John Taylor has become something of a local impresario, organizing some of the most popular area music events in the last few years.
He’s been a leader in organizing the Levitt Amp Galva Music Series, Ca d’zan House Concerts, Bishop Hill Creative Commons Concerts, and the Back Road Music Festival just to name a few
Now he’s starting a venture with Jason Bates that in some ways is meant to connect the dots between all these projects.
It’s called Heartland Connections and is meant to be a source for connecting people to improve communities through live music.
Heartland Connections will hold live events, as well as support a number of off-shoot events.
Already they several shows planned for the coming weeks at the Bishop Creative Commons, welcoming acts like Chad Elliot, The Deep Hollow, and Novalima.
“[these events are] very intimate. You’re there with the artist. You get to meet the artist, have dinner with the artist if you want… Everyone can just come together and enjoy that experience. ”
They also will keep a consolidated calendar of shows Taylor organizes but also music happening at other venues in the area.
Their mission statement posted to their social media says the venture is formed around the “idea that music is a vehicle that elevates our communities socially, culturally, and economically”
Some examples they give of these connections could play out would be; connecting musicians to venue opportunities, connecting venue opportunities to media opportunities, and non-profits to resources in the business and musician communities.
“I think it’s easy to kind of be stuck within a certain group or whatever… and not really kind of reaching out or collaborating with other groups. So, that’s really what we focused on is trying to bridge gaps between these different groups and get people involved.”
Taylor says usually he’s able to get fairly well known, accomplished musicians, to play in the area, just by word of mouth.
A lot of the shows he’s involved him take place in intimate settings and are low cost to attend, which give anyone who’s interested a chance to
Taylor adds that over time he’s grown to appreciate intimate music shows, opposed to long lines, expensive food prices and other burdens that come with attending shows in big halls.
Heartland Connections is officially launching Friday, Nov. 8, with a group from Springfield called The Deep Hollow.