THE PARAMOUNT THEATRE UNVEILS NEW MUSIC SERIES LAUNCH Powered BY PNC BANK
Launch provides a platform for Austin-based musicians to showcase new works of art, receive record production assistance and more.
Tameca Jones, Ray Prim announced as the first two featured artists in the series
AUSTIN, TEXAS (May 15, 2023) — The Paramount Theatre with support from PNC Bank have partnered to spotlight local working musicians and help elevate their careers through a new album release series titled LAUNCH, which will take place at the Stateside at the Paramount, the historic, 300-seat venue directly next door to the Paramount Theatre.
Making a living as a musician in Austin has become increasingly difficult, creating a financial barrier for musicians when it comes to the upfront investment needed to produce and launch the albums that mark a pivotal point in a musician’s career trajectory. This unique live music series is designed to bridge this barrier for burgeoning musicians; providing a venue for local artists to host a release party, financial assistance for new album production or taping of their Stateside show, creative design and marketing assistance, and a pre-concert party.
Launch will kick off with Ray Prim on Friday, September 15th, followed by Tameca Jones on Saturday, November 18th. Tickets are available for sale on Friday, May 19th at 10 a.m.
“Live music is important to Austin’s unique culture and our thriving economy,” said Dillan Knudson, PNC Regional President for Austin. “PNC is committed to supporting the live music ecosystem at its core, the musician. The Launch series is economic development for artistic entrepreneurs, providing an important resource that musicians need to take their business to the next level. We are thrilled to partner with The Paramount Theatre, one of Austin’s most cherished historic venues, to provide meaningful economic support for local working musicians.”
Outside of Launch, PNC has shown its commitment to Austin musicians by partnering with organizations throughout the region providing access to affordable healthcare, financial education programs, artist development programs, music education, and financial grants. Through various other partnerships, PNC provides stages for working musicians, a residency program at PNC Plaza and other opportunities for local bands to earn living wages and support their families.
Paramount Theatre and Antone’s Director of Music Booking Zach Ernst have led the selection process for the series, collaborating with musicians close to both venues and other organizations PNC supports to ensure multiple perspectives and to spread awareness of this unique opportunity that helps cover new album expenses while leading up to a profitable record release event.
“When PNC approached us about the Launch series, I was impressed by their willingness to provide meaningful support to local artists we love,” said Zach Ernst, Director of Music Booking at the Paramount Theatre. “Not only do they want to pay musicians for their time recording and performing, but also they are allowing artists to invest in themselves – print vinyl for the first time, pay for new merch, whatever they can dream up.”
Ray Prim, Launch’s first artist, is a “singer-soul writer” based in Austin, Texas known for making music that takes you back to the days when songs were inspiring, meaningful, and thought-provoking. His tunes are melody-based short stories that anyone can relate to and identify with.
“The new EP will be called Move On. This will be my first time ever making an album for vinyl. Really excited about that and playing the Stateside. Playing there and the Paramount have been on my bucket list since 1926. Well maybe not that long, but I’ve dreamed about it,” says Ray Prim. “Thanks to this PNC grant I’ll be able to fulfill two goals at once. This means a lot to independent musicians like me who basically do everything from booking to designing the album.”
Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Tameca Jones made a name for herself locally as the “Empress of Austin Soul.” She has toured nationally and opened for Gary Clark Jr, Leon Bridges, Willie and Lukas Nelson, St Paul and the Broken Bones, Jill Scott and more. After moving to Los Angeles for a year, Jones is now back in the Austin area and will release a brand-new EP in the fall.
“I am titling the album Plants and Pills. It will be my first full-length album with intimate looks into my battles with anxiety and depression, my escapades in LA, my return to Austin, and my victory getting mental help,” says Tameca Jones. “I want to connect with people and show them they aren’t alone in whatever battles they face. My title track ’Plants and Pills‘ is about what a beautiful world we live in when we get the help we need. Sometimes, that help is in the form of plants and pills.”
Tickets for both shows go on sale Friday, May 19 at www.austintheatre.org. You can also purchase tickets at the Paramount Theatre box office or by calling 512-474-1221.
To stay on top of the latest news regarding Launch, follow the Paramount Theatre on Facebook at www.facebook.com/paramounttheatre and on Instagram and Twitter @ParamountAustin.