Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Matt Smith: elected to Folk Alliance International Board

Matt Smith is part of the lifeblood of the folk community in town. Those who know Matt, love Matt and those who don't know Matt personally, but benefit from what Matt does, also love Matt. I am a believer that every so often good things do happen to good people and it is with great pride and joy that I am able to say Matt has been elected to serve on the board of directors at Folk Alliance International. A huge (and well deserved) honor for the 18 year veteran of the community. I mean, the man books over 400 events a year...and all of it is top notch entertainment. I am proud to call Matt not just a booking agent or the guy who occasionally allows me to grace the stage at Passim, but also a friend. He is one of the most generous and caring folks (I mean he gave a skinny kid in a suit jacket with a mandolin a chance to play at one of the most notable listening rooms in history...he's a good dude) I have had the pleasure of meeting in the folk music community in town and many others feel the same. Rather than get into the nitty gritty and the details, I thought it was best to let that community do the talking for me...

“Matt has become one of most watched and respected people in the business. He has earned a reputation for identifying great new talent and also for providing opportunities for these acts to develop,” said Dan Hogan, Executive Director of Passim.  “Matt keeps us relevant to the music community both locally and nationally and will be a great addition to the Folk Alliance Board. "

"Matt Smith is the beating heart of a room where music flourishes night after night. He goes about the superhero task of enriching a community with understated wit and charm. Plus he can bowl candlestick with passing competence and occasional panache." - Peter Mulvey ,  musician

"Matt Smith is the kind of person you meet and are immediately put at ease, because he is professional, organized, and weirder/funnier than you are. In the landscape he lives in, this is vital to the running of a world renowned venue that does 380 (?) shows a year. The addition of Matt to the board of the folk alliance is like watching Larry Bird on the Real World 28: The Strange Hat House." - Jake Hill , musician

"I would say Matt is at the absolute center of what makes this a great music town, not just for folk and roots, but for all kinds of music. Besides being an all around great guy, first and foremost he is a music fan, always aware of new talent while staying in touch with the many people he has helped launch into full fledged music careers. Through the carefully chosen Campfire series he has given unknown acts a shot at wider exposure and the percentage of those who have gone on to bigger things is remarkable, including the now ever present Lake Street Dive. The thing that says the most to me about Matt though is that on any given night he is not working the board at Passim he is just as likely to be in the audience at Toad or the Lizard Lounge just because he likes music so much. Amazing." - Dinty Child , musician

Proof of Dinty's statement:


"In my mind, Matt Smith's passion and dedication to live music qualify him as an honorary musician."- Laurence Scudder , musician

"Matt Smith. He is a tireless optimist when it comes to new music, young music, and somehow still keeps the whole scene grounded. His campfire festival, seasonal local festival stages, commitment to folk music education, and his always-mindful bill-pairings are a big part of why the Boston scene keeps connecting its alumni writers to the fresh writing and performing constantly rising up out of the Boston music academe. What a practical, sleepless visionary we have in him! I can't wait to see what he will bring to Folk Alliance!" - Rose Polenzani , musician

"Matt's years of work here have made Passim what it is today. He definitely carries on the Passim legacy for presenting great folk music, but he's a huge driving force for developing new music of all genres. Just look at Lake Street Dive, the Milk Carton Kids, or Josh Ritter, who all played here early on in their careers. Passim is an amazing place for artists to develop and Matt's devotion to new music is the biggest reason for that. That all influences the work I do here too – a spirit of community and passion for music have remain in the DNA of the organization, even after 50 years, because of Matt." - Jon Dorn , Passim Program Manager / Musician

"We are delighted that Matt Smith was recently nominated to the Folk Alliance board. Matt is a longtime and valued contributor to the music scene in Harvard Square through his work at Passim. He is particularly revered as a contemporary folk music presenter who thoroughly understands and appreciates traditional folk music and its historical roots. We work closely with Matt to promote Passim, as well as other Harvard Square festivals, including Oktoberfest, Mayfair, Folk Music Month, Fete de la Musique and Passim’s annual summer concert series. He is a consummate professional and hard worker. We rely on his musical instinct, sharp intellect and dedication; Matt will bring these attributes to the Folk Alliance Board." - Denise Jillson, Exec. Director, Harvard Square Business Association 

"When I was at Berklee everyone knew that Passim was the place to play and Matt Smith was the guy you had to impress... I called Matt, "Mike" for the entirety of the first Whiskey Boys show ever at Club Passim, which was a huge deal for us. Out of extreme generosity he never corrected me" - David Delaney, musician

"Matt Smith is as important to this generation of musicians as folks like Betsy Siggins and Jim Rooney were to earlier generations. Through his work at Passim, he has not only maintained but advanced the standing of folk music in this community. The Folk Alliance Board is lucky to have someone as committed as Matt, and we're lucky to have him on the Folk Alliance Board." - Ian Fitzgerald, musician

"Matt is one of the most encouraging people I've ever met. He brings a great energy to Club Passim and the local music scene." - Lyle Brewer, musician

"Working with Matt at Club Passim is an incredible learning experience. He's the exception to the rule that people become jaded working in the music business, because Matt is one of the most enthusiastic supporters of music and musicians that I have ever met. A quick glance at Passim's calendar confirms that his taste is impeccable as well, he was one of the earliest supporters of groups like Lake Street Dive, Della Mae, and many more who have gone on to huge success. As a musician, I find that despite the intimidation factor of Club Passim and its legacy, he is very approachable and willing to work with artists at all phases of their career, from their first open mic to headlining slots." - Patrick Coman, Passim sound engineer, musician, radio show host

No comments:

Post a Comment