Details on the moderator/panel:
REID WICK is serving as the moderator. Wick has served the New Orleans music community in various capacities for many years. He currently works as Sr. Membership and Project Manager for the Recording Academy® (GRAMMY® organization), creating professional development programs, networking opportunities and engaging in meaningful advocacy efforts at the federal, state and city level, as well as recruiting and retaining qualified members for the Academy. For the first two years post-Hurricane Katrina, Wick served MusiCares (one of the Academy’s subsidiary foundations) as administrator of the MusiCares Hurricane Relief Fund and the Music Rising instrument replacement program. Through these efforts, over 3,750 musicians from across the Gulf Coast received nearly $4 million in assistance to rebuild their lives and careers.
Hill is the CEO/Founder of the Water Seed Music Group and Moonrise Entertainment. This native of New Orleans started his career off as a musician at the age of fourteen. After graduating from Xavier University, Lou Hill continued his music career through performing with notable artists and inking recording artists deals. In 2017, Lou Hill started his own production company, Moonrise Entertainment. Moonrise has worked with several New Orleans’ organizations in the area of marketing, production and promotions. In addition to performing and composing, Lou Hill is presently working on projects with the New Orleans Cultural Economy Office, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the Water Seed Music Group, in addition to performing and composing.
Vappie is a New Orleans musician/entertainer, is the number one New Orleans jazz banjoist performing on the planet today. He’s been a headliner at festivals and concert halls around the world including Carnegie Hall in New York City. Honoring the tradition of his predecessor, banjoist Danny Barker, Don has kept alive Créole songs of New Orleans and has been honored with awards from Créole society for preserving this cultural treasure.
Finney has been producing music and video for nearly 30 years. He has received numerous awards for his work, including 2 Grammys © for his work in the recording studio. Chris is a passionate educator, and currently is an adjunct professor at Tulane University, and the Lead Instructor for the Fredman Music Business Program at Trombone Shorty Academy. He is also a regular educator at the Heritage School. Chris is the owner of Metry Media, a digital media services, streaming, and consulting firm in Metairie.
ANAÏS ST. JOHN
Elegant and seductive, St. John is a singer whose daunting stage presence sends sensual shivers up the spines of audiences in venues both intimate and grand. A native New Orleanian and daughter of jazz alto saxophonist Marion Brown, this Creole songstress is a seasoned performer deft at jazz, opera and musical theater. With a master's degree in vocal performance and years of experience as a music educator, Anaïs challenges her audience to sit up and take notice. Influenced by a wide variety of musical genres, Ms. St. John sets herself apart with a boundless hunger to use lyric, harmony and vocal power to weave a spell around audiences.
Raper is an Atlanta, Ga. native who moved to New Orleans to attend Loyola University, his Alma Mater, in 2002 where he received a degree in English Writing and has been living in the Crescent City ever since. He is a writer, radio host and production worker in the film and concert industry. He's worked at the majority of clubs and festivals in the city, including Tipitina's, Joy Theater, Winter Circle Productions, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and toured with bands. Summers often find him working shows at Red Rocks Amphitheater, as well as other venues and festivals throughout Colorado. He has been a volunteer at WWOZ since 2003 and a substitute show host since 2006. Since the pandemic he has hosted the weekly livestream "Fridays From The Funky Uncle," showcasing local New Orleans bands playing live in a Mardi Gras Float Den to raise money for the city's musicians and gig workers. So far the Funky Uncle webcast has raised over $100k for the local community. When not working in music or film, he usually can be found enjoying live music or films.