Denver’s Underground Music Showcase (UMS) features over 150 acts from all over the nation. The festival, now in its 22nd year has a number of changes. We’re spotlighting 2 of them, and the artists involved here..
Youth on Record was founded in 2008 with the mission to designs and implements strengths-based, music-centered programs intended to equip young people from historically under-resourced communities with the skills needed to find success in life by advancing their academic success, increasing their economic opportunities and career skills, and strengthening their community connections and networks. This year Youth on Record took a 49% interest in UMS. As part of that they’ve brought their own signature events to UMS including:
Impact Show July 30, 2022 – New to UMS this year, the Impact Show is part of a festival-wide focus on supporting mental wellness and the prevention of substance misuse among musicians and an anticipated 10,000 festival attendees. The inaugural show will feature the Seratones, A funk-soul-rock band from Louisiana that marries spirituality, protest, Black feminism, and Afrofuturism.
Youth on Record will also have Impact Days preceding UMS on July 27 & 28, 2022 from 12-6 MST at Youth on Record.
A two-day intensive hosted by Youth on Record and open to all musicians and artists participating in the UMS, Impact Days will serve as an industry-focused kick-off for the festival. Artists, music industry and community leaders will provide skill-sharing workshops, networking, professional development, and wellness coaching opportunities to local and emerging artists. Focused on artmaking, Impact, and Economic Opportunity, Impact Days are designed to build the foundation for institutional resources that will serve musicians, artists, and the creative industries for years to come.
Dozens of industry and arts leaders will host panels, workshops and coaching sessions; industry and arts leaders will be paid for their time. During the pilot year, the event is free to all participating artists. Between sessions, participants will be invited to participate in “care” practices including yoga, access to mental health resources, sober bars, and healthy foods.
Black Fret is a nationwide membership organization with chapters in Austin, Seattle and now Colorado. Black Fret’s goal is to create a global network of connected communities, all supporting their local music economies. And in the process of creating this network, provide opportunities for our Black Fret bands to travel between cities, playing bigger gigs and being paid for shows they would not have had the opportunity to otherwise.
Recently Black Fret Colorado announced its 2022 Black Fret Awardees. The inaugural Black Fret Awardee artists were nominated by local industry experts and founding members in Colorado. They represent a broad spectrum of musical genres and reflect the depth of Colorado’s remarkable talent. They are:
The Underground Music Showcase
Featuring: N3ptune, Wes Watkins, Shannon and the Clams, Sofía Valdés, Joshy Soul, Ekkstacy, Digg
August 27, 2021
Photos by Justine Johnson
@theums, @n3ptunemusic, @theweswatkins, @shanandtheclams, @sofia.valdes, @joshysoul, @ekkstacy, @diggband
In celebrating 20 years of UMS this year, things are changing a lot. In the past UMS has been a 4 day, then 3-day music festival including national, regional, and local acts. This year in the shadow of COVID-19 it is a new event entirely.
This year it is a 3-hour virtual music festival, variety show, and telethon to benefit the Colorado Music Relief Fund. The Colorado Music Relief Fund was created to support all of those who help bring music to our lives — host of talented and dedicated individuals, crews, and businesses working on stage and behind the scenes. https://www.comusicrelief.org/home
Hosted by Christie Buchele and Sam Tellent, UMS will include live performances broadcast from the Hi-Dive, and music video premieres. This year’s lineup includes the following local woman acts: