7 things we learned at this year's SXSW / ADWEEK

From Westworld craze to Elon Musk to dozens of branded activations, it's been a busy week for marketers at South by Southwest. For this week's recap of digital stats, we're looking at the standout numbers behind the festival that got people talking.

HBO's recreation of Sweetwater, the world within Westworld, was one of this year's buzziest activations and one of the hardest activation tickets to score. Working with agency Giant Spoon, the team wrote 444 pages of script and hired 60 actors to pull off the activation. Read our story and watch our video coverage of the event here. HP's Digital artistry house - While there were arguably less brand activations than in past years, they were interesting and gave attendees a unique experience that they couldn't get elsewhere. Knowing that it's hard to stand out at the festival, HP opened its house for only one day to show creatives how its products work. All told, the house got 5,237 people (and eyeballs) to play around with its ZBook laptop. BeautyRest focused on luxurious relaxation during its SXSW activation, inviting 150 people to sleep on its beds in Bass Concert Hall while listening to British-German composer Max Richter play for eight hours. (Read staff writer Katie Richards' first-hand account of spending a night sleeping next to 149 strangers.) Pandora's been pitching the powers of its algorithm for a while, so it decided to bring a data visualization of it to SXSW. The company's activation crunched genomes from 10,000 songs, using facial recognition to create personal audio clips. Dating app Grindr teamed up with WNYC's Nancy podcast this week to allow Austin residents to edit and add LGTBQ information to Wikipedia pages. Over the course of five hours with 50 attendees, the team edited 500 Wikipedia pages. "The impact on a young queer person going to Wikipedia and seeing proper pronouns used or finding substantive information about important figures in queer history is immeasurable," said Tobin Low, cohost of Nancy. "The greatest hope for something like this hack-a-thon is that you help someone feel affirmed in their existence." Podcast media company Gimlet Media wants to move into voice assistants, and Anna Sullivan, vp of brand partnerships, talked to Adweek about shifting from smartphone shows to its first Amazon Alexa skill for P&G's Oral-B and Crest Kids. The skill educates kids on brushing their teeth, entertaining them with music and games as they brush. Since rolling out a week ago, 45 percent of people who have downloaded the skill use it every day, indicating a possibility for marketers to build voice experiences that tap into everyday routines. Ride-sharing app Lyft was everywhere at SXSW this year, which takes significant planning and orchestrating to pull off. The festival is Lyft's biggest time of year, when requests for rides triple in Austin compared to the average number of requests. From programs with the Austin community to a branded pit stop for drivers, here's our look at Lyft's SXSW plan. SEE THE ADWEEK PAGE
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Time for Three participate in music outreach with SC high schools / Aiken Standard

After Charles Yang, a violinisit for Time for Three, asked Aiken County music students how many were in orchestra, band or choir, hands went up in succession across the Midland Valley High auditorium. "All right, that was actually kind of like a wave you guys just did," Yang said."Let's do it again. I wish you guys could see it. It's amazing." Combining current Broadway tunes, classical melodies by European masters and classic rock by Guns N' Roses, Yang, with bandmates Nick Kendall on violin and Ranaan Meyer on double bass, created a contemporary sound with a nod to history and their musical roots Friday morning during an educational outreach program organized by Joye in Aiken. The band members interacted with the students and answered questions. Hundreds of music students from Midland Valley North Augusta high schools and North Augusta, Paul Knox and Schofield middle schools cheered and applauded as the band performed, sang and improvised. READ THE FULL Aiken Standard ARTICLE
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Lisa Batiashvili - Visions of Prokofiev is WFMT: Featured New Release

Lisa Batiashvili has been described by The Times as "outstanding even among the very many fine violinists of her generation." Visions of Prokofiev is her new recording with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. The album features Prokofiev's two violin concertos as well as select movements from his famous ballets and opera (Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet, The Love for Three Oranges), newly arranged for solo violin and orchestra by Lisa's father, Tamás Batiashvili. For Friday March 16, 2018, The WFMT: Chicago - Featured New Release is Lisa Batiashvili: Visions of Prokofiev  p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #606060}
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Ramin Karimloo releases; 'From Now On' from - The Greatest Showman / Broadway.com

