By Kat Kramer
I had a chance to attend “I Create Music ASCAP EXPO 2011” at The Renaissance Hotel in Hollywood last week. In its sixth year, it was presented by ASCAP and custom-designed by the world’s leading songwriters, composers, publishers, producers and industry experts with the sole purpose of giving those in music the knowledge, tools, guidance, connections and inspiration to master the craft, take control of their career and achieve their dreams. There were panels with talent, producers and songwriters, as well as performances in the hotel lobby. Some of the highlights out of the three day week-end included legendary producer Don Was, who has won Grammys and produced The Rolling Stones, Bonnie Raitt and the current Kurt Elling CD, and super producers Marcus Miller and Larry Klein, moderated by Don Was. They spoke all about the industry and producing artists, and it was most informative. All of them are veteran producers at the top of their game. The other standout panel was one between R&B legend Bernie Worrell interviewed by Will Calhoun of In Living Colour. They even jammed at the end. Some of the other special guests included Fergie, Sara Bareilles, Van Dyke Parks and Dr. Luke, to name a few. The night before, they honored Rod Stewart at the ASCAP Pop Awards. It was a worthwhile three days.
In other music news, songwriter/producer/musician David Foster will be honored as a BMI Icon at the 59th annual BMI Pop Music Awards on Tuesday, May 17. Foster is legendary, and has collaborated with Madonna, Barbra Streisand, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Earth, Wind & Fire and more than a dozen other artists. Under his own record label, 143 records, Foster produced the debut albums of Michael Buble and Josh Groban. According to BMI’s web site, “icons are selected because of their unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers.” The awards ceremony will include an “all-star musical tribute to Foster,” and the evening will also honor publishers and songwriters of the most performed pop songs in the United States in the past year. Foster has won 36 BMI Awards in the past 40 years. BMI President and CEO Del Bryant and General Manager, writer/Publisher Relations Barbara Cane will present the awards. It will be an evening to remember.