The Madison Made Music Project has selected the 15 local musicians and groups whose songs will be featured on its homelessness benefit compilation album to be released in September. The artists -- many among the city's best-known acts in rock, hip-hop, jazz, reggae and folk -- represent one-tenth of the 151 local groups who originally submitted a song for inclusion in the project.
The lucky 15 are:
JAH Boogie's Natty Nation
Aniv De La Rev
The Randall Harrison Trio
The Selfish Gene
Lou and Peter Berryman
The Bar Code
Tony Castañeda Latin Jazz Sextet
"The selection process was really tough, because there was so much stuff submitted," says Jeff Burkhart, one of the project organizers and a member of the selection committee. "We did not have to discard anything, and I had to listen to each five or six times before I could say this was my top 15. It was a really tough decision for all of us to make."
One of the goals during the selection was to offer a broad representation of local music. "It was a pretty organic process, as we had a really great range that was submitted originally," says Burkhart, who advised committee members to simply select the songs they thought best without regard to genre. This approach worked, at least as seen in the final list of artists announced today. "What wound up happening was that we have a really good diversity of Madison music, and we're happy with that," he says.
All of the artists will perform at the Madison Made Music Project concert, to be held Thursday, Sept. 20. They will be playing at five downtown locations -- the Orpheum, Overture, Cafe Montmartre, Brocach and the King Club -- with three artists per venue. "We're going to try and find some patterns in the music, and identify the venue that's most appropriate for the artist," says Burkhart about the groupings for the concert, which haven't been selected yet. "We're hoping that people will want to go to all of the different venues," he notes.
Next month's show will also serve as a release party for the compilation CD featuring the 15 selected songs. Though the specific retail locations for purchasing the album have not been finalized yet, Burkhart explains that they should be available around Madison, as well as at the concert. All of the money raised both at the concert and through sales of the CD will be donated to Porchlight, Inc., an emergency shelter, food, and service provider for homeless persons in Dane County.
Burkhart and his co-organizers, meanwhile, would like to try it again next year. "We're going to make this an annual event because we had such an overwhelming response," he says. "I'd like to ask musicians who weren't selected or didn't submit to do so again next year. We're going to demonstrate that Madison has both a vibrant music scene and is supportive of organizations fighting homelessness in the city."