We can't get enough of The Greatest Showman. The acclaimed P.T. Barnum biopic has been delighting theater nerds ever since its December release and right up through Keala Settle's showstopping Oscars performance. Just when we thought we couldn't love Pasek & Paul's stirring score enough, one of Broadway's most powerful voices has taken it on to incredible effect. Tony nominee Ramin Karimloo has stepped into the shoes of Hugh Jackman to offer up his rendition of The Greatest Showman's eleven-o'clock anthem "From Now On," which is set for release by Sony Music Masterworks on March 16. Watch Karimloo in the exclusive music video below and cross your fingers that he sings even more songs from the hit film soon...perhaps on Broadway. WATCH THE VIDEO
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Fire, urgency, and a deep-toned introspection of Beethoven's Piano Sonatas by Murray Perahia / Financial Times

It has taken Murray Perahia 40 years to feel he is ready to record Beethoven's "Hammerklavier" Piano Sonata, Op.106. Toying with the sonata in his mid-20s apparently convinced him it needed greater maturity. Having now turned 70, he has certainly allowed it that. Perhaps inevitably, this majestic performance feels like something of an artistic summation. It is cast on an opulent scale. When Beethoven wrote the "Hammerklavier" exactly 200 years ago, in 1818, he is known to have been yearning for a piano that went beyond any instrument known at the time. In this performance one can imagine Perahia sitting at a modern grand in one of today's largest concert halls, as he rolls forth playing of sonic splendour, almost like a piano transcription of a Beethoven symphony. The contrasting elements of the sonata are held together in a kind of Olympian equilibrium. The performance is neither especially fast, nor slow. It has fire and urgency, but also introspection, of a deep-toned, rather public kind. There are so many ways to play this all-embracing work that none is likely to please everybody. Those who want the pianist to be taken to the limit might prefer a young firebrand (Igor Levit reached a pitch of intensity in his recent Beethoven cycle at Wigmore Hall) whereas Perahia stays magisterially in command. His is a lofty "Hammerklavier", and none the worse for that. He has coupled it with a favourite earlier sonata, the "Moonlight", Op.27 No.2, which is played with hardly less fullness of tone, colour or breadth of imagination. With the most challenging of all Beethoven sonatas out of the way, maybe Perahia will now give us more.
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Yo-Yo Ma visits MIT for 'Culture, Understanding and Survival' / Boston Herald

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is welcoming a musical master this coming Monday March 19. Celebrated cellist Yo-Yo Ma will visit the Cambridge campus to give a lecture dubbed "Yo-Yo Ma: Culture, Understanding and Survival." The musician will be sitting down with MIT President L. Rafael Reif and, among the topics he plans to cover, will discuss how music can be instrumental in cross-cultural understanding and social good. The event, which is part of the university's Karl Taylor Compton Lecture Series, will start at 4 p.m. at the Kresge Auditorium, and members of the MIT community are welcome to attend with registration. The Karl Taylor Compton Lecture Series was established in 1957 to honor the late Karl Taylor Compton, who served as president of MIT from 1930 to 1948 and as chair of the MIT Corporation from 1948 to 1954. The lecture series is intended to give the MIT community direct contact with the important ideas of our times and with people who have contributed much to modern thought. Born in Paris in 1955 Yo-Yo Ma studied at the Julliard School and later at Harvard University, from which he graduated in 1976. He is perhaps the most celebrated cellist of his generation. Aprolific performer and teacher, Mr. Ma has recorded more than 100 albums, given thousands of live performances and master classes, and served as artistic advisor or consultant to organizations such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Carnegie Hall. All members of the MIT community are invited to attend Compton lectures.   SEE THE FULL Boston Herald ARTICLE
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Keith Jarrett Standards Trio - After the Fall is, theguardian: jazz album of the month

Gary Peacock, Keith Jarrett's double bassist in the piano star's 35-year-old Standards Trio, once told JazzTimes that when: "You don't feel you have to make a statement any more, you enter a space of enormous freedom." It was perhaps a disingenuous observation, since Jarrett almost certainly had a statement in mind when he founded this influential band in 1983 – to cherish some old-school standards about melody, swing and acoustic sound, as well as celebrating the standard songbook repertoire from which so much original jazz has been launched. p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #606060; min-height: 14.0px} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #606060} READ THE FULL guardian REVIEW
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Benjamin Grosvenor plays the unplayable on Performance Today

