VERSED: The ASCAP Podcast / Ep. 24 - Yasmin Williams and the 2021 Newport Folk Festival
July 22, 2021
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VERSED is a bi-weekly podcast illuminating the heart and soul of music. Featuring in-depth interviews with songwriters and composers, plus tips and insights to help you navigate your music career. Brought to you by ASCAP, home of the world's greatest music creators.
In celebration of the return of live music, we talk to the talented Yasmin Williams, a virtuoso composer and musician who has been praised by TheNew York Times as “one of the country’s most imaginative young solo guitarists." She is set to make her debut at this year’s Newport Folk Festival, where she will join fellow ASCAP members performing, including Beck, Grace Potter, Bonny Light Horseman, Kevin Morby, Vagabon and many others. Williams shares her feelings about joining the Newport tradition, her journey to mastering the guitar, pushing herself to learn new instruments and her experimental approach to recording her gorgeous, acclaimed new album, Urban Driftwood. We also check in with Jay Sweet, Executive Producer of the Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals, about why Newport has endured as one of the oldest and most meaningful music festivals, why supporting music education is more important than ever and the joy he feels in evolving the legacy of an organization whose mission makes an impact far beyond the stage. PLUS: some Sound Advice about how pressure and deadlines can be a good thing when creating music, excerpted from our recent ASCAP Experience session with film/TV composers Segun Akinola, Ruth Barrett and Isobel Waller-Bridge.
In 2015 ASCAP Foundation President Paul Williams and Newport Jazz Festival Founder George Wein launched a partnership to benefit emerging jazz musicians by presenting performances each year by one of the recipients of the ASCAP Foundation Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award on the Festival's Storyville stage. Performances by the 2020 and the 2021 award winners will be featured as part of the Newport Festivals Foundation virtual Newport Sessions series later this year. For now, you can check out recent performances and tutorials by other great ASCAP members such as Adrianne Lenker, Ben Harper, Grace Kelly, Gregory Porter, Branford Marsalis, Phoebe Bridgers & Courtney Barnett and more.
EP. 24 INTERVIEWER: SARAH FINEGOLD, ASCAP MARKETING COORDINATOR
Sarah Finegold is a writer and music fan currently working in the Marketing department at ASCAP. After graduating from Cornell University in 2015 with a BA in English and Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies – with a minor in Film Studies just to shake things up – Sarah moved to New York City and shortly found her home at ASCAP. When she isn’t indulging her love of travel, she loves going to the movies and Broadway musicals, hanging out with her perfect rescue dog Buffy and becoming overly invested while playing board games and D&D.