run with it, and never look back.” Now that the captivating vibe of Nashville has seeped into his creative endeavors, Thor has discovered a few personal havens to enhance his writing. “I live in one of the greatest cities in the greatest nation in the history of the world. I love the history and timeless elegance of the Hermitage Hotel. I’ll stake out a spot in the Oak Bar to soak up the ambience. I’m also a huge fan of the Frothy Monkey on 12th South, where I always seem to be surrounded by other artists. Great coffee, great food and great people-watching.”

Tamera Alexander It was a business trip just over a decade ago that brought Tamera Alexander to town, during which she maneuvered her schedule to include a tour of the Belmont Mansion. Not only did she fall in love with the home itself, she became intrigued with the famed mistress of the mansion, Adelicia Acklen, who later became a central figure in some of her novels. The rest, as they say, is history.

Since then, Alexander has been on a remarkable journey toward becoming an award-winning author, with a dozen historical novels to her credit. She compounds faith with the true beauty and romance of yesteryear, dappled with the endless possibilities of fiction. Alexander’s love of the past pushes her to invest great effort into protecting the genuine history that serves as a backdrop for the stories she creates, especially in her Belmont Mansion and Belle Meade Plantation series. As her heart wanders through a myriad of post–Civil War angst, she explores the life of a true lady of the South, longing to overcome the challenges of an 1870 Nashville, with the bruised and battered land she so adores.

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With the release in May of To Win Her Favor, Alexander wrestles with such topics as faith, race and prejudice as she spotlights the treasured thoroughbreds that once boarded on the grounds of Belle Meade Plantation. Her novels have become the catalyst that draws scores of readers (sometimes in book club groups) on sojourns to these mansions to discover where a particular scene takes place. In this way, Alexander is held accountable for both her facts and her fiction. “The willingness of the estate curators to share family letters, journals, newspaper clippings—treasures from the 19th century— as well as giving me access to the homes, is an

author’s dream. I couldn’t write these stories without them,” Alexander explains. “I write fiction layered on top of real people, real places, real houses: people like Robert Green (Uncle Bob, the head hostler at Belle Meade Plantation, a former slave and a character in the Belle Meade series) who shaped Belle Meade—and our city— more than many local residents might realize.” In 2007, Alexander and her family responded to the nudge to relocate from Colorado, and Nashville has easily embraced them. “Tennessee is blessed with beauty,” she says. “For fun, we love antiquing in Nolensville at Three French Hens and The Feed Mill. Biscuit Love, new to the Gulch area,

has biscuits so good they’ll make your soul sing. Nashville very much feels like home.” Alexander prefers to write in the solace of her home, but she’s been known to venture out. “Writing is a form of worship for me, and as I’m writing, God takes me on these journeys,” she says. “Sometimes, when I feel a certain stirring inside, I head to The Well on Old Hickory, a rather cozy spot. I slip in the earbuds, click on my ‘Music to Write To’ playlist and step back into the 19th century.” If this is the case, her readers appreciate the chance to go along for the ride, especially if that journey includes a jaunt on a coveted thoroughbred from days gone by.

Don Finto

else was sharing with the same intensity I felt, that I knew it was time.” His third book, released in March of 2015, Prepare! For the End Time Harvest,, explores the bleak truths of war, terrorism and economic upheaval from today’s headlines, but presents them from a biblical perspective. “I’m convinced the prophecies from the Bible that have lain dormant are being fulfilled in our present day,” Finto says. “Here are the wicked and righteous, the most evil as well as the most godly of all time, sharing the world stage until the return of Jesus. This may be our greatest opportunity to pierce the darkness with his light.” After stepping away from the pulpit in 1996, Finto launched Caleb Company, which seeks to empower the next generation of leaders. “We are building a prayer center on a hill overlooking the surrounding Williamson County,” he says. “Not a ‘church building,’ but prayer trails and prayer gardens—a place where people can come to devote themselves

to God for hours or days or even weeks. The force behind all godly work is the connection to the God of creation.” At the age of 85, Finto still travels the globe on a regular basis, leading frequent tours to Israel. But his heart is fully interwoven with the

Beloved pastor Don Finto has been in ministry for over 60 years and shows no signs of slowing down. Throughout those six decades, he has worn many hats: Professor, Student, Missionary, Teacher, Filmmaker, Husband, Father, Grandfather, Minister and Mentor. Perhaps a thread of each role finally led him to add the title of Author to that list, with the release of his first book in 2006. “When I was preaching at Belmont during the 1970s,” Finto explains, “many enticed me to become an author. But I felt as if I was simply sharing themes that had already been written. It wasn’t until I discovered a message that no one

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people and places of home. He recalls the first time he exited a plane in Europe to hear Amy Grant’s music over the sound system. “The Grant children and Finto children grew up together, so it brought a huge smile to my face to hear her music influencing the nations. “Nashville is one of the most creative

J.T. Ellison J.T. Ellison admitted to a love affair with Nashville. But t h i s a u t h o r, known as @ thrillerchick o n Tw i t t e r, might view our fair city differently from most. “When I started my Taylor Jackson (Female Police Lieutenant) series in 2003, I knew the city of Nashville would be a major character in all my books. There are tons of nooks and crannies that lend themselves to murder.” So be it. In the world of J.T. Ellison, many beloved sights and landmarks have become tainted with some of the most disturbing—and thankfully, fabricated—crime scenes imaginable. Monuments such as The Parthenon, the hill on Love Circle and the entrance to Belle Meade become the backdrop as Ellison explores the “why” behind what makes people do terrible things to one another. “I totally scare myself,” Ellison concedes. “All the time. I want to dig into the minds of the people who are capable of hurting another so deeply, and doing that leads me to some very frightening places.” Her exhaustive research includes frequent ride-alongs with Nashville Metro Police detectives and FBI agents, and even participating

communities on earth,” he adds. “I’ve been taking guests to the Opryland Hotel since it first opened. There, you have a parklike atmosphere, even in the dead of winter. One of my favorite places to write, think and walk is a peaceful barn out in the country that belongs to Michael W. Smith, someone I consider a son.”

in autopsies. What surprised her most when she first began this process was how long everything takes—unlike many investigative series on television, where all is wrapped up within the hour. “Fiction is always so fast, so immediate,” she says, “but I was able to see how strong you have to be, how compassionate, dedicated, brave and smart. I couldn’t face the horrors they do, day in and day out, and stay sane.” After more than a dozen award-winning novels to her name, Ellison is also co-writing with famed author Catherine Coulter on A Brit in the FBI series, featuring agent Nicholas Drummond. It is this venture that landed her in the upper echelon of The New York Times Best Seller List. “Our first book, The Final Cut, had released the previous Tuesday, and I was in New Orleans, sitting with Catherine in a rooftop bar,” Ellison recalls. “The phone rang at 5:00 on the dot, and it was my agent. ‘No. 7!’ I nearly fell off the roof.” Still, Ellison is wise enough to measure her achievements differently. “Success in the book world means many things to many people: money, prestige, reviews, sales, readers. Hitting the list was huge, but I define it by the level of joy I get from my work. It’s the best job in the world. “Nashville is such a brilliant city to write about, to live in, to work in,” she says. “The city seized me in its jaws and hasn’t let go. I love the food, so I often use restaurants to people-watch. ‘M’ is a current favorite. The menu’s divine, and the staff and clientele are eclectic. I sometimes

Finto offers sound advice for any newcomers. “If you want to get to know Nashville, just visit one of our churches for worship. The music, the people, the hearts—there is nothing else like it.” www.calebcompany.org

meet up with a group of writer friends at The Coffee House in Franklin.” With the skewed themes of Ellison’s novels, one should never hope to become the basis for her characters. Happy endings are fiercely uncommon. “I use photos from local glossy magazines for characters—faces, hair, fashion and styles. I’m very visual,” says Ellison. This method sometimes has its drawbacks. “I kept bumping into people I was using as models, and it was disconcerting.” She clarifies, “I had the urge to console them, though they hadn’t actually suffered a loss.”

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Photography~Jeremy Cowart 36

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Blurred lines, indeed. The Vision of Jeremy Cowart by Jaylyn Carlyle

J

eremy Cowart hated photography, nearly failing his required college course. Or rather, he says, he found it intimidating . . . scary, even. Technicalities like the f-stop and gallium photodiode seemed daunting, if not out of reach. Since then, Cowart has not only made peace with the medium, he’s developed a uniquely idiosyncratic signature and built a globally recognized brand around it. He boasts an overwhelming portfolio, replete with marquee celebrities (Ryan Seacrest, Emma Stone, Pastor Joel Osteen), iconic companies (Sony Records, Rolling Stone), and giant media outlets (ABC, FOX, The New York Times and USA Today). Dubbed “The Most Influential Photographer on the Web,” he holds the attention of more than 45,000 Instagram followers, 157,000 Twitter followers, and over 1.5 million Google+ followers. Other accolades include winning the Celebrity TwitChange campaign in 2011 and mentions in Forbes, TechCrunch and Mashable, to name a few. Celebrating his 10-year anniversary in April 2015, Cowart paused to meditate on those early years and just how far he’s come. Looking around, it’s a place he never expected. Cowart’s relationship with photography changed while he was running his graphic design company, Pixelgrazer. It was during this time that he received the best advice of his life: “Buy a digital camera.” From that moment, everything changed. Initially, he sought to capture texture images for work: floors, brick walls and the like. “It got me out into the world, instead of behind a computer all day—made me use my eye in a different way than design did.” With every snap, Cowart fell deeper in love. He had no idea what he was doing or where it would take him, but he says, “I knew it was what I had to do.”

Jeremy Cowart Eventually, people came into the picture— literally. Cowart gained a confidence behind the lens and expanded his talent by shooting his friends, who happened to be musicians. When they got signed and went to record labels, he went with them, doing everything from website design to photography. “It took off from there. It was a very organic, natural process. One thing led to another,” he says. His journey reads like a mythical artist’s success story, with doors opening magically at every turn. Case in point: Cowart found his former agent, Caryn Weiss, after beating her out for a high-profile assignment. One signed deal later, she immediately had him in Hollywood shooting celebrities. He went from “zero to 60” within his first year. Reality set in during a $12,000, three-day shoot in New York City for Steven Delopoulos and Universal Records. “It was the first time I felt like, ‘OK, this is real,’” he laughs, remembering that he shot the whole session with a 3-megapixel camera. “Now, I know how to appreciate it. At the time, I didn’t know how lucky I was,” Cowart says. “But now, in hindsight, I realize I was very, very lucky . . . the ‘right place at the right time’ kind of thing. Because it’s hard to get agents, it’s hard to get into those positions, but I fumbled my way into it.”

“Nice pictures don’t build a career . . . ” However, the ease of Cowart’s nonchalant success doesn’t discount deservedness. His style, intoxicating at the very least, conjures a quality of ethereal luminosity that seems as tangible as the subject(s) photographed. “It’s easier than ever to take a nice picture, but nice pictures don’t build a career. It’s about your expression and your voice within that creativity,” he says. Cowart’s

technique developed effortlessly, a byproduct of mixing what he’s drawn to and his passions. “You do your thing,” he says, “and it is what it is.” Photographing people presents numerous challenges, which Cowart enjoys. Insecurities, egos, age, celebrity teams all require considerations that ensure no two shoots are the same. Out of the many individuals with whom he’s worked, Cowart’s favorites to date include Sting, Kelly Clarkson (who’s “a dream to work with”), and British recording artist Imogen Heap. “She and I can just work together without even communicating,” he says. “We’re just on the same page and don’t even have to talk. We just do our thing.” According to Cowart, the only time he’s disappointed is when he’s hired to exercise creativity, then stifled during the process. “I’ve done shoots where we’ve done the most creative thing ever and at the end they have us shoot on a blank wall. And those are the images that are released to the world. Meanwhile, the world doesn’t know the shoot was way, way cooler than that.” He admits it’s frustrating. “At times, I want my name to be pulled off the project.” Pinning down Cowart’s initiatives outside the studio requires significant stamina and attention. The man has his hands in a constant rotation of humanitarian and business projects—none of which takes place on a small scale. “It’s always nerve-wracking to do something new and start over. But I kinda love that . . . career-wise and literally, I love that moment of jumping off a cliff and hoping for the best. Thankfully, I have a wife who’s been willing to jump off with me.” On the humanitarian front, he founded Help-Portrait, which affords photographers the opportunity to give back. To date, nearly 170,000 photos have been given by volunteers

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in over 56 countries. In 2010, the Haitian earthquake compelled Cowart to raise awareness by traveling to the devastated country and documenting the stories of the displaced for his photo essay “Voices of Haiti.” Then, working with the As We Forgive Rwanda Initiative, he captured the genocide killers and survivors side by side—an emotional testament to humanity’s limitless capacity for forgiveness. “I like to use my work to try to help people and inspire people. I see it all as a way to give back.”

Turning Art Into Business Businesswise, Cowart covers a lot of ground, a motivation that he says is feardriven. “Photography is very unreliable. There’s no promise of work tomorrow,” he says. For this reason, Cowart believes creatives need to

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diversify their income streams, and he suggests room. “It’s basically a video brain dump of business school. “You’ll learn the creative stuff everything I know.” After losing his brother to out of the passion for it, but you’ll never learn a heart attack, Cowart became fascinated with the business stuff unless you force yourself.” He the idea of documenting his knowledge for estimates that out of his time, only 5 percent is the benefit of friends, family and especially his actually creative. Cowart says, “I feel very much children. “Now, it’s a business that actually takes care of my family,” he says. like a CEO that gets to create sometimes.” Cowart doesn’t go it on his own. He Two of his main efforts are OKDOTHIS and See University. The social network community recognizes the many individuals each project OKDOTHIS, featured in Fast Company, came requires, stating he couldn’t do it by himself. See about when Cowart thought there should be an University alone employs upwards of 15 people. idea pool that interrupted a photographer’s creative “I’m just the idea guy,” he says. Still, Cowart continues to inspire onlookers block. He has used the site himself and says, “The and expand his influential reach with equal creativity in there is mind-blowing, for sure.” See University, Cowart’s current main focus, parts authenticity and innovation. As a prolific is his newly launched membership-based producer of both content and projects, he has his online platform comprising 80 tutorial videos, finger on the pulse of creativity. “I would define including everything from posing to the light it with one other word, which is ‘freedom.’”


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2014-15 Production of Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins, The Broadway Musical


Nashville’s Restaurant Revolution

ASHLEY HYLBERT

By Angela Roberts

Butchertown Hall

N

ashville hasn’t always been a food destination, relying much more on music as its main attraction. But with the turn of the new century, the city is proving itself to be a culinary hotbed, stretching its limits with first-rate restaurants, unique food events, an iron fork competition and a respectable Music City Food and Wine Festival. There are some real food heroes who have paved the way. Some stayed true to their Southern roots, cooking comfort food at meatand-threes: Jack and Rose Arnold opened the legendary Arnold’s Country Kitchen in 1982; Lon and Annie Loveless welcomed the first diners to the Loveless Cafe in 1951; and the uniquely Nashville Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack can trace its roots back 70 years. Prince’s earned a James Beard America’s Classics Award for what is now Nashville’s spicy signature dish, easy to find in many neighborhoods, from the nationally acclaimed Hattie B’s Hot Chicken to upscale restaurants like Silo. Some of the more recent food buzz can be traced to the advent of food trucks, which began serving gourmet street fare to long lines. Now,

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Etch

The Southern Steak & Oyster

with over 40 trucks roaming the city, some have gone brick-and-mortar with astounding success. Mas Tacos Por Favor and Biscuit Love both won the 2015 Munchies People’s Choice Food Awards, respectively, for best tacos and best food truck in America. Nashville native Tom Morales, of TomKats, a successful Hollywood movie-set caterer for decades, has made a significant impact on the area’s food personality. In 2002, he opened Saffire in Franklin’s historic Factory, becoming one of the first restaurants to serve elevated Southern food in a fine-dining atmosphere. He showcased dishes including shrimp and grits, and chicken-fried chicken. When Morales opened the The Southern Steak & Oyster in the SoBro (South of Broadway) district, he changed the face of downtown dining. Executive Chef Matt Farley has been preparing out-of-the-box Southern food, The Southern’s fish and grits

ASHLEY HYLBERT

Fenwick’s 300

Prima

Fido

coined “south of somewhere,” to a full house every night. The oyster bar and the patio are great places to people-watch and spot celebrities. One of Morales’ major contributions to Nashville has been preserving its history through food. Most recently, he reopened Acme Feed & Seed, a Lower Broad storefront that had been sitting vacant for years. It takes a visionary to transform a three-story farm supply building into multiple restaurants filled with historic local memorabilia, live music, an events venue and a rooftop bar. Chef Deb Paquette is another well-known and respected name here because she has brought resounding culinary innovation to the Nashville food scene—and was the first female to qualify as a certified executive chef in Tennessee. She paid her dues in the early days before opening Zola, Etch Chef Deb Paquette


Husk – Oysters

JAMES WOODLEY

his authentic Southern cuisine, including fried chicken skins served in the most upscale way possible. If you can’t get to Husk, you can buy his cookbook, Heritage, which is also a finalist for a James Beard award. Jan Strawn opened Mack & Kate’s with her Southern family recipes, elevating them just enough to provide a memorable, yet more modern, dining experience. Her life reads like a country song gone gold: growing up dirt-poor, but rich in spirit, guts and compassion. She sees herself as a rescuer of people, and she does it with food, especially with her signature shrimp and grits found on every one of her menus. Strawn is a juggler, opening M Restaurant & Bar, and the M Market in Cummins Station, only to shoot back down to Franklin and open Kate’s Kitchen, a smaller Southern bistro. She and her husband, Bernie, run the restaurant and provide the catering for the Cedar Creek Yacht Club—only to turn around in her Smokies BBQ restaurant and feed the homeless every night at 8:00. When asked what she would love to do in the future, she talks about a soup kitchen. She realizes she’s a part of something bigger than herself. “You’ve got to start with the dishes. We’re in the happiness business, yet it’s a business of broken dreams. It’s hard. It takes guts.” This is the Nashville spirit that draws people to this town.

