Seattle Office of Film + Music

The Presidents of the United States of America Headlines Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon 2014
February 26, 2014, 4:37 pm
Filed under: Music


Seattle-based Presidents of the United States of America (PUSA) are returning home to perform the post-race concert of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon & 1/2 on Saturday June 21. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon & 1/2 creates an invigorating mix of fitness and live music, lining each mile of the 13.1 and 26.2 mile race course with local bands performing various genres. PUSA’s debut self-titled album spawned huge radio hits like “Lump” and “Peaches,” earning them two Grammy nominations. The rockers recently released their sixth studio album, titled Kudos to You! “This is a proud music city and so it’s very appropriate and exciting to have a Seattle band perform as our headliner,” said Alex Bennett, event director. “There is so much to see and experience here, and we try to encapsulate as much of that as possible for our runners by creating a race course that really highlights what makes Seattle so special.” PUSA will get the finish line party started at the Seattle Center with a free concert, welcome to everyone.

Mayor appoints Kate Becker to lead Film + Music, thanks James Keblas
February 7, 2014, 3:08 pm
Filed under: Music

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has announced that he is appointing Kate Becker as the new director for the City’s Film + Music Office.

“I’m pleased to name Kate Becker to the position of director of the Office of Film + Music,” said Murray. “Kate has strong industry relationships and a passion for music, nightlife and film in Seattle. I’m looking forward to the energy and creativity she brings to my leadership team.”

Becker will replace James Keblas, who has served the Seattle film and music community for the past nine years.

“I want to thank James Keblas for his nine years of service to the city,” said Murray. “During his tenure, the Office of Film + Music has had strong success at promoting Seattle as a place to make a living making film and making music, and the City of Music and Commercialize Seattle initiatives promote our robust music and film industry sectors.”

Prior to joining the city, Becker served in leadership roles with the Seattle Theatre Group, Art Share LA in Los Angeles, and at the Vera Project. She also founded an all ages venue and teen center, The Old Fire House, in Redmond, WA and led that program from 1992-2003.

Read the full Mayor’s press release

Read Kate Becker’s message

Read James Keblas’ message 

Alarming Pictures
October 29, 2013, 10:56 am
Filed under: Music

Alarming Pictures commercializes Seattle and makes Ad Critic’s top 20 with a Papa Murphy’s spot.

September 11, 2013, 3:07 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags: , ,

In 2004, The City of Seattle designated that the first Monday after Labor Day through the following Sunday be known as Buskers Week. In honor of Buskers Week, the Seattle Municipal Tower will be participating in this year’s celebration by featuring five performances by Seattle street musicians on the Level Six Plaza during the week of September 9-13.  All performances will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  Performers include: Wasserman, Raven Zoe, Razz, Jim Page, and Whitney Monge.

Seattle Police Department Offers Security Training Program for Nightlife Businesses

The Seattle Police Department is offering a Security Training Program on Sunday, July 21, beginning at noon, at the Seattle Police Department headquarters. The class is not just for security personnel. Security training is imperative for individuals who work physical security or screen patrons at the door. It is also extremely beneficial to any employee who regularly interacts with clientele. Maintaining a highly-trained staff, ready to deal with difficult situations, is vital to the safety of both the patrons and the employees. Topics of instruction will include screening patrons, handling problem situations, and tips on shutting down and dispersing patrons. Registration and a $60 feel is required. For more information, click here. 

June 27, 2013, 10:52 am
Filed under: Music

MakingaLivingMakingMusic 6.25.13 Final (hi res)

Did you ever dream of playing music for a living only to be told to get a real job?

The Seattle Office of Film + Music aims to challenge that notion with its newly-released infographic that illustrates annual revenue of three up-and-coming fulltime Seattle musicians and how they do it.  The infographic came to life after James Keblas, the Director for Seattle’s Office of Film + Music, was asked by a young musician, “how can I quit my day job and just play music?”  Inspired by the question, Keblas reached out to other successful musicians to find out specifically how they do it.

