Santa Monica Hostel Music Series: Interview with Craig Hyman
By Cynthia Brando
In the world of music venues, it is often difficult to find a place that is offering up something new and exciting. We turn to house concerts or other types of fringe gatherings for a different experience, but invariably you often find the same kind of music and the same types of people frequenting. Eventually we get burned out on what seems to be the same formats, so when I heard that there was a brand new kind of venue that had people buzzing, I was curious to know more about what makes the Hostel Music Series in Santa Monica, such a unique event.
M.E. “You have a company called Numinous Music-what kind of projects are you involved in?”
C.H. “I’ve been working in the music industry, as well as television and film for 26 years in basically every capacity except publishing-except where publishing pertains to being an artist manager. I’ve always been an independent. I spend eighty or ninety percent of my time doing just music-I present, promote, do shows, for example, this hostel music series; industry showcases, and consulting.”
M.E. “Did you ever work for a large company?”
C.H. “I worked for RCA records as an A&R person in New York, and I was a producer at Showtime for two and a half years-my LinkedIn gives an overview of what I’ve done in the business-I’ve worn many hats over the years. About eight and a half years ago I made a switch from working with artists that do rock and roll, indie and singer songwriter type music, to mostly world music, because I always had a passion for it-and since then I have worked with artists from over thirty countries."
M.E. “You partnered up with Aleksi Glick of Newer Sounds to bring live music to hostels in the U.S. Can you tell us more about the project?”
C.H. “I’m really excited about having partnered up with Newer Sounds. Aleksi is a jazz guitar player who came up with the idea to do shows in hostels. He originally was just looking for a place to play music with friends and have his friends bands play in after the music scene kind of died on the upper west side of New York. He approached a hostel that had seven hundred rooms and six venues in the building, and it just took off so fast and so well that the hostel started supporting the show financially and in every way imaginable-promoting it, and getting sponsorship; so now he is doing three shows a month, and I’m starting off in Santa Monica with one show per month. The hostels are part of Hostelling International, which is a large non-profit global organization that has really quality facilities-it’s not like when I was a kid and went to hostels. The hostel in Santa Monica is a really hip and semi swanky casual place-it’s the oldest building in Santa Monica, and there’s an old cowboy saloon that we do the indoor performances in-and then there is a courtyard that is very lounge like with a barbecue that we will do the next show in on June 6, as a “summer kick off” party. We are also talking about branching out to other Southern California hostels under the same organization, and maybe one in San Francisco. Besides the once a month show, we are developing theme shows, that would happen on a Thursday or Friday and would have themes like “drum circle night”, or folk night, Asian music night, etc.-something specific and probably more unplugged. The acoustics in the saloon are great-it holds about a hundred people, and is such a comfy, old wooden-soothing room. The beauty of this series is that seventy percent of any hostel in the U.S. at any given time has sixty to seventy percent international guests-people from other countries-so when we put on these shows, we immediately have an international audience. I’m not aware of one scenario in the United States that has that.”
M.E. “Is there a cover charge for these shows?”
C.H. “There is-the first show I charged twelve dollars, and I got feedback that I was undercharging, because it meant less money for the artists, which is where most of the money goes-so now I’m charging fifteen dollars, and it is well worth it. The shows are of really great quality. I curate them myself, and I know my music. If you went to a bar just to see one of the acts-you would have to pay ten to fifteen dollars for one band-and I’m putting on three. We bring our own sound system, and I have a colleague doing sound who does a great job."
M.E. “What is a show like?”
C.H. “Our theme for the once a month show is always multi-genre. For instance, my first show was a female singer songwriter with a spiritual edge, Tamarind Free Jones, who studied under Ali Akbar Khan for sixteen years; and then we had a rockabilly band, The Kingbees, who have been around for 35 years and just reissued their first release. We also had Hani Naser who plays with everyone from Jackson Browne, Ry Cooder and David Linley; and his band has Craig Eastman, who scores soundtracks with Hans Zimmer, and also a cello player who plays in the The Hollywood Bowl Philharmonic-so really some eclectic and amazing bands, plus a belly dancer. The whole point is that we don’t want to exclude anybody-we want to include all musical genres, and therefore, all musical cultures. We also want to provide a place for the artists who don’t seem to be able to find a lot of places to perform in Los Angeles; which is mostly the world music stuff-but also we want to appeal to the guests with music that is maybe from their own culture-or from a culture that they never heard before; as well as representing Los Angeles. We’re trying to create a bigger global community through music. Hostels are more community oriented; there are people that are traveling and not always short term-and so people tend to interact with each other more, because they cook together in the big kitchen or hang out in the lobby, and they interconnect. The hostel would like to expand its community and strengthen it; and we both agreed that doing it through music is like this common denominator-so they promote it as much as we do, and if we keep it consistent enough, and keep the music quality high-it should continue to do well.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Craig S. Hyman, Numinous Music Phone: 917-854-6315 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
NATIONAL MULTI-GENRE MUSIC SERIES – ANNUAL SUMMER KICK-OFF PARTY
Hostelling International USA
Hosts Numinous Music and Newer Sounds Presents
On Saturday, June 6th, 2015, 6:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m., Hostelling International USA will host a multi-genre national music series summer kick-off party presented by Numinous Music and Newer Sounds. The diverse line up of featured artists includes: Cinco Santos, Honey Owl, and The Neighbors.
Admission is $15. This is an All Ages Show.
NEWER SOUNDS creator and curator, Aleksi Glick, based in New York City, realized a goal three years ago, for a music series at The Hostelling International property and venue on the upper west side of Manhattan which occurs 3 times per month. Continuing the momentum created in New York City, Glick reached out to Los Angeles based Craig S. Hyman of NUMINOUS MUSIC & PRODUCTIONS, for him to create a music series here on the west coast. The monthly event will continue to take place at Hostelling International Santa Monica (HI Santa Monica), in Santa Monica, CA.
Hostelling International USA is a non-profit organization that has been promoting travel and intercultural exploration to people of all ages since 1934. HI – USA is a member of Hostelling International, a network of 4,000 hostels in over eighty countries.
For Further Information Regarding The Music Artists Performing, More Information About The NUMINOUS MUSIC - NEWER SOUNDS PRESENTS Music Series, Or To Purchase Tickets Please Visit Our Website At - http://www.newersounds.com
For Further Information, Press, Industry & Performance Opportunity Inquiries, Please Contact:
Craig S. Hyman (NUMINOUS MUSIC - Founder/Curator) at email@example.com or call