TVD Radar: “Little Steven” Van Zandt to keynote Making Vinyl Detroit, 10/1

“In those days, a record could change your life, so you lived off the energy coming from those singles. It was not something casual like it seems to be today. It was your life and your oxygen.”
Little Steven talking to TVD, October 2017

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Stevie Van Zandt is a musician, performer, label owner, songwriter, arranger, music producer, radio broadcaster, TV producer, actor, director, Broadway producer, activist, and education advocate.

And on Monday October 1, this member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame known as “Little Steven,” will serve as keynote speaker of Making Vinyl 2018 at the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel in Detroit. The conference, which debuted in November 2017 attended by nearly 300 industry professionals from 16 countries, celebrates the global rebirth of the record manufacturing industry.

Known for his starring role as “Silvio Dante” in all seven seasons of HBO’s television drama The Sopranos, Van Zandt also helped create the “Jersey Shore” sound with the Asbury Jukes, and became a founding member of Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band (Co–Producing the band’s seminal albums The River and Born in the U.S.A., and with whom he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014). Van Zandt’s own band, Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul, is currently on the road in Europe with their “Soulfire TeachRock Teacher Appreciation Tour,” his first solo tour in 20 years.

“Little Stevie Van Zandt might currently be the planet’s most charismatic, dedicated and visible crusader scrapping to preserve the dirty purity of rock ’ n’ roll.”
BruceSpringsteen.net

“I can’t think of a better keynoter for Making Vinyl than Stevie Van Zandt because he’s recognized internationally as one of the world’s foremost authorities on both contemporary and traditional rock ’n’ roll,” said Bryan Ekus, president of Making Vinyl and Colonial Purchasing Cooperative, the event’s producer.

“Little Steven currently knows firsthand the intricacies of getting a record manufactured as the owner of his own label, Wicked Cool Records,” Ekus added, noting Van Zandt’s recently released Soulfire LIVE!, initially out digitally and due out this summer as 3 CD and 7 vinyl boxed sets. This live album was preceded in 2017 by Soulfire, Van Zandt’s first studio album in more than 15 years.

Wicked Cool Records launched in 2007 to further support new rock and roll bands. Among the label’s releases are 11 critically acclaimed compilations featuring music from “Little Steven’s Underground Garage” (CBGB Forever, Christmas A Go-Go, Halloween A Go-Go, and Coolest Songs In The World Volumes 1-8), and is distributed with The Orchard.

As a music business impresario, Van Zandt founded Renegade Nation in 1999, which led to “Little Steven’s Underground Garage,” his syndicated radio show launched in 2002 and now broadcast on more than 130 terrestrial stations, including internationally in Canada, London, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Sweden, Belgium, Peru, and Australia, as well as worldwide on the American Forces Network and Voice of America.

Each week on the radio, Van Zandt takes audiences on a two-hour trip through all six decades of rock ‘n’ roll, and also features the best emerging bands worldwide. Little Steven writes a 25-page script for every new weekly radio show, which is nearing 850 consecutive weekly episodes and has introduced more than 1,000 new bands.

The success of the radio show has allowed “Little Steven’s Underground Garage” to expand into television, live events, albums, charitable endeavors, and satellite radio—creating and Producing SiriusXM’s first 24/7 branded music channels, Channel 21: Underground Garage and Channel 60: Outlaw Country.

The current “Soulfire” tour benefits The Rock and Roll Forever Foundation’s TeachRock program, which Dr. Van Zandt established. (He received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts Degree from Rutgers University.) The Foundation creates education materials that use the history of popular music to create engaging, multicultural lesson plans for history, social studies, language arts, music, and science classrooms, all of which are available to educators at NO COST. At each stop of the tour TeachRock hosts free Professional Development Workshops and all teachers that attend receive a complimentary ticket to that evening’s concert.

“Music will forever be humanity’s most effective and consistent source of inspiration and motivation, and, we have learned, music turns out to be our most solid common ground for establishing communication between teachers and students, which is where education begins,” Van Zandt said. TeachRock will also be at Making Vinyl.

“[Little Steven’s] TeachRock program brings an essential curriculum of music and culture into school and makes it available at no cost to educators,” Bruce Springsteen said while recently inducting Van Zandt into the New Jersey Hall of Fame. “In a time of cutbacks in arts funding, Steve’s programs are keeping kids engaged in the arts, and in school—this is his greatest legacy.”

Among Van Zandt’s many activist efforts was his formation in 1985 of Artists United Against Apartheid, for which he wrote “Sun City,” the rock/hip hop/R&B anthem protesting the apartheid system symbolized by the South African resort, Sun City. More than 50 artists including Gil Scott-Heron, Ringo Starr, Bob Dylan, Bono, Keith Richards, Run-DMC (whose Darryl McDaniels gave a keynote speech at the first Making Vinyl), and Miles Davis, performed on the track that spawned a conscious-raising album of the same name. He has twice been honored by the United Nations for his political activism, including the “Sun City” project and film, and his involvement in “International Peace Day” along with Peter Gabriel.

He wrote, directed and co-produced with his wife Maureen The Rascals: Once Upon A Dream, the critically acclaimed theatrical event/reunion concert tour that included a 15-night, sold-out run on Broadway. He keynoted SXSW in 2009.

Van Zandt’s acting credits also include the award-winning Lilyhammer, the FIRST original series on Netflix, in which he starred, was co-writer, executive producer, music supervisor and scored, as well as directed the final episode.

About Making Vinyl | Making Vinyl is the first B2B conference to celebrate the global rebirth of record manufacturing industry. At the first conference in November 2017, nearly 300 industry professionals representing all facets of the vinyl business converged on Detroit to compare notes on the resurgence of a format thought to be near extinct just a decade ago. Jack White and Darryl McDaniels of the pioneering rap group Run-DMC keynoted.

Making Vinyl, co-founded by Bryan Ekus and Larry Jaffee, is produced by Colonial Purchasing Cooperative, which was established by media manufacturers to pool their resources to purchase raw materials. Making Vinyl’s partners include Record Store Day—now in its 11th year—widely credited with revitalizing the vinyl manufacturing industry.

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