You may be familiar with Jason Manns as a producer, and singer-songwriter, but he is also responsible for dozens of the shows and tours you may have attended over the years. Today he announced a new project, Dogwood Events, that will further expand on creating musical experiences across the United States. Jason discussed with us how Dogwood is a counterpart to Rockwood in Germany, and what’s to come.
Nerds and Beyond: How would you describe Dogwood Events?
Jason Manns: To someone who is familiar with me and what I do I’d say it’s like Rockwood in Germany, or Gallus Promotions in the U.K., but it’s for concerts and events here in the U.S. To someone who doesn’t know me I’d say… wait, how did you hear about Dogwood Events?
Nerds and Beyond: Does the name mean anything?
Jason: It does! I grew up in Virginia, and it’s a place I’ve always loved. The blossom of the Dogwood tree is the official state flower, plus it gives a wink to my first event company endeavor, which is Rockwood Events based in Germany. Sabine Eikmann is my business partner over there and we throw Rockwood Music Festival every year (this will be our 5th!) and I’m really proud of the laid back family vibe of that whole event so I wanted to give a nod to that with the name as well. (Not to mention it’s in a line I’ve sung with Quattro Formaggio quite a few times… ‘heading down south to the land of the pines… made it down the coast in seventeen hours, pickin’ me a bouquet of dogwood flowers’…)
Nerds and Beyond: What is Dogwood’s role with the inaugural tour in July with you, Briana Buckmaster, Billy Moran, Paul Carella, and Hayden Lee? How can people learn more about the tour?
Jason: Dogwood is the booking and promotional company putting it on, so our role is everything from contacting the venues and setting up the shows to booking hotels, transportation (yes, I also drive the bus), and coordinating the fun VIP meet & greets with the venues as well as the other events like the Brunches. Luckily I’ll also be singing on the tour so if anything goes wrong I’ll be on site to fix it! To learn more about all of that folks can check out our website at www.dogwoodbooking.com
Nerds and Beyond: How can fans support Dogwood?
Jason: The most important way fans can support is to show up! Dogwood itself doesn’t need support, (well, we did get a cool logo made, so if folks want a t-shirt or tote or something that’s always a good idea!) but really we aim to facilitate opportunities for fans to support their own favorite artists. So if you wanna follow us on social media (@dogwoodbooking) to make sure you always know when Billy or Briana, or Paul, or Rob, Gil, Blake, The Station Breaks, Louden, Rich, or whoever else might be coming to your area, that’s the best way!
Nerds and Beyond: Are there future plans for a festival like Rockwood in the U.S.?
Jason: “Plan” is maybe a little more specific than I can cop to at the moment, but I would definitely say a desire, or a hope. We will put something big together at some point. Rockwood Music Festival is a one of a kind thing so it won’t be exactly the same, but Dogwood will have a cool flagship event stateside for sure.
Nerds and Beyond: What type of artists and venues are you hoping to work with?
Jason: So far in my career I’ve really specialized in smaller, more intimate venues as an artist and a booker. I’ve booked and played some larger spots and will happily do more of it, but I really enjoy the smaller rooms like Rockwood Music Hall, Eddie’s Attic, Hotel Café, and The Troubadour. As for artists, we have worked with a wide array of performers that include Rock, Country, Soul, and Folk. If they make good music, and they appreciate a laid back but efficient and hardworking vibe, sign us up!
Nerds and Beyond: Is there anything else you would like for us to know?
Jason: Just that I’m so very appreciative for the opportunities the fans have given me. I started booking all this stuff for myself almost 20 years ago as a totally independent artist just trying to be proactive and work hard. If you do that for long enough, while being honest with yourself about what you need to work on, where you can improve, and being willing to put in the work, eventually you get pretty good at it. When my friends expressed interest in playing music I enjoyed trying to help them do the exact same things I’ve done. I’m really happy to have built a community of well over 30 friends we’ve helped to make records, book venues, and go play music. Some under the banners of Dogwood, Rockwood, Gallus, or Caroline County Record Company, and some under no banners at all, just friends helping friends. What’s even more important to me is that we are supportive and encouraging to everyone’s growth and experimentation. We’ve worked with folks who are in the studio for the first time ever as well as seasoned vets with Grammy nominations (and actually a winner or two)! At Dogwood we try to help our friends achieve their goals, whatever they are. And if we can’t do it, we’ll help them find someone who can!
Nerds and Beyond: Ultimately what do you hope to accomplish?
Jason: Really, if everyone goes home smiling, because the artists had a successful tour, the fans feel like they saw an amazing show, and/or had some really fun and unique experiences, and everyone feels like they received a good value, then Dogwood is a success in my book. A success whether we book a singer songwriter at a coffee shop in Bowling Green, VA or Ed Sheeran at Madison Square Garden. (The former is much, much more likely.)