Les traductions pour les articles avant l’automne 2013 ne sont pas disponibles pour le moment.

Shawn Marino is new to music publishing but he’s no stranger to the Canadian music scene. The new Vice-President of Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) Canada, Marino has spent his career on the label side of the business: he started as an intern with Polygram Records, then secured an entry-level gig as a publicity assistant upon graduation from York University in 1994. He worked his way into A&R (Artists & Repertoire, the department which signs and develops artists) following the merger of Polygram Records with Universal Music in ’99.

It should come as no surprise then that A&R  is a cornerstone of Marino’s strategy as he takes the reins of UMPG Canada. “I’ve been working on a way to creatively integrate the two departments (A&R and publishing),” he says.

“There’s a lot of commonality in the two rosters and we want to make sure that both sides are nurtured. I took over officially in January 2011 and since then we’ve restructured the A&R department on the record side, with a goal to being more of a full-service company for our artists and writers. A&R and publishing are now in the same physical area, so when artists and writers come in everybody gets to know each other. If an A&R guy is working on a record and needs a song, he needs to know who our writers are.”

The integration theme continues on the synchronization (“synch”) licensing side for film and television, with a merging of master licensing (of the recording,  handled by Catherine Jones) and copyright licensing (of the song, handled by Diane Lametti). “We’re much more of a one-stop-shop now,” says Marino, “at least in instances where we control both the master and the publishing.

“We also want to be able to show potential signings that the Toronto office of UMPG is an integrated company with UMPG worldwide, and if they sign with us they have the full benefit of the entire group. We want to show them the advantages of our merged synch department and our tightness with the A&R side.”

Marino admits there’s been a slight learning curve when it comes to the nuances of music publishing, but he arrived better versed in copyright than many of his label cohorts. “I have the luxury of having been here for a long time and having known and worked with all the great people who have come and gone,” he says, citing John Redmond, Allan Reid, Linda Bush, J.P. Pineiro, Jodie Ferneyhough and Chris Corless as valuable resources from whom he learned.

Since assuming his new role, Marino has joined the boards of the Canadian Music Publishers Association (CMPA) and the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA). Not that he has any empty hours to fill  –  the current year includes new releases from UMPG Canada writer/artists Hedley, Stephan Moccio, Jann Arden and Sam Roberts, among others. “It’s going to be a busy one,” he predicts.


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Les traductions pour les articles avant l’automne 2013 ne sont pas disponibles pour le moment.

Last January, Rita Chiarelli received the prestigious Blues With A Feeling award at The Maple Blues Awards. Derek Andrews, President of The Toronto Blues Society (which bestows the awards), says Chiarelli “is a pillar of the Canadian blues community, inspiring many women to follow her and pushing the creative envelope.”

Such  lifetime achievement awards are often bestowed in an artist’s twilight years, but in her acceptance speech Chiarelli pledged, “I ain’t done yet.” This tireless Toronto blues-rock veteran is busier than ever, and 2011 is shaping up to be the best year of her career. Her most recent album, 2010’s Sweet Paradise, is still showing plenty of life, while she’s now making a real impact on the big screen.

          Music From The Big House, a documentary film conceived by Chiarelli, received a selected release in theatres across Canada in March, with the U.S. and Europe following. By that time, it had already earned critical acclaim from appearances in major U.S. film festivals, and will doubtless enhance Chiarelli’s international profile.

          Music From The Big House is a powerful film based around Chiarelli’s experiences in the notorious Louisiana State Penitentiary, commonly referred to as Angola – the largest maximum security prison in the U.S.. The prison’s population has included such notable musicians as Leadbelly, Pete Williams and Aaron Neville, and this rich musical history caught Chiarelli’s attention.

“I’d never heard of Angola before, but I went on something of a blues pilgrimage down Highway 61 about 10 years ago,” she recalls. “In my research I came across Angola, and powerful recordings of some of the women once there… Later, I saw a sign on Highway 61 saying ‘Angola, turn right,’ and that’s how it started.” Chiarelli took a tour of the facility, and told the warden she might want to do a concert there. “I couldn’t get it out of my mind,” she says. “After a couple of years, I went back down and asked to meet some of the musical inmates.”

She terms the result “an epiphany. I heard them perform, and I knew then that I should really do a concert with them.” Music from the Big House shows Chiarelli making music with the inmates in styles ranging from blues to country to soul and gospel. It also demonstrates the ability of music to transform the lives of people who’ve made terrible, tragic choices. Making the film has also transformed Chiarelli. “It has been the most outstanding experience to date in my life,” she says.

