Searching for That Next Musical Gem
By Alex Kantarelis
Someone once told me that Worcester is a well-kept secret in the entertainment world. At the time, I thought this person was totally crazy. But certain newcomers are stepping up and making Worcester a bigger and better place. Take, for example, Colonel Boothe (yes, Colonel is his first name), whose production company is quickly picking up steam in Worcester.
His goal is to try to get local artists the exposure they need to take it to the next level. While artists are good at their particular talent, Boothe steps in with his expertise by “…Managing them, finding shows for them, and getting them out there for the public,” he said. “A lot of groups have no set direction, they’re just trying to go out and set up their own shows, but that’s where we come in to guide them through it,” he added.
His company, Colonel Boothe Productions, is his platform for finding all the best talent in the area, and choosing Worcester as his backdrop seemed fitting. He was born in Jamaica, where music was a big part of his life growing up, but relocated to Worcester at a young age. When asked why he’s not trying his luck in arguably more musically diverse Boston, he explained, “Theirs is definitely a bigger music scene and a bigger opportunity to make money… but there’s talent everywhere. Worcester’s got a huge population, there are a lot of colleges out here, and there’s a lot of potential fans for all the quality musicians.”
The company was responsible for this year’s Indie Palooza event that was held at East Park. Twenty-five up and coming groups from all over New England performed the event in an effort to gain as much exposure as possible. The concert covered everything from rock, to gospel, to hip-hop. “The main goal was to let New England know that Worcester has a lot of great talent and no one pays them enough attention ~ no one gives them a big enough platform,” he said. The event was such a success that he plans on having a 2nd Indie Palooza next year, as well as a possible concert for New Year’s Eve, though that’s still in the planning stage.
Entertainment is only one of Boothe’s current interests. He is also the owner of Munchie’s Pizzeria with two locations in Worcester and Shrewsbury. “Even though times are tough with the economy, people still need food and entertainment,” he said. But it was here that he discovered one of his current artists, Victoria Rain. She was just an unknown talent working at his pizza place, and now she’s working on her demo as an RnB singer.
An honest hard worker like Colonel Boothe makes Worcester, already well on its way to rivaling larger cities in terms of talent and reputation, just that much closer to being a true entertainment powerhouse. While his company is not as rich as he’d like, it’s not about the money, it’s about his love for music. But finding success would definitely be worth his while. His ultimate goal is “to find that diamond…that one artist that is really that good that would draw attention from people everywhere. I’m going to all these random shows and I’m talking to all these musicians trying to find that one person who is a superstar. You can build an empire off of one diamond.”
We believe that diamond is just around the corner, Colonel, and that you’ll be the one to find it.
Pic: Colonel Boothe & Indie Palooza
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