Board Feed: Sarah Jones
San Francisco Chapter
San Francisco Chapter Secretary Sarah Jones is a musician and journalist with a long history working at the intersection of music and technology. She is Editor of Electronic Musician, author of Assistant Engineer Handbook: Gigs in the Recording Studio & Beyond, and co-chair of the San Francisco Chapter’s Education Committee, which plans such professional development programming as Music Business Night School, Art Of The Craft, and Up Close & Personal events.
In your service on the Board of Governors, what are the greatest challenges you’ve found facing music professionals within the San Francisco Chapter?
These days, musicians really have to be able to do it all. It’s just not enough to be a great musician anymore; you have to be an entrepreneur, and to master an incredibly broad range of skills, from songwriting to recording to marketing to business.
How does The Recording Academy as a whole—and the SF Chapter specifically—address those needs?
Musicians may have to do it all, but they don’t have to do it alone; The Recording Academy offers amazing educational resources, like our Music Business Night School and Songwriter Composer workshop series, plus tons of materials at grammypro.com. Being part of the community is so important—we host mixers and other events, which are awesome opportunities to connect with musicians, producers, engineers, and industry pros. Get out there and meet people—you never know where networking is going to lead.
In your work with music manufacturers as Editor of Electronic Musician, are there any trends you’ve identified as particularly strong within our Chapter?
The Bay Area is always at the bleeding edge of technology, and this is reflected in the audio technology that’s been developed here—we’ve seen industry-standard platforms from companies like Avid and Dolby. At the same time, we’re home to synthesis pioneers like Dave Smith and Roger Linn. Scan the list of Technical GRAMMY winners and you’ll see a lot of local names.
As a print/social/visual media professional, what advice do you have for artists looking to sharpen their PR skills?
You might be an incredible musician, but you’re competing for attention in a sea of incredible musicians. Find a story angle that’s unique. What makes you special? Be able to tell a 30-second version and the 10-minute version of that story. Be real: Avoid lazy buzzwords. I have a book recommendation: Brag: How to Toot Your Own Horn Without Blowing It by Peggy Klaus. It’s not a music industry book, but it’ll teach you how to get over feeling awkward about talking yourself up and nailing the perfect pitch.