The Farm House – Macaroons

Mas Tacos Por Favor Tortilla Soup

As the upscale Southern dining scene was taking hold, comfort food with a side of live local music began to satisfy a certain appetite. Puckett’s story is its very own, keeping close to its roots with casual, Southern, stretchypants food combined with a heaping of local music. After acquiring the original Puckett’s Grocery in Leiper’s Fork, owner Andy Marshall embraced and became a part of the community by showcasing singer/songwriters, along with the burgers and barbecue. His daughter, Claire Crowell, now director of operations, was only 15 years old, and it was her job to set up and take down the stage. Claire tells favorite stories, such as the evening Vince Gill dropped in, played all night

ASHLEY HYLBERT

Eat a Little, Pick a Little

Acme Feed & Seed – Broken Spoke

EMILY B. HALL

groundbreaking with its creativity and global flavors. When Paquette closed Zola after 13 years, she soon returned with an even more amazing venture. Etch, her upscale downtown restaurant, is the culmination of 30 years of kitchen experience, showcasing the kind of creativity and expression Paquette’s customers have come to trust. Now, the acclaimed chef is opening a new restaurant she’s calling Truss, because it means bringing together, and the Sylvan Park neighborhood can’t wait. Margot McCormack, of Margot Cafe and Marché, has been a trailblazer in the East Nashville restaurant revival, consistently serving high-quality French- and Italian-inspired food since 2001. She is often compared to Alice Waters, of the famed Chez Panisse, for her fresh ingredients and culinary view—neither whimsical nor mysteriously achieved. Margot is one of the culinary mothers of local chefdriven establishments, having mentored and collaborated with chefs who are now restaurant owners in their own right. She speaks highly of the talent Tandy Wilson showed for two years as her sous-chef, before moving on to open City House in Germantown. City House opened in 2007, wooing people to the evolving Germantown area before it was the charming dining destination it is today. Serving pork belly pizza and corn bread gnocchi, owner/chef Wilson has become a local favorite. As for the secret, his response is simple. “I just cook good food,” he says. Yes, he does, as Wilson is a finalist for a James Beard award for the third year in a row. City House is known for rustic Italian food, house-made charcuterie and a very well-crafted cocktail. If there ever was a chef’s chef, it’s Sean Brock of Husk. Another James Beard finalist, Chef Brock opened Husk in an 1880’s-era Rutledge Hill mansion with an adjoining garden. Here, he pulls heirloom herbs for Husk Chef Sean Brock

The Southern Steak & Oyster – Lamb T-bone @NashvilleAandE • www.nashvilleartsandentertainment.com 43


JAMES WOODLEY

Chef Trey Cioccia from The Farm House and one of his “Farm to Table” creations

JAMES WOODLEY

Combining the Old With the New

and ended the evening rolling silverware. Keith Urban used to write songs on napkins. The venue once missed an opportunity to host an unknown band, and it didn’t work out until Lady Antebellum had already hit the big time. Puckett’s has since expanded to multiple locations, always with food and a stage, including downtown Nashville. Before “organic” and “farm-to-table” were buzzwords, Bob Bernstein, founder of Bongo Java, Nashville’s oldest coffeehouse, was sourcing local, organic food for Fido, a longtime fixture in Hillsboro Village (and frequent hang for nearby Music Row songwriters). While the cool burger buzz started about four years ago, Fido’s lamb burger is still hard to beat. Recently Bernstein ventured into the Melrose area to open Fenwick’s 300 diner, which happens to sit next to Sinema, a stunning, renovated movie theater turned restaurant. Sinema is so glamorous, it has a bubble service at brunch, making this new food neighborhood one of the most eclectic and interesting to watch.

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People do get excited when a local opens a new business. Recently, Nashville veteran food entrepreneur Christie Hauck replaced his Christie Cookie storefronts to open Goozy, the first dessert bar in Nashville, offering maple bourbon milkshakes, grilled pimento cheese sandwiches and gooey desserts. Hauck says he feels like an old dog with new tricks in an ever-evolving city. Broadway’s stately Union Station, now a historic hotel, houses an opulent main dining room, Prime 108. Surrounded by stained glass windows and Hollywood-style curved leather booths, this glamorous setting almost makes you think Mae West is about to enter. One of the most impressive uses of historic space is Pinewood Social, located in the former Trolley Barns in SoBro. It’s a fun restaurant with a lounge, a premier coffee bar, Crema, and a retro bowling alley. Owners Ben and Max Goldberg have been instrumental in raising Nashville’s nightlife profile. Among the brothers’ many endeavors, they put crafted cocktails on the local map at The Patterson House, a speakeasy-type bar; and they continue to gain national acclaim with The Catbird Seat, where each evening, only 32 guests interact with the chef while being totally dazzled by an artful 15-course tasting menu. Their next venture is a French restaurant, Le Sel, in The Gulch—an area that, until recently, was an abandoned train yard, lifeless and desolate. Today, The Gulch is an urban mecca and a thriving dining destination. As the chefs astound us with food, the restaurants are getting more beautiful. Recently the interior design of Butchertown Hall, in

Germantown, has wowed locals as one of the most aesthetically pleasing beer halls ever, serving house-made sausages and brisket smoked in the backyard. Dark, masculine steak houses have been replaced with stylized modern design and new twists on the menu. Kayne Prime is favored by celebrities (including Nicole Kidman, who likes the kale salad), but the most talked-about item might be the house-made bacon with maple cotton candy—a star itself. The newest place to distinguish itself as a steak house is Prima, where, in addition to a ribeye, you’ll find braised rabbit and lamb osso buco. Your eyes might go first to the high ceilings and stunning lighting designed by artist Bruce Munro. But Executive Chef Sal Avila sums up the soul of Nashville when he says, “We want people to come to Prima and feel like they are at their rich uncle’s house, where the surroundings are elegant, but the food is approachable.” Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar offers dry aged beef, an abundant wine cellar and a view of West End. With one of the best happy hours in town, Fleming’s recently expanded the bar area, offering casual appetizers, including filet mignon flatbread, lobster lettuce wraps and 100 wines by the glass. At the 1808 Grille in the Hutton Hotel, the sommelier has carefully selected a wine pairing for each entree, providing a well-rounded dining experience. Seasonal, modern American cuisine is served in an attractive, casual setting with unexpected twists such as a cauliflower Caesar salad or wild boar Bolognese, and for dessert, a trio of house-made doughnuts. The formula for success is not necessarily a big space or million-dollar building. The 404 Kitchen was a former shipping container, and the room seats only 56—if you include the patio. The advantage of a small, chef-driven restaurant is the ability to experiment and maintain intense quality control, which shows in every bite. Chef Matt Bolus sources most of his food locally and cooks with an Italian rustic-yet-modern viewpoint. House specialties include a black truffle burrata with leeks, beurremont butter and Tennshootoe (Tennessee prosciutto), a stellar cured ham that doesn’t have to travel from Italy.


EMILY B. HALL

Cocktails from Acme Feed & Seed

Of all the new and exciting places to dine, The Farm House might feel most like home, most like Nashville. The Farm House is not farm-to-table—it’s farmer-to-table, as chef/owner Trey Cioccia is a born-and-bred Tennessean. When he’s not in the kitchen, he’s driving a tractor. Chef Cioccia says his food can be described with two words—loyalty and honesty—referring to the way he composes his dishes and partners with local farmers. Everything in the restaurant is American-made, often Tennessee-made. His Southern and Italian roots meld together when he creates dishes including lamb chops with sauteed kale, house-made cavatelli and cannellini beans braised in buttermilk. When you bite into the pimento beignets, you’ll feel pleasure down to your toes. This is a chef who likes to give customers a meaningful Southern experience, and if you want to meet him, just ask. It’s an exciting time for Nashville, as it becomes a significant restaurant city. Not all the places are Southern, but Southern hospitality is evident in the relationships the chefs have with local farmers, in the way they collaborate with each other, and in the way they connect with their customers. The landscape is wide-open for the creative culinary entrepreneurial spirit to thrive. We’ve done it with music; now we’re doing it with food.

Hot chicken from Hattie-B’s (above) and Silo (below)

@NashvilleAandE • www.nashvilleartsandentertainment.com

45


ED RODE

Mark Burnett

Blake Shelton in the studio

WHERE

HOLLYWOOD MEETS

Family-Friendly Mark Burnett Offers TV Shows With Values By Deborah Evans Price

W

hether he’s launching the career of the next music superstar or bringing the Bible vividly to life, Mark Burnett has a gift for creating television programming with profound cultural impact. As CEO of United Artists Media Group, Burnett is executive producer of 11 shows currently on network TV, including The Voice, Survivor, Shark Tank, The Sing-Off and Celebrity Apprentice, and he was at the helm of this year’s highly successful NBC 12-part miniseries, A.D. The Bible Continues, which attracted 9.5 million viewers when it debuted Easter night. A.D. is the follow-up to The Bible, the 10hour miniseries that aired in 2013 on History and later spawned Son of God, a film edited from

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the miniseries for theatrical release. Burnett and his wife, actress Roma Downey, formed Lightworkers Media to create faith-based, familyfriendly projects and are widely applauded for creating the kind of compelling entertainment that evangelical audiences are hungry for. “I think it speaks to a deeper need the public have to connect to the Word, to connect with hope,” Downey told NBC News, when asked about the success of The Bible and A.D. The couple is currently working on a new film version of Ben-Hur, slated for 2016. Serving up entertainment for the faithful is nothing new for Burnett and Downey. “I’d only ever really made family-friendly content,” Burnett told Adweek. “And for 10 years, my wife played an

angel on (the CBS series) “Touched by an Angel.” So as a family, we’ve always made family-friendly content, and it’s worked out very well for us. We seek what’s known as fourquadrant audiences—male, female, young and old—and family-friendly is the best four-quadrant.”

A History of Success Born in London, the six-time Emmy-winning producer migrated to the U.S. in 1982 and settled in Los Angeles, where he began working as a nanny and selling T-shirts at Venice Beach. In 1991, Burnett joined a French adventure competition called the Raid Gauloises. Afterward, he purchased


Blake Shelton, host of The Voice.

@NashvilleAandE • www.nashvilleartsandentertainment.com

47


Burnett on the set of Survivor. the format rights and created a similar American competition called Eco-Challenge. The venture launched Burnett’s career as a television producer, and he’s never looked back. One of the most impressive things about Burnett’s body of work is the longevity of such shows as The Voice, Shark Tank and Survivor, which has been garnering strong ratings for an impressive 30 seasons. “Survivor is doing better than last year; it’s beating ‘(American) Idol,’” Burnett proudly told Adweek. “So it’s not a timelimit thing, it’s a ‘How good is it?’-limit thing. On a cost basis versus advertiser-engagement level, does the math work out? One thing I think we’re quite clever at is keeping costs down—so I believe The Voice can go twice a year for as long as the audience likes it.” Country superstar Blake Shelton has broadened his career by serving as a coach on The Voice. “When you get down to it, sure, it’s another reality create-a-staron-television America-votes type show,” Shelton told Entertainment Weekly, “but the process of getting there is like nothing else I’ve ever seen. Every different level along the way just creates more entertainment.”

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Burnett is proud of the success of The Voice and has a simple strategy for the show’s future. “Things are working really well. The most important thing is don’t try and fix what’s not broke,” he says. Burnett is grateful for the success of the shows that bear his name, and is quick to give credit to members of his team—many of whom have been with him since early in his career. The approach appears to be working. A.D. has become of one the biggest hits on TV in 2015. The series begins with the crucifixion of Jesus and then follows the ministries of his disciples, re-creating the political intrigue percolating in Jerusalem at that time. Skillfully acted and artfully filmed, the series brings Scripture to life in a compelling way. And the scenery adds to the tone and impact of the show. “It took hundreds of workers months in the hot Moroccan desert to build this,” says Burnett of the set where A.D. was filmed. A.D. The Bible Continues is not only a successful TV show, but is also accompanied by a Word Records collection featuring Francesca Battistelli, For King & Country, Chris August and others. And for the second consecutive year,

Lightworkers and Word partnered to launch The Bible Tour, a live event combining video montages from the Bible miniseries with onstage performances by Battistelli, Steven Curtis Chapman, Danny Gokey and Brandon Heath. During the last two decades, Burnett has created some of the most successful programming in television history and built an enviable career. He’s earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and Time magazine has called him “one of the most influential people in the world today.” He has been named “Philanthropist of the Year” by The Reality Cares Foundation and has been elected to the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame. Just how does he juggle it all? “It’s not always easy to do, but the correct way to approach everything is like we’re sitting here right now: This is it. So whatever I’m working on is where my focus is,” he told Adweek. “I can work on three things in a day; but when I’m there, I’m there. The definition of a loser is someone who takes a nap and then feels guilty about it. Do what you’re doing. If you’re going to take a nap, take a nap. If you’re going to work, work.”


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LAURA GODWIN

PEOPLE

Jonathan Jackson By Tim Weeks

TRAVIS SHINN

A

lot of child stars have difficulties transitioning into adulthood, but not Jonathan Jackson. We watched him grow up on the soap General Hospital, and now, Jackson has settled in as Avery Barkley on the ABC series Nashville. “Settled” is a good description for Jonathan. He’s only 33, but he’s been acting since he was 11 and playing music professionally with his band, Enation, since 2004. He married his wife, Elisa, when he was 20, and today they are parents to three children. The Jackson family made Middle Tennessee their home after the pilot for Nashville was picked up by the network. “I brought the family out immediately, which has been great for us,” says Jackson. “I have relatively young kids, and I just wanted to keep us all together as much as possible—and it has become home, so God willing, we’ll be able to stay here for a while. “I have a great group of friends and it’s just a wonderful place, so we talk Nashville up a lot,” he laughs.

A five-time Emmy winner over two tours of duty as Lucky Spencer on General Hospital, Jonathan has also starred in motion pictures with award-winning actors including Al Pacino, Sir Ben Kingsley and Michelle Pfeiffer. But he’s finding his role as Avery very satisfying these days. “It’s been quite a transformation of the character from the beginning of the show. Originally, he was much more self-centered and immature in many ways, and ambitious for quite a bit of the first season,” says Jackson. “(But the writers) took Avery to a place where he hit rock bottom, resulting from the poor choices he was

making . . . since then, he’s sort of the recovering narcissist and trying to live differently.” Jonathan is relishing playing a character with such a wide range of emotions, but it also causes him to reflect on who he is when the scenes are over. Jackson surmises, “It’s an interesting paradox as an artist, because one of the main things that we’re supposed to do is dig deep and have some sort of self-awareness and point of view— whether it’s writing songs or performing as an actor—just to come up with whatever we’re trying to create. “I know, for me, at a pretty early age, my focus started to shift from the work I was doing to having a relationship with God to balance that out,” he says. “And then as I got older, getting married and having children . . . you have these other precious human beings that you have to take care of and think about and nurture, which certainly helps to combat the instinct. I consider myself a recovering narcissist. I don’t consider myself a humble person, but I’m trying to live in a place of acknowledging how much pride I have, and hopefully, that’s a place to start.” Jonathan’s spiritual focus sharpened when he and his family were baptized into the Orthodox Christian Church in 2012. His awareness of Christianity’s historical roots has attracted him to a number of charities addressing the plight of refugees in the Middle East. The civil war in Syria and the rise of ISIS have caused great suffering in Christian communities that date back to the time of Jesus’ apostles. “The politics of it is so complex and convoluted, and that’s one thing. But there’s a whole humanitarian reality that we can influence and try to help people,” says Jackson. Music is at the heart of most of what Jonathan Jackson does. His day job is playing a musician in a successful TV series. When Nashville completed season three, Jackson toured with his band, Enation, in support of their 2014 album, Radio Cinematic. In between, he’s involved with Ryan’s Guitar Project, a charity that is taking music to the war-torn Middle East. All of these interests have come together in Nashville for

@NashvilleAandE • www.nashvilleartsandentertainment.com

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PEOPLE Jackson, the son of a doctor who performed and recorded country music in Washington state. Jonathan recalls, “My dad was a huge country music fan and he was also a country music singer, so we grew up listening to Don Williams, Keith Whitley, Allison Krauss, Vince Gill and Garth Brooks. He would put on concerts in the Northwest every year, and the first time I ever sang in front of an audience was at one of his

shows. It was country music and Elvis’ gospel music and all that stuff. “As I grew older, I started getting into rock music and formed Enation, but I’ve got some country in my DNA,” says Jackson. “Being at the Grand Ole Opry and the Ryman as part of the TV show really brings me back to my childhood in many ways,” he says. “Nashville music creates this beautiful place of community

for us, in contrast to Los Angeles, which is more spread out and people are sort of isolated. “The number of people here that co-write and work with each other and support each other impresses me,” Jackson continues. “Everywhere you go, the degree of talent, from songwriting to musicianship and singers, is incredible. It’s an unexpected thing for me to end up in Nashville and be brought into this special community.”

