EST Member Shawn Randall gets the interview treatment from the Village Voice
For 10 years, Shawn Randall's Symphonics Live has developed a reputation as one of the most consistent and beloved music showcases in New York City. Originating in 2003 out of the now-recently deceased Bowery Poetry Club, Symphonics has grown to the point where the cross-genre events now pack ballrooms with listeners of all kinds. With the first Symphonics Live of the year happening tonight at the Highline Ballroom, we decided now would be a great time to talk to Randall about what makes Symphonics such a favorite of the New York music scene.
What was the genesis of Symphonics Live?
In 2002, I had been running an open mic with Karen Rockower called Westside Rhyme for three years. It was a weekly show with some features, and I think Karen was a little more focused on her band, so I decided I wanted to do a different show that was focused on showcasing great talent that I encountered or worked with. In 2003, I decided to do it in the Bowery Poetry Club. I was very involved in the slam poetry scene and the music scene, and I started to encounter a lot of talented performers. I learned a lot doing those early shows about how to host a show and developed and ear and eye for what I found fascinating. It was a lot of trial and error in meeting folks and being persistent about it.
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