ASCAP offers virtual performances through its Music Cafe during the Sundance Film Festival
For the past 24 years, ASCAP, the world’s largest music copyright protector, has partnered with the Sundance Institute to bring the ASCAP Music Cafe to the Sundance Film Festival.
And Loretta Munoz, ASCAP’s assistant vice president of membership, is thrilled the showcase is returning despite the coronavirus pandemic — it will be held as a virtual event alongside the festival for the second year in a row.
“We are just so happy and excited to connect with music and movie lovers and introduce them to the music of our amazing ASCAP members,” Munoz said. “The power of music is so strong, and to be able to bring the Music Cafe to the current form that it is now, which is needed, is great.”
This year’s lineup includes six-time Grammy nominee Brandy Clark; singer-songwriter and co-founder of punk band LA X, John Doe; R&B singer-songwriter Jordan Hawkins; singer-songwriter and actress Hayley Sales; Zimbabwean-American singer-songwriter and record producer Shungudzo; and Evan + Zane, a duo consisting of award-winning actor and singer Evan Rachel Wood and Grammy-nominated guitarist/singer-songwriter Zane Carney.
“We are happy to announce that John Doe is returning this year,” said Munoz. “He performed in person at the Music Cafe a while ago, and I’m a huge fan of X, and John along with his other bands and incarnations. He’s brilliant as John the author and John the songwriter and performer.
Munoz is also looking forward to introducing Clark.
“The stories she tells with her voice and her collaborations grab your heart and hold it tenderly,” she said.
The Music Cafe will also feature new artists such as Hawkins and Shungudzo, according to Munoz.
“Jordan is a handsome, up-and-coming R&B songwriter, and Shungudzo is a singer-songwriter and record producer,” she said. “She already has a long line of success, so having her first performance at the Music Cafe is super exciting.”
Zane Carney is known for his work in the Carney band, which includes his brother Reeve and sister Paris, Munoz said.
“I’ve known Zane for a while, and he’s a brilliant musician and guitarist,” she said. “So having him team up with actor and activist Evan Rachel Wood is pretty magical. I can’t wait to see them play together.
Munoz knows the power of music.
“It releases old memories and creates new memories, and according to an overused quote, music becomes the soundtrack to our lives,” she said. “For us to be able to do this virtually, that’s wonderful.”
In addition to the performances, the virtual cafe ASCAP Music Cafe will feature a program called ASCAP Screen Time, its film and television crew’s interview series that touches on the craft and business of writing music for soundtracks. and sheet music, Munoz said.
This year’s entrants will include “Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power” composer Sharon Farber and film director Nina Menkes; Saul Williams, co-director/composer/screenwriter of “Neptune Frost” and Anisia Uzeyman, co-director; “Call Jane” composer Isabella “The Machine” Summers and film director Phyllis Nagy; the composers of “Cha Cha Real Smooth” Este Haim, of the band Haim; and Christopher Stracey.
Writing music for film and collaborating with filmmakers has been something ASCAP has been able to pursue, given the virtual platform, Munoz said.
“Over the years we’ve tried to schedule composers to perform at the Music Cafe, and that lends itself to a certain type of performance that wasn’t the best way to showcase those composers,” she said. . “So Screen Time will allow people to sit down with these composers who will share their experiences. To be able to put these composers and filmmakers on a platform in front of festival-goers is magical and enlightening, as there are so many ideas these artists can show for how music drives a film forward.
The move from the in-person Music Cafe to a virtual format first happened last year, and since then ASCAP has used the platform to host other music presentations, Munoz said.
“We’ve been hosting these events since the pandemic began, and the ASCAP team is at a high level to be able to navigate the virtual platform in a fairly seamless process,” she said.
Munoz also thanks the Sundance Film Festival team for ensuring that last year’s online Music Cafe went off without a hitch.
“If there was anything that needed to be changed on the Sundance side, they were right, so combining Sundance with ASCAP in our second year is something we look forward to,” he said. she declared. “Getting from a semi-in-person event to a fully virtual event in days is such a big task. We will therefore be on the front line with them on Thursday when the festival opens.
Yet Munoz can’t wait until ASCAP can create an in-person, “on-the-ground” Music Cafe in the future.
“I miss working with the sound teams and our colleagues at Sundance,” she said. “I miss the magic of the shared greenroom, where many artist collaborations emerge. So we’ll do everything we can to improve our digital experience, and we hope people enjoy it. »