With that much talent under one roof, why not just make The Stellas a family act? “We have the same love for music, but we’re inspired by different things,” explains MaryLynne. “The girls clearly have something magical, but Brad and I together are very special as well.” In some ways, they are a family act. Lennon and Maisy appear in The Stellas’ music videos— or some, at least. The video for It Wouldn’t Be This is a montage of family home video clips. There are generous amounts of shots of the girls as young children playing various musical instruments. But it’s all in the family when it comes to business. Brad and MaryLynne formed their own company, Back 40 Entertainment, with veteran artist manager Genevieve Jewell Thompson. Brad and Genevieve manage The Stellas, while

MaryLynne and Genevieve manage Lennon & Maisy. Somewhere in between, they are still parents. Brad says, “We still want to be parents and not members of their band. Once you become a family band and it’s always business, you have to be careful not to lose that family aspect of being a parent.” But while The Stellas juggle singing, songwriting, managing and parenting, they easily recall simpler times and the events that brought them to Nashville. Supposedly, the couple never owned a television until their daughters were on TV. And the girls, who are now masters of social media, grew up in the suburbs of Toronto without the Internet. “I first came to Nashville in 2007 to produce vocals for a friend who was cutting

The Stellas It Wouldn’t Be This By Tim Weeks Some people just stand out in a crowd. Most of us conform, but Brad and MaryLynne Stella don’t mind being themselves. Brad sports Elvis hair and sideburns. MaryLynne’s brunette locks are now a bright red. Together, the Canadian imports to Nashville are The Stellas, a singer/songwriter couple we first noticed in 2009 on Can You Duet, CMT’s short-lived talent-competition show. Today, they are one of the most interesting entertainment couples in town. They aren’t Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, or Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert, but they don’t mind that, either. They choose their pace of success, and they wouldn’t have it any other way. Their attitudes about the good life are reflected in their songs, such as the title cut from their 2015 album, It Wouldn’t Be This. Brad observes, “There are opportunities we haven’t been able to do because we can’t be gone, but that means there’s something else happening that’s amazing that we don’t want to miss. We’ve postponed our stuff, like making a record, and that has taken a little longer—but we have our own company, so there’s no one giving us a timeline, and we control it all ourselves.” So The Stellas have good problems. In addition to the couple creating their music, Brad and MaryLynne are parents of Lennon and Maisy Stella, who have their own acting careers as Maddie and Daphne Conrad on ABC’s Nashville. The girls are building their own music following as well, releasing their songs over YouTube.

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PEOPLE one of our songs,” remembers MaryLynne. “We drove down together, and as soon as I set my foot on the ground, I knew immediately, so I called Brad and said, ‘We have to come here.’” Within a year, the duo landed a publishing deal that enabled them to move here. “We went to a club thinking it was an open mic, but it was a writers’ night and I begged the guy to let us sing,” she says. They were invited back for a second night, and a music publisher in the audience offered them a contract. After placing fourth in the CMT competition, the Stellas issued their first album with EMI Canada in the fall of 2011. By 2013, the Nashville transplants were big news back home; they won the CCMA “Duo of the Year” and toured with Canadian country star Johnny Reid and American juggernaut Zac Brown. A lot has changed as The Stellas prepare for their second album release. “This album was a long time in the making, and it really is our story,” MaryLynne offers. “There are a couple of songs we just didn’t have the balls to put on our first album. On the first record, you want radio to love your music and people to like it, but this time we wanted make sure that we loved it.” Brad adds, “The first record, we used a lot of Nashville session players, but this time we used our live band to have that feel and vibe. The production is not as polished or slick as country. “I guess we’re more singer/songwriter, more Americana, so I don’t think there’s a big risk that country radio is going to play us,” he laughs. In the meantime, Nashville has opened its arms to the couple who once worked as janitors, while pursuing their musical dreams in Ontario. “Vince Gill and Amy Grant have been great to us, and people like Zac Brown . . . sometimes it just connects. We played on a cruise with John Hiatt, Lyle Lovett, Brandi Carlile and Kris Kristofferson, and we became good friends . . . things you couldn’t imagine.” MaryLynne sums up their feelings about Nashville. “People here have a way of bringing you along with them,” she says. “It’s welcoming and beautiful, artistic and creative, and we’ve had nothing but a great life since we landed here.”

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Michael Shane Neal painting a portrait of Senator Bill Frist.

Michael Shane Neal By Janet Morris Grimes

W

hat do Senator Bill Frist, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Governor Phil Bredesen and comedian Jimmy Fallon have in common? Each has a commissioned portrait by Nashville artist Michael Shane Neal. Still considered a relative youngster in the art world, Shane Neal’s impressive gallery of over 600 portraits now spans the globe. His major break came in 2002, when Neal won the International Competition for the Portrait Society of America, which unexpectedly launched him into a status of superstardom. Now, 25 years into his career

Michael Shane Neal as a professional artist, he still finds it a surprise and a thrill. Neal classifies his process, which takes a full year to complete, in the non-official category of “brushy realism.” He considers himself somewhere between Phases II and III on the canvas of his career—the filling-in and identifying stages. In many ways, he is just getting started. After purchasing his first easel at the age of 15, it wasn’t until college at Lipscomb University


PEOPLE that he became a portrait artist. “That’s when I realized I could combine my love of art with my love of people,” Neal says. HIs reputation has grown along with the city he has always called home. “For many years,” Neal says, “as I traveled around the country, I was often mistakenly introduced as being from Memphis—they had Elvis, after all. But now, that never happens. The fact that we are such a thriving city with great vitality is an inspiration to any artist.” It might be the deep attention to an individual’s personality that has allowed Neal’s work to rise to the top at an international level. He begins with a photo session that allows his subjects to choose a color and style of clothing that best suits them. Then, halfway through the painting process, he invites them to his studio to pose, over a couple of days. “This ensures my client will be pleased with the end result, because we share input at every stage,” Neal says. It’s in this private setting that the artist instills the unique traits that bring a person to life. “Recently, I noticed one gentleman raised his eyebrows slightly when he spoke,” Neal recalls. “Something like that doesn’t come through in a photo, but it changed his expression a bit. I had to work that in.” A visit to his two-story studio, attached to the back of his historic Green Hills home, brings a fresh breath of reverence—like stepping back in time to a slower pace, where Neal can feed and breed creativity on his own terms. He sports a bow tie and suspenders, celebrating the history of collectibles that adorn each shelf. Classical music plays even through the overnight hours, in the few blocks of time the room remains empty. A shadow-box frame with two heartshaped leaves inside is marked with the date his daughter gave those as a gift. Positioned nearby is an autographed leather-bound volume of Senate addresses by Senator Robert C. Byrd. It is in the solace of this room that Neal perfects his own brand of magic. Still, his greatest sense of pride goes much deeper. “My greatest accomplishment by far is my family—my wife and two daughters,” Neal says. “I want to be known as a faithful man to God, a loving son, husband, father and friend.”

Gordon Kerr By Janet Morris Grimes

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ike many, Gordon Kerr hit the ground running when he arrived in Nashville in 2010. He spent his first weeks roaming downtown honky-tonks, immersing himself in the music scene. He wrestled with what it might take to become the next big thing, and tuned in to the twang of hopes and dreams played out on various stages inside Lower Broad’s storefront windows. But Kerr wasn’t trying to make it big in the music business. Instead, he was in the process of understanding it, in hopes of making a difference. Kerr never expected to move to Nashville, but he had just been named the CEO of his family’s expanding business, Black River Entertainment. Part of Pegula Sports & Entertainment, which owns the NFL Buffalo Bills and NHL Buffalo Sabres, Black River now boasts record labels, a slew of songwriters on its publishing team, and both up-and-coming and big-name recording artists, including Craig Morgan and Kellie Pickler. Also under its umbrella are two newly renovated premier recording studios, Ronnie’s Place and Sound Stage. “Our goal is to maintain a healthy respect for the past, an understanding of the present and a vision for the future,” Kerr says. “There have been 650 No. 1 hits to come out of Sound Stage, so we made sure to keep the vibe.” As Black River expands its artist roster, Kerr describes what he’s seeking. “We look for outstanding musicians with a teachable spirit. Artists could be discovered online or live on stage. At the end of the day, face-to-face contact still matters, very much.” He is quick to identify faith as the No. 1 guiding force of his life, which carries over to

the business he is building. Kerr brags on the team that has been assembled for this venture. “For Black River, this isn’t just business,” he explains. “Everyone on board has a heart to foster others, allowing our artists to do as much as they can with their God-given talents. We get to be dream-makers, and who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?” When asked about his greatest accomplishments thus far, Kerr easily defers that attention to others. “For our songwriters, I’ve seen their excitement about the very first single on the radio, or their first No. 1 song,” he says. “I’ve even had the privilege to see one of our writers win his first Grammy Award!” Kerr still considers himself a huge fan of music as well as the city he now calls home. “I get to represent my family here in Nashville and be a part of growing these companies. So I guess we are helping write the history of tomorrow. My family and I are definitely here to stay.” As for his vision for the future, perhaps Kerr keeps this image in mind. “I love it when I’m coming up I-65 and can see the Nashville skyline in the distance,” he says. “It’s a constant reminder of our opportunity to leave this place better than we found it.” As Black River Entertainment’s footprint increases, it’s clear that Kerr is, indeed, making a difference.

@NashvilleAandE • www.nashvilleartsandentertainment.com

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PEOPLE

Celeste Buckingham The Slovakian Songstress

By Juliette Vara

Y

ou may not have heard of Celeste Buckingham yet, but you will soon. Elegant and poised, it’s obvious at first glance that this 20-year-old has a way about her. Beyond her natural beauty, there’s an unfiltered and powerful voice that’s already captured the hearts of millions of European fans. Now Buckingham—nicknamed The Slovakian Songstress—is unleashing that talent and expanding her brand in America. And she’s doing it from Music City.  “Nashville has been the most positive surprise for me,” Buckingham says. “The more time I spend here, the more I fall in love with it. It’s charming, and the people are friendly.” Born into an American-Swiss family and raised in Slovakia, in Eastern Europe, Buckingham rose to fame on her country’s version of American Idol and subsequently became the youngest

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judge on The X Factor worldwide. In 2012, her full-length debut, Don’t Look Back, scored her the honor of “Best Czech & Slovak Act” at the MTV Europe Music Awards. With a vocal blend of Adele and Etta James, Buckingham strategically chose Nashville over other notable contemporary music markets to call home. She’s building her team here, working with local producers, publishers and promotional teams—even using some of Nashville’s landmarks, such as Belmont Mansion, as backdrops for photo shoots. “I’m so glad I’m in Nashville as opposed to other big cities, where a lot of artists get lost in the woodwork,” Buckingham says. “Having been raised in Europe, I’m used to cute cafes and restaurants, sitting outside and walking in the parks. Hillsboro Village reminds me of that.” The video to her single release Run Run Run has garnered more than 17 million views

on YouTube, and her popularity earned her a nomination for Best New Artist at the Radio Disney Music Awards. “Life has been busy, but I’m expecting it to be even busier soon,” she says. “Nashville will be a place for me to come back to after hectic periods.” While the solo artist has a commanding presence on stage, she considers herself a songwriter first, proud that she has penned most of her lyrics. With Music City being home to some of the best songwriters in the industry, Buckingham has quickly found her circle. “I live the song, and every single piece is like a story or a movie. I develop a relationship to it, and I like to write about subjects that are important to me, my friends and other young people out there,” she says. “I have been writing with quite a few Nashville writers, and walking in the parks around this city inspires me to write more.”


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PLACES

Nashville’s Historic Recording Studios Saving the Ghosts of Music Row

Ronnie Milsap in studio.

I

t was a routine Wednesday afternoon at Ronnie’s Place recording studio on Nashville’s legendary Music Row. Routine, that is, until Ronnie Milsap himself happened by to just hang, listen to some tunes and reminisce. Now owned by Black River Entertainment, the studio is still known as “Ronnie’s place” because of all the hit records Milsap made there during his time as the studio’s owner and main tenant. Nick Autry, Black River Studios general manager, remembers that day fondly.

“A few of us just sat in the studio with Ronnie, who wanted to listen to some songs,” he says. “We sat there for hours and listened to his old records—right there where they were made. It was amazing. When Ronnie was ready to leave, he pointed to an exact spot in the room, where Nipper, the iconic RCA dog, used to (and still does) reside, and he said, ‘Nipper, you still over there, ole boy?’ He knew exactly where it was, even though he hadn’t been in the building for probably 20 years.”

Not much has changed at Ronnie’s Place, save a few minor upgrades. That’s by design. Call it the vibe. The mojo. The essence. Nobody can really put a word on what it is that makes these great old studios better than new ones. But whatever it is, nobody wants to lose it. It’s that special vibe that lures musicians to record there, and it could be the first thing to go with a major renovation. Stories like Autry’s abound from every recording studio that’s left on Music Row. Thanks

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PLACES Hurt, ZMG vice president of creative and A&R. “It’s important for songwriters to work in a place where they feel inspired. A lot of legends have come through these doors, and that’s a constant reminder of why we do what we do.”

The interior of Southern Ground Studios.

“Potential in the Air”

to a renewed interest in saving these hidden jewels peppered throughout Nashville, historic preservation has been brought to the forefront to protect buildings every bit as sacred to Music City as the pre–Civil War homes in Charleston, S.C., or New York City’s Empire State Building. RCA’s renowned Studio A became national news in 2014 when it was nearly leveled and replaced with condos. Fortunately, musician Ben Folds and a group of local philanthropists stepped in to save the building and preserve the history made there, literally days before the condo deal was signed. Also in 2014, the legendary studio built and owned by Cowboy Jack Clement was up for sale, and the condo and strip-mall vultures circled its prime Belmont Boulevard location. But Nashville-based music publisher and management firm Zavitson Music Group came to the rescue. They bought the building with preservation in mind, working with the city

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to rezone the home and studio, which is now a historic neighborhood landmark that can’t be developed. The story landed on the front page of USA Today. “It was so important to us to preserve this studio because someone could have bought it and bulldozed it,” Zavitson CFO and partner Beverly Miller says. “This is Cowboy Jack’s place. Johnny Cash made records here. So did Waylon Jennings. U2 recorded part of their Rattle and Hum album here. It was also a legendary spot where musicians would gather to play, write songs and hang out. Who knows what music came out of those parties Cowboy Jack was famous for hosting.” And because ZMG is fostering the same type of creative environment for its writers and musicians, they wanted the “vibe” and “mojo” that don’t come standard in new buildings. “When we saw Cowboy Jack’s place, we knew the historical significance of it,” says Eric

Brandon Bell, general manager for Southern Ground Studios on Music Row, agreed, saying their space, which was saved and revamped by musician Zac Brown, offers something intangible to those who come there to record. “There’s a feeling when you come in here of ‘Well, it’s been done before in this room, so why not me?’” Bell says. “There’s potential in the air.” The building that now houses Southern Ground was originally built between 1897 and 1903 as a Presbyterian church. Later in its life, it was converted into Monument Records’ recording studio, where, along with many other hitmakers, Kris Kristofferson produced his first three albums. Later, Neil Young would record Prairie Wind in that room. In 2010, the building was shuttered and sitting vacant—until Brown’s friend and musician Matt Mangano stumbled upon the real estate listing and emailed it to Brown with a simple message: “Hey, let’s buy this place.” He was half kidding, but Brown was full-on serious, and three months later, they had the keys to the building. Brandon Bell remembers Brown and some others crawling through the space, looking at the low ceilings. Upon further inspection, they discovered a secret those ceilings had been hiding for decades. “There was an old brick archway on one of the walls from back when the building was a church,” Bell says. “Zac loves bringing out the original beauty of things, so he made the call to pull the ceiling down and expose as much of the brick as they could. The brick itself is incredible. They just don’t make it like that anymore.” Mangano, who plays bass for Brown, says with a studio, the form is equally as important as the function. Every detail, from the wood grain to the lighting, from the smell to the quality of the hospitality, has a profound impact on the overall experience.


PLACES

The studio that was built and owned by Cowboy Jack Clement (top left) went up for sale in 2014. Cowboy Jack continued to produce music until shortly before his death in 2013. Among the many people to record in his studio were Johnny Cash (above), Connie Smith and Marty Stuart (left).

