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The $25K phone call, Whippoorwill Arts Festival, Duke Performances and Rolling Stone–a smokin’ hot August for Kamara Thomas!

Duke Performances presented Kamara Thomas (represented exclusively by Sonic Pie Productions) as a part of Music in Your Gardens, a free eight-week online concert series showcasing nationally renowned artists who call Durham and the surrounding area home. The series brilliantly shifted Duke Performances’ longtime summer series, Music in the Gardens, normally held outdoors at Sarah P. Duke Gardens on Duke’s campus, to an online format in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Filmed by: Saleem Reshamwala, John Laww, and Ismail Abdelkhalek. Audio recording and mixing: Ryan Pickett Audio technician: Christopher Scully-Thurston Production: Suzanne Despres and Sibyl Kemp

The $25K Call From California

Imagine getting to pick up the phone and share THIS news with your artist, like SPP CEO Tess Mangum did a few weeks ago…”An out-of-the-blue phone call that quickly leads to a $25,000 grant for a little-known musician sounds too good to be true. North Carolina singer-songwriter #KamaraThomas wasn’t sure at first if it was a prank, but her scheduled appearance at the Whippoorwill Arts Festival of Americana Music this weekend is proof that the Bay Area organization is an all-too-rare bright spot for Americana performers contending with shuttered venues and a dearth of gigs”
San Francisco Chronicle

If it weren’t for Covid-19, Kamara would be in California right now, for the festival, along with Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Brittany Haas, banjo-forward songwriter Snap Jackson and more. “Go” to the festival via YouTube or Facebook livestream or check out the schedule of workshops.

Black Equity in Americana: A Conversation

If you missed Black Equity in Americana: A Conversation, sponsored by the Americana Music Association featuring panelists Marcus K. Dowling (moderator), Adia VictoriaRev. SekouLilli Lewis

Kamara Thomas Music, and Jason Galaz of Muddy Roots Music Festival watch the Zoom. Or, read the review in Rolling Stone Magazine. Microaggressions, stereotypes and judgement calls, at best, are a frustrating distraction from the real art and business of expressing yourself. At worst, they costs artists millions of dollars in lost wages and can make you want to quit the biz altogether.

The story behind the name Sonic Pie Productions

With a name like Sonic Pie Productions, you might hope to find a bakery, rather than a sound production company, but there is a pie connection. Choosing a name when incorporating a business is harder than it seems. It’s got to somehow represent a worldview, mission and purpose. It should be easy to remember, timeless–and you must research beforehand that it’s not already in use. The last thing you want, three years into your branding and brand awareness is a cease and desist letter. So, here’s our story behind the name Sonic Pie Productions.

Sonic alludes to the importance of one of our five sense: sound.

Productions: we curate and produce concerts and events.

But why Pie? The way we figure, anything inside flaky dough is good. Peach pie, Jamaican beef patties, samosas, empanadas…they’re all good. When you go with Sonic Pie Productions, your pie might have some jazz in it–some soul–or rock and roll. Maybe you need help producing a street fair, vintage motorcycle rally or literary event. Your pie is going to be great!

Pictured above is a pie Sonic Pie Productions CEO Tess Mangum made today, in her beloved grandmother Kate’s 50(?) year old pie and biscuit pan. If the house was burning down, she’d grab the kids, the dog and this pan.