Musicians and vendors aren't the only people working at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. For the past five years, the Jazz & Heritage Foundation has hosted a music business conference focusing on issues including getting music licensed in film and TV and other new media opportunities. One of this year's featured speakers is Tim Westergren, founder of the online music service Pandora. The conference also is expanding to include film screenings in the Sync Up Cinema portion.
Sync Up Cinema features two days of screenings. Monday, April 30, is devoted to Mardi Gras Indian films, including Aaron Walker's 2011 documentary Bury the Hatchet. Tuesday, May 1 offers a diverse array of movies, including the Oscar-winning animated short film The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by Louisiana filmmakers William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg. There also is a screening of excerpts from Beasts of the Southern Wild, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and was scooped up by Fox Searchlight. Also on the bill is rock photographer Danny Clinch's documentary Live from Preservation Hall: A Louisiana Fairytale about the collaboration between My Morning Jacket and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Screenings are free.
The business conference takes place on Friday and Saturday of each weekend at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Topics include how marketers find songs to put in ads, the merits of artists giving away free music, advice from tour booking agents, and issues in electronic distribution and reaching new audiences. Speakers include Mack Maine, president of Lil Wayne's imprint label for Universal/Motown, Daniel Glass of the indie label Glassnote Records (Mumford & Sons, GIVERS), booking agency heads Ted Kurland and Tom Windlish, and others. Participation is free, but space is limited, and advanced registration is required. For further information or to register online, visit www.jazzandheritage.org.