“If a musician is having a fantastic experience, there’s a great chance that the positive feeling or the vibe will translate to the music and will remain in the memory of that musician for years,” Mangano says. He remembers that when the ceiling and old insulation came down from the rafters, that’s when the studio began to get its spark back. Brown shared this story when friend and Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl was shooting his “Sonic Highways” HBO series here. Much of the Nashville episode was shot within the walls of Southern Ground, with the two musicians dishing about the amazing vibe of the restored recording space. A line about the light coming through a set of windows uncovered during the renovation made it into the Foos’ song Congregation.

Where Giants Walked Grohl first brought the importance of historic recording studios to light in 2013, when he filmed Sound City, a documentary about the legendary Sound City recording studio in Los Angeles. The building ultimately lost its fight with digital media and home recording technology, but not before churning out decades of hit records. The now-legendary Neve mixing board from that room—a console that captured the likes of

Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, and Nirvana—now resides in Grohl’s own studio just outside of L.A. Thanks to his filmmaking efforts, many people were schooled on how the creative combustion among artists makes a recording studio a special, historical entity. That same sense of history pervades Nashville’s Sound Stage studios, next door to Ronnie’s Place. Built in 1970 by Mercury Records, Sound Stage houses two legendary rooms that churned out mega hits over 40 years ago for Mercury artists, including Jerry Lee Lewis and Tom T. Hall. Both rooms are still functioning today under the ownership of Black River. Studio GM Nick Autry says more than 600 No. 1 songs were cut in the facility. That equates to more than a billion records sold that came out of these modest rooms on Music Row. Musicians ranging from Hank Williams Jr. to Miranda Lambert have recorded hits at Sound Stage, and virtually every George Strait album originated here. Ronnie’s Place was built in 1968 and purchased in 1972 by musician Roy Orbison. He would sell it to Milsap in the ’70s, and, although the building has changed hands a number of times, it’s still known for the Milsap-era magic. Since that time, Kings of Leon, Alice Cooper, Phish, Lee Ann Womack, Waylon Jennings and Pistol Annies have recorded there. Back at Southern Ground, Oliver Wood of The Wood Brothers​has recorded two records and

worked as a producer on several others. He says the vibe of a studio can really affect the comfort level and an artist’s or producer’s ability to create. “As an artist, you don’t want an environment that’s too much like an office or a lab,” Wood says. “We want something more like a living room in a cozy house with warm lighting, comfortable furniture, and funky or inspiring artwork. The room can’t be too sterile, or too cluttered—just comfortable and inviting. With a good vibe like that, we don’t feel like we’re working. It’s more like we’re hanging out and having fun, which is the best headspace for being creative.​”

Embracing the Mystery According to the current owners, Ronnie’s Place is a bit mysterious, in that there isn’t a lot of information about the history of it. “It’s just a little hole-in-the-wall place,” Autry says. “We’re digging new stuff out every day. We renovated a little bit but left it as is, for the most part. There is still some stuff in there with Braille on it, and we think that is so cool. We also have Ronnie’s old piano. He recorded so many hits on that piano, and we get to use it every day.” He says what Nashville’s studios lack in glitz and glamour, they more than make up for with the energy from everything that has happened previously in those rooms. “The historic factor is key,” Autry says. “Most of my favorite records were done at Sound Stage, and that’s what led me to want to be an intern there, years ago. It wasn’t then what it is now, but we still loved it. It had so much character. Why not take something that’s awesome to begin with and update it, and make it look good again? You have the same-sounding room that all these great records were made in.” As for Cowboy Jack’s place, unfortunately a good bit of history of the studio—known to the locals as the Cowboy Arms Hotel & Recording Spa—went up in smoke when the studio burned in 2011. Hurt says Clement had to remodel the studio, but kept the original footprint in place. You can still walk into the same isolation booth where Johnny Cash recorded back in the day—but with fresh paint on the walls and new carpet. That re-created version of

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PLACES

Keep the History Coming Unlike many historic homes or sacred places across the country that are preserved by being roped off and turned into museums, those in the recording industry prefer these studios continue to be used. Nobody involved in resurrecting RCA’s Studio A wanted to stop the music. Instead, they are pioneering new uses for the space, just as ZMG has done at Cowboy Jack’s. And those who see the value in these rooms, with that ever-present intangible quality, are banding together. They’re forming associations, coming up with plans, developing historic overlays and zoning to ensure the condo monsters will have to look elsewhere for a carcass to pick apart. According to Southern Ground manager Bell, session drummer Chad Cromwell assessed the development situation in Nashville perfectly. “It’s like Nashville let the kids loose in the candy store and nobody’s minding the register,” Cromwell says. “It’s like nobody was paying attention to preserving the exact thing that made Nashville what it is today.” “These studios are still why Nashville is so great,” Bell adds. “The rest of Nashville probably wouldn’t be what it is if it weren’t for the music that came out of these great, old buildings.”

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Uncorked Tennessee Wines

By Matthew Glover

Amber Falls Winery & Cellars – Tucked away in the picturesque and rolling hills of Tennessee, this winery is surrounded by lush greenery & beautiful grapevines. Located in a tranquil setting, Amber Falls offers an outdoor covered pavilion to enjoy your preferred wine. Wine bottle price - $15 - $50 Recommended Wine: Cranberry Caress Location: Hampshire, TN Drive time from Nashville: 1 hour 15 minutes www.amberfallswinery.com

MARK BOUGHTON

the original footprint is vibrant and functioning today. In addition to producing bands and writer demos in the space, SiriusXM Radio’s Outlaw Country is recorded live from the Cowboy Arms, pumping out tunes from Cash and many others who made their records in that same space. Ironically, Outlaw Country was once hosted by Clement himself, whose quirky spirit still lingers all over the house and studio. “When we bought the place, we inherited all of Jack’s gear,” Hurt says. “We have his mics and the mixing board he recorded his last album with. We hate to think what would have happened to all of this stuff if someone had torn this house down. But instead, Cowboy Jack will live on through this place, and we intend to honor his legacy by continuing to produce great music out of here.”

Arrington Vineyards – Said to be the premiere winery of the south. The view is spectacular. Plan on bringing a picnic and watching the sun set. Wine bottle price - $20 - $50 Recommended Wine: Red Fox Red Location: Arrington, TN Drive time from Nashville: 35 minutes www.arringtonvineyards.com


PLACES

Beans Creek Winery – Experience free wine tasting and an informative tour without a pretentious feel. There are over 30 wines to choose from. Decisions . . . Decisions. Wine bottle price - $13 - $35 Recommended Wine: Tennessee Chardonel Location: Manchester, TN Drive time from Nashville: 1 hour www.beanscreekwinery.com

Natchez Hills Winery (Tasting Room) – New Tasting Room located next to The Woods Amphitheater at Fontanel is the perfect pairing of old world elegance amidst sweet southern charm. Enjoy the fireplace and intimate seating areas, a music stage, humidor, plus an area to shop for wine related gifts. Wine bottle price - $17 - $25 Recommended Wine: Merlot Location: Nashville, TN Drive time from downtown Nashville: 25 minutes www.natchezhills.com

Grinder’s Switch Winery – Grinder’s Switch Winery is a country oasis located on a 110 acre estate in the small town of Centerville. The beautiful tasting room is nestled inside a cozy hand built log cabin. Awards are proudly displayed from the prestigious “Wines of the South” competition. Wine bottle price - $13 - $30 Recommended Wine: Dixiana Location: Centerville, TN Drive time from Nashville: 1 hour 15 minutes www.gswinery.com

Del Monaco Winery & Vineyards – An experience unlike any other. Take a ride on the “Wine Train.” It’s a 168 mile round trip from Nashville to Del Monaco Winery and back. A full wine tasting provided en route to Del Monaco. Wine bottle price - $13 - $30 Recommended Wine: Whistle Stop Red Location: Baxter, TN Drive time from Nashville: 1 hour 15 minutes www.delmonacowinery.com

Sumner Crest Winery – Have you ever walked into a place and thought, my parents would love this? An eclectic winery with beautiful antiques on the inside, and classic cars displayed year round. Sumner Crest offers a twist on your average winery experience. Wine bottle price - $11 - $19 Recommended Wine: Orlinda Gold Location: Portland, TN Drive time from Nashville: 45 minutes www.sumnercrestwinery.com

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THINGS THIN GS

“SOMETHING ROTTEN!” Lights Up Broadway Nashville’s Wayne Kirkpatrick Pens Broadway’s New Smash

Something Rotten! Cast.

I

’ll tell you something rotten. Life is not fair. For instance, let’s say you lived in Renaissance England and had mad skills and talent. But nobody cared because they were all gaga over Mr. Fancypants, William Shakespeare. Not fair! That’s rotten! And think about all of us, centuries later, deprived of all the stories, songs and answers to game show questions that should have passed on down from those unappreciated writers who labored in The Bard’s shadow. That’s rotten!

Hear ye, friends! Our cultural nightmare is over! The creators of the smash new, Tony Award winning Broadway musical, Something Rotten!, have awakened us to the tragically neglected Renaissance playwrights Nigel Bottom and his brother, Nick. Our frustrated forebears can be ignored no longer! (OK, so they’re fictional. Let’s not get hung up in that.) And to whom do we owe thanks for healing this agonizing cultural wound? Bravo to Nashvillian Wayne Kirkpatrick, his brother Karey Kirkpatrick

© JOAN MARCUS, 2015

By Dan Keen

and British comedian John O’Farrell, who teamed up to create Something Rotten!, the uproarious hit musical that opened on Broadway last April. But wait a Broadway minute! A musical on the Great White Way that started in Nashville? With no twang, sequins or ’shine? How does THAT happen? Well, it took about 15 years, according to Wayne. “Karey and I talked about it for years and years when visiting each other in L.A. or Nashville. We kept cracking ourselves up

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THINGS with this idea about two playwright brothers living and working in Shakespeare’s shadow and how their fortunes would’ve changed had they been able to outshine The Bard by writing the world’s first musical comedy.” Karey had found success with his screenplays in L.A. (The Rescuers Down Under, James and the Giant Peach, Charlotte’s Web and more). Wayne’s songs and album productions in Nashville brought him worldwide acclaim (Grammy Song of the Year for Eric Clapton’s Change the World and hits by Amy Grant, Garth Brooks, Michael W. Smith and Little Big Town, plus more songs recorded by Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Wynonna, George Strait, Joe Cocker, Babyface and Bonnie Raitt). Wayne’s and Karey’s professional circles had expanded to a point where they thought they might actually be able to pull off their crazy musical comedy idea. Wayne continues, “In Karey’s first job at Disney, he had befriended another dreamer named Kevin McCollum.” Kevin ended up in New York producing three Tony Award–winning musicals: In the Heights, Avenue Q and Rent, a Pulitzer Prize winner. He also helmed the productions of Motown the Musical, The Drowsy Chaperone and others. Wayne was well versed in how to pitch a song to an artist but wondered, “How do you pitch a musical?” Karey contacted ye old friend Kevin to ask. “Kevin said many hit musicals started out being pitched with three songs and a synopsis,” Wayne recalls. “Well, we had been writing partial songs and synopses for years. We felt like we were already done with that giant first step!” They picked five songs that set the tone (one of which they had started back in 2004!) and met in New York with McCollum. He immediately expressed serious interest in producing the show and brought in his friend, Tony Award–winning director/choreographer Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon, Aladdin, The Drowsy Chaperone) while Karey enlisted his successful comic friend from the U.K., John O’Farrell, to co-write the book (script). The powerhouse team was complete. That’s something miraculous! Karey contacted actor friends in L.A. and set up a “table read”—no sets, props or costumes, just an out-loud reading of the script. As is normal, Wayne and Karey then edited, wrote

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Nashvillian Wayne Kirkpatrick (above left), his brother Karey Kirkpatrick (above right) and British comedian John O’Farrell (right), teamed up to create Something Rotten!

and re-wrote after that. Two more table reads were done in New York under the auspices of McCollum, who had officially signed on after the first one in L.A. Finally the show was ready to be workshopped—staged and performed to see what it looked like. Wayne bemoans, “It’s a constant process of cutting, pasting and rewriting. Every day, you wake up knowing you’re going to lose something you love that day like a song, a scene or partial scene. By the end, we had written about 40 songs to get the 18 numbers that are currently in the show.”

Traditionally, shows go from the workshop stage to out-of-town tryouts, where the show is run before an audience and tweaked further still. It’s usually something necessary. Something Rotten! was scheduled to go to Seattle for that phase. But something wonderful happened: The workshop was something so fabulous, McCollum decided to forgo the Seattle run and take it straight to Broadway! That, my friends, is something rare. Something Rotten! opened to rave reviews at the prestigious St. James Theater on April 22 and has been nominated for 10 Tony Awards. Nothing rotten about that!


THINGS

T.J. Martell Foundation 40th Anniversary

By Dan Keen

Pictured are Brett Eldredge & Jana Kramer; (top right) Rascal Flatts & Wives (left to right) Jay DeMarcus & Allison Alderson, Joe Don Rooney & Tiffany Fallon; (bottom right) Lady Antebellum (Left to right) Dave Haywood, Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley.

H

ow many times have you been discussing the accomplishments, large or small, of someone and heard, “Well, it’s not like they found a cure for cancer or anything.” If you’re discussing the T.J. Martell Foundation, you can’t say that. This foundation has funded $270 million of seed money for cancer, leukemia and AIDS research. That seed money has turned into more than $1 billion of research, yielding new drugs, clinical trials and procedures that are indeed making a difference in the fight against this brutal and relentless group of diseases. You can think of the T.J. Martell Foundation as a “venture capitalist” for cancer research. Martell money multiplies. The T.J. Martell story is extremely touching. New York music executive Tony Martell lost his son, T.J., to cancer when the boy was only 19. One of T.J.’s requests to his father was to raise a million dollars for cancer research, “so that no one else will have to experience what I’m going through.” Martel’s music-business friends joined in the fight, and the first fundraiser was held in 1975 at Buddy Rich’s club in Manhattan. At the

end of the evening, $50,000 had been raised, and the T.J. Martell Foundation was off and running. Events continue to this day in the form of gourmet dinners, wine pairings and galas in locations such as Nashville, Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta, Houston and Las Vegas. At the other end of the spectrum are events centered on bowling (Strikes Against Cancer!), which began to roll in New York and other music centers, including Los Angeles and Nashville. Rock ’N’ Bowl has become a fun and effective part of the T.J. Martell brand.

Turning the Tide Forty years later, the research is working. Game-changer drugs have doubled the five-year survivor rate of leukemia patients. The March 2015 announcement of the discovery of prostate cancer’s “master regulator” gene promises to radically alter the treatment of that cancer. The wins are piling up, thanks to T.J. Martell Foundation–funded research. Foundation CEO Laura Heatherly states, “If the music industry wasn’t here, it wouldn’t have

happened.” That’s especially evident in Nashville, where Country Music Hall of Fame music executive Frances Preston was an early adopter of the cause. Her efforts were so extensive that the Frances Williams Preston Research Laboratories were established at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in her honor. “There’s no place like Nashville,” Heatherly notes. “It’s a really close-knit community of competitors who work together for causes like ours. The artists are very, very giving.” The charity is so effective and attractive that its existence has spilled over into a network television show. An episode of ABC’s “Nashville” featured the lead characters of the series attending a T.J. Martell Foundation gala. The generosity of the show’s producers in showing the T.J. Martell logo on-screen generated a noticeable spike in donations. On Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, the T.J. Martell Foundation hosts its 40th anniversary gala in New York City to celebrate music’s promise of a cure. For more information, go online to: http:// www.tjmartell.org

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THINGS

Tatum Hauck Allsep, Founder & Executive Director, Music Health Alliance

Music Health Alliance “This is brilliant!” — Bono By Dan Keen

A

s with many effective nonprofit organizations, Music Health Alliance started with one person—one very compassionate, spirit-filled person who took action to meet a need. Tatum Hauck Allsep was (and still is) a successful, connected Nashville music biznik. Pregnant with twins in 2011, Tatum became ill and had to stop everything for mandatory bed rest. But after only 28 weeks, the twins insisted on arrival. Done the math? That’s two months early. Allsep had insurance. But after weeks of hospital care for herself, and months of intensive care for her newborns, she emerged from the life-and-death ordeal with $500,000 in medical bills after insurance. The twins had survived and were finally healthy, but unfortunately, her marriage . . . not so much. Friends and family rallied around (that’s a hallmark of this town). In the process, Tatum became aware of other music industry professionals with similar experiences. She heard from artists and musicians, songwriters, artist

managers, independent publishers, independent label owners, producers, promoters, radio personnel, drivers, riggers, and other behindthe-scenes characters who make the business work. Because of the entrepreneurial, selfemployed nature of the music biz, their health insurance plans were lacking or nonexistent. Allsep began to research and discovered that 76 percent of music professionals have no access to group health insurance. Those who do are often left with enormous deductibles after major medical catastrophes like the one she had experienced. Many are embarrassed by

their plight and don’t feel comfortable asking for help. As Tatum began to pull the covers (hospital sheets?) off the problem, it became obvious that something needed to be done. Kix Brooks and other colleagues on the Country Music Association board encouraged her to be the one to “fix this,” and promised they would help. So, with CMA’s blessing, Music Health Alliance (MHA) was born in 2012, becoming the first nonprofit to merge Nashville’s two leading industries: healthcare and music. Allsep stresses the effects of MHA’s advocacy. “In two years, we uncovered $1.2 million in math errors on patients’ bills,” she says. “We discovered there is no relation between the amount billed to insurance, the negotiated amount between providers and insurance agencies actual costs, and the costs charged to consumers. There is no oversight on this huge national morass.” In a mere three years, MHA has secured over $5.5 million in financial resources, and achieved $1.1 million in medical bill reductions and nearly $700,000 in insurance premium savings. Allsep’s team has been extremely effective in advocating for patients and saving thousands of dollars unjustly billed. Several families have been saved from medical-bill-induced bankruptcy. MHA uses three words to describe its mission: Protect, Direct and Connect. The organization offers a safe place to turn for appropriate and affordable health insurance (including federal options), while helping navigate clients through the healthcare system’s barriers. It also provides access to resources, including financial aid, medicine, doctors, clinics and hospitals. MHA services are always free. “Best of all, we speak ‘music business,’” Allsep says. “We understand—we get it.” Allsep’s work hasn’t gone unrecognized. The Music Health Alliance was the recipient of the prestigious Healthcare Workforce Innovation Award in 2014. And the Nashville Business Journal recognized Tatum Allsep as one of its 2015 Health Care Heroes. So it’s no wonder that Bono—yes, that Bono—who was in town participating in an MHA benefit to raise funds for the late Cowboy Jack Clement (who had produced three tracks on U2’s Rattle and Hum album), exclaimed, “Music Health Alliance—this is brilliant!”

