New Orleans Music Economy

Background – Music, but Not Yet a Thriving Music Economy

New Orleans is synonymous with music: the birthplace of jazz, the home of New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, a place where people dance at weddings and funerals. It would seem that New Orleans would have a deep music economy supporting this brand, creating jobs and wealth for its creators. In reality, while New Orleans is unmatched as a city for live music performance, when it comes to the business of music – IP management, production, publishing, artist management, law, finance – this happens in other cities.


As a result, the majority of jobs, wealth, and ultimately, most successful musicians end up in cities like Nashville, Los Angeles, and New York – not New Orleans. Live performance is just the tip of the Music Economy iceberg. The “Music Economy Initiative” is an economic development strategy to develop the rest of the music industry – with a focus on IP management -right here in New Orleans, where it belongs.

Vision – A Complete Music Economy

The vision for the New Orleans Music Economy initiative is for New Orleans to have both the brand of America’s premier music city and a thriving music economy that provides jobs and wealth to support musicians, IP managers, publishers, marketers, legal representatives, and all other aspects of the business of music. This will sustain our artists and keep them here, and will create thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in wealth to benefit the Greater New Orleans region.

Through the New Orleans Music Economy Initiative, New Orleans will capture the value of its musical culture and re-invest it at home.

Team – Business & Music Leadership Come Together

The New Orleans Music Economy Initiative is spearheaded by a group of regional business and music leaders, with international experience and reach, including:

  • Michael Hecht – Greater New Orleans, Inc.
  • Tara Hernandez – JCH Properties+
  • Sherri McConnell – Creative Industry Policy Advisor
  • Jim McCormick – Staff Songwriter, BMG Rights Management; Music Industry Studies Instructor, Loyola University New Orleans
  • PJ Morton – Morton Records, Maroon 5
  • William Prieur – IBERIABANK Sports & Entertainment
  • Bill Sabo – New Orleans Business Alliance
  • Raj Smoove – DJ, Producer, and Audio Engineer
  • Jay Weigel – Composer; Music Director; Producer; Loyola University New Orleans Film Scoring Instructor
  • Reid Wick – The Recording Academy; The Grammy Awards

The team has partnered with Sound Diplomacy, a global consulting firm and international leaders of the “music cities” movement. Using cutting edge research and data-driven methodology, Sound Diplomacy develops strategies that deliver economic growth and social development by creating vibrant and sustainable music ecosystems. Sound Diplomacy has produced music economy strategies for London, Brisbane, Vancouver, Barcelona, and many other major cities around the world.

Note: Learn more about Sound Diplomacy’s process here in New Orleans.

Strategy – From Vision to Action

GNO, Inc. and local partners will collaborate with Sound Diplomacy to execute a 4-step process that will develop the action plan for New Orleans to fulfill its vision for a robust music economy. The steps to bring this vision to life are:

  1. GAP ANALYSIS: Map Greater New Orleans’ current music ecology, highlighting the existing gaps
  2. POLICY ASSESSMENT: Assess Greater New Orleans’ existing music and economic policies for deficiencies and opportunities
  3. ECONOMIC IMPACT: Provide an economic assessment of Greater New Orleans’ music industry potential when fully realized
  4. ACTION PLAN: Develop a detailed, critical-path Action Plan with steps needed to fill in the gaps and realize our full economic potential and vision

Results – Music in New Orleans Creates Jobs and Wealth

  • Employment Growth
  • Economic Diversification
  • Increased Investment
  • Wealth Creation
  • Musicians Sustained
  • Culture Preserved
  • “Music City” mantle reclaimed

Jobs will include: IP Management, Music Technology, Artist Management, Rehearsal and Recording, Legal Representation, Label Management, and more.


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