October 29, 2008

Seattle Teaching the World to Sing


WHERE: The Paramount Theatre

WHEN: Today - Wednesday, October 29, 2008

PRESS CONFERENCE: 4:45 p.m., promptly

COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: 5:15 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

When Perry Como sang about the bluest skies you ever seen being in Seattle - little did he realize that the sun would be shining on a $2.2 billion industry employing over 20,000 people in Seattle and King County.

At an event free and open to the public today at Seattle's Paramount Theatre, Mayor Greg Nickels and the Seattle music community will celebrate and honor Seattle's rich musical history and its ongoing importance in Seattle's economy and culture.

"Seattle has long enjoyed a reputation as a distinctive city that embraces the inspiration and innovation of its music scene," says Mayor Nickels. "Music of all genres, whether classical or hip hop, rock or jazz, thrives in our city. We don't just make or listen to music, we live it."

The event will include the release of a new economic impact study on music and Seattle and the announcement of the formation of a formal city commission dedicated solely to music. In addition, the Mayor will outline a 12-year strategy encompassing the city's commitment to build upon and provide resources to make Seattle the country's most attractive city for music business, musicians and live music.

"The economic impact study reveals once again that music is more than just entertainment, it is a vital part of Seattle's economy and cultural identity. The study creates a benchmark for Seattle to grow," says Ben London, local musician and Director of the Recording Academy Pacific Northwest Chapter. "The City of Music effort is an exceptional way to celebrate our success and leverage it to create a music community and industry for the future."

Mayor Nickels will hold a press conference today at 4:45 p.m. on the stage at the Paramount Theatre. A public celebration will kick off at 5:15 p.m. and will include representatives of music business, musicians and live music speaking about the city's unveiling of SEATTLE CITY OF MUSIC(TM).

"This is a proud day for the city and those businesses, musicians and live music venues which make Seattle their home," says Mayor Nickels. "Music is a part of Seattle's identity - it gives our city soul."

The celebration will also include guest performances featuring Vince Mira, New Faces and Blue Scholars - with a special tribute to music education featuring the Garfield High School Dance Team's tribute to Quincy Jones, the nationally-renowned Eckstein Middle School Jazz Band, Garfield High School Jazz Quintet and the Seattle All-City Marching Band.

"Seattle has always been a great place to make music," says James Keblas, Director of the Mayor's Office of Film + Music. "SEATTLE CITY OF MUSIC(TM) is going to make it a great place to make a living making music."

NOTE: Executive summaries of the Seattle Music Economic Impact Study 2008 and SEATTLE CITY OF MUSIC(TM) - A Vision for the Future of Music In Seattle are available by contacting Mark Dyce for the Mayor's Office of Film + Music at (206) 669-2530 or e-mail at [email protected]