Q-Brew SeriesAlison Brown and Garry West: Starting Your Own Label
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Banjoist Alison Brown and her bassist and producer Garry West—the husband-and-wife team behind Compass Records—present a lecture on how to start a record label.
Alison Brown has taken an unlikely path in establishing herself as an internationally recognized banjoist. A former investment banker (she has a bachelor's degree in history and literature from Harvard and an MBA from UCLA), she toured with Alison Krauss and Union Station and Michelle Shocked before forming her own group, the Alison Brown Quartet. She has recorded 10 critically acclaimed solo albums, received a Grammy, four Grammy nominations and the Banjo Player of the Year award from the International Bluegrass Music Association.
Brown has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and NPR's All Things Considered and in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. She was personally requested to play at the inauguration of Harvard’s first female president, Drew Faust, and is the recipient of Irish America magazine’s “Stars of the South Award” for Compass Records’ efforts towards the “cultivation and preservation of Irish music.” In 2011 she was selected by the Mayor of Nashville to serve as the Ambassador of Friendship to initiate a sister city relationship with Kamakura.
Brown is also co-founder of the internationally recognized Compass Records Group which oversees more than 600 releases from the Compass Records, Green Linnet and Mulligan Records catalogs and which has been called by Billboard Magazine “one of the greatest independent labels of the last decade.” In addition, she currently serves on the board of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce and on the adjunct faculty of Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music.
Garry West was raised in Atlanta, Georgia. After attending Berklee, he moved to Nashville to play bass behind many major artists such as Delbert McClinton, Patty Loveless, Michelle Shocked, and currently, the Alison Brown Quartet. In addition to his work as a musician and cofounder of the Compass Records Group, West is also a busy producer who has produced projects from Colin Hay, Paul Brady, BeauSoleil and Catie Curtis. West has been featured in Bass Player, Billboard, and Mix, and has spoken at the Harvard Business School, the Darden School of Business, and the University of Colorado.