A Musical Renaissance in the Birthplace of Jazz

Creating a true music economy in the birthplace of jazz

Ask anybody what they know about New Orleans and chances are good that their answer will involve music.

The Crescent City is the birthplace of jazz, a place where culture is synonymous with nightlife, live performances and festivals. But for how significant music is to the heart of the city, the music industry itself has yet to realize its full potential in generating opportunities and revenue for the local economy.

GNO, Inc. is working to change that tune with the New Orleans Music Economy (NOME) project — a $150,000 study that identifies the gaps that exist in the local music industry. Once they assess these gaps, they’ll follow up with concrete solutions to create a thriving music economy in the area.

“Everyone knows that New Orleans has an active gig or live performance economy with festivals, music venues, and other regular performances. The other legs to the stool are artist management and publishing, where we do not hold an active presence,” says Tara Hernandez, the former GNO, Inc. Chair who spearheaded the NOME effort.

Central to establishing a presence in the management and publishing arena, Hernandez says, is intellectual property (IP), a registration which “provides the artists monetization of their creative content and creates rights, business and revenue opportunities.”

In fact, many locally born and internationally renowned artists, like Trombone Shorty and The Revivalists, are currently managed and represented by out-of-state firms and agencies. That means there’s a lot of money that isn’t being spent here in Greater New Orleans.

“We have local, Grammy-winning artists whose artist [management], booking and business management — as well as songwriters — are located outside of the city, and therefore revenue created by local talent is directed outside of the city,” Hernandez says. “That’s where we would like to redirect dollars to be realized in our community and state.”

To that end, the NOME steering committee at GNO, Inc. selected music business consulting firm Sound Diplomacy to help them transform their vision for the music industry into a reality. Sound Diplomacy has been working diligently to complete their review and submit recommendations to GNO, Inc. early this year so that implementation can begin.

The goal is to create a music business environment where the entire ecosystem can thrive, and where multiple revenue opportunities are available to local artists and businesses. Not only would this incentivize home-grown artists to stay in the city, but it would also help to attract new talent and music industry professionals who could transform the Greater New Orleans area into a hub for creation and collaboration.


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