In a brief but lively press conference held Thursday in the Mayor’s Reception Room of City Hall, Councilman David Oh introduced the newly formed Philadelphia Music Industry Task Force, established to “consider the history of the music industry in Philadelphia, evaluate the current state of the music industry in Philadelphia, and develop a strategic plan for the re-establishment of Philadelphia as a center of the world music industry.”
Before introducing the members of the Philadelphia Music Industry Task Force, Oh, referring to Philadelphia’s rich cultural legacy, said, “Music is a wonderful, tremendous art. It is also a way for people to earn a living and pay the bills, and the more people in that, the better for our city, and for our school kids, the better for tourism.”
Comprised of accomplished musicians and vocalists, music composers, lyric writers, businesspersons, academicians, venues, industry producers, industry engineers and industry marketers, 10 of the organization’s 15 members were nominated by City Council, with the remaining five being appointed by Mayor Jim Kenney.
Members of the Task Force include: Kelly Lee (chief cultural officer, City of Philadelphia Office of Arts and Culture); Justin Nordell (executive director, Philadelphia Folk Song Society); Suzzette Ortiz (artistic director, Artistas y Musicos Latino Americanos); Jesse Lundy (vice president, Point Entertainment); Jeri Lynn Johnson (artistic director, Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra); Eric “Chill” Moody (rapper); Dr. Louis Anthony deLise (composer, producer); Carol Riddick (vocalist); Bernard Resnick (entertainment lawyer); J. Erik Sabo (professor, University of the Arts); Joanna Pang (owner, Trocadero Theatre); Carvin Haggins (two-time Grammy Award-winning producer); David Ivory (Grammy-nominated engineer); Stephanie Seiple (secretary, Philadelphia Chapter of the Recording Academy and co-founder of Tri-State Indie); and Jeff Duperon (radio personality, 90.1 WRTI). They enthusiastically greeted each other in anticipation of the Task Force’s first meeting, which immediately followed the press conference.
“I am so excited after working with Councilman Oh and his staff to finally get this off the ground,” said Kelly Lee, co-chair of the Philadelphia Music Industry Task Force. “We have our first meeting this afternoon, and I think I can speak on behalf of all my fellow Task Force members that we are eager to get started — we know we have a lot of work to do.”
Citing the Task Force’s mission to “showcase, promote, support and grow the music industry and music education in the City of Philadelphia,” Lee added, “We’re going to determine, together, what that looks like. We’re going to determine, together, what sort of resources we can all bring to the table and make that happen, and hopefully this is the first press conference of many, where we will be announcing some of the outcomes of our efforts.”
The press conference included performances by PHL Live Center Stage 2016 People’s Choice winner Kendal Conrad, Jazz winner Laurin Talese and country/folk finalist Ben O’Neill.