About the Reno Music Project
(For detailed information about our open mic and
showcase events, see Booking Information)
The Reno Music Project is a labor of love, founded in 2007 by Todd South and several like-minded associates. The general concept is that of a music cooperative, i.e., an organization comprised of musicians and friends working together to provide a home for original, independent music in Northern Nevada. As such, we have set forth the following mission statement:
- Develop & encourage original talent: There's nothing wrong with performing someone else's song, especially when done with your own style & artistry. However, as there are already plenty of venues for "cover" songs to be performed and enjoyed, our primary purpose is to assist & encourage the creation, performance, recording, publication, and distribution of original, independent music.
For years we've heard the complaint, "Reno lacks a decent music scene." We believe the scene is what you make it. Our aim is to help develop the local music scene and do our best to share Reno's music renaissance with the world.
- Promote music for music's sake: Songwriters & musicians are rarely able to relax and enjoy performing for an audience that appreciates their art and talent. Instead, they're often considered by venue management to be employed in the sale of beverages and comestibles. As the pressure grows to draw a crowd—any crowd—in order to sell drinks, their job ceases to be that of a performing artist. Conversely, attending shows at these venues can be more annoyance than entertainment, involving high drink prices and boorish behavior by drunken patrons, while a heartfelt performance becomes lost in the din. More often than not, live music faces the threat of being replaced by DJ's, karaoke machines, sports-blaring TV screens, etc.
Events produced by the Reno Music Project are always about just one thing: the music.
- Produce "all-ages" shows: Anyone who grew up in the Truckee Meadows can tell you that it hasn't always been the best place to be a budding young musician or music lover. Until recently there weren't many places in our area where live music could be experienced without first being smothered in a cacophonous stew of cigarettes and slot machine clatter. We don't have anything against music bars or cabarets; some types of music were born to be wild, and the more venues providing stage time for original acts, the better! Unfortunately, these places (with some limited exceptions) aren't able to serve the under 21 crowd, not to mention adults who love live music but don't enjoy the bar scene. As such, we feel it's very important that all Reno Music Project activities be open to audience members of all ages and operated in a family-friendly manner.
- Provide an outstanding performance space: The award-winning Musician's Showcase series and Reno's Best Open Mic began in 2000 as a simple coffeehouse open mic night. After adding the showcase series in 2002, these music nights featured over 800 artists, performing for some of the most appreciative audiences a musician could hope for! Nonetheless, all good things must come to an end, and by the summer of 2007 it was time to move on. From July 2007 to December 2009 we were fortunate to have use of the recital hall at Maytan Music Center, providing us with the chance to expand and grow as we strove to serve the independent music community. Having completed our run at MMC, the Reno Music Project brought its long-running, award-winning open mic and showcase nights back to Walden's Coffeehouse!