by Gotham Chandna
Sundance Film Festival is not only a celebration of film, but music as well. From live performances to documentaries about musical artists, Sundance sets the stage for many artists to share their music. ASCAP Music Café, for instance, is one location that provides an intimate setting for musicians to display their talents. This year marks the café’s 19th year.
The ASCAP Music Café’s line up for this year included Michael Franti, Clare Bowen, Elijah Wood, John Kelly and Andy Shauf, Lalah Hathaway, Samora Pinderhughes, Daveed Digs, and Rafael Casal. This year also marks the first local music showcase which provided Talia Keys, Joshy Soul & the Cool, and Bboy Federation Performers the opportunity to perform.
The café also included performances by Peter Bradley Adams. Adams has had his work appear in 30 plus television shows and films such as One Tree Hill, Smallville, The Mentalist and Alias. He performed alongside Lex Prince, who has played the 1930s Epiphone tenor guitar on Adams’ last five records.
The cafe has come a long way since its beginning – a carpet with the stage set in between the coffee bar at Elks Lodge. Over the years, this café has come to host performances by Sting, Jason Mraz, Train’s Pat Monahan, Guy Clark, Patti Smith, among other well-known artists. It has also provided a way for artists to get their foot in the door of the music world. Imogen Heap, Brandy Clark, Kings of Leon, Mike Posner, K’naan, Jon Batiste, Chris Stapleton, Damian Rice, and Stay Human are among those who performed at the ASCAP Music Café at Sundance early on in their careers.
The ASCAP Music Café was not the only location for performances, however. The BMI Snowball Showcase takes place annually. This year Angela McCluskey, Paul Cantelon, Sean McConnell, Rachel Crow, the National Parks, and The Hearings graced the stage. The panel, A Celebration of Music and Film, hosted by the Sundance Institute Film Program, hosted a performance by Common and Andra Day. The panel for the event included Artists Hunter Hayes, Gael Garcia Bernal, Ava DuVernay, Nick Offerman, Jenny Slate, and Jim James.
Amazon Studios celebrated Long Strange Trip directed by Amir Bar-Lev with performances by Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Bob Weir, Woody Harrelson, and John Popper. The AT&T Lift hosted performances by Major Laxer and the band Rooney.
One final note: I still reminisce about the first time I attended Sundance; all the fantastic moments I’ve had, and the new friends I have made over the span of eight years. It’s always a heavy feeling when I leave Park City. I hope that Sundance is as memorable and as exciting of an experience for everyone else as it is for me. When I meet first-time attendees and hear about how much they enjoyed their very first time, I hope they spread the word and encourage more film and music lovers to attend Sundance! As we know, it’s about being there.