By ERIC SCHELKOPF
Novo Management & Publicity along with a group of Chicago musicians are teaming up to make the holidays brighter for those in need.
Novo Management & Publicity will hold its Holiday Showcase at 9 p.m. Dec. 22 at Montrose Saloon, 2933 W. Montrose Ave., Chicago. The showcase will feature Donnie Biggins from 9 to 9:30 p.m., Todd Kessler from 9:45 to 10:15 p.m. and Mark Panick (plus backing musicians) from 11:15 p.m. to midnight.
There is a $5 cover charge and all proceeds will go to the Albany Park Food Pantry. I had the chance to talk to August Forte, of Novo Management & Publicity, about the show.
Q – I understand the Novo Management & Publicity Holiday Showcase will benefit the Albany Park Food Pantry, with the door proceeds from that night going to the food pantry. How much are you looking for the event to raise for the food pantry?
Montrose Saloon charges $5 for shows on Friday and Saturday nights and the venue holds about 100 people. With four artists performing from 9 p.m. to midnight, I hope that the room will be packed all evening and we can raise $500.
That said, any amount will help the APFP, especially at this time of year when so many folks find it difficult to put food on the table.
Q – How did the lineup for the night come together? Do you think the bands complement each other? What should people expect?
I reached out to all four performers (Mark Panick, who will be joined by his Black Friars Social Club band members) along with Jared Rabin, Todd Kessler and Donnie Biggins directly as I have had the pleasure of handling press and marketing for all of them over the years.
While all four musicians draw from different music wells (Panick’s writing is dark and poetic; Rabin has a classical and jazz background but plays an accessible strain of Americana; Kessler leans toward pop and folk and is a fantastic story teller; Biggins is a true wordsmith in the tradition of Dylan and Springsteen), they are all very talented singer-songwriters.
People should expect to hear great original music and, possibly, some holiday tunes.
Q – Does Novo Management & Publicity enjoy the times when music can not only entertain, but also raise money for a good cause?
Definitely! I did some pro bono press and marketing for a benefit show at Metro several years ago and my business partner’s group just played a benefit (for the family of a former band mate who passed away) at Beat Kitchen.
Q _ I see that Novo Management will hold another artist showcase in January. Do you see your showcases as a way to introduce people to bands they might not know?
Yes, our showcase on January 19 at Montrose Saloon will expose three emerging Chicago bands – Faux Co., She Rides Tigers and The Thin Cherries – to a wider audience. All three bands have gotten some local airplay and attention from Chicago press, but getting gigs can be difficult as we live in a city with a very competitive music scene.
Montrose Saloon has been very welcoming to up-and-coming bands and that is one of the reasons that I promote shows there.