When Maurice Ravel wrote Gaspard de la Nuit, he was trying to make it the most difficult piano music ever written... perhaps even unplayable. Benjamin Grosvenor plays the unplayable, in concert on Performance Today for Thursday March 15. Hosted by Fred Child, and SYNDICATED on Americam Public Media. Here's a rundown of the complete show.  Hour Two Jennifer Higdon : String Poetic: Nocturne Jennifer Koh, violin; Reiko Uchida, piano String Poetic Cedille 103   Paul Schoenfield : Cafe Music Jennifer Frautschi, violin; Ani Aznavoorian, cello; Max Levinson, piano Seattle Chamber Music Society, Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall, Seattle, WA   Maurice Ravel : Gaspard de la nuit Benjamin Grosvenor, piano Union College Concert Series, Union College - Memorial Chapel, Schenectady, NY   Jennifer Higdon : Our Beautiful Country, from Cold Mountain Chanticleer; William Fred Scott, conductor Spivey Hall, Clayton State University, Morrow, GA   Hour 2 Philip Glass : String Quartet No. 3, I. 1957: Award Montage Modern Mandolin Quartet Americana Sono Luminus DSL-92157   Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre : Sonate pour le Violon et pour le Clavecin, No. 3 in F Sonnambula; Elizabeth Weinfield, Artistic Director Baruch Performing Arts Center, Engelman Recital Hall, New York, NY   Jacob Clemens non Papa : Ego flos campi In Mulieribus; Anna Song, conductor In Mulieribus, Proto-Cathedral of St James the Greater, Vancouver, WA   Philip Glass : Violin Concerto No. 2 Mikhail Simonyan, violin; Baltic Sea Philharmonic; Kristjan Jarvi, conductor Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg, Germany
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Nano Stern plays Womad 'pop up' in New Plymouth

Womad has kicked off with a pop up at Puke Ariki Landing in NZ: New Plymouth, and the weather forecast is looking positive for the weekend for the taste tester event. The pop up showcases the diversity of festival. One of the acts performing was Nano Stern. Stern said celebrating the diversity was more important now than ever, and was what he loved about Womad. "All around the world we see strong resurgence in separating and making differences seem more important than what we have in common." Stern has performed at seven Womads around the world but this was his first in Taranaki. "It is the singular most similar place to the south of Chile, where we are from, that we have ever been on tour. "It's very green with lakes, rivers, and volcanoes. When you see the postcards it's like this is home."  The pop up event wasn't all about the acts though, it was also fundraising for a good cause.  READ THE FULL stuff ARTICLE
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WPB Magazine Q&A's Steve Tyrell

I've been around the entertainment industry for two decades, and so not too many artists make my heart skip a beat. I thought Sting would surely be the first one to do it, but as I walked into The Colony Hotel in Palm Beach last week, and heard Steve Tyrell say "Hello," with his easy-going warmth and just-slightly-craggy voice, suddenly the lyrics "I've got a crush on you, sweetie pie…" came to mind. Concentrating on the job at hand, I rehearsed in my mind the artist's remarkable music career. In a revolutionizing music business spanning nearly five decades, he has achieved success as a singer, songwriter, producer, music supervisor, and most recently, radio host. Every Monday through Friday, Tyrell hosts "The Steve Tyrell Show" on KJAZZ in Los Angeles, California. A Grammy Award winner and two-time Emmy nominee, Tyrell, performs regularly at the Café Carlyle at the Carlyle Hotel in New York City. He was awarded the Grammy Award as producer of Rod Stewart's "Great American Songbook, Volume III." He has produced 12 albums and just released his latest album, "A Song For You" through New Design and East/West Records. The 12-track release features Tyrell's takes on modern classic love songs like Van Morrison's "Someone Like You," to the timeless romanticism of Victor Young and Edward Heyman's "When I Fall In Love." Also featured on the record are songs by Leon Russell, Jackie Wilson, Johnny Mercer, and Tyrell's friend and collaborator, Paul Buckmaster-one of the top arrangers of the rock era. Interestingly, "A Song For You" was the last song Buckmaster worked on in his storied Grammy Award-winning career. In support of the release, Tyrell played at The Colony Hotel's Royal Room, performing there from February 27 – March 10. The Royal Room couldn't have commanded a better, more storied spot to host this jazz singer. The space exudes the stylish elegance of the world's old style premier cabaret rooms. And clearly, Tyrell and his band were in their element. READ THE WPB Magazine Q&A
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Lao Tizer Quartet set for Telluride Jazz Festival