Chiarelli decided the concert should be filmed for posterity. Her choice to direct was longtime friend Bruce McDonald. Known as Canada’s premier rock ‘n’ roll moviemaker via such films as Highway 61, Roadkill and This Movie Is Broken. McDonald immediately jumped on board, and the clout of his name helped snare Oscar-nominated documentary producer Erin Faith-Young, of Cache Film and Television, and funding from the Bold and Documentary channels

Chiarelli and McDonald first met and collaborated back in 1989, as they were both launching their careers. McDonald heard Chiarelli’s independent single “Have You Seen My Shoes?” on the radio and instantly knew it had to be in his film Roadkill. He got in touch, used the song in the movie and ended up directing a video for it, boosting Chiarelli’s career.

Prior to Roadkill, the Hamilton-born-and-raised Chiarelli had received some attention fronting R&B band Battleaxe and as a member of Ronnie Hawkins’ band. She’s always been known for the lusty, paint-stripping power of her voice and her high-energy performances, but has gone on to gain real respect as a songwriter. For instance, her album Sweet Paradise is comprised solely of Chiarelli originals.

“Songwriting has come rather late in my career, and I’ve really worked on it,” she explains. “Singing was natural. I loved being a vocalist, and I was happy for a long time doing other people’s material… Then I really started getting the itch to write.” Chiarelli digs deep in her soul-searching material. ” It’s almost like you have to be courageous enough to expose yourself,” she says. “I’ve found the more you open up in telling how it is for you, the better it’s accepted.”

After releasing acclaimed and often Juno-nominated albums with various record companies, Chiarelli now records for her own label, Mad Iris. Recent work has showcased her artistic adventurousness. She turned heads and won a new world-music audience with her 2006 album, Cuore; The Italian Sessions. A record comprising traditional Italian material sung in dialect, it won her the 2007 Canadian Folk Music Award for Best Solo World Music Act. Equally ambitious was 2008’s Uptown Goes Downtown Tonight… Rita Chiarelli with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, featuring earlier material rearranged for the symphony.

Chiarelli is already considering her next studio album. “I have this itch to do something I haven’t done in a long time, a really wailing blues record,” she says.

Rita Chiarelli certainly ain’t done yet!

 


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Les traductions pour les articles avant l’automne 2013 ne sont pas disponibles pour le moment.

While Mark Jowett doesn’t downplay Nettwerk One Music’s longevity or the significance of its 25th anniversary in 2009, he doesn’t play it up either. Instead, he prefers to focus on the underlying reasons for the company’s continued success, noting that every and every partnership it’s entered into represents a fresh opportunity to grow its writers’ long-term careers.

For Jowett, a co-founder of Nettwerk Music Group and now Vice-President of International A&R/Publishing for Nettwerk One Music, that mandate was of particular importance at the time of the company’s inception in 1984. “I was the guitar player for Moev, and Terry McBride was our manager,” he says. “We were signed to a San Francisco label, Go Records, that went bankrupt, and we had to figure out a different way of putting out the Moev record. Within months, we discovered Skinny Puppy and Grapes of Wrath. They didn’t have a record label, so we took out a small bank loan and formed Nettwerk to release their records as well.” Although Nettwerk’s publishing arm came into existence around the same time, the current name, Nettwerk One, wasn’t formalized until the early 2000s.

          From the beginning, the company’s roster was eclectic, a comfortable home for artists writing in dramatically different styles, ranging from Skinny Puppy to Sarah McLachlan. While Nettwerk One has grown substantially over time, it’s done so with an eye towards maintaining that diversity, signing such stylistically varied writers as Greig Nori, Great Lake Swimmers, Matt and Kim, Sinead O’Connor, Natalie Merchant and Chromeo.

Diversity is integral to the approach Nettwerk One  takes to expanding the reach of those artists and their songs  –  prompting the creation of a dedicated film and TV licensing team and joint ventures signed with partners as disparate as video game publisher/developer Electronic Arts, in 2007, and Nashville’s Revelry Music Group, in March 2011. “Nashville is extremely important in publishing, but, honestly, I don’t have a Nashville background,” says Jowett, “and neither does Blair McDonald [Co-Managing Director of Nettwerk One], so we’ve reached out and formed alliances with people who are deeply respected there and know that world very well.”

 

Twenty-seven years on, Nettwerk One remains true to its roots. “Whenever we signed acts we’d try to sign them simultaneously to publishing and the label. Ironically, it’s a bit like the 360 model, so I guess we’re two or three decades ahead of our time,” Jowett says, laughing. “But having the publishing rights allowed us to work with sub-publishers who could help find agents, give us advice about what labels to work with, and even help promote acts in other territories. That was a tremendous asset to us and our acts.

“Very importantly, we also try not to sign too much. Volume is important in growing your catalogue, but if you don’t have the infrastructure to support it, things get lost. So while we’re growing, we’re trying to ensure that growth is moderate, so we can maximize every opportunity for our writers.”


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