Career Talent Buyer
Jackie is a career talent buyer based in Boston. In addition to her experience booking legendary Beantown venues (including, among others, the Rat, Berklee’s Red Room, and Boston City Winery), she’s also spoken on advisory panels at music festivals across the country, including SXSW and the Move Music Festival.
Tell us a bit about your career. How did you get into the music industry?
Whelp, I booked my first band in the 80's for our graduation party, they were called DESTINY and so it goes...
I then started booking my boyfriend's band, THE IN THEORY (which I named) and getting a taste for the responsibility that position holds. I KNEW I wanted to be in the industry and that my passion plus entrepreneurial spirit could take me places. I carved out my own path in the most unconventional of ways and have been a champion of many many bands. I regret not moving to NY or LA were I could have done more BUT I became a big Boston fish in a little pond, if you will. I was/am one of the ONLY female bookers in Boston and New England and I have dedicated many years to moving bands forward as well as other women and men in the industry. I breed thoroughbreds and LOVE to champion new talent!
In a world inundated with digital platforms, why is radio still important to venues?
Radio is the OG of access for independent artists that STILL need REAL relationships to endure. Believe it or not, people are still influenced by the radio and its active listening, not just clicking a "like" button arbitrarily. I don't care about how many "likes" a band has, I care about their hustle and "word on the street." Those of us that book should be looking at radio to suggest, to an agent, that BAND X open for a bigger artist coming to town. THAT is doing our job on behalf of an artist/band. Radio is homegrown listenership of the highest degree. It's an instant surprise every time you tune in. It is THE REASON why we have our classic rock catalogues that have withstood the test of time. Every band should subscribe to become a classic rock band because that is a testament of likability and talent. Talent Buyers need to step up and engage local radio when promoting a show or at least provide a comprehensive media list to the band's agent and manager. It takes a tribe and we are all one if doing it with integrity!
What has been your experience working with radio from the talent buyer/show promoter side of things?
If there is radio there is opportunity. I worked in college radio when at Northeastern in the 90's and simultaneously worked for the iconic WBCN as a voice actor and show producer. I cannot express enough how much I learned in those years and how the value of radio and community really affected me. I have bought for 5 infamous Boston venues and I would always dig deep to find out if WERS, WMFO or any of the college stations or the then WFNX or the local shows were on to something. I also think that the legendary Anngelle Wood and her Boston Emissions show and other shows of that ilk ONLY better the situation and make my knowledge base stronger. I think program directors and DJs are the unsung heroes of our industry STILL and deserve a lot more credit than they receive!
What is your favorite thing about Boston area radio?
That we have some of THE BEST stations in the country! Boston radio has literally broken some of the BIGGEST names in music and we continue to be on the forefront of discovery! I know many of the DJs and their passion and perseverance have propelled many bands into the proverbial spotlight. I am a proud Bostonian and have faith in radio and its continued value. It's not terrestrial, it's value if you know how to keep it alive and kicking!