Conference of dreams

The creative muse of musicians from around the world will converge at the Kauai Music Festival next week. 

“We bring in professional songwriters, producers and publishers from Nashville and LA,” said Jerry Brocklehurst, president of the Kauai Music Festival, a local nonprofit. “Conferences like this on the Mainland can cost thousands of dollars to attend.”

During the four-day conference, musicians and songwriters learn how to refine their skills through interaction with industry career-makers from as far away as London, Australia and New Zealand. 

Last year, an up and coming Hawaii band caught the eye of a London music executive. 

The group Lifeinpursuit, comprised of Ryan Higgins and Chase and Carl Kauhane played an original song, “Sister Song,” the first night of the conference and it was instantly recognizable. 

“We’re very lucky. The conference helped us out and now we’re working with a publisher. The first night it was open mic night and we weren’t expecting anything,” said lead singer Chase Kauhane. But lightning struck and a producer is now pitching an acoustic version of their song, recorded at a studio in Waimea. The group also won the songwriting contest at the event. The prize was a concert performance in Los Angeles where band member Ryan Higgins said they made other valuable networking connections. 

“It happened fast,” Higgens said. “Then our album, “Nickel and Dimin’ It,” was nominated for a Na Hoku award in the alternative category. Other songwriters have made promising connections at previous Kauai Music Festival conferences. 

“There was a local high school teacher, Terry Low, who had his song used in the season opener of the TV show, ‘Parenthood.’ It was playing on the radio in the pickup truck,” Brocklehurst said. “There was another attendee last year from Oahu who co-wrote a song with a Nashville instructor and that song was used on Hawaii Five-O.”

The conference culminates in Friday and Saturday evening concerts featuring Grammy, Na Hoku Hanohano, and Emmy-winning musicians from throughout Hawaii and the Mainland.

The cost to attend the songwriting event at Courtyard by Marriott in Kapaa is $195. It will run from Thursday through Aug. 2.

For further information or to register, visit http://www.kauaimusicfestival.com or call 634-6237.

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