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My Summer Vacation

It was a dreaded essay in school. But now that I don’t have a teacher giving me the assignment, I find it therapeutic to write about what I have (or haven’t?) accomplished over summer vacation.

I think I’ll start with the most recent trip I made. (Since I’m not getting graded, I can start wherever I want!)

Tom Jackson and Just Blaze at New Music Seminar NYC

Last week I joined Bill Werde (editor of Billboard Magazine), Little Steven (you may know him as Silvio on The Sopranos or as longtime guitarist from Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band), and record producer Just Blaze (Roc-A-Fella Records, Jay-Z, Beanie Sigel, Cam’ron, Memphis Bleek, Freeway), at the New Music Seminar in New York City.

Our topic: “The Creative Conundrum – Increasing Your Odds With Radical Differentiation,” a look at how artists can break their careers wide open.

I had a great time at the event, meeting and mentoring artists that were looking for a way to be more than just “good!”

The two weeks before New Music Seminar, I spent some time at a couple of camps: the OrangeHaus Music Business Camp in Indiana, and Camp Electric in Nashville. I’ve been doing both of these events for several years because the people that organize them are great friends, and because the artists that attend are always lots of fun.

In June, I had spent some time in one of my favorite places, Canada – I always brag about the artists up there, but they really do have some great talent! I was in Vancouver, BC teaching for Music BC and their Peak Performance Project

The last of my summer events will be this week at Gospel Music Association’s Immerse in Nashville, and a day of teaching in Ottawa, Ontario at the Live 88.5 Big Money Shot weekend training seminar in August.

In between all these events I’ve worked one-on-one with singers and bands from LA to Canada to New York. Each one of them is unique and looking to share that individuality with their audience. I was glad I could help them find ways to communicate that uniqueness from onstage.

Of course, I had a wonderful family vacation this summer, too. Sitting on the beach, enjoying the sun, spending time with my wife and kids – nothing better than that!

So how about you? What does your “summer vacation” essay look like so far?

Tom Jackson

Tom is uniquely talented and skilled at transforming an artist's live show into a magical experience for the audience; helping artists at every level create a live show that is engaging and memorable, teaching them to exceed their audiences' expectations and to create fans for life. Tom has taught indie and major artists of every genre. He has worked with Taylor Swift, Le Crae, Home Free, The Tenors, Shawn Mendes, The Band Perry, Francesca Battistelli, Jars of Clay, & many more. Tom also teaches at colleges, conferences and events worldwide.

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Greenroom Comments

  1. I love Tom’s message, enjoy and share blogposts as well, but Little Steven (in the featured video), bless his soul, is mistaken about the craft of songwriting being lost.

    ADVICE TO STEVEN and THE MUSIC INDUSTRY: Get away from your cities, away from your labels, away from your radio stations… The Industry got lazy, forgot to travel & forgot to listen.

    Visit small communities where the songwriters ARE collaborating and breathing modern message into our age-old craft of songwriting. Want to see what I’m talking about ? Visit: ColumbusGA, AshevilleNC EasternPA and we’ll find you the perfect tour guide.


    Teachers, Keep on Teachin’

  2. Hi Tom! It’s been a great summer. Traveled to L.A. to record a new single; released it in Florida at the ‘Joining FORCES’ conference; scheduled some events; built a mini-studio – I have the scars to prove it; went to Cleveland then West Virginia for camping with the kids and finally landed back home to get ready for the school year. The group facing our risk of cancer empowered (FORCE) is adopting the new single “We Are A FORCE” as their theme song! It’s all fun and exciting and the music is getting bigger everyday.
    Looking forward to seeing you in the very near future!

  3. Taking lots of little trips over long weekends, visiting friends, going to the beach, 4-wheeling… 😉 Writing more songs. Rehearsing for a few shows I have coming up – the festival I mentioned when I was there, music in the park, an Octoberfest block party. Things are going well but I’m so busy I wish there were 2 of me! (Tho the rest of the world might not be able to handle THAT!)
    I LOVE summer so fall can take its time coming, but I am looking forward to seeing you all again in October!

  4. Hi Tom,
    Well it’s been a fun summer so far. Lots of cabins in Minnesota (Land of 10,000 Lakes)…fishing…swimming…great sunrises and sunsets. I’ve landed a few summer in the park concerts this summer…..they pay…bonus. Had enough time prepare for the shows and took the time to utilize what I learned from your bootcamp last October. It was a bit more stressful initially trying to work out the setlist according to your grid. But it was a great template….I played 8 songs in 1 hour. Amazing. I held audience attention. I sold CDs. It was actually less stressful performing..because of my prep time..I felt like I for the first time knew what I was doing. It was a blast.I owe it to your bootcamp. I will never forget it!!!! Thanks for doing what you do. I’m going to be recording Mama Don’t Cry which I showcased at bootcamp. Send it out…see if I get any bites. I love fishing!!! Cathy D

  5. Sounds like you have been busy! I have been working on two things from a music standpoint, working getting more bookings and working out my music presentations with the advice I have read from your email updates and web site.
    I am currently working on weeding out the program of an hour long concert I have on August 8 to try and create moments instead of just playing songs.
    I have also started on my Christmas program. I already have 6 Christmas concerts booked.
    We went to Nashville, TN for vacation and toured the Country Music Hall Of Fame, Studio B, took a ride on The General Jackson, went to the Honky Tonks, and to some Nashville area guitar stores.
    My daughter and I went to Pittsburgh to see Phil Keaggy in concert. We are also heading to the beach for a long weekend!
    In a few weeks I have to head back to my day job as a teacher, but I teach physical education, so I won’t assign any summer vacation essays!
    Happy Summer!

  6. hey Tom,

    that sounds great. I’m interested if we will hear more about your meeting with silvio, ahem, Little Steven and Just Blaze. Will you give us details on their take on the subject of Live Music Production and if they had special tips, unusual views of the matter etc?

    great to hear from you,


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