With more than five years since their last release, The Lao Tizer Band has taken the time to grow in every aspect. An updated larger band is exploring some new methods on their new - Songs From The Swinghouse: recorded live in just three days at Conway Studios in Hollywood. The album explores three cover tunes with vocalist, a first for the group, alongside original instrumental tracks, bringing them to new heights of excellence and exuberance. "We've never done anything with a vocalist and we've never done any cover songs, so this is the first time that I decided to delve into that realm, to basically expand the scope of our music," says Tizer.  A quartet taken from the band is set for the Telluride Jazz Festival, happening between August 3-5, 2018. p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #606060} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #606060; min-height: 14.0px}
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Murray Perahia - Beethoven Piano Sonatas is WFMT: Featured New Release

Grammy-winning pianist Murray Perahia stands in the tradition of the great keyboard artists, armed with consummate technical skills and boundless imagination. After years of studying the original manuscripts, working sketches, and editions published during Beethoven's lifetime, and having edited the new Henle Urtext edition of the complete Beethoven piano sonatas, Perahia records two sonatas for the first time: Op. 106 ("Hammerklavier") and Op. 27, No. 2 ("Moonlight"). For Thursday March 15, Murray Perahia - Beethoven Piano Sonatas is the WFMT: Chicago 'Featured New Release.' p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #606060}
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Top 10 Albums for March

Bill Frisell :

Music IS

Almost every day, Bill Frisell gets up in the morning, has some coffee, and writes music. At this point, there are piles and piles and piles of single pages of staff paper filled with his graceful script. "I don't know where the melodies come from," says Frisell. "I try not to judge anything and just let them be." Frisell's mantra, or motto so to speak, is, "Music is good" – a statement said to him by his dear friend and great banjo player Danny Barnes. "That is something that I can say is always true. It's so perfect. Everything I need to know is that phrase, ‘Music is Good.' I almost called the album that, but then I thought that might be too literal. It's good to leave it open."  44 TOTAL Markets include: New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Louisville, Madison WI, Reno, WV(Statewide), OR(Statewide), Barcelon, Berlin INTER: Canada, UK, Spain, Italy, Germany Online: JazzPages, ArkansasOnline, Radio Valencia, popMATTERS, Jazz From Gallery 41, GreenArrow, Jazz Weekly, Radio Free Amsterdam
Solomon Grey :

Human Music

Human Music is a collection of intricately crafted songs showcasing the band's cinematic-style emotive soundscapes. The album delves into themes of choice, love and loss, and was written by the band at the time singer Joe's mum was diagnosed with a terminal illness. The album was influenced by her passing. Solomon Grey explain, "The album is fundamentally about exploring loss and finding out how integral it is to life. That's where it started for us but it can mean whatever you want it to."
Sons of Kemet :

Your Queen Is A Reptile

Shabaka Hutchings, saxophonist, band leader and composer, has signed to impulse! records under the umbrella of Verve Label Group. One of his groups Sons of Kemet will release their third album Your Queen Is A Reptile on impulse! on March 30, 2018. To celebrate this signing and the label returning to the United States under VLG, impulse! will present a showcase at Winter Jazzfest on January 12 at Le Poisson Rouge, featuring Sons of Kemet and pianist Sullivan Fortner.   16 TOTAL SYND: NPR/All Songs Considered, Songs We Love   Direct: AccuRadio Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Boston, New Orleans, ME(Statewide) INTER: Canada, UK Online: Textura, Pitchfork, RollingStone, Felix, theguardian
The Lao Tizer Band :

Songs From The Swinghouse

With more than five years since their last release, The Lao Tizer Band has taken the time to grow in every aspect. An updated larger band is exploring some new methods on their upcoming CD/DVD combo, Songs From The Swinghouse: recorded live in just three days at Conway Studios in Hollywood, the band explores three cover tunes with vocalist, a first for the group, alongside original instrumental tracks, bringing them to new heights of excellence and exuberance. 56 TOTAL SYND: Smooth Jazz Network, BBC Radio, All Jazz Radio Markets include: New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Atlanta, St. Louis, Baltimore, Long Island NY, Las Vegas, Madison WI, Honolulu, Ottawa, Barcelona INTER: Canada, UK, Italy, Spain, Germany, South Africa Online: BDS, Live For Live Music, Pure Jazz Radio, KUHS, GreenArrow, Jazz From Gallery 41
Max Raabe with Palast Orchester :


