Musical Development

Boo HanksThe most frequent and resounding request we receive from artists is for work. In reviving artists’ careers, Music Maker boosts their quality of life and ability to earn income with their talents, while presenting traditional music to the world and preserving it for future generations.


Professional Development

Music Maker partner artists work with staff to develop repertoires and to record and promote albums. For every dollar MMRF spends on producing a CD, an artist can earn up to $15 from its sale. We promote artists, obtain bookings for them, and provide tour support when needed. We also work to procure artists decent instruments to enhance their art.


Through the Musical Development Program, fingers that haven’t touched the fret board in ages become once again limber and articulate. Songwriters who haven’t composed in years rediscover their voice and have so much to share.  What is most significant to the individual is the tremendous boost in self-esteem from a new generation showing interest in their music.


Revitalizing Careers

Ironing Board SamIroning Board Sam spent 50+ years building a musical career, performing on the first African-American television show “The Night Train,” and showcasing his imaginative inventions on the streets of New Orleans. After Hurricane Katrina, Sam was without a home, and, with no gigs, entered into forced retirement in Rock Hill, S.C. Music Maker supporter Gene Tomko located him, living in extreme poverty and having given up hope on his music.


Music Maker stepped in and partnered with Sam to record a CD, book him performances, and generate press interest. We also procured him a new keyboard, relocated him to safe and comfortable housing in Chapel Hill, N.C. and provided for other basic needs so he could focus on his art. Sam was profiled in Living Blues, started performing again at gigs all over the country, and eventually released his first album on the Music Maker label, Going Up, which garnered many positive reviews. Maker granted a new keyboard to Sam, greatly enhancing his live performances.


Since beginning work with Music Maker in 2010, Sam has performed at the 2012 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival in Columbia, MO, at the North Dakota Museum of Art, and many more venues. He will perform on the Fall 2012 Blues Cruise alongside a stellar lineup including Taj Mahal and the Carolina Chocolate Drops. Sam now has several regular gigs close to his home, ensuring a small but steady income, and continues to be in-demand from talent buyers.