The acoustic and alternative music worlds were shocked when Louis Jay Meyers died suddenly of a heart attack almost exactly one year ago on March 11, 2016. He was taken by a heart attack at only 61 years of age, still very active in the world of music he loved so much.
Though his professional efforts in the business spanned many musical styles, close friends knew that the five string banjo was Louis’ chief passion, one that he was following with his then most-recent project, Tommy – A Bluegrass Opry, with The Hillbenders. It had been a dream of his for several years to find a bluegrass band who could pull off a credible and authentically bluegrass recreation of The Who’s classic Tommy album, and once he met The Hillbenders, his plan was put into action. Their record was an underground sensation, with the ‘Benders performing the entire opus all across the US.
Over more than 45 years working inside the music biz, initially in Austin, TX, Louis found himself wearing nearly every hat our industry provides. He was a tireless advocate for every kind of Texas music, but is surely best known as one of the originators of the massive SXSW conference held in Austin in March of each year. What began as a festival to promote new music in the state has now grown over 30 years into a major destination event involving music, film, comedy, technology, politics, and many other aspects of modern life.
Another of his passions was Folk Alliance, for whom he served many years as Director. They put together this memorial video remembrance which was shown during last month’s 2017 Folk Alliance International Conference.
Now, Meyers’ family and close friends have launched an organization to continue his work bringing new music to the fore, The Louis Jay Meyers Music Project. The project is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization designed to offer professional management, funding, and business services at no charge to a select group of creative artists.
Independent artists in any genre are invited to apply for the services they provide:
- Marketing & Promotion
- Artist Management
- Music Education
- Learning Networking
- Industry Mentoring
- Recording & Studio Assistance
- Sponsorships & Scholarships
- Project Funding
- Distribution – Bookings & Gigs
- Event Coordination & PR
- Sound & Lights
- Insurance Services
- Business Planning
- Equipment Sales & Rental
- Graphic & Website Design
- Creative Services
The Music Project is managed by Louis’ beloved niece, Laura Callhan, who is its Executive Director.
Their initial roster of artists includes singer/songwriters, indie rock, and of course, a couple of banjo players. If they are able to obtain continued funding through tax-deductible donations, the work of the Louis Jay Meyers Music Project can continue his passion for new music on into the imaginable future.
Folk Alliance has set up a web site where donations can be made online. If you share Meyers’ desire to support new music, perhaps you’ll consider supporting his work post mortem.
Full details can be found online.