Beloved German singer Max Raabe once again takes his audience on a nostalgic trip to the ‘20s on his new album with the Palast Orchester, der perfekte Moment ...wird heut verpennt. This album is Raabe's third collaboration with pop producer Annette Humpe and features songs about both the triumphs and missteps of everyday life - all performed with Raabe's inimitable blend of humor and emotional vulnerability.  28 TOTAL SYND: The Bill Miller Show   Direct: Stingray Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Cleveland, Berkeley, San Antonio, Madison WI, TX(Network), ND(Network), Vancouver, Barcelona, Pisa  INTER: Canada, Spain, Italy Online: salt peanuts Stage and Cinema
The New York Philharmonic, Jaap van Zweden :

Beethoven Symphonies Nos. 5 & 7

The New York Philharmonic will launch its partnership with Decca Gold, Universal Music Group's newly established U.S. classical music label, on February 23, 2018, with the release of Jaap van Zweden and the Philharmonic's performances of Beethoven Symphonies Nos. 5 & 7.  15 NEW  71 TOTAL SYND: C24, Beethoven NET, CBC Direct: SiriusXM, MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Wash DC, Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas, Seattle, Minneapolis, Portland, Denver, Detroit, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Hartford CT, Columbus OH, Santa Fe, Honolulu, AL(Statewide) MN(Statewide), WI(Statewide), NE(Statewide), MT(Statewide), MI(Statewide), IN(Statewide), WI(Statewide), NE(Statewide), Canada INTER: Canada, Korea Online: AccuRadio, bachtrack, U.S. News, OperaWire, BroadwayWorld, The Korea Times
Sheku Kanneh-Mason :


18-year-old cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason came into the spotlight when he won the prestigious BBC Young Musician award in 2016. Signed to Decca Classics, his debut album features Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No.1, the piece Sheku performed in the BBCYM final. Recorded live with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Inspiration also includes a broad range of new cello arrangements, from Saint-Saëns' "Le Cygne (The Swan)" to Bob Marley's "No Woman, No Cry." 26 NEW  65 TOTAL SYND: NPR, C24, CBC Direct: MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Seattle, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Portland, Cincinnati, Detroit, Austin, IA(Statewide), MN(Statewide), SC(Statewide) INTER: Canada, UK, Venezuela Online: AccuRadio, Nagaland Post, iNews, fancarpet, SLIPPED DISC, The Violin Channel, Chichester Observer, Henley Standard, The Sun, Financial Times, Mid Sussex Times, The Argus, Music News, Daily Mail, Crawley & Horley Observer
Lisa Batiashvili :

Visions of Prokofiev

Following her acclaimed album with the Staatskapelle Berlin and Daniel Barenboim, Tchaikovsky & Sibelius Violin Concertos, Lisa Batiashvili releases Visions of Prokofiev, a new album with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. The album features Prokofiev's two violin concertos as well as select movements from his famous ballets (Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet, The Love for Three Oranges), newly arranged for solo violin and orchestra by Lisa's father, Tamás Batiashvili.
Murray Perahia :

Beethoven Piano Sonatas Op 106, Op 27

Grammy-winning pianist Murray Perahia stands in the tradition of the great keyboard virtuosi as an artist armed with consummate technical skills and boundless imagination. After years of studying the original manuscripts, working sketches and editions published during the Beethoven's lifetime, and having edited the new Henle Urtext edition of The Complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas, Perahia records two sonatas for the first time in his career, Op. 106 (Hammerklavier) & Op. 27/2 (Moonlight). 
Daniel Hope :

Journey to Mozart

Daniel Hope returns to core repertoire with Journey to Mozart, an intimate exploration of Mozart's world comprising both works by the titular composer and pieces by his contemporaries Gluck, Haydn, Mysliveček and Salomon. Performed with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Journey to Mozart features two popular violin concertos by Haydn and Mozart (both in G Major), the famous Adagio in E Major, K. 261 and more. 37 TOTAL SYND: C24, Beethoven Net, CBC Direct: MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Minneapolis, Seattle, Austin, Memphis, Hartford CT., SC(Statewide), MN(Statewide), NJ(Statewide), Canada Online: The Berkeley Daily Planet