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Tuesday
Mar262013

March 9, 2013 article in the Nashua Telegraph tells the tale

Why did Studio 99 close? There are several reasons. The Nashua Telegraph did a great job of explaining on March 9, 2013.  Original article here.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

NASHUA – Studio 99, one of downtown Nashua’s core venues for live music, closed its doors Wednesday , facing a combination of financial problems and difficulties related to its location.

One of the main contributors to Studio 99’s closure, owner Elise MacDonald said in a phone interview Friday afternoon, was the harassment her patrons received from drunken individuals passing the venue at 17 Factory St.

“We had to put film on our windows because kids literally dropped their pants and mooned us,” she said. “That happened more than once.”

Other incidents included banging on the venue’s large glass windows and screaming at the performers and audience from the sidewalk.

MacDonald informed the police about these issues, as well as several aldermen.

“The problem with Factory Street is that it has just little enough traffic that it’s possible for people to pull stunts like that and feel like they’re not going to be seen by anyone who could identify them,” she said.

Financial difficulties rounded out the rest of the factors in MacDonald’s decision to close Studio 99, with high rent, insurance payments and payments to performance rights organizations taking their toll.

Studio 99, a listening-room-style venue designed to allow audiences to focus on music without other distractions, brought a variety of acts to Nashua, including Boston-based female Celtic roots quartet Long Time Courting and performers from the N.H. Jazz series.

The venue’s location, however, made patrons “sitting ducks” for disruptive incidents, MacDonald said, noting that the Arena Sportsbar and Nightclub is diagonally across from Studio 99.

Patrons of local bars also contributed to the difficulties, she said, with people generally “drunk and disorderly on the street.”

“Nashua’s really hitched its wagon to this severely alcohol- fueled nightlife,” MacDonald said. “It’s become really routine.”

The nearby High Street Garage has posed a challenge, as well.

“That’s gotten pretty rowdy in the last couple of months,” she said. “A lot of screaming and fights going on.”

Some patrons toughed it out, but others found the situation unsettling.

“They scared away some folks permanently, unfortunately,” MacDonald said, adding that negative publicity travels quickly.

When MacDonald brought her completed 2012 tax return to her accountant, it became clear that the writing was on the wall for Studio 99.

“She just basically said, ‘You just can’t keep doing this,’ ” MacDonald said.

Payments to performance rights organizations such as the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers posed a particular financial challenge to Studio 99 because of the organizations’ tiered payment systems.

With ASCAP’s system, the lowest tier available is for venues that can accommodate 1,000 people or fewer. By comparison, the Edmund M. Keefe Auditorium in Nashua, one of the largest concert halls in the state, seats about 1,500 people. Studio 99 seats about 100.

“We’re paying proportionately at a much higher level than what we’re able to fit into the venue,” MacDonald said.

Jonathan Lorentz, who has worked with MacDonald to bring the N.H. Jazz series to Studio 99, said he was disappointed to see the venue close.

“It’s sad,” he said. “They have something very special there, because it’s a focused listening experience.”

Lorentz also witnessed some of the disruptions from intoxicated passersby.

“I definitely caught a little bit of that when I was there,” he said, noting that some of the performers who were interrupted were globally known, even Grammy winners.

Now that Studio 99 has closed, Lorentz is looking for a venue in Nashua or Manchester to host the N.H. Jazz series.

“We’ve developed a decent following of music fans that are really eager to come out and hear live jazz,” he said. “The thing was just starting to catch on in Nashua.”

Arrangements are being made for some of the events that originated at Studio 99 to continue at other locations without the Studio 99 affiliation.

Mike Loce, the director of the ukulele club, has a strong lead for an alternate location, MacDonald said. Piano karaoke, for which she plays the piano, is also likely to relocate.

“They definitely have concrete plans that are moving forward,” she said of the two groups.

Although Studio 99 is done as a corporate entity, MacDonald said she will continue to maintain the website at www.studio99nashua.com and the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Studio99Nashua for the benefit of those who found common ground at the venue.

“It’s definitely not just a performance venue. It’s a community of musicians,” she said, noting that many musicians connected through Studio 99’s monthly jam sessions.

Although MacDonald is coming to terms with Studio 99’s closure, she realizes it may take time for others to do the same.

“I’m definitely disappointed, but at the same time, I’ve had a lot of time to process it,” she said. “It’s the people around me who are really going through it right now.”

Teresa Santoski can be reached at 594-6466 or tsantoski@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Santoski on Twitter (@Telegraph_TS).

Sunday
Mar102013

Reviews from our former Meetup group

Here are some reviews from our recently departed Meetup group, which opened about a month after we did: August 2008.

 I recently overheard one of our visitors describing Studio 99 as "a community center for musicians and music lovers." Works for me! Hone your performance skills at our Open Mics; work on your reading, improv and ensemble skills at the Jams and Uke Club; enjoy the hand-picked performers at our weekend headlining concerts; try your singing skills with live piano accompaniment at Piano Karaoke; and broaden your circle of friends who share an interest in music and the arts. 

      — Elise on Aug 25, 2012.

 A wonderful musical education and performance venue. Kudos to Elise for crafting the mission and implementation of the organization. 

     — John Irza on Jan 3, 2013.

 If you like to play acoustic music of all types, in a building with GREAT acoustics, then come! Elise has yummy snacks and cold or hot drinks available, and we always have a very congenial group. Elise and the jam leaders are warm and friendly, welcoming all to come play or just relax and enjoy music. It's a fun place to go, play music, meet people and share ideas. 

     — Amy Conley on Aug 9, 2012.

 Very good...unique opportunity for musicians to play together 

     — Alex on Apr 5, 2012.