The three musicians, each from different genres, willingly opened up their 2012 financial records and let Keblas’ team try and make sense of how the money flowed.  “It was important for us to find musicians who modeled a middle class living,” said Keblas.  “We are trying to show that this kind of a living can be done without having to be rockstar.”

From the financial analysis it was decided that there are six primary areas in which musicians bring in income.  While the percentages of the musician’s revenue were different for each person, the categories held true.  The musicians also gave some tips on how to have the best success in each category:

  1. Licensing and Publishing – Companies, TV, Film, Commercials buy your music.   Tip: Send out a monthly digital newsletter of your music to music supervisors with new songs ready for licensing.
  2. Music Sales – CDs, downloads, streaming.  Tip: You and your fans give away one free song on social media platforms to hook folks to buy more songs.
  3. Merchandise Sales – T-Shirts, branded band-aids, condoms.  Tip: You will increase merchandise sales by over 50% if you’re sitting at the table where the goods are being sold.
  4. Live Performances – Concerts and touring.  Tip: Don’t dismiss the earning potential of busking.  Musicians at Sea-Tac Airport and the Pike Place Market are averaging over $100/hour in tips.
  5. Studio Work – Film & video game music, studio or backup musician.  Tip: Make friends with people in the tech world who need music scored for game or app development.
  6. Instruction – Teach others music.  Tip: Do group lessons and get the biggest paycheck for your time.

“I was surprised to learn how accessible the opportunities to make money are in music while also being incredibly complicated to navigate,” said Keblas.  “My hope with this information is to demystify the business of music and for artists to be in more control of a thriving musical destiny.”

The take away for Keblas from this research?  “It’s clear that if you want to make it as a musician, you need to have a business strategy for a majority of these revenue streams, if not all of them.  No one said it was easy, but if you have the musical skills and the perseverance, you can do it.”

The infographic was made by Killer Infographics, an infographic design firm located in Seattle’s tech-savvy Fremont neighborhood.  Their infographics are built by a team of highly talented artists. Led by Internet marketers, their staff creates viral-worthy infographic designs that get the attention they deserve.



The Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute (LHPAI) has announced the first Seattle’s Harlem Renaissance Award winner, Oscale Grace Holden (b. 1930), an international pianist and voice of jazz and African American music who was born and raised in central Seattle. The award will be presented at the LHPAI Gala Meet Me at the Savoy on Saturday, June 29 by Jacqueline D. Moscou, artistic director, LHPAI. Proceeds from the Gala will support the LHPAI Youth Performing Arts Academy and Summer Musical; tickets are available now at brownpapertickets.

“Ms Holden is a legend. She exemplifies the deep community and artistic roots that are at the heart of what we do,” said LHPAI executive director Royal Alley-Barnes. “We are so proud to count her in our community and pleased to be able to offer this recognition of her long contributions to the Seattle Diaspora community.”

Holden was born to Leala and Oscar Holden in 1930. Oscar Holden (1886-1969) was known as the patriarch of Seattle jazz, and the Holden children, Grace, and her brothers Oscar Jr., Dave, Ron, and Jimmy were all musicians who played in Seattle in the late 1940s and beyond. By 1930, when Grace was born, Oscar Holden was a seasoned, highly successful musician. Born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1886, Holden moved as far away from the South as possible, distancing himself from his past, and the prejudices he felt growing up there.

Grace was influenced by the music of Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holliday, Lena Horne and Dinah Washington. She played jazz with young Quincy Jones in Charlie Taylor’s pioneering swing band in the 1940s with her brother Oscar Jr.  Performances at Jazz Alley, Club New Orleans, Root’s Picnic, Festival Sundiata, Experience Music Project and Admiral Congregational United Church of Christ have put Grace on the national and international Jazz map. Grace Holden still sings in her church’s gospel choir.

Grace Holden’s family maxim to “never stop learning and never stop trying to learn,” fits particularly well with the mission of  LHPAI and LHPAI’s youth and young adult performing artist programs.

The above account of Holden’s life is excerpted from; more on Grace Holden here.