If you’ve not been introduced to Chuck Harmony and Claude Kelly yet, then here’s your best chance. These guys represent the best of what makes the current Nashville music scene so cool, progressive and vibrant. They have worked with many of the industry’s biggest stars and they will be sharing their amazing story, and talk about Weirdo Workshop and Louis York, on September 6 at City Winery.
Weirdo Workshop is a platform initiated by Grammy-nominated songwriting and production team Claude Kelly and Chuck Harmony. After reaching a point of frustration in the music industry, the two decided to be a part of the solution, and create a business serving as a platform that generates conversation through art. The company’s goal is to create a community of open-minded intellectuals who will advocate and practice self acceptance.
Rather than hide from your originality / quirkiness / difference – those things that make you weird – they encourage you to embrace and even accentuate those aspects of yourself. They’re likely your best qualities. Be a dreamer. An individual. Unapologetically you.
One of their most important projects is their band Louis York. After fifteen Saturdays spent in a studio, surrounded by bad Chinese food and good times, Louis York was born. The musical creation of Claude Kelly and Chuck Harmony, their first album, Masterpiece Theater — Act I, is not one genre. Or influence. Or thought. Or message. It’s an exploration of it all.
When stepping behind the mic for the first time in their careers, the Grammy nominated songwriter and producer decided to throw out every rule the business had told them to follow. It doesn’t matter how long, how many transitions or how many genres. Kelly and Harmony found themselves searching for one thing, and one thing alone – GREAT music.
Chuck Harmony spent his formative years in East St. Louis amongst a rich tapestry of gospel music. Those surroundings created a passion for rhythm at a very young age and by a mere four years old, he had already taught himself how to play the drums. He quickly discovered a natural ability to master an instrument with very little instruction. Over the course of his career, Harmony has has managed to teach himself to play dozens of instruments, which served as a natural transition into production. As a producer, he’s worked with many artists including Celine Dion, Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Janet Jackson, John Legend, Rihanna and Ne-Yo.
Claude Kelly was born and raised in the heart of New York City where he was exposed to music at a very early age. As a child, he found his way into the church kitchen during service and managed to turn pots, pans and a ladle into a makeshift drumset. From there, he was hooked. He went on to study at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, receiving a degree in music business and management. He parlayed his knowledge of the business and love for music into a super successful career, which was jumpstarted when he found himself in the studio with Akon and Whitney Houston. He’s written hit singles for Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, Bruno Mars, Jessie J, and countless others.
Check out Chuck, Claude and an array of other amazing speakers at WHO KNEW Presents Nashville Rising, including Shannon Sanders – GRAMMY winning producer and Program Director 102.1 The VILLE; Phil Thornton – SVP / General Manager at RCA Inspiration / Sony Music; Jackie Patillo – President & Executive Director of the Gospel Music Association; Anasa Troutman – Founder/CEO, Eloveate; Gina Miller – Vice President and General Manager of Entertainment One Nashville; and H. Beecher Hicks, III – President & CEO at National Museum of African American Music.
Doors open at 5:00 and the program begins promptly at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 6 at City WInery. Like all WHO KNEW events, they will be giving away great prizes from their sponsors and providing free tastings of Four Roses Bourbon. Tickets are $20 on the City Winery website: http://www.citywinery.com