 Enjoying meeting the people here. 

     — Clem on Mar 23, 2012.

 Excellent! The RSVP feature is great for planning.... 

     — Scott S. Cavanagh on Mar 20, 2012.

 Top notch! 

     — Mike Loce on Jan 3, 2012.

 Best venue for listening to local and headline talent! 

     — BOB POPE on Nov 13, 2010.

 Studio 99 is quite simply the best small musical venue in the area - run by warm, friendly people with a real love for the arts, and a wonderful crowd of players and listeners. Inexpensive concerts, jams of various types, lessons - if I had more time I'd be there all the time! I can't think of anything more wonderful than playing and listening to music with friends - and Studio 99 is the place! 

     — Gary St. Laurent on Aug 29, 2010.

 Very welcoming atmosphere for newbies and experienced players! 

     — Marje on Aug 6, 2010.

 Studio 99 is an excellent concept and a very special environment which attracts great people. And now, it is in a convenient downtown Nashua setting which is becoming more intimate and inviting every day. Whatever your level of expertise; musical hobbyist, professional, or enthusiast, come down to play, listen, experiment, and learn. And you never know who might pop in ! 

     — Chris Andreola on Jul 29, 2010.

 it's a gift 

     — dixie on Jul 22, 2010.

 Studio 99 is where the music lover goes to. . . it's a place where one can be happy listening to music be it live or on CD. . . and honestly, isn't that what it's all about? I wanted a place where I can share my love of music with others, where I can explore and write down the names of bands I never heard of or songs that gently linger in my head. Studio 99 is a unique and wonderful musical experience created by a music lover for music lovers. 

     — Marcus Scott on Jul 7, 2010.

 You'll find diverse and surprisingly good music. 

     — Phil Levesque on May 15, 2010.

 Others should join because it's a lot of fun, and cool to be a part of something cool. 

     — Joe on Apr 24, 2010.

 Good players and good attitudes :) 

     — Rich Laplante on Apr 8, 2010.

 Well, if you play folksy music or enjoy singing it, I'd assume you'd be welcome. It's pretty entertaining to be a spectator as well. Casual, comfortable, real people playing great acoustic music. You can sit there on your computer (or whatever you do quietly) and work while listing to live music that's not pretentious or too loud. The suggested donation for entry and beverages (quite reasonable) is shoved into hats rather than collected, which is nice. Guitars, banjo, fiddle (played by a guy with an awesome 50's haircut), stand up bass and a slide guitar. How could you go wrong? 

     — edward on Feb 17, 2010.

 Great music, great environment. 

     — Jerry Martinez on Oct 21, 2009.

 Network, learn, have fun 

     — Garrett Partridge on Jun 25, 2009.

Tuesday
Feb052013

Bassist Kevin Wyman, former Studio 99 intern, steps up as Jazz Jam host

Kevin Wyman could star in an infomercial advertising Studio 99. After discovering a knack for playing bass in high school, Kevin began attending the jazz and blues jams at the Studio soon after its opening in the summer of 2008. Since then, he has evolved into a trained jazz musician, educator, and an all-around aficionado of improvisational music. 

Kevin received his Bachelor's of Music from the University of Massachusetts in 2012, consisting of training in both classical and jazz studies on electric bass, complemented by a basic training in jazz piano as well. During his senior year, he served as an intern at Studio 99, focusing on business issues, running sound for events, and participating in and hosting jam sessions.

Starting in his new role as Jazz Jam host this month, Kevin is delighted to be a part of Studio 99, and to be helping to give back to the community via the organization that provided him with a strong start in becoming a lifelong musician. 

Sunday
Dec092012

Long Time Courting returns to our stage Sunday, December 16 at 3 pm

Sunday, December 16


3 pm

 

Long Time

Courting

 


"Enchanting vocals, top-rank musicianship, and well-conceived, intelligent arrangements." 

  – Boston Irish Reporter

"An exceptionally good album... one of the best new groups playing in the Celtic genre." 

– Times Argus

Take four individually accomplished traditional musicians and singers with fresh attitudes. Combine them, and you have the rich, soaring four-part vocal arrangements and high energy dance tunes that are Long Time Courting. Bringing together the talents of Sarah Blair on fiddle/vocals, Liz Simmons on guitar/vocals, Shannon Heaton on flute/vocals, and Valerie Thompson on cello/vocals, this Boston-based band shares a love of traditional Irish, Scottish and American folk music as well as contemporary material. They bring elements of these various genres to their repertoire in a way that is seamlessly innovative, inventively arranged, and skillfully rendered. 

www.longtimecourting.com

Monday
Nov262012

French jazz vocalist Violette to appear November 30 at 8

 

 

At the early age of 25, French native singer-songwriter Violette has already released three albums. After Innervoice (2009) and Joie de Vivre  (2010), her third album Simple is Beautiful features twelve songs in both French and English. Her originals, although rooted in jazz, reflect the young artist's eclectic range of musical influences from Pop to Rock and R&B. 

Growing up on a small island off the French Atlantic coast, Violette fully embraced the beauty and unspoiled nature of her surroundings, dividing her days between sports, books and music. However, she had to trade her beloved outdoors for the urban lifestyle of big-city Paris. There she took up the study of traditional percussions at a music conservatory, followed by classical voice training.

Now calling New York home, this modern cosmopolitan has already performed internationally in locales as diverse as Paris, New York, Boston, Montreal, Senegal, Prague and Dubai in addition to slots at major festivals such as Jazz a Sete, Jazz a Vannes and Jazz a Crest. The sophisticated pop vocalist is currently working on her fourth album, set to be released late 2012.