The Creative Center of Greensboro - being an advocate

Some of the goals for The Creative CenterWhen I was approached by Susan Sassmann, who was at the time, the executive director of The Creative Center in Greensboro, NC. back in 2011, I thought I was just helping to get an open mic going at the center. What I discovered along the way was that I was unleashing a deeper passion than even I had realized was within me. I have always loved performing and have been grateful over and over for being able to do it for 40 some years now. Little did I know that it would be almost over-shadowed by a soulful desire to promote original music and the people who write and perform it locally and beyond.

Crystal Bright performs at The ShowcaseThe Showcase of Original Music proved that to me and set me on a path I would never have predicted. As situations and circumstances changed, there came a point at which I knew I must move in my own direction. Never in my life had I ever been so bold as to say "This is what I am going to do no matter what anyone thinks or how it turns out." Even as I put my beliefs into action by incorporating (Coinspirate LLC - pronounced CO - IN - SPI - RATE = collaborate/inspire/create), I spent many a day worrying and wondering if I had been fool hardy and impulsive at a time when caution and clear-headed thinking should have prevailed. Though I still have those moments, they are slowly becoming fewer and farther between.

These days things have almost come full circle for I am back at The Creative Center doing shows, but more importantly - and the reason for this blog -  I will be getting much more directly involved in things there. I have agreed to come on as an advocate and do whatever I am capable of to help revitalize the center. I passionately believe it is a place of untapped potential and full of possibilities that could benefit the Greensboro area nurturing spirituality, art, music, entrepreneurial enterprise and more. I see it as an incubator for creative and meaningful collaborations and community building. I hope I am right. If not, I will at least have the satisfaction of knowing I tried when it counted. The only failure in life is not making any effort... well,  that is my philosophy.

Save the date!I hope you will visit The Creative Center if you are a resident of, or visiting the Greensboro area. If you know people looking for a place to worship, be artistic, perform, build a business and enhance the community, tell them about the center. And... if you like to see great original music, think about attending a Collabative (yeah another one of those crazy words) event there. Now back to the vision quest!

AM rOdeO a.k.a. Evan Olson & Jessica Mashburn

I am not going to lie to you, or try for even a minute to lead you to believe I know Evan or Jessica personally. That would be a lie and a disservice. That doesn't mean I can't speak with at least reasonable surety about them through my own observations...right? I think so.

singer-songwriter-evan-olsonEvan OlsonI arrived in Greensboro as a transplant, moving here to take a position with a printing company as a warehouse manager (boy, those were the days...heh). The only person I knew in this whole town was the guy who hired me and honestly, I am having trouble remembering his name. It was May of 1994. As a musician, I was immediately curious about the local live music scene and started exploring within days of arriving. Among the names "on the street" back then was Evan Olson. And then came "Bus Stop" a few years later. The rest of Evan's story can be seen and

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Occidental Gypsy, Boston band, coming to The Creative Center February 19th, 2013



The name Occidental Gypsy (Western gypsy) embodies the concept behind Gypsy Pop. The group has taken the Gypsy sound that originated in Eastern Europe and brought it Over Here to blend it seamlessly with contemporary American music. Interestingly, Gypsy Swing was created by taking American Jazz to the East and blending it with the Gypsy Folk tradition. Now almost a century later Occidental Gypsy is bringing the music back home.

In my role as sound man for The Showcase of Original Music, I am privileged to be able to hear many fine and talented musicians from Greensboro, NC and surrounding areas.  As The Showcase's name has made its way around the internet, musicians from other states have started

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Looking forward to the Showcase, 2013

The crowd enjoys Mike Garrigan at showcase 1It is always quite intriguing how a year can seem to last forever and then all of the sudden, you are looking back on it as if it went by in the blink of an eye. Here it is 2013 and I am already well into preparations for the upcoming season of the Showcase of Original Music having barely processed the 10 events we put together in 2012. The first 2 dates for this year are set and the featured artists have pretty much been confirmed, so we are off to a good start!

At ther beginning, it seemed like a cool way to spend one day a month doing something to give back to the local community and to improve the chances of original artists to be in front of an audience. Out of that one day a month has grown a

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