By Ricky Richardson, Contributing Writer

        (New Orleans, LA.)- The beauty of visiting New Orleans is discovering something new. This could be in the form of a club, bar, restaurant, exciting cuisine, or a new or established musician.

        For me, it was the NOLA Music Tech, which returned live, in-person at the George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center, Wednesday, April 27, 2022. The center is located at 1205 N. Rampart Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, 70116.

        This awesome event brought together an array of visionaries in the ever-growing music/business/technology ecosystem coupled with the best and brightest entrepreneurs, investors, musicians, journalists, developers, service providers and organizations who work with them at the convergence of culture and commerce.

        In a release statement, Melissa O’Brien, Executive Producer of NOLA Music Tech said “There’s no better place than the vibrant New Orleans scene to showcase what is happening at the intersection of music and tech. We hope to bring the energy and excitement that our predecessor at S.F. Music Tech, brought to northern California.”

        Organizers couldn’t have picked a more perfect venue to host the conference. The George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center is named after festival impresario and his wife who established the blueprint for music festivals. Newport Jazz Festival and New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival are two that come to mind.

        NOLA Music Tech was held to do business and discuss, in a proactive, conducive to deal making environment. the aim is to draw music and technology and jobs to New Orleans, to funnel money and opportunities to Louisiana musicians.

        The lobby of the George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center was buzzing with exciting energy as people gathered for the day long program of events.

        Chris Stelly, Louisiana Entertainment delivered opening remarks about how the State of Louisiana is committed to and invested in developments as a result of NOLA Music Tech.

        The program continued with morning keynote Panos A. Panay, The Recording Academy, Co-President and Chief Revenue Officer in a discussion with Alison Fensterstock.

        All of the sessions were engaging, educational as well as fascinating. All of the sessions were interconnected.

Brent Craige and Dawn (Photo by Ricky Richardson)

        Additional sessions consisted of Dawn (artist) in a Fireside Chat with Brent Craige, JAMM Around LLC, CEO; Investing in Music Tech; Across the Metaverse; Unveiling Vampr Academy; Spotlight on New Orleans Music Startups; Immersive Experiences; Livestreaming in 2022; Immersive Audio; Tik Tok Strategies; You Can Call Me Hal- How Will AI Automation Change Music & Music Tech Career; Fireside Chat: Darryl Ballentyne and Ted Cohen; Music Creation Tools; Artists as Business; Funding Your Projects as an Artist; Web3 Music Revolution; Licensing & Sync; Are NFT’s Here to Stay; Funding Your Career presented by Sound Royalties; Amazing Radio- Forget the Algorithm; Demo-Licious; Case Study: How New Orleans Clubs Forged a Path Through the Pandemic.

Diego Pinzon, Brent Craige, Dr. Lana Joseph-Ford and Reid Wick (Photo by Ricky Richardson)

        Please share this information with your network, who you think would benefit from the above-mentioned information.

        Please visit NOLA Music Tech to connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. You will be glad you did, and it will be time well spent. 

        The George and Joyce Jazz & Heritage Center is the headquarters of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc., the non-profit owner of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival- “Jazz Fest”- with a mission to sow the seeds of New Orleans’ unique culture for generations to come.

        Since its inception in 1970 ” Jazz Fest” has grown into an event that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to New Orleans and pumps $350 million a year into the local economy. It is often said that the first Jazz Fest there were more performers onstage than people in the audience. The 51st annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival re-emerged from a hiatus and was held Friday, April 28th-Sunday, May 1st, and Thursday, May 5th-Sunday, May 8th. The founders were correct when it stated that Jazz Fest would one day grow into a major success. That day has been realized for the last 51 years, not counting the hiatus during the pandemic. Everyone wanted to make sure that the festival’s proceeds would be redistributed into the local community.

        “The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc, promotes, preserves, perpetuates and encourages the music, culture, and heritage of communities in Louisiana through festivals, programs and other cultural, educational, civic and economic activities.

        NOLA Music Tech teamed up with the Young Leadership Council for an After Party and Crawfish Boil during the Wednesday at the Square. The Young Leadership Council (YLC) of New Orleans produce the popular Wednesdays at the Square, presented by AOs Interior Environments. The series returned, like all events, after a two-year hiatus, due to the pandemic.

        Wednesdays at the Square celebrates a milestone in 2022. This year marks the 15th Anniversary of Wednesdays at the Square, which is a 10-week, free concert series in the heart of the Central Business District- Lafayette Square.

Tab Benoit (Photo by Ricky Richardson)

        The event draws crowds from the downtown New Orleans (business/office workers), locals and tourists every Wednesday from 5:00pm-8:00pm. The New Orleans Johnny’s and Tab Benoit closed out the month of April with some blues, R&B, soul, pop and funk in their respective timeslot.

        Attendees enjoyed a popular New Orleans tradition, Crawfish Boil. Local residents of New Orleans welcome the arrival of Spring. This is also the beginning of Crawfish season, time to indulge oneself in the mudbug, Louisiana’s official crustacean. There was literally a boatload of crawfish, potatoes, corn and sausage or boudin for the VIPs to enjoy.