@NashvilleAandE • www.nashvilleartsandentertainment.com

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CAMILLE AKERS BLINN

Tim Akers & The Smoking Section

Pictured are: Tim Akers (leader/keys), Joey Richey (singer), Kim Fleming (singer), Gene Miller (singer), Kim Keyes (singer), John Hammond (drums), Gary Lunn (bass), Mark Baldwin (guitar), Tom Hemby (guitar), Steve Patrick (trumpet), Mike Barry (trumpet), Mark Douthit (sax), Doug Moffet (sax), Barry Green (sax), Blair Masters (keys), Doug Sarrett (FOH engineer). Not pictured: Eric Darken (percussion).

By Dan Keen

“I

s smoking bad for your health?” We’ve heard that question and its obvious answer for decades. But today’s answer might be a little different. You see, for musicians to be described as “smokin’” is a very, very good thing, especially in a town like Nashville, where musicianship is as good as it gets. If you happen to be in Music City on a night when Tim Akers & The Smoking Section are blowing at a club, you might pick up a habit you won’t ever want to quit. Every member of this band is one of the best studio musicians or singers in the world. You’ll be hooked. Not only will it be good for your health, it’ll be good for your soul—musical and otherwise! Akers, the bandleader, keyboardist and arranger, notes, “It’s a spiritual ‘thang.’ We play for the sheer joy and love of it. It’s a form of praise, man.” Before The Smoking Section lights it up with perfect renditions of songs by Earth, Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder and “other funky masters” (as Akers respectfully refers to R&B greats), they

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open the show with the joyous hit Oh Happy Day. Sometime in the set, when it feels just right, they reverently lay down the gospel standard I Surrender All, as a “tip of the hat to the reason we’re all here.” Brooke Shields once said, “Smoking kills. If you’re killed, you’ve lost a very important part of your life.” That’s true, but the members of The Smoking Section are all killer players, and they’ve managed to avoid the pitfalls of the professional musician’s lifestyle without losing the “important parts of their lives.” These Nashville Cats have played with the best acts in music, including Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Garth Brooks, Faith Hill, Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, Barry Manilow and many others. They’ve seen all there is to see in showbiz, the wonderful and the questionable, and lived to tell about it. When they’re off the road and home in Nashville, they play together with a sheer joy that radiates from the stage. It’s evidence of the “calling” that Akers says they feel to use the

musical gifts they’ve been given—and honed into some of the finest skill sets in the world—to celebrate the gift of new life every day with the audience and each other. No filter. Part of the appeal of the band is that you never know who might show up. Their guest artists have included Michael McDonald, Vince Gill, Melinda Doolittle, Bill Champlin and Amy Grant. In addition to impeccably performing the masterful arrangements of the best pop/ rock horn-bands, Akers has arranged their own versions of favorite funk classics, too. They also play original songs that hold up to the high standards they’ve set. So yes, smoking can cause you health problems. But Tim Akers & The Smoking Section is great medicine for your funky soul! Watch Tim Akers & The Smoking Section’s arrangement of “Uptown Funk” on YouTube.com Find out if they’re playing soon. Check the Nashville entertainment schedule right now at www.NAEmag.com. Scroll down to the bottom of the home page for the Nashville Arts & Entertainment Magazine Events Calendar.


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Honors

By Sherry Stinson

ashville Arts & Entertainment Magazine is proud to recognize four remarkable Nashvillians whose lives and work in music, the visual and performing arts, business, songwriting, and philanthropy have positively impacted our city in countless ways. To acknowledge the tremendous spirit of giving and encouragement these honorees embody, Glover Group Entertainment, publisher of Nashville Arts & Entertainment Magazine, is pleased to make a donation of $1,000 to each of these affiliated charities of the honorees: Ryan’s Guitars Project, the Nashville Symphony, Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Humanities Outreach in Tennessee, and the March of Dimes March for Babies.

John Huie President of Creative Artists Agency, Nashville (Charity: Ryan’s Guitars Project) What do you do as a follow-up to assembling an A-list that includes Alan Jackson, Faith Hill, Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith? You get named Agent of the Year— again. Well, technically, John Huie, of Creative Artists 82

NASHVILLE ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Agency (CAA), was named Third Coast Agent of the Year for the eighth time by Pollstar magazine in 2013 and won the coveted Bobby Brooks Award for Agent of the Year in 2015. But what’s a few more accolades to a team that has been named Agency of the Year by Billboard magazine at least six times and by Pollstar at least 10 times. Huie is a big presence in Nashville entertainment, and while you may not know his name, you definitely know the names he represents. He is the president and co-head, along with friend Rod Essig, of CAA’s first satellite office, established in Nashville in 1991. Huie left his post at the West Coast Contemporary Music Department in Los Angeles because the boy from Macon, Ga., could never plant his Southern roots anywhere besides Southern soil. Under Huie’s watchful eye, CAA’s Nashville office has grown from two employees in those early days to more than 70 today, operating in a 23,000-square-foot downtown penthouse office—fittingly, next to the Ryman Auditorium. The agency has expanded beyond music, film and TV to represent sports talent, and has opened departments for marketing, sponsorships and digital media. Huie has represented major talent for more than 30 years with a handshake. But in the midst of all those stars, he has never lost his heart for things more earthbound, including those in need. He serves on the board of directors for the T.J. Martell Foundation, the advisory board for the Hope Clinic for Women, the board of advisors for the Jack & Jill Late

Stage Cancer Foundation, and the Nashville Symphony Council. He also serves on the advisory boards for Lipscomb University’s College of Entertainment & the Arts as well as Porter’s Call, a counseling service for artists. CAA has also been a big supporter of the PENCIL Foundation, which benefits Metro Nashville Public Schools. Having been around music all his life, Huie knows its unique healing properties. And that’s where he turned when his son, Ryan, died in 2014. Ryan had been a music agent like his father and had always encouraged other artists to take their troubles and turn them into songs. Huie did just that. Through a fortuitous meeting with a Greek Orthodox monk, Father Andrew—who wanted to encourage young people in the Middle East to pick up guitars instead of guns—Ryan’s Guitars Project was born. Huie, with his wife, Dawn, and Father Andrew, started the project to encourage music education and participation in refugee populations. Their mission is simple: Three faiths, six strings. Guitars, not guns. From a family’s anguish and love, and the courage and vision of the monks of Mount Athos, Greece, a way to heal through music is being offered to displaced children from Syria and the wars in the Middle East. Ryan’s Guitars Project hopes music can help break the fanatical cycle of revenge and violence. For the world’s sake, may the music play on. Learn more about Ryan’s Guitars Project at www.guitarsproject.org


Alan Valentine

Symphony Center, which opened in 2006. In addition to the fortitude and faith Valentine has exhibited over the years, leading the symphony through the economic swings and challenges of building a classical music reputation in a city known for country music, he added a bucket and mop to his resume. He was there for the $40 million recovery effort of the magnificent symphony hall after the devastating 2010 flood dumped more than 12 feet of water in its hallowed chambers. A good soldier rarely rests, and Valentine found himself at the broadsword of a more recent “comprehensive financial restructuring” in 2013—one that set the symphony on a more diverse musical path that seems to be hitting a high note. The dazzling symphony hall hosts an impressive concert calendar with something for everyone, from the classical series to a diverse lineup of world-class musicians ranging from Itzhak Perlman to Boyz II Men to Kenny Loggins. Through all the growing pains, and highs and lows for the symphony, Valentine has been

a constant. He says he knew as a student at the University of Houston that his life belonged to the orchestra, and his goal has been simple: to build the Nashville Symphony into one of the finest orchestras in the world. In the face of all the challenges, there have certainly been plenty of triumphs. Valentine has been there for the symphony’s seven Grammy Awards and 14 nominations. In 2008, he welcomed a new era of innovation under Maestro Giancarlo Guerrero, who took the Nashville Symphony back to Carnegie Hall as one of six invited orchestras. The symphony’s performance of Universe Symphony—which called for simultaneous performances by seven orchestras and five conductors—was such a large undertaking, it reportedly had been done only one other time in the United States. It’s hard to imagine Music City without the Nashville Symphony, and it’s impossible to picture the Nashville Symphony without the dedicated guidance of Alan Valentine.

President and CEO of the Nashville Symphony

Kathleen O’Brien

(Charity: Nashville Symphony) Alan Valentine is a man who has the rare ability to live on the edge between reason and art—an orderly world and a chaotic one. Those traits are never listed in the job description but are necessary elements for longevity and success in the symphonic world. Valentine came to Nashville in 1998 from Oklahoma City, where he was the executive director of the Oklahoma Philharmonic Society. He joined the Nashville Symphony as president and CEO, following a difficult period in the symphony’s life. He found an ally for excellence in dynamic Music Director and Principal Conductor Kenneth Schermerhorn. Valentine inspired Schermerhorn to dream again, resulting in a critically acclaimed debut concert at Carnegie Hall, a sold-out tour in 2000 and the new world-class Schermerhorn

President and CEO of the Tennessee Performing Arts Center (Charity: TPAC’s Humanities Outreach in Tennessee) It seems 1998 was a very good vintage for arts leadership in Nashville. When newly hired Nashville Symphony President and CEO Alan Valentine passed a young director of public affairs in the halls of the Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC), little did he know he was in the company of another bright light for the arts. Kathleen O’Brien quickly entwined herself with the young TPAC organization in those early days, branching out in many different capacities. She served as senior vice president of marketing, then executive vice president of sales and customer services, and later, chief operating officer, before becoming the CEO in 2005.

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Nicole Kidman Then-Chairman of the TPAC Board of Directors Aubrey Harwell said of her skills at that time: “Kathleen is highly regarded and respected by the TPAC staff and constituents, and her peers in the industry nationwide. Well acquainted with the challenges facing arts organizations today, she’s a creative and critical thinker with sound business judgment and superior administrative skills.” Add to that 10 more years of creative thinking at the helm of Nashville’s local productions and Broadway touring companies, and you have a bedrock of the current arts community and a Nashville treasure. For years, O’Brien has elegantly presented the three local resident companies—the Nashville Ballet, Nashville Opera and Nashville Repertory Theatre—and watched over the expansion of touring Broadway shows so well that the 20132014 TPAC season broke records, with more than $20 million in total ticket sales. The educational component of her charter is always in her heart. She is constantly finding ways to engage children and connect them to the arts, and assist with professional development for teachers in the arts, with outreach touching all 95 counties in Tennessee. She also changed TPAC’s business model to include independent ticket sales and a more risky independent booking of Broadway tours. Discussing the risks and rewards of the Broadway series and its importance to TPAC, O’Brien once remarked, “It’s a business, and don’t let anybody tell you anything different than that.” Perhaps her love of the arts coupled with her business acumen explains her success. Because she is so deeply embedded in the fabric of TPAC, the success of both is one and the same. In a city that is fast becoming world-class in every way, Kathleen O’Brien’s commitment to the performing arts has all but assured their success. All we have to do is buy a ticket, sit back and enjoy the show.

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ED RODE

Actress, Academy Award Winner, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador

(Charity: March of Dimes – March for Babies) “Violence against women is a problem with a solution,” Nicole Kidman says, looking sternly in the camera’s eye. That was not a line from one of her movies but a plea before the United Nations General Assembly decrying the planet-wide violence against women and girls. Kidman has been on the cover of countless magazines and graced the silver screen since we first laid eyes on her in the 1989 film Dead Calm. Her movie roles have been prolific and diverse, from the musical Moulin Rouge! (2001) to portraying Grace Kelly in Grace of Monaco (2014). She won her Academy Award for The

Hours (2002) and has never failed to entertain us or dazzle us with her beauty. The Australianreared actress was actually born in Honolulu, Hawaii, where her father was attending graduate school, so she holds dual citizenship. Her work, along with her ageless elegance and beauty, have kept us wanting more of her, even though she is at an age where most stars’ lights begin to dim. Not hers. While all that is fine and good, Kidman has said the real meaning of humanity and the importance of her life is in helping others. To Kidman—actress, mother and friend—there is no greater or more pervasive scourge than violence against women and girls. Statistics agree: One in three women will suffer violence, and Kidman has called that fact an outrage. She has encouraged more laws to protect women and girls, and pushed for greater assistance for survivors of violence. Kidman has said, “I’ve been given a lot, and it’s my duty to give something back.” And she has. Her list of supported charities is long and ranges from breast cancer to the environment and the arts. She has been a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF since 1994 and was honored as a Citizen of the World by the United Nations in 2004. In her hometown of Nashville, Kidman is the mother of two children with singer/ songwriter and fellow Aussie Keith Urban (married since 2006), and the mother of two children with former husband and actor Tom Cruise. She has taken to the streets to help raise money for the March of Dimes, kicking off their March for Babies. Ever graceful, she reminds us that caring for those less fortunate is the role we should all be playing. She has famously said: “It all starts with us, so don’t look away and don’t stop the conversation.”


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An Initiative of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee

2016

EVENTS CALENDAR CALENDAR POWERED BY

MARCH 2

Leon Bridges

Ryman Auditorium

Leon Bridges is a gospel and soul singer from Fort Worth, Texas. Best known for his song “Coming Home,” a Top 10 Most Viral Track on Spotify.

March 2

3

Tedeschi Trucks Band with Brothers Osborne Ryman Auditorium March 3–5

3

Nashville Lawn & Garden Show The Fairground Nashville

Celebrate all things green and growing with an acre of live gardens designed by some of Middle Tennessee’s top landscape and garden companies, more than 20 of the region’s top floral designers showcasing their talents, a series of free lecture presentations, a marketplace and more.

Blake Shelton

The CMA Male Vocalist of the Year, and coach of NBC’s hit show The Voice, makes a Nashville stop on his Gildan-sponsored tour.

Event details and ticketing available at

March 3–6

4

In 2010, Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, one of Rolling Stone’s 100 best guitarists of all time, shelved their equally successful solo careers to form Tedeschi Trucks Band, an 11-piece tour-de-force that has quickly become the vanguard of modern roots music.

Bridgestone Arena March 4–5

4 6

Kid Koala: Nufonia Must Fall Oz Arts

March 4–5

Taste of Williamson Cool Springs Galleria March 6

7

9th Annual Jeffrey Steele & Friends The Franklin Theatre March 7

8

Merle Haggard Ryman Auditorium March 8–9

NAE Calendar Spring 2016-Fall 2016.indd 88

Montreal-based scratch DJ and music producer Kid Koala presents a live multimedia adaptation of his graphic novel Nufonia Must Fall. Audience members can alternate their attention between the live performance and the close-up projection on a single cinema screen. Ticket holders meet chefs, sip a favorite beverage, taste local restaurant offerings and enjoy musical entertainment as they stroll from station to station. All proceeds benefit United Way of Williamson County and its partner agencies. The Alex LeVasseur Memorial Fund offers an intimate benefit evening hosted by Storme Warren with Jeffrey Steele, Chris Janson, LOCASH Cowboys, Kurtis John, The Shuggah Pies, Kevin Griffin, and more. “The Hag” was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994 and recognized for his “outstanding contribution to American culture” by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2010.

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Phantom of the Opera Andrew Jackson Hall, TPAC March 9–20

9

2016 Southeastern Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament

The beloved story and thrilling score, with songs like “Music of the Night,” “All I Ask Of You” and “Masquerade,” will be performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this Phantom one of the largest productions now on tour. The winner of the 11-game tournament will receive the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Event details and ticketing available at

Bridgestone Arena March 9–13

10

Burt Bacharach with the Nashville Symphony Schermerhorn Symphony Center

Bacharach has written some of the greatest songs of our time: “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head,” “What the World Needs Now Is Love,” “I Say a Little Prayer,” “(They Long to Be) Close to You,” “Walk on By” and many more.

