Front Porch


Music historian and entertainment industry consultant Ted Gioia presents  keynote with panel of distinguished Austin leaders including Mayor Steve Adler addressing the state of Austin’s music scene.

(AUSTIN, TEXAS – Sept. 9, 2016) – The Front Porch is proud to present “The Crisis of Music in Austin with Ted Gioia” as the latest installation of its “Unplugged on the Front Porch” music series. Gioia will address the current state of Austin’s music industry on Thursday, Sept. 15 from 7 to 9 p.m. with a reception following at All Saints’ Episcopal Church located at 209 W. 27th St., Austin, Texas 78705. Doors are at 6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Working musicians and other industry professionals are especially encouraged to attend. To RSVP, please see here.

The evening will kick off with a keynote presentation by noted author and music historian Ted Gioia, who is sponsored in part by the “Soul of a Musician Series” and the Cole Noppenberg family. Gioia is followed by a panel of important figures in the music industry moderated by NPR’s John Burnett, who will lead the conversation exploring the status of musicians and music-making in Austin. Panelists will include: Austin Mayor Steve Adler, Jennifer Houlihan (Executive Director, Austin Music People), Will Bridges (Venue/Studio Operator), Harold McMillan (Founder/Director of DiverseArts Culture Works & Kenny Dorham’s Backyard), John Mills (Professor of Jazz Studies, University of Texas @ Austin), Nicole Bogatz (Secretary/Treasurer, American Federation of Musicians & Austin Local 433) and Eve Monsees (Co-owner of Antone’s Records).

KUT’s Views and Brews will record and podcast the event and BookPeople, Austin’s independent bookseller, will host a book signing reception with Mr. Gioia afterwards, with a portion of proceeds being donated to the Health Alliance of Austin Musicians (HAAM). Austin arts and music advocate Letsbevy sponsors The Philip Marshall Trio, who will perform during the book signing. Other event sponsors include Ruby’s BBQ and Salvation Pizza.

“Austin won’t be the ‘Live Music Capital of the World’ for much longer if we keep losing musicians and music venues, and the struggles that the local music industry is facing are also being faced by the entire creative ecosystem,” says Mayor Steve Adler.

“We’re trying to deepen the talk about saving Austin’s soul through its music. What we add to this conversation is the voice of nationally acclaimed music historian Ted Gioia, who offers a unique global perspective to help us better understand our local crisis,” said Stephen W. Kinney, Ph.D., Executive Director of The Front Porch. “The keynote and panel response seek to further the dialogue between influential stakeholders of the musical community and will provide a wider frame for addressing the issues and questions raised in Mayor Adler’s Austin Music & Creative Ecosystem Omnibus Resolution.”

“The evening will be devoted to addressing the practical concerns of working musicians in the ever-changing musical, cultural, technological and economic landscapes by providing a wider perspective on the local situation in order to ask the right questions,” said Kinney.

The Front Porch is a nonprofit “public house”a contemporary “pub church” – that creates opportunities for people of all faiths to connect through dialogue, art and music in a world often divided by religion, politics and culture. Each month, the organization hosts multiple gatherings at different venues across Austin. The Front Porch gathers most Sunday afternoons at Scholz Garten from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and is open to all.

“Pub Church is about eating and drinking together in a public space, while sharing an experience of connection through conversation and music,” said Kinney. “At The Front Porch, church happens when people get open-hearted and connected to others. How fine it is when compassionate community meets practical spirituality!”

The theme for fall 2016 is “compassion.” Drawing from Karen Armstrong’s book, “Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life,” the Front Porch invites public servants, academics, reporters, artists, priests and others to spark each conversation with Front Porch director, Dr. Kinney, before passing a roving microphone around to participating members of the congregation. Live, locally grown music pulls the events together.

 Some upcoming Front Porch events include:

Sunday, Sept. 11: “Introduction to a Compassionate Life” with NPR’s John Burnett, National Security Expert William Inboden, and musician BettySoo (John and William discuss 9/11 15 years later in the context of compassion. BettySoo has one of the most classic yet innovative voices in all of Texas country—especially our scene here in Austin.)

Sunday, Sept. 18: “Learn About Compassion” with Dr. Stephen Kinney, Front Porch Director, and musician Raina Rose (Kinney – PhD in Educational Psychology and Episcopal Priest; Rose is a Portlander whose sound blends echoes of Greenwich Village in with the introspection of the modern indie-folk movement.)

Sunday, Sept. 25: “Look at Your Own World” with Pittman McGehee, Sr. and musician Curtis McMurtry (McGehee is a poet, priest, Jungian analyst and counselor. McMurtry is the 25-year-old multi-instrumentalist son of James McMurtry who just got back from Nashville to establish himself as a contender on the Austin scene.)

Sunday, Oct. 2: “Compassion for Self” with Dr. Stephen Kinney, a surprise guest speaker and musician, Nathan Hamilton (Hamilton won the Kerrville New Folk award in 2000, and stands over twenty years experienced as a touring musician and music educator.)

Sunday, Oct. 16:  “Empathy” with NPR’s John Burnett, Lynn Goodman-Strauss, musician Greg Vanderpool (Goodman-Strauss founded the Mary House Catholic Worker of Austin, which has provided thousands of very sick, homeless adults with medically supportive housing since opening in 1991. Greg Vanderpool is a true Austin troubadour – a singer-songwriter of sophistication.)

Sunday, Oct. 23: “Mindfulness” with Dr. Pittman McGehee, Jr. and musician Wendy Colonna

(Dr. McGehee is a licensed psychologist who was a founding faculty member at St. Andrew’s, studied under Kristen Neff at UT, and specializes in educating folks about “mindful self-compassion” (MSC). Wendy Colonna is the Austin blues-folk mystic to watch right now.)

Sunday, Oct. 30: “Action and Personal Responsibility” with Chris Searles and musician Curtis McMurtry (Chris Searles is an Austin creative who founded Biointegrity, a “third-party fundraiser promoting the best projects in global wildlife conservation.” Curtis McMurtry is the 25-year-old multi-instrumentalist son of James McMurtry who just got back from Nashville to establish himself as a contender on the Austin music scene.)

Sunday, Nov. 6: “How Little We Know/ Reverence” with NPR’s John Burnett, Bestselling Author Corban Addison, and musician Raina Rose (John Burnett is NPR’s southwest correspondent. Corban Addison is a three-time bestselling author whose novels focus on tough themes like modern-day slavery and gender-based violence. Rose is a Portlander whose sound blends echoes of Greenwich Village in with the introspection of the modern indie-folk movement.)

Please see for more details.

About Ted Gioia:

Ted Gioia is a jazz pianist, author of ten books, and expert on the entertainment industry. His books have been translated into eight languages, and two have been honored on the New York

Times list of the 100 best books of the year. Gioia has also written for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal and many other leading periodicals. He is currently a columnist for The Daily Beast, which reaches 20 million website visitors per month. Gioia has also been active as a performer, and his recordings as a pianist and composer have received airplay on more than 500 radio stations.

Over the last several decades, Gioia has undertaken on-the-ground projects in 25 countries on five continents and has consulted to Fortune 500 companies as a professional with McKinsey and the Boston Consulting Group. He has negotiated more than 30 merger and acquisition deals, run a $200 million business unit and helped SOLA International do a successful IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. He has also worked as record producer, music educator, frequent public speaker and founding editor of the website Gioia holds degrees from Oxford University and Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, and previously served on the faculty of Stanford University.


Media are invited to attend the event. To RSVP for the Sept. 15 evening or for general press inquiries, please contact the team at Juice Consulting:

Heather Wagner Reed                                Amber LaFrance

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