I just realized that with this story, I have written 100 stories for GuitarWorld.com (or maybe more; it’s hard to keep track!).
To commemorate this milestone, I've turned my 100th story into a list of 100 things. And since I just finished producing the second annual Women’s Music Summit, those 100 things would all be about the Summit, including my favorite moments from this inspiring event.
Then I realized, damn, 100 is a lot of things. So, at the risk of copping out, I bring to you 50 awesome things about the 2013 Women’s Music Summit. And, don’t you know, 50 is a lot too!
We laughed, we cried, we made music. I hope you can join us sometime, but until then, read on…
50 of my favorite things about the Women’s Music Summit:
01. The workshop presented by Jennifer Batten. Not to mention her playing. Wowza.
02. Holly Knight’s performance of the song she wrote, “Love is a Battlefield.” A special moment.
03. Leading the collaboration workshop. Getting people to work together is a great feeling.
04. Listening to the results of the collaboration workshop on Sunday night. Kick ass.
05. Starr Parodi sharing the theme she and her partner wrote for the Universal Pictures screen logo.
06. Giving away a Fender Ron Emery signature small-body guitar to Alexandra Nicole. I heard earlier that day that she had no instruments, because she lost them all in a divorce. I swear it was not rigged. Just really good karma.
07. Watching Meredythe Dee Winter sing her spiritual songs a capella.
08. Talking about publishing and licensing with a bunch of women who really know their stuff. The panel: Michelle Belcher, Universal Music Publishing; Maddie Madsen, Current Music; Danica Lynch, Red Temple Music; Briana Alexis, guitarist.
09. Watching the ballsy and vivacious Australian Justine Jones take the stage with her saxophone. Fearless.
10. Michelle Oglevie’s (MLO) mashup performance. Riotous and awesome. Watch the video here:
11. Listening to the beautiful and talented Marchan Noelle. She’s based in LA. Check her out!
12. Amy Englehardt’s performance of her song, “Not Gonna Be Pretty.” So funny.
13. The facilities at Musicians Institute. Couldn’t have asked for better!
14. The production folks from Musicians Institute. So smart. So easy to work with.
15. The sushi across the street at Kino Sushi. So good, we ate there twice.
16. Holly Knight sharing her insight as a producer. Awesome; and I appreciated her frank use of language. She rocks.
17. The fact that the schedule stayed on time. Clock master!
18. Divinity Roxx. This woman is awesome. Have you checked out her music? She came and jammed all weekend. BTW, did you know she played bass with Beyoncé?
19. Dean Markley USA for giving away a fabulous Ultrasound AG15 Acoustic Amp. The lucky winner? Bettie Ross, who will use it well!
20. Tom Gilbert, who works with me at Mad Sun Marketing. You could not have asked for a better production assistant.
21. Fender's Pauline France, who participated in a panel and performed for us on classical guitar. Love it!
22. The moment when Tamara Boyes asked Karen Webb from PR Squared PR about how to draw some attention to the cause of cystic fibrosis with a musical tie-in. Karen had some amazing advice. We all got teary. Oh, and she won the Lucina keyboard Roland donated. How wonderful!
23. Martin’s Indaba scholarship winner Kelsey Hunter. A very talented musician. She flew in from the East Coast!
24. The surprisingly kick-ass lead guitar playing of Anessa Arnold. Quiet, and then — ka-pow! Nice.
25. Dinner with Jennifer Batten. We ate Mexican and drank margaritas. How do you top that?
26. The PR panel featuring Karen Webb from PR Squared PR (Orianthi’s publicist!), Evangelia Livanos from Synergy Management and Pauline France from Fender. So much good info!
27. My new Prius V, which fit a gazillion things in the back. A cooler, drinks, food, two guitars, suitcases and more ... and all with 40 miles to the gallon. Psyche.
28. Missing traffic both ways on the drive down from San Fran. The most pleasant drive to and from LA ever.
29. The first night’s open mic was like unwrapping a present. So much amazing talent. You don’t know what’s coming next!!
30. AudioFly reached out to us and sent us four sets of in ear headphones to give away. How nice is that?
31. Barbara Silva won a Casio scholarship and flew out from Boston. What a talented vocalist! She was phenomenal.
32. Allison Tartalia came back and played keys with just about everyone! What a trooper. An alumna of the first Women’s Music Summit in 2012, it was just awesome to see her!
33. Syd Everett trading licks with Jennifer Batten. How ballsy is that?!
34. Ashante Perkins sang to a track she had just finished recording. Blow-your-mind moment!
35. The humbling chops of Lorena Perez Batista on percussion. Wow. This woman really listens and is so talented.
36. Leanne Summers, president of the Los Angeles Women in Music organization, came out and did a vocal workshop. The best tips ever. Period.
37. Casio donated a Privia PS-350 digital piano that went to the lucky winner, Cansu Gilbas, a student at Musicians Institute. She was thrilled!
38. Electro-Harmonix sent over a Big Muff and a Micro POG for giveaways. I was so jealous.
39. NewBay Media was an amazing media partner for the Summit. Not only did it share ads and blasts with the readers of Guitar World, Guitar Player, Bass Player, Keyboard and more, they sent over magazines for the goodie bags.
40. Val Sepulveda, winner of the "hit like a girl" contest, did a great clinic sponsored by TRX Cymbals about incorporating Latin rhythms into pop music. So much energy! Whaaatttt?!!!
41. Leslie Stem’s cool video she shared about wine and French films and American films ... I kinda got lost, but it was cool.
42. Did I mention the excellent margaritas at Loteria? Yum!!
43. The fabulous rate we got at the Hilton Garden Inn, within walking distance. A very good experience.
44. Guitar Center Hollywood, which loaned us a very nice Cordoba classical guitar so that Pauline France could play. Thank you, fine people!
45. Divinity Roxx, who returned this loaner guitar for us so we didn’t have to wait around until 10 a.m. Monday for GC to open. Saved us two hours!
46. Indaba Music helped us identify the winners of the Martin Scholarship. So much great talent. I love you, Indaba.
47. Starbucks was across the street from our hotel. Latte, Greek yogurt — all of my favorite things.
48. Lilah Shreeve, who also came to the 2012 Summit and came back to share the incredible progress she has made in the past year. You go, girl!
49. All the other amazing attendees and people who came to help out … too may to mention … who all shared and contributed and smiled and were supportive of each other. Thank you for coming. You are what make it great!
50. And finally, to everyone who shared articles and wrote comments and liked stuff on Facebook and re-Tweeted, thank you for spreading the word. The Women’s Music Summit is still in its infancy, but you are what help us grow.
Check out photos, videos and more fun stuff at www.thewimn.com/!
Laura B. Whitmore is a singer/songwriter based in the San Francisco bay area. A veteran music industry marketer, she has spent more than two decades doing marketing, PR and artist relations for several guitar-related brands, including Marshall and Vox. Her company, Mad Sun Marketing, represents Dean Markley, Agile Partners, Peavey, Jammit, Notion Music, Guitar World and many more. Laura was instrumental in the launch of Guitar World's Lick of the Day app. She is the founder of the Women's International Music Network at thewimn.com, producer of the Women's Music Summit and the lead singer for Summer Music Project. More at mad-sun.com.