March 10

11 11

Jazz Series: Madeleine Peyroux Schermerhorn Symphony Center

Enchanting chanteuse Peyroux makes a rare Music City visit to perform her distinctive mix of original tunes, ingenious covers, and beloved jazz standards.

March 11

John Prine with Chris Smither Ryman Auditorium March 11–12

With immeasurable accolades, including multiple Grammy® Awards and the distinction of being one of the few songwriters honored by the Library of Congress, Prine is more than a musician, he is an American treasure.

Chicago

17

Andrew Johnson Theater, TPAC March 17–April 16

This Tony Award-winning satire whisks you into a world where everyone is a vaudeville performer, truth is defined by what gets the most attention, and owning the spotlight is the most important thing. Photo by Justin Sienkiewicz Photography | Pictured: Martha Wilkinson and Geoff Davin

17

First Bank Pops Series: The Irish Tenors with the Nashville Symphony

An Initiative of The Community Foundation of Middle Ten-

Schermerhorn Symphony Center

Join the Nashville Symphony and the world’s leading Irish vocal trio as they perform such beloved tunes as “Danny Boy,” “Whiskey in the Jar” and “Fields of Athenry,” along with modern-day classics like “My Heart Will Go On.”

March 17–19

18

Rihanna with Travis Scott Bridgestone Arena March 18

20

The Moody Blues Ryman Auditorium March 20

26

Extravaganzoo

Nashville Zoo at Grassmere March 26

29

Kirk Franklin

Ryman Auditorium March 29

Cheekwood In Bloom

Mid-March Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art

Rihanna has become a modern music, entertainment and fashion icon. As an accomplished performer, she has sold 54 million albums and 210 million digital tracks worldwide, making her the top-selling digital artist of all time. The “Fly Me High” tour marks the 50th Anniversary of The Moody Blues. Its roster of hits include: “Nights In White Satin,” “Tuesday Afternoon,” “Isn’t Life Strange,” and “Your Wildest Dreams,” just to name a few. Nashville Zoo’s annual spring celebration features egg hunts for kids and spring-themed games, plus special appearances by the Easter Bunny and Zoo mascot Twiga!

The gospel musician, choir director, and author has led urban contemporary gospel choirs such as The Family, God’s Property and One Nation Crew (1NC), and has won multiple awards, including seven Grammy® Awards. As the days warm in mid-March, waves of color begin to emerge across the grounds and gardens, starting with hyacinths, daffodils, and magnolias that soon give way to iris, dogwoods, and viburnums.

www.nashvilleartsandentertainment.com

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APRIL 2

Dr. Dog with Wild Child Ryman Auditorium April 2

An Initiative of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee

5

Nashville Fashion Week Various Locations April 5–9

5

Tin Pan South Various Locations April 5–9

7

Die Fledermaus

Andrew Jackson Hall, TPAC April 7–9

8

Giada Valenti - From Venice With Love James K. Polk Theater, TPAC April 8

9

2016 Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival Public Square Park April 9

10

The Rat Pack is Back

Schermerhorn Symphony Center April 10

11

Meat Loaf

Schermerhorn Symphony Center April 11

12

Dailey & Vincent

Schermerhorn Symphony Center April 12

Event details and ticketing available at

13

Alton Brown Live: Eat Your Science Tour Andrew Jackson Hall, TPAC

After releasing a live album at the top of 2015, and a theatrical collaboration with The Pig Iron Theatre Company of its unreleased 1999 album, The Psychedelic Swamp, Dr. Dog visits Nashville on its 2016 tour. Nashville Fashion Week is a city-wide celebration of Nashville’s thriving fashion and retail community featuring local, regional, and national design talent in fashion events and shows. Now in its 14th year, the Nashville Songwriters Association (NSAI) reminds you it “All Begins With A Song” by showcasing the songs you love as performed by the folks who wrote them. From the “King of the Waltz,” Johann Strauss, comes the most popular comic operetta ever written. Featuring elaborate sets, costumes, and split-second timing — and filled throughout with the magic and effervescent music of the glorious Viennese waltz — it’s an unforgettable night of glorious music, thrilling singing, and side-splitting comedy. Celebrate the romance and passion of Venice with soulful interpretations of love songs from the 60s, 70s and 80s from the Italian songstress. Backed by her own orchestra, Giada performs in a setting that recalls her magical hometown. This family-friendly celebration of spring and Japanese culture, hosted by Sister Cities of Nashville, features taiko drumming, a roving Japanese Candyman, traditional and contemporary Japanese music and dance, martial arts demonstrations, arts & crafts and more. Direct from Las Vegas, and making its Music City debut, The Rat Pack is Back brings Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. to life center stage at the Schermerhorn. Meat Loaf brings his stunning voice and high-energy rock ’n’ roll to the Schermerhorn for the first time ever. With iconic albums like Bat Out of Hell and more than 80 million records sold worldwide, this GRAMMY® winning singer and actor is one of the best-selling artists in history. “The Rockstars of Bluegrass,” and three-time winners of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year, Jamie Dailey & Darrin Vincent make their debut with the Nashville Symphony. Mixing in comedy, talk show antics, multimedia presentations and music, Brown has a knack for combining science, music and food into two hours of pure entertainment.

April 13

14

A Year With Frog And Toad Nashville Children’s Theatre

Based on Arnold Lobel’s well-loved books and featuring a hummable score by Robert and Willie Reale, this whimsical musical follows two great friends – the cheerful, popular Frog and the rather grumpy Toad – through four, fun-filled seasons.

47th Annual Nashville Film Festival

Regal Cinemas Green Hills is the site of more than 200 film events, a VIP tent for filmmakers, celebrities and members, and the NaFF Red Carpet.

April 14–May 15

14

Regal Green Hills Stadium 16 April 14–23

14

The Ray Legacy: A Tribute to The Soulful Genius Jamison Hall, Factory at Franklin April 14–May 1

This all-new production will feature dynamic selections from Ray Charles’ soulful catalog, performed by a diverse ensemble cast with no dialogue or narration, so that the music itself–and the rich storytelling therein–takes center stage.

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Rivers & Spires Festival Historic Downtown Clarksville April 14–16

14

Southern Women’s Show Music City Center

15

Bryan Adams

Ascend Amphitheater April 15

15

Mumford & Sons, An Arrow Through The Heartland Tour Bridgestone Arena

More than 500 exhibits ranging from boutiques and jewelers to travel destinations and health care professionals – it’s the perfect one-stop shop for on-the-go women.

Event details and ticketing available at

April 14–17

Rivers and Spires is an award-winning free three-day festival with live music, interactive entertainment, activities for the whole family and great food held in historic downtown Clarksville, Tennessee.

The writer and performer of iconic rock and pop hits “Cuts Like a Knife,” “Run to You,” “Summer of ‘69,” and “Everything I Do (I Do For You),” returns to Nashville in support of his latest album, Get Up. Mumford & Sons returns to the US in support of its certified-gold, rock-oriented album Wilder Mind, a follow-up to its 2012 Grammy® Award Winning album, Babel.

April 15

16

Pied Piper Children’s Series: Blast Off with the Nashville Symphony Schermerhorn Symphony Center April 16

17

Chick Corea & Béla Fleck Ryman Auditorium April 17

22

Carmina Burana and the World Premiere of Layla & Majnun Andrew Jackson Hall, TPAC April 22–24

Put on your astronaut suit and get ready to take a journey into outer space as the Nashville Symphony performs music from Holst’s The Planets, along with other space-themed music and exciting visuals from the Adventure Science Center. Corea was a member of Miles Davis’ band in the 1960s and has been described as one of the major jazz piano voices to emerge in the post-John Coltrane era. Fleck, a member of New Grass Revival and his own Flecktones, is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s most innovative and technically proficient banjo players. The Nashville Children’s Choir, the Nashville Symphony Orchestra Chorus, the Nashville Symphony and featured guests vocalists join Nashville Ballet dancers on stage for this epic production of Carmina Burana. Layla is an original ballet adaptation of the pre-Muslim, Middle Eastern myth of Layla and Majnun.

Franklin Main Street Festival

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Historic Downtown Franklin April 23–24

An Initiative of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee

This free annual event features more than 200 artisans & crafters, three stages, two carnivals and an international food court to round out a full weekend of entertainment.

24

Ben Folds with yMusic Ryman Auditorium April 24

25

Bon Qui Qui’s Gold Plated Dreams Tour James K. Polk Theater, TPAC April 25

26

Mamma Mia!

The alter ego of Mad TV’s Anjelah Johnson-Reyes, Bon Qui Qui arose from the Mad TV sketch “King Burger”and followed Johnson-Reyes’ stand-up routine, “Nail Salon.”

Andrew Jackson Hall, TPAC

Now it’s your turn to have the time of your life at this smash-hit musical that combines ABBA’s greatest hits, including “Dancing Queen,” “S.O.S.,” “Super Trouper,” “Take A Chance on Me,” and “The Winner Takes It All,” with an enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship.

St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon and ½ Marathon

Be entertained en route with musical miles before collecting your finish line rewards: bling, beer and more bands. Then, prepare for your free night-time headliner concert at Bridgestone Arena.

April 26–May 1

30

Debuting at #1 on Billboard’s Classical and Classical Crossover charts, Folds’ record with yMusic, So There, showcases new pop songs by the multi-platinum-selling artist, along with the debut recording of Folds’ critically acclaimed “Concerto For Piano and Orchestra.”

Nissan Field April 30

www.nashvilleartsandentertainment.com

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MAY 1

Treasures from the House of Alba: 500 Years of Art and Collecting

Drawn from one of the oldest and most significant private collections in Europe, this exhibit features works by Goya, Murillo, Rubens, Titian, and more from the splendid palaces of the Alba dynasty in Spain.

Frist Center for the Visual Arts

An Initiative of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee

Closes May 1

3

The Big Payback

For 24 hours, from midnight to midnight, Middle Tennesseans go online to TheBigPayback.org to support area nonprofits. Last year, more than $2.5 million was raised for over 700 organizations.

3

Bonnie Raitt with the California Honeydrops

The legendary singer and slide guitar player brings her Dig In Deep Tour and longtime touring band to the Ryman for two nights.

May 3

Ryman Auditorium May 3–4

4

Speak Easy: A Celebration of the Written and Spoken Word with Mike Daisey

American monologist and raconteur Mike Daisey bookends this series featuring a special installation of Poetry Sucks! and five handpicked storytellers on the Moth stage.

Oz Arts

May 4–7

5

Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with Gil Shaham & Dvorák’s Seventh Symphony

World-renowned violinist Gil Shaham joins the Symphony to perform Tchaikovsky’s beloved Violin Concerto, a work of stunning lyrical beauty and jaw-dropping virtuosity.

Schermerhorn Symphony Center May 5–7

Tennessee Craft Fair

6

Centennial Park May 6–8

Event details and ticketing available at

Celebrate and support America’s rich craft heritage on the lawn of Nashville’s famed Parthenon. No matter what you are looking for, you’ll be sure to find it among the artists participating in the always anticipated, juried fair. Visitors enjoy food from area vendors, family-friendly activities in our Kids’ Tent and demonstrations from artisans aimed to educate as they create pieces in front of your eyes.

6

The Avett Brothers with Brett Dennen Bridgestone Arena May 6

7

A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor

Heard by four million listeners each week on nearly 700 public radio stations and online, Keillor brings his long-running show to Nashville.

Ryman Auditorium May 7

7

Tennessee Renaissance Festival Castle Wynn, Triune May 7–30

8

The Isley Brothers

Schermerhorn Symphony Center May 8

8

Degas & the Little Dancer

The Martin Center for Nashville Ballet May 8–22

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Folk rockers The Avett Brothers return to Bridgestone Arena with special guest Brett Dennen.

Travel back to 16th Century England as the Village of Covington Glen comes alive with the bustle of a Renaissance marketplace. Skilled artisans display their wares from swords to silks and jewels. In their first Nashville appearance in decades, the Isley Brothers perform some of the greatest hits of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, including “Shout,” “Twist and Shout,” “It’s Your Thing,” “That Lady,” “Between the Sheets” and more. Young ballerina Marie van Goethen dreamed of becoming a world famous dancer. She gave up her dreams to support her family as an artist’s model, yet still became one of the most famous dancers in the world as the subject of Edgar Degas’ bronze statue La Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans.

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The Bridges of Madison County Andrew Jackson Hall, TPAC May 10–15

12

Country music’s biggest hit-makers make their Nashville Symphony debut for a night packed with No. 1 smash hits such as “Mountain Music,” “Feels So Right,” “Dixieland Delight,” “The Closer You Get,” “Feels So Right,” “Love in the First Degree,” “Take Me Down,” “Tennessee River” and countless others.

Iroquois Steeplechase

Held on the second Saturday of May, the Iroquois Steeplechase is the premier spring race in American steeplechasing and Music City’s traditional rite of spring. The 2015 Iroquois will celebrate 75 years, attracting the best horses and riders in America as well as the crème de la crème of Southern Society.

Percy Warner Park May 14

14

Franklin Hot Air Balloon Festival Westhaven Town Center May 14

17

Wild West Comedy Festival Various Venues May 17–22

17

Paul Anka in Concert

Schermerhorn Symphony Center May 17

20

Full Moon Pickin’ Party

Warner Parks Equestrian Center May 20

21

Symphony Under the Stars: Styx

26

This family-friendly event includes local craft vendors, live music, food trucks, a VIP area and KidZone and concludes with a spectacular hot air balloon glow at dusk. Nashville plays host to this 5-day festival at venues throughout Nashville, featuring some of the funniest people in the world, including Jeff Foxworthy, Trevor Noah, Joe Rogan, Russell Peters, Jay & Silent Bob, The Fighter & The Kid Live, Lady Dynamite, Michael Carbonaro and more! The legendary singer and songwriter makes his first Nashville appearance in decades to perform such unforgettable hits as “My Way,” “Put Your Head on My Shoulder,” “Lonely Boy,” “She’s a Lady,” and “(You’re) Having My Baby.” This laid-back, family-friendly fundraiser for Friends of Warner Parks features Middle Tennessee’s finest bluegrass and roots music under the light of a full moon. Pickers jam in circles under the trees and around the grounds, while three headlining acts perform on the main stage.

Mahler’s Third Symphony with Chorus

Experience the amazing musical universe of Gustav Mahler when Giancarlo Guerrero and the Symphony perform his monumental and downright thrilling Third Symphony.

An Initiative of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee

Ascend Amphitheater

It’s a night of non-stop classic Styx hits, including “Come Sail Away,” “Blue Collar Man,” “Too Much Time on My Hands,” “Renegade,” “Fooling Yourself,” “Crystal Ball,” “Miss America,” “The Grand Illusion,” and more.

May 21

Event details and ticketing available at

First Bank Pops Series: Alabama with the Nashville Symphony May 12–14

14

Based on the best-selling novel by Robert James Waller, The Bridges Of Madison County tells the story of Iowa housewife Francesca Johnson and her life-changing, four-day whirlwind romance with traveling photographer Robert Kincaid.

Schermerhorn Symphony Center May 26–28

26

Bellissima! The Italian Automotive Renaissance, 1945-1975 Frist Center for the Visual Arts

Celebrate the visual dynamism and spirit of innovation that characterizes Italian coachbuilt cars, concept cars and motorcycles produced during the post–World War II economic revival, including models from Alfa Romeo, Bizzarrini, Ducati, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lancia and Maserati.

May 27–October 9

31

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Andrew Jackson Hall, TPAC May 31–June 6

Disney’s Beauty And The Beast is the classic story of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped in a spell placed by an enchantress.

Music City Roots

Liberty Hall, Factory at Franklin Wednesdays

Music City Roots, broadcast live each Wednesday night, showcases Nashville’s astonishing music scene, from country and Americana to more progressive interpreters of tradition – a “roots and branches” format that brings together fans of different tastes and generations.

www.nashvilleartsandentertainment.com

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NASHVILLE SOUNDS 2016 HOME SCHEDULE An Initiative of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee

The Nashville Sounds are the Triple-A franchise for the Oakland Athletics (A’s) and play their home games at First Tennessee Park. For ticket and game information, visit NowPlayingNashville.com.

DATE

OPPONENT

DATE

OPPONENT

Apr. 7 – 10 Apr. 11 – 14 Apr. 23 – 26 May 2 – 5 May 6 – 9 May 14 – 17 May 19 – 22 May 31 – June 3 June 13 – 16

Oklahoma City Dodgers Colorado Springs Sky Sox New Orleans Zephyrs Iowa Cubs Memphis Redbirds Fresno Grizzlies Sacramento River Cats Round Rock Express Memphis Redbirds

June 17 – 20 June 25 – 28 June 30 – July 3 July 7 – 10 July 22 – 25 July 26 – 29 Aug. 12 – 15 Aug. 16 – 19 Aug. 29 – Sept. 1

Round Rock Express Omaha Storm Chasers Oklahoma City Dodgers New Orleans Zephyrs Omaha Storm Chasers Colorado Springs Sky Sox Reno Aces Tacoma Rainiers Iowa Cubs

JUNE 3

West Side Story

Schermerhorn Symphony Center June 3–4

3

Brew at the Zoo

Nashville Zoo at Grassmere June 3

4

Symphony Under the Stars: The Music of John Williams

Event details and ticketing available at

Nashville Zoo welcomes all species of beer lovers to the fifth annual Brew at the Zoo! Animals, live music, local food trucks and 100 craft beers are on tap at this unique after-hours event voted the 2014 best beer event in Nashville by the Nashville Scene.

