Alaska independent musicians head to Nashville

Alaska independent musicians showcase their work at a recent Folk Alliance International music conference. They’ll do it again in Nashville, at this week’s DIY Musician Conference, hosted by CD Baby, the online music store specializing in the sale of CDs, vinyl records, and music downloads from independent musicians to consumers.. (Photo from AKIMI, used with permission.)

The music industry has turned upside down, and Alaska musicians are finding out how to capitalize on the opportunity. By this Thursday, 15 of them, supported by AKIMI (Alaska Independent Musicians Initiative), will represent Alaska as they perform, take workshops, share their music on a Spotify channel and generally network and gain exposure before industry pros in Nashville, one of the hottest music cities in America.

On the trip, the third such Outside venture to independent music conferences for AKIMI artists, local participants will include Pamyua, Harper’s Farce, Michael Thomas HowardYngvil Vatn Guttu, Lena Lukina, Mariko Serafin, with support from Cameron Cartland and members of The Modern Savage.

We’ll get the rundown on the Nashville crash from musician and guest Michael Thomas Howard, programs manager for AKIMI. But we’ll also hear from two other musicians, South High student Ava Earl (this is where it begins, right?), and artist Mariko Sarafin.

What is the path to success for an independent musician? What does success mean? Can you make a life, and how? How important are these Outside ventures? Are they to export Alaska music to audiences Outside, or lure that audience to Alaska for more?

We’ll also hear from new partners of AKIMI, the Anchorage Museum and the Anchorage Film Festival — as the village comes together to support talented Alaskans.

And….we expect to hear a tune or two during the show, so join us.  Your questions and comments are always welcome!

Thanks for listening!

HOSTKathleen McCoy


  • Michael Thomas Howard, musician and AKIMI programs manager
  • Mariko Sarafin, musician
  • Ava Earl, musician and student at South High
  • (phone) Adam Baldwin, Anchorage Museum, director of community outreach and partnerships


  • August 21, 2018, 7 p.m.
    AKIMI pre-Nashville gathering
    Writer’s Block Bookstore & Cafe
    3956 Spenard Road
  • September 28, 2018 5:30-7:30 p.m.
    Under 21 Mic event
    Middle Way Cafe
    1200 W. Northern Lights, Suite G



  • Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752 (statewide) during the live broadcast (2:00 – 3:00pm)
  • Send e-mail to before, during or after the live broadcast (e-mails may be read on air)
  • Post your comment or question below (comments may be read on air)
  • LIVE: Monday, August 20, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.
  • REPEAT: Monday, August 20, 2018 at 8:00 p.m.


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kmccoy (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | About Kathleen

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