Judd Apatow, The Avett Brothers, Oteil Burbridge, Béla Fleck, Sierra Hull, Sarah Jarosz, John Leventhal, Chris Thile, Bob Weir and More Added to Thriving Roots: A Virtual Community Music Conference

Apatow and Avett Brothers set to explore the intersection of film and music; Weir and fellow Dead & Company member Burbridge will speak to the influence of Black musicians on the Grateful Dead; Fleck and Hull to talk about music without boundaries; Jarosz, Leventhal and Thile to discuss the roles of the artist and producer.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Aug. 13, 2020) -- Adding to an already stacked lineup of artists and industry professionals, the Americana Music Association Foundation (AMAF) has revealed more programming featuring Judd Apatow in conversation with The Avett Brothers; Bob Weir with Oteil Burbridge; Béla Fleck with Sierra Hull; and Sarah Jarosz with John Leventhal and Chris Thile, all taking place online at Thriving Roots: A Virtual Community Music Conference, Sept. 16-18. The latest programming information including talks on empowering today’s creatives, developing streaming strategies and musicians in recovery can be found below. Passes are on sale here.

Next month, Thriving Roots will host intimate conversations between pairings you won’t find anywhere else. Apatow will sit down with The Avett Brothers to discuss the intersection of film and music, as well as the fine line between fine art and commerce. In 2017, Apatow co-directed the band’s critically acclaimed documentary, “May It Last: A Portrait of The Avett Brothers.” Since then, The Avett Brothers have been hard at work on their new album, “The Third Gleam,” out August 28.

The music that fans know and love from their favorite artists simply wouldn’t exist without the innovative musicians who came before them. Weir will sit down with fellow Dead & Company member Burbridge as they explore the inspirations and influence Black musicians have had on the Grateful Dead.

Now more than ever, musicians continue to push and blur the confines of genres to create the art they want to make. Fleck and Hull will speak to how roots music transcends and connects with a wide range of audiences during “Music Without Boundaries.” When it comes to creating that art in the studio, a producer’s ability to understand an artist's vision is an integral part of the creative process. Moderated by Thile, Jarosz and Leventhal will delve into the connections forged between the artist and producer evident on her latest project, “World On The Ground.”

Additional new programming includes “Independent Control: The Power of Collaboration,” an inside look into how Americana industry professionals are empowering their independent artists to retain full creative control and the benefits of assembling a hand-picked team. Moderated by Jessica Nicholls (Metropolitan Groove Merchants), this discussion will include Blair Clark (Brooklyn Basement Records), Maria Ivey (IVPR) and Michelle Szeto (Paquin Entertainment Group).

In the streaming era, an abundance of digital resources can be found at the fingertips of industry and artist professionals, but how does one optimize those helpful tools? Led by Mike Fabio (New West Records), “Building a Streaming Strategy in 2020” rounds up Charles Alexander (Systemic), Margaret Hart (YouTube), Margaret Jacobi Lee (AMFM Management), Laura Ohls (Spotify) and Amy Wright (DittyTV) for a talk on developing real-world strategies that lead to increasing listenership and growing a solid fanbase.

Presented by Promises Behavioral Health, “The Show Must Go On: Musicians in Recovery” will find artists Phil Bogard and Jaime Wyatt in conversation with Shireen Janti (MusiCares) and Shane Ramer (That Sober Guy Podcast) about the road to recovery while offering how to find treatment and how others can take practical steps toward becoming a sober creator.

Music buffs should also tune into a special virtual edition of “Songlines Music Meeting,” an AMERICANAFEST fan-favorite. Sean Coakley and Leslie Rouffé will once again invite listeners to hear mostly unreleased tunes and score them during the live session, leading to a discussion on how music programmers in various media formats select the songs they feature.

Aside from plenty of educational and networking opportunities, Thriving Roots attendees will have a chance to unwind and recharge with immersive virtual events and lifestyle breaks. Valerie June will walk folks through a guided meditation that explores how to center oneself using ancient teachings. Big Machine Label Group will spotlight The Cadillac Three, Sheryl Crow and Ray Wylie Hubbard with some must-see musical performances. During “Aw Heck: An Oh Boy Music Break,” join the late John Prine’s own record label Oh Boy Records for a celebration of their talented roster which includes Tré Burt, Arlo McKinley, Dan Reeder and Kelsey Waldon. For “Come Hear NC,” experience the rich music of North Carolina featuring Hiss Golden Messenger, Jim Lauderdale, Mandolin Orange, Steep Canyon Rangers and more.

Previously announced Thriving Roots programming includes intimate conversations between Brandi Carlile and Yola; Emmylou Harris and Ken Burns; and Jackson Browne and Mavis Staples. Rosanne Cash will bring together Ry Cooder, Angela Davis, Bonnie Raitt and Alice Randall for “Love and Vigilance,” a look at the history of protest music. Moreover, RIAA Chairman/CEO Mitch Glazier and COO Michele Ballalynte will share an update on the music industry during “Record Setting” while looking at current trends and sharing their outlook. There will also be artist-friendly songwriting workshops and case studies like Mary Gauthier’s "Accessing the Universal in Your Songs: Mercy Now,” Taj Mahal’s “Music Is the Healing Voice” and an artist development breakdown with Black Pumas. More recently announced panel sessions can be found here.

With over 50 panel discussions and more than 40 special events filled with music, Thriving Roots will bring the Americana music community together from across the world for three full days of engaging insight from its top industry professionals and leading artists.

The Thriving Roots platform will launch ahead of the three-day virtual conference at a later date to be announced so attendees can personalize their online presence, customize their own daily schedule and begin networking with other attendees.

The virtual conference agenda will be announced in late August. For the latest updates, please visit americanamusic.org.

About Thriving Roots:

Thriving Roots: A Virtual Community Music Conference is a three-day music industry conference slated to take place Sept. 16, 17 and 18, 2020. Presented by the recently announced Americana Music Association Foundation (AMAF), the educational initiative brings the Americana music community together from across the world for three full days of engaging insight from its leading artists and industry professionals. With a wide variety of online programming including stimulating panels and immersive special events, attendees are in store for a unique experience that will go beyond today’s webinar-style conferences. Passes are on sale here.

About the Americana Music Association Foundation (AMAF):

The Americana Music Association Foundation (AMAF), a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational and charitable organization, was founded to preserve Americana music through education. Its endeavors strengthen understanding, awareness and appreciation of cultural heritage, shine a light on inspiration, and promote the capacity and engagement of future creators. The foundation accomplishes this mission through educational programs, musical performances and public events. Throughout the year, its partnership with The Americana Music Association focuses on the preservation of past legacies and traditions that spotlight Americana music’s heritage, while also looking ahead to ensure the future of the community’s generations to come.