Ascend Amphitheater

Hear the music of America’s greatest film composer, John Williams, in its full majestic glory. Featuring music from Star Wars, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Jaws, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter and much more, this unforgettable summer night will feature some of Williams’ most beloved film scores.

The Power of Pictures: Early Soviet Photography and Film

From early vanguard constructivist works by Alexander Rodchenko and El Lissitzky to the modernist images of Arkady Shaikhet and Max Penson, Soviet photographers played a pivotal role in the history of modern photography.

June 4

4

Chain-link fences, steel ladders and the like conjure New York’s then-rough-and tumble West Side, with the surrounding elegance of the Schermerhorn Symphony Center serving as a striking symbol of the inner city’s juxtaposition of wealth and want–and the world of human experience in between. In the same spirit as the 1957 original, Studio Tenn’s production propels this age-old love story further forward with a vibrant, timeless design.

Frist Center for the Visual Arts Closes June 4

7

If/Then

Andrew Jackson Hall, TPAC June 7–12

9

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival Manchester, TN June 9–12

9

If/Then is a contemporary Broadway musical about living in New York today – and all the possibilities of tomorrow. This “fascinating, ambitious, and original new musical” (New York Post) simultaneously follows one woman’s two possible life paths, painting a deeply moving portrait of the lives we lead, as well as the lives we might have led. A four-day, multi-stage camping festival that brings together some of the best performers in music. The 100-acre entertainment village buzzes around the clock with attractions and activities.

CMA Music Festival Downtown Nashville June 9–12

The ultimate destination for Country Music fans from around the globe. Daytime stages offer more intimate settings for nonstop music, while evening concerts at Nissan Stadium provide full-tilt excitement. CMA Music Festival delivers the full range of concert experiences with equal parts nighttime fireworks and daytime sizzle. Photo Credit: Kayla Schoen/CMA

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12

International Folkfest Murfreesboro, TN

Throughout the week, international groups will perform for area schools, civic clubs, and youth and senior citizen organizations.

June 12–19

13

Nerd Night: Underland Adult Tea Party Belle Meade Plantation June 13

14

The Sounds of Simon & Garfunkel with the Nashville Symphony June 14

14

Flyin’ Saucers Rock & Roll: The Cosmic Genius of Sam Phillips Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Closes June 14

15

Jane Lynch: See Jane Sing James K. Polk Theater, TPAC June 15

17

Full Moon Pickin’ Party

Warner Parks Equestrian Center June 17

18

NISSAN Taste of Music City Public Square Park June 18

18

RC Cola & Moon Pie Festival and 10 Mile Run Bell Buckle, TN June 18

21

Selena Gomez | Revival Tour Bridgestone Arena June 21

24

Nashville Pride Festival Public Square Park

24

Frist Fridays

Frist Center for the Visual Arts June 24

25

In-Site Visual Art Festival OZ Nashville June 25–26

27

Justin Bieber | Purpose World Tour Bridgestone Arena June 27

30

Jason Alexander with the Nashville Symphony Schermerhorn Symphony Center June 30

30

Bluegrass Nights at the Ryman Ryman Auditorium

This exhibition takes an in-depth look at Sam Phillips and the social and cultural impact of the music he captured on such revolutionary recordings as Jackie Brenston’s “Rocket 88,” Elvis Presley’s “That’s All Right,” and Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line.” Fresh from her iconic portrayal of Sue Sylvester on Glee and her Broadway debut as Miss Hannigan in Annie, Jane Lynch brings her comic skills and musical prowess to TPAC’s James K. Polk Theater. These family friendly evenings feature Middle Tennessee’s finest bluegrass music under the lights of the full moon. Pickers form circles around the grounds, while several headliners are featured on stage. Now in its 14th year, the NISSAN Taste of Music City is an all inclusive, oneprice admission food-tasting extravaganza. Attendees have the opportunity to enjoy tastings from some of the area’s best restaurants along with some of Nashville’s local beverage flavors. Two southern traditions collide when RC Cola and Moon Pies are brought together for a grand celebration. Enjoy bluegrass music, clogging, dancers, Moon Pie games, crafts, a ten mile run, and the cutting of the world’s largest Moon Pie. “The Revival Tour” follows the October 9th release of Selena Gomez’s new album Revival. It’s the first tour for Gomez, who has sold over 22 million singles worldwide, embarks on her first tour since the sold out 2013 “Stars Dance Tour.” Tennessee’s largest LGBT Pride Festival features an artist’s village with more than 120 vendors, three stages with live music, food, Youth/Kids Zones, and a special area for VIP.

An Initiative of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee

June 24–25

The gifted duo of AJ Swearingen and Jonathan Beedle will bring songs of Simon & Garfunkel more vividly to life, accompanied by your Nashville Symphony in a magical evening capturing the essence of these two incomparable artists.

Event details and ticketing available at

Schermerhorn Symphony Center

Learn about the man behind the story, the ugly truth about Lewis Carroll, while discussing his books and movies. Enjoy a full tea party, play games, and make a craft in true underland style. Costumes are required, YES, required.

One of Nashville’s most popular summertime activities, Frist Fridays feature live entertainment, great art, and cash bars under the stars. Now in its 12th year, this exciting series takes place on the final Friday of June, July and August from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Taking advantage of its unique facility and location, OZ Arts mounts a major installation of visual arts with large interactive pieces created for both interior and exterior spaces. From massive murals, to light installations, from street art, to pod galleries, this program reaches beyond the warehouse, creating customized artworks connected to the city’s diverse neighborhoods. The hype around Justin Bieber’s new studio album, Purpose, and the smash successes of “Sorry” and “What Do You Mean?,” continues with this world tour stop in Nashville. World-renowned for his role as George Costanza on NBC’s Seinfeld, Jason Alexander appears in Nashville for the very first time in a variety show full of classic Broadway tunes and hilarious stories from his 30-year career on stage and screen. See the best in bluegrass on the very stage where bluegrass was born when Springer Mountain Farms presents our 23rd annual summer series.

June 31

www.nashvilleartsandentertainment.com

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EXECUTIVE PROTECTION DOGS

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EVEN THREE WISHES WON’T GET YOU WHAT YOU WANT.

GOLD-PLATED OIL LAMP

That is, if what you desire is an office that runs efficiently and technology that gives you the power to work wonders. Because when it comes to a smooth running operation, magic just doesn’t cut it.

For technology that powers your business, call your local RJ Young representative at 615.255.8551 or visit us online at RJYoung.com.

Your productivity is our mission.


Encore Dining

1808 Grille Located in the Hutton Hotel, 1808 Grille’s season menus blends traditional

Southern dishes, with global flavors. Award-winning wine list, as well as full bar and bar menu. Whether you are looking for a fine dining experience or a place to be part of the scene, 1808 Grille is the perfect place to meet, dine, and linger. Forbes Four Star. Complimentary Self parking. Ph: (615)340-0012 | 1808 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203 | www.1808grille.com

Two Twenty-Two Grill Our hot, made-from-scratch lunch is sure to satisfy your

appetite. Ready-made options prepared daily, including wraps, sandwiches, salads, baked goods, and more. Located inside the Country Music Hall of Fame. Ph: (615) 291-6759 | 216 5th Ave. S. | Open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Bajo Sexto Taco Under the direction of Oaxacan-born chef Kaelin Ulrich Trilling, the

taqueria offers a limited menu of Mexican cuisine, including tacos and flautas; hand-made tortillas; wine on tap, beer, and margaritas. Located in the Country Music Hall of Fame. Ph: (615)577-7717 | 216 5th Ave. S. | BajoSextoTaco.com | Open daily ~ hours vary

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

Fleming’s Nashville is an ongoing celebration of exceptional food & wine, featuring the finest prime steak and an award-winning wine list. We are located across from Centennial Park at 2525 West End Ave. Ph: (615)342-0131 | www.flemingssteakhouse.com/locations/tn/nashville

Goozy Dessert Bar and Café

Nashville’s first dessert bar, featuring molten chocolate cakes, housemade gelato, inventive desserts, artisan grilled cheeses, gourmet coffee, wine, craft beer and cocktails. Located in Green Hills across from Orvis and Noshville. Ph: (615)297.0274 | Visit www.gotogoozy.com for hours and directions.

Rodizio Grill - The Brazilian Steakhouse Enjoy the authentic flavors, style and warm alegria of a Brazilian Churascarria (Steakhouse). Rodizio Grill features unlimited appetizers, gourmet salads, side dishes and a continuous rotation of over a dozen different meats carved tableside by our Gauchos. Banquet seating and private dining available. Valet Parking. Ph: (615)730-8358. 166 Second Ave. N. Reservations Accepted. www.rodiziogrill.com/nashville

The Melting Pot - a Fondue Restaurant Where fun is cooked up fondue style. Join us for Cheese and Chocolate fondue or the full 4-course experience. Casually elegant – Always Fun. Open 7 Days for dinner. Sundays after the Matinee. Valet Parking. Ph: (615)742-4970. 166 Second Ave. N. Reservations Recommended. www.meltingpot.com/nashville Ravello

Enjoy a dinner inspired by the Italian coastal town of Ravello. Begin with selections from our antipasti bar, sample housemade pasta—all in a lush garden setting. Located in Gaylord Opryland Resort. Complimentary parking available. Ph: (615)458-6848 | GaylordOpryland.com/Dining

Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Nashville

On the corner of Fourth & Broadway, Margaritaville has everything… authentic southern food, the best bars & the caliber of music that’s expected in Nashville. Ph: (615)208-9080 | www.MargaritavilleNashville.com Sales@MargaritavilleNashville.com

Texas de Brazil steakhouse features a gourmet salad area containing more than 50 items,

as well as continuous servings of deliciously seasoned beef, lamb, pork, chicken and sausage, all carved tableside. Group dining rates available. Valet parking. Ph:(615)320-0013 | 210 25th Ave. N. Suite 110 | www.texasdebrazil.com

Trattoria Il Mulino 96

Trattoria Il Mulino, the acclaimed casual chic restaurant from iconic Il Mulino New York, debuts in Nashville. Enjoy traditional Italian cuisine featuring signature dishes, seafood, pasta, and a selection of 190 wines. BUON APPETITO! Ph: 615.620.3700 | 144 5th Ave. S. | trattoriailmulinonashville.com NASHVILLE ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

For Advertising Information Call: Glover Group Entertainment 615-373-5557


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ing.

Nashville’s Local Flavor This neighborhood guide features the tastiest local hotspots to sample in Nashville such as fine dining, meat and 3’s, barbecue, gastropubs, and much more. For more on Nashville’s restaurants, visit NowPlayingNashville.com’s Where to Eat Guide. Discover Nashville’s local flavor!

d

l

B & C Melrose BBQ bartaco Burger Up Edley’s Bar-B-Que Ember’s Ski Lodge Epice Fenwick’s 300 Frothy Monkey The Flipside Gabby’s Burgers and Fries The Hook Josephine Love, Peace and Pho Mangia MAFIAoZA’S Pizzeria & Neighborhood Pub M.L. Rose Craft Beer & Burgers Sinema The Sutler Taqueria Del Sol The Smiling Elephant Urban Grub

BELLE MEADE

360 Wine Bar Bistro Finezza Italian Bistro Noelle Restaurant The Pineapple Room at Cheekwood Sportsman’s Grill

BELLEVUE + WEST NASHVILLE Bria Bistro Broadway Brewhouse 100 Broadway Brewhouse West Blue Moon Waterfront Grille Corner Pub in the Woods Jonathan’s Grille Loveless Café Nachos Mexican Restaurant Pizza Perfect {PUB}licity

BERRY HILL

Baja Burrito Café Monell’s The Pfunky Griddle Vui’s Kitchen Yellow Porch

DOWNTOWN + SOBRO 417 Union ACME Feed & Seed Co. Bajo Sexto Bakersfield Bar Sovereign Broadway Brewhouse Capitol Grille Etch The Farm House Fleet Street Pub Frothy Monkey Downtown Headquarters Beercade Hot Diggity Dog Husk Jacks Bar-B-Que

Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse Kitchen Notes Merchants Old Spaghetti Factory Paradise Park Trailer Resort Pinewood Social Pub 5 Puckett’s Gro. & Restaurant Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack Salsa Sole Mio The Southern Steak & Oyster The Stillery Trattoria II Mulino

EAST NASHVILLE

AMOT Eatery Bar Luca Batter’d & Fried Boston Seafood House Beyond the Edge Butcher & Bee Crying Wolf Dino’s Drifters BBQ Eastland Café Edley’s Bar-B-Que Far East Nashville The Family Wash / Garage Coffee Five Points Pizza Holland House I Dream of Weenie Little Octopus The Local Taco Lockeland Table Mad Donna’s Marché Artisan Foods Margot Café & Bar Mas Tacos Por Favor Mitchell’s Deli Nashville Biscuit House The Pharmacy Burger Parlor & Beer Garden Pomodoro East Rosepepper Cantina Rumours East Sky Blue Café Tenn16 Food & Drink Co. The Treehouse Two Ten Jack The Vine The Wild Cow Village Pub & Beer Garden

EDGEHILL + HILLSBORO VILLAGE Amari Bella Napoli Pizzeria Bongo Java blvd Nashville Cabana Chago’s Cantina The Dog of Nashville Double Dogs Edgehill Café Fido Jackson’s Bar and Bistro Kay Bob’s Grill & Ale

Martin’s Bar-B-Que McDougal’s Chicken Old Glory Pancake Pantry Pizza Perfect Proper Bagel PM Savarino’s Cucina Sportsman’s Grill Taco Mamacita

GERMANTOWN +

MARATHON VILLAGE

5th & Taylor Butchertown Hall City House Cochon Butcher The Cupcake Collection Garden Brunch Café Geist Germantown Café Jacks Bar-B-Que Little Donkey Lulu The MaD PLaTTeR Monell’s Dining & Catering The Nashville Farmers Market Rolf & Daughters Silo Tempur Chocolate Shoppe

GREEN HILLS

Arnold’s Green Hills Copper Kettle Corner Pub Green Hills Crow’s Nest. Etc Firefly Grille Food Company Green Hills Grille Greenhouse Bar Joe’s Place Jonathan’s Grille Kalamata’s Noshville Delicatessen Shalimar Fine Indian Cuisine The Perch Table 3 Restaurant & Market

THE GULCH

The 404 Kitchen Adele’s Arnold’s Country Kitchen Biscuit Love Burger Republic Chauhan Ale & Masala House City Fire American Oven and Bar Flyte World Dining & Wine Kayne Prime Moto Cucina + Enoteca Otaku Ramen Party Fowl Peg Leg Porker Pour House The Pub Nashville

Prima Ru San’s Sushi and Seafood Saint Añejo Sambuca Virago Watermark Restaurant Whiskey Kitchen

MIDTOWN

Broadway Brewhouse Midtown The Catbird Seat Clyde’s on Church Corner Pub Midtown Hattie B’s Hot Chicken Harp & Fiddle: Nashville’s Irish Publ Le Sel The Patterson House Red Door Saloon The Row Kitchen & Pub The Slider House San Antonio Taco Company Soulshine Pizza Factory South Street Tavern Two Boots Pizza Union Common

SYLVAN PARK + NATIONS Caffé Nonna Coco’s Italian Market Fifty First Kitchen & Bar FLIP Burger Boutique Hattie B’s Hot Chicken The Local Taco McCabe Pub McDougal’s Chicken Miel Restaurant M.L. Rose Craft Beer & Burgers Neighbors Nonna’s Pizzeria and Wine Bar Park Café Porta Via Italian Kitchen Thistle Stop Café Wendell Smith’s

WEST END + ELLISTON PLACE Americano AVO 1808 Grille BrickTop’s Café Coco Chateau West The Corner Bar Elliston Place Soda Shop Gold Rush Goten Hog Heaven Jimmy Kelly’s Steakhouse Mason’s Midtown Café Rotier’s Suzy Wong’s House of Yum Ted’s Montana Grill Tin Angel Valentino’s Ristorante

An Initiative of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee

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12 SOUTH + MELROSE

Event details and ticketing available at

ds,

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JULY 1

Seth MacFarlane with the Nashville Symphony

An Initiative of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee

Schermerhorn Symphony Center July 1

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Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture: A Star Spangled Evening with the Nashville Symphony

The dynamic Seth MacFarlane joins the Nashville Symphony for one night only to sing classic big band tunes and standards from his three hit albums, including his latest GRAMMY®-nominated collection, No One Ever Tells You. Creator of Family Guy and Ted, MacFarlane has traveled the globe to sing with some of the world’s greatest orchestras An evening of all-American classics, along with some of your favorite patriotic tunes. It’ll go out with a bang — literally! — when the orchestra performs Tchaikovsky’s explosive 1812 Overture.

Schermerhorn Symphony Center July 3

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Music City July 4th Riverfront Park July 4

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Franklin on the Fourth Downtown Franklin

If there’s one thing Nashville knows how to do, it’s throw a party. The day is filled with entertainment and family fun followed by an evening of incredible fireworks dancing in the night sky to the rhythm of the Nashville Symphony. Celebrate July 4th in Downtown Franklin with activities for children, antique cars and trucks, craft and merchant vendors, food, and live music.

July 4

Duran Duran: The Paper Gods Tour with Chic featuring Nile Rogers

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Ascend Amphitheater July 6

In what is promising to be one of the most eagerly anticipated tours of 2016, multi-platinum superstars Duran Duran hit the road for an extensive North American tour, with a Nashville stop, in support of its criticallyacclaimed album Paper Gods.

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LeAnn Rimes with the Nashville Symphony Schermerhorn Symphony Center July 8

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Uncle Dave Macon Days Festival Cannonsburgh Village, Murfreesboro

Event details and ticketing available at

July 8–9

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American Sound and Beauty: Guitars from the Bachman-Gretsch Collection Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Closes July 10

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Route 66: A New Musical Review Chaffin’s Barn Dinner Theatre July 14–August 21

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Race Across the Spectrum: 5K for Autism Crockett Park July 16

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Full Moon Pickin’ Party

Warner Parks Equestrian Center July 22

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Phenomenal singer LeAnn Rimes joins the Nashville Symphony to perform some of her biggest hits — “How Do I Live,” “One Way Ticket (Because I Can),” “I Need You,” “Unchained Melody,” “Can’t Fight the Moonlight,” and “Blue,” the global smash that kicked off her career at age 11. Filled with activities for all ages, the music and dance competitions are the centerpiece of this weekend of 20th century Americana. From blacksmithing demonstrations to the Matilda Macon Craft Village, you’re sure to find yourself infatuated with the Uncle Dave lifestyle. The Bachman-Gretsch Collection of vintage Gretsch guitars will provide a visually stunning window into the evolution of the instrument, from the early 1930s to the early 1980s. This is the largest exhibition of stringed instruments ever mounted by the museum. Take a dollop of Grease, mix in some Pump Boys & Dinettes and add a generous dose of Forever Plaid, and you’ve got the high-octane fun of Route 66. Beginning with the sounds of 1950s Chicago and traveling along the Main Street of America to the California coast and the surf music of the 1960s, this exciting jukebox revue features 34 of the greatest “Rock ‘n’ Road” hits of the 20th century. Make a direct, lifelong impact on a young child and their family by joining us for our 7th annual Race Across the Spectrum: 5K for Autism in support of research-based early interventions for young children impacted by Autism in Middle Tennessee. These family friendly evenings feature Middle Tennessee’s finest bluegrass music under the lights of the full moon. Pickers form circles around the grounds, while several headliners are featured on stage.

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5 Seconds of Summer Bridgestone Arena July 23

On the heels of wrapping up its hugely successful “Rock Out With Your Socks Out Tour,” 5 Seconds of Summer return to North America, including a stop at Bridgestone Arena.

Ice Day at the Zoo

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Nashville Zoo at Grassmere July 23

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Journey with Dave Mason Ascend Amphitheater July 27

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Frist Fridays

Frist Center for the Visual Arts July 29

In 2007, Journey found a new vocalist in Arnel Pineda, a Filipino vocalist that it discovered after seeing him perform on YouTube. Fueled by the adult contemporary hit “After All These Years,” Revelation was a surprise hit that wound up going platinum. One of Nashville’s most popular summertime activities, Frist Fridays feature live entertainment, great art, and cash bars under the stars. Now in its twelfth year, this exciting series takes place on the final Friday of June, July and August from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Event details and ticketing available at

Take a break from the “dog days of summer” and chill out with the animals. This mid-summer event is ice-packed with fun activities, including popsicle treats for the animals, free ice cream samples, an ice cream eating contest, a water slide inflatable, and much, much more! Photo Credit: Aimee Stubbs

where to hear live music 3rd and Lindsley 12th & Porter 12 South Taproom & Grill ACME Feed & Seed Arrington Vineyards B.B. King’s Blues Club Barlines Bobby’s Idle Hour Tavern Bootleggers Inn Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar City Winery Commodore Grille Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum Douglas Corner Café Exit/In Foobar Frist Center for the Visual Arts

Full Moon Saloon Grand Ole Opry House Grimey’s New and Preloved Music Hard Rock Café Harp & Fiddle: Nashville’s Irish Pub Honky Tonk Central Layla’s Bluegrass Inn Legends Corner Losers Bar and Grill Marathon Music Works Margaritaville Nashville Nashville Crossroads Paradise Park Trailer Resort Party Fowl Pour House Nashville Puckett’s Grocery Rack Room / Blue Bar Rippy’s Smokin’ Bar & Grill Robert’s Western World

Rocketown Ryman Auditorium Sambuca Silver Dollar Saloon Soulshine Pizza Factory SOUTH Springwater Supper Club & Lounge Swingin’ Doors Saloon Tennessee Brew Works Tequila Cowboy Third Man Records The 5 Spot The Basement & The Basement East + Pub The Big Bang Dueling Piano Bar The Bluebird Café The Country The End

The Family Wash The Fontanel Mansion & Farm The Listening Room Cafe The Mercy Lounge, High Watt, and Cannery Ballroom The National Underground The Row Kitchen & Pub The Second Fiddle The Stage on Broadway The Station Inn The Stillery The Sutler Saloon The Wheel Tin Roof Demonbreun & Broadway Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge Two Old Hippies Whiskey Bent Saloon Wildhorse Saloon Winners Bar and Grill

www.nashvilleartsandentertainment.com

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An Initiative of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee

Discover Where to Hear Live Music with this helpful guide featuring Honky Tonks downtown on Broadway to the local hangouts in the various neighborhoods. Find even more listings with NowPlayingNashville.com’s Live Music Tonight Guide at NowPlayingNashville.com.

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Facebook.com/BeachesResortsParks

Need A Beach Vacation?

Available at major booksellers and grocery newsstands around the country, and in free virtual copy format at www.BeachesResortsParks.com


Visit NowPlayingNashville.com for Middle Tennessee’s most comprehensive event guide.

TheaTer Music Dance FaMily Fun More

Discount tickets and exclusive Giveaways are a click and tap away!

An Initiative of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee


AUGUST 5

1964 The Tribute

Schermerhorn Symphony Center

This one-of-a-kind concert experience re-creates an early-’60s performance by the Fab Four, with period instruments, clothing, hairstyles and onstage banter.

August 5 An Initiative of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee

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First Saturday Art Crawl Downtown Nashville August 6

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MAFIAoZA’s Music City Brewer’s Fest Walk of Fame Park August 6

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Music City Hot Wing Festival Downtown Nashville

Every first Saturday of the month, more than 1,000 people attend this very popular monthly event. Most galleries serve free wine and other refreshments. The gallery crawl is a great free night on the town! One of the biggest and best beer festivals in the country. Guests have the opportunity to sample some of the most respected brews from over 40 local, regional, national, and imported breweries. Downtown Nashville sizzles in the summer with the return of the Music City Hot Wing Festival to Lower Broadway and First Avenue.

August 6

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Twenty One Pilots

Twenty One Pilots is a musical duo formed in 2009 consisting of Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun. They put out two self-released albums, Twenty One Pilots in 2009 and Regional at Best in 2011, before being signed and releasing Fueled by Ramen in 2012.

Ascend Amphitheater August 7

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Tomato Arts Festival 5 Points, East Nashville August 12–13

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Dixie Chicks | DCX MMXVI World Tour Bridgestone Arena August 17

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Full Moon Pickin’ Party

Warner Parks Equestrian Center August 19

The Tomato Art Fest is an annual event centered around the beloved fruit/vegetable located in the hip neighborhood of East Nashville. Now in its 13th year, this free, costume-friendly festival is fun for the whole family. Since their first album, the music of the Dixie Chicks has stirred emotions in fans across the world, making them one of the biggest and most influential bands of our time. Not just “big for a country band” or “big for a big female band,” the Dixie Chicks are a multi-platinum selling act in North America, Europe and Australia. These family friendly evenings feature Middle Tennessee’s finest bluegrass music under the lights of the full moon. Pickers form circles around the grounds, while several headliners are featured on stage.

Wilson County Fair

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Lebanon, TN August 19

Event details and ticketing available at

Tennessee’s largest fair features six stages with nightly performances, rides and games, exhibits, delicious food, contests, and various fun events.

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Frist Fridays

Frist Center for the Visual Arts August 26

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Music City BBQ Festival Music Valley Drive August 26–27

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78th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration Shelbyville, TN

One of Nashville’s most popular summertime activities, Frist Fridays feature live entertainment, great art, and cash bars under the stars. Now in its 12th year, this exciting series takes place on the final Friday of June, July, and August from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Music City BBQ Festival is a celebration of food, music, friends, and family. This two day event will bring the best BBQ teams in the world and the hungriest BBQ fans together for a weekend of grilling glory! This premier event for the Tennessee Walking Horse crowns the breed’s World Grand Champion and takes place each year during the 11 days and nights prior to Labor Day.

August 25–September 3

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Nashville Flea Market The Fairgrounds Nashville August 26–28

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Dealers & vendors from 30 states offer their wares to the buying public. Eager shoppers travel hundreds of miles, often by the bus load, to peruse the bargains and hard-to-find items offered for sale.

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Creating art from a different perspective

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Preschool-12 / Christ-Centered Worldview

2014-15 Production of Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins, The Broadway Musical


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Nashville to Northwest Florida Music City Loves America’s Favorite Beach Playground By Will Estell

T

PHOTO BY JIM WRIGHT

he sand is as white as sugar, and the emerald-green waters are what you’d expect to find in a Caribbean paradise— instead of a simple half-day drive from the country music capital of the world. At first glance, the shores may look like they’ve been carefully photoshopped, but there’s no editing needed in this breathtaking masterpiece. Those

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PHOTO BY SHAUN SILVA

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NASHVILLE ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT


who’ve seen firsthand the beautiful beaches of Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast understand why country music’s elite love coming to the beach, and why so many Nashvillians are following suit. The beach towns and communities that dot the coastline from Destin through South Walton’s popular Scenic Highway 30A have become America’s newest beach playground. Once made up of simple fishing villages and summer cottages for the well-to-do of the Southeast, destinations like Destin, Seaside, Santa Rosa Beach, Rosemary, Alys, Blue Mountain and WaterColor have now caught the attention of vacationers and secondhome owners from all across the country. What was a little-known paradise is no longer a secret. In this case, however, everyone seems to be happy that the word is getting around. The trip from Nashville and its surrounding areas is only a seven-hour drive, but as you roll onto the Emerald Coast Parkway, you get the feeling you must be a world away. If you prefer to spread your wings and make a fast track to the sand and surf, about an hour by jet (or two hours in a smaller turboprop) will get you to any of the three airports that service the beaches of Okaloosa, Walton and Bay counties. Two of these offer daily commercial flights to and from Nashville, and one—located in the heart of Destin—accommodates the private-jet set.

Stars and Bars

Kenny Chesney

With this ease of access, coupled with the magnetic draw of Destin and the surrounding beach towns, many of Nashville’s best-known stars and music industry names migrate to these shores as often as their busy recording and touring schedules will allow. Bumping into a country music celebrity in Destin or along 30A isn’t much more uncommon than seeing one in Nashville. One of the area’s most frequent visitors is Kenny Chesney. Having sold over a million tickets on each of his past 11 tours, winning the CMA and ACM Entertainer of the Year award four times, and selling over 30 million albums, he has truly become a musical icon. He’s also as much of a free-spirited beach bum as Jimmy Buffett or Bob Marley ever claimed to be. When he wants to get lost in the sun and sand, some

of his favorite spots are the beautiful beaches of South Walton, located on the picturesque Scenic Highway 30A, running along the coastline between Destin and Panama City Beach. Chesney won’t say exactly where his favorite spots are. He jokes, “If I told you, then I wouldn’t be able to go to those places,” but he has multiple getaways. “People there pretty much leave me alone, and that’s the greatest thing,” Chesney says. “I put so much out there when I’m touring, when I unplug, the idea I can hang out and just be me . . . just like the fans are . . . that’s one of the best things in the world.” Another big fan of the beaches of South Walton is award-winning singer/songwriter Luke Bryan. A native of rural Leesburg, Ga., Bryan is a longtime visitor to the Northwest Florida Gulf Coast. His memories go all the way back to his own childhood vacations, followed by college days and spring break shenanigans in Panama City Beach. Nowadays, Bryan prefers the more laidback appeal of 30A (even if you haven’t been there, you’ve probably seen the recognizable blue-and-yellow circular 30A stickers). Along this little piece of paradise, you’ll find beach towns, eateries, bars, stores, galleries and ice cream shops dotting the 26 miles of sugarwhite shores. Bryan and his family recently built a house in one of these communities, and they try to spend as much time as his schedule will allow strolling the pristine beaches and the sidewalks of the nearby idyllic towns. Some of their favorite hangouts include Pickles Diner in Seaside, Acme Ice House in Seacrest Beach and the popular Red Bar on Grayton Beach. Bryan likes the Red Bar so much, he chose it as the location to shoot the music video for his No. 1 hit Roller Coaster.

Dream Team Amy Grant and Vince Gill are both multiplatinum artists who’ve racked up numerous awards, and over 30 million album sales each. The talented husband and wife also have an affinity for the beautiful emerald waters and golf courses of Northwest Florida. According to Grant, the two have been spending

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More Stars Upon the Water While Northwest Florida may have flown under many tourists’ radars until recently, the Destin/South Walton area’s proximity and casual style have made it a popular vacation draw for Nashville’s entertainment community for years. Several record label and songwriting events take place there annually, and the number of popular performers—veterans and newcomers—who now own homes there is growing. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill own a beach palace in one of Destin’s exclusive neighborhoods. The multi-award-winning, bestselling duo and their daughters spend a lot of their free time along this stretch of paradise, in the town once known as “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village.” The couple began coming to

JIM WRIGHT PHOTOS

their family vacations there for over two decades, with two condos in Miramar Beach, near Destin. “Vince bought one, and then I bought another,” Grant says. “I’ve told the kids several times over the years that we could move up to a newer and larger condo, or a beach house, but they always insisted that they wanted to keep the condos we have. We all just feel comfortable there.” As for the couple’s favorite things to do while in Destin, Grant says, “We don’t do much most days. We bring our bikes when we go, and we just ride almost everywhere we go and stay close to the condo.” She adds, “My idea of the perfect day at the beach is getting there by lunch and not getting back to the condo until dark. We eat out some, but mostly we’ll just cook at night. I bring my guitar, and Vince and the kids and I will just sit around, sing and spend time as a family.” As for favorite spots, Grant listed The Whale’s Tail, near Seascape Resort. “I love going in there for a daiquiri and just relaxing,” she says. “We’ve been going there so long that when we started, the kids were little and ordering virgin drinks—and now the older ones are old enough to order real ones.” She notes the family has also spent many summer days at Destin’s Big Kahuna’s water park. “The great thing about the beach or a water park,” she says, “is that everyone looks pretty much the same wet and with a hat on.”

Darius Rucker

Destin when they were rising artists and have continued throughout their long careers as Music City royalty. Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood are big fans of the beaches of South Walton and 30A. All three members of the band are frequently seen dining, shopping and just hanging out at the beach during long weekends and short breaks from their busy schedule. Lead singer Charles Kelley owns a beachfront home with his wife, Cassie Kelley, the founder and voice behind the well-known fashion/travel/decor blog Womanista.com. Zac Brown makes his home away from home along the Northwest Florida Gulf Coast. The Grammy Award–winning founder and lead singer of the Zac Brown Band is an avid outdoorsman who says he’s as comfortable with a fishing pole or bow in his hand as he is with a microphone. The Georgia-born Nashville transplant can often be seen relaxing at South Walton hot spots including the Great Southern Cafe and the Old Florida Fish House,

where he’s even been known to jump on stage for an impromptu song or two. Darius Rucker, the frontman of Hootie & The Blowfish and now country chart-topper, still makes his home in Charleston, S.C. “I don’t own a home in Nashville right now, but I should, as much time as I spend there,” he says. He released his first country album in 2009 and is currently touring on his fourth, Southern Style. But the beach is never too far from his mind. Between Nashville, Charleston and his busy performing schedule, Rucker still squeezes in some Florida time. “My oldest daughter goes to college in Tampa, so we spend quite a bit of time visiting her,” he says. “But I also love the Gulf Coast, and have spent time and vacationed in the Destin area.” Clearly, the beaches that dot the coastline of the Northwest Florida Gulf have a strong presence in the heart and soul of the Music City, for the famous and the not-so-famous alike. If you’ve been to these shores, you completely understand why. And if you haven’t yet made the quick jaunt, the beach is calling . . . are you coming?

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Profile for Performing Arts Magazines of Nashville

2015-2016 Nashville Arts & Entertainment Magazine  

"Ultimate Guide" to the best Nashville has to offer in arts & entertainment

2015-2016 Nashville Arts & Entertainment Magazine  

"Ultimate Guide" to the best Nashville has to offer in arts & entertainment