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Annual APAP Conference Held at the New York Hilton Offered Beautiful Sounds

The Hunts

The annual APAP conference held last month at the New York Hilton is one of the best kept entertainment secrets of the city. And it seems that the Association of Performing Arts Professionals would like to keep it that way. Nonetheless, in attending my 10th consecutive APAP conference, it was the one I enjoyed the most, discovering new talent and renewing old friendships.

Basically the conference is a four- day "audition extravaganza," with Hilton conference rooms turned into stages for hopeful singers, dancers, comics and the occasional dead celebrity impersonator. The conference also offers an important meeting point for arts presenters, agents, performers and managers from all corners of the world, with a wide variety of topics addressed during the event.

The standing-room only opening night plenary session addressed the question: “What is the Responsibility of the Performing Arts in Our World Today?” Other topics covered at various sessions and roundtables included: Artists as ActivistsBuilding Arts Audiences; Using and Protecting Intellectual Property; Advancing Indigenous Arts; Artists Without Borders; Presenting Diverse Cultures; Arts in the Fight Against Islamophobia; Asian American Artists; New Economic Realities; Best Marketing Practices; Contracting Skills; How to Reach Younger Audiences; Women's Leadership and Are the Arts for Everyone?

Besides the professional information sessions and the performances, the other very integral part of the APAP annual conference is the Expo Hall. Several hundred booths, manned by arts organizations, presenters and performance venues are spread over three floors in the hotel's west side section. In a sense, this is the heart of the conference, where serious networking takes place and deals are made (and also where the ubiquitous pens and candy can also be found.)

The Expo Halls are strictly for badge holders. To be on the safe side, casual music lovers should follow the diverse sounds coming from the east side of the Hilton. After attending the conference for a decade, there are favorite musicians which I look forward to seeing each January.

One favorite seen last month was The Hunts, a unique country/folk group comprised of seven siblings (ages 19-26) from Chesapeake, Virginia. All seven members play instruments — two women violinists with the five men on guitar, piano and/or drums. Recently the Hunts were heard on a Milkbone commercial ("Make This Leap") and their third album, "Darlin' Oh Darlin’,” will be released on February 20th, 2018. For more info go

Estonian Voices, a jazz accapella group from that small Baltic nation, made their first APAP appearance. The attractive septet of three women and two men made beautiful jazzy music in both English and Estonian, even including sounds of animals and mototcycles. I was flattered to be interviewed for Estonian radio following one of the two shows I attended. Check them out at

Another new favorite is Tartan Terrors, a Canadian co-ed group performing Scottish-flavored music and dance with a heavy metal sound and featuring kilts, bagpipes and step dancing. Look for them at

The APAP conference returns to the midtown New York Hilton in early January 2019 (from the 3rd (pre-conference to the 8th). All discrete music lovers are encouraged to check it out.

Bon Voyage: NY Times Travel Show Celebrates Uncommon Adventures

Dorothy said it best in The Wizard of Oz: "There’s no place like home…There’s no place like home!" That is, if you don’t know the Who, What. When, and Wheres of travel. And that’s why there’s the New York Times Travel Show, the largest and longest-running consumer travel show in North America -- now in its 15th year. Jet (private or commercial), cruise, and train to your heart’s content this weekend, January 27 and 28, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

This year's show, themed "Celebrating 15 Years of Uncommon Adventures,” presents an expansive showcase for travel enthusiasts come together to share the latest travel news and trends for this year and beyond. The Javits will host more than 560 exhibitors from around the world in the areas of hotels, resorts, spas, cruises, great train journeys, and airlines. 

Whether you prefer the Old World or the new, black sand beaches of Hawaii’s Big Island, the fjords and waterfalls of Norway, the beauty of Brazil, the sophistication of Argentina, the romance of France, the splendors of Turkey, Bhutan, or the Himalayas, the twists and turns of the Rhine, Danube, Nile, or Mississippi, the Alaska Gold Rush train or the Orient Express, the ruins of fabled empires, the grandeur at the Taj Mahal, Thai temples and elephants, hiking the Great Wall, wild life safaris, tickets for the Kabuki or the Bolshoi, observe koalas or polar bears, you’ll receive help and learn of the latest in global travel trends. The Pavilion Stages will a huge variety of live performances.

Exhibitors from Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia/South Pacific, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, Greece, Israel, Latin America, Mexico, South Korea, Turkey, and, of course, the good old U.S. will offer brochures, videos, and tons of inscribed pens – in addition to giving advice and helping plan. Some will have games to play for valuable (maybe!) prizes. Oh, did I mention there’ll be family fun activities, a large travel bookstore, and maps, maps, maps and maps of maps?

The show provides educational seminars and live entertainment for families, individuals, couples, singles, seniors, and the spa and wellness traveler. It’s a spectacular celebration of domestic and international hot spots and under-the radar crowd-free escapes where you gain valuable travel insights from experts in the field in one-on-one conversations. You can book exclusive discounted deals to dream destination right at the show.

Since you don’t like to travel on an empty stomach and you do travel to experience the world’s cuisines some nations will present food and wine tastings. At the Taste of World culinary stage, there’ll be cuisine tastings with top chefs and food personalities. There’ll also be a Kids Kitchen, with children of all ages can participate in fun food experiments while learning about nutritious eating and international dishes.
"Travel is about discovery," says Claire Bennett, American Express Travel exec VP, "both of the world and of yourself. Today’s travelers look for engaging experiences; and it’s our goal, as founding sponsor of the Travel Show, to offer guidance. Whether you seek a luxury escape, family vacation, solo and senior travel, or an adventurous odyssey, American Express, as it has been since our founding, is here to serve and help you plan."

Seminars on Saturday will include: Cooking with Zac Posen – the renowned fasion designer will present his new cookbook, Cooking with Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined; The New York Times’s wildly popular columnist Lucas Peterson, The Frugal Traveler; Bizarre Foods with Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmers; Chef Angela Dimayuga with Cherry Bombe’s Claudia Wu; and, among a long list, 
L.G.B.T.Q. Travel with Davey Wavey.

On Sunday, join Travel Channel’s Samantha Brown and Pauline Frommer, editor of Frommer guidebooks; Travel with Joseph Rosenda, Emmy-winning journalist and PBS show host; and many others, including Vanessa Grail’s Don’t Be a Tourist in Paris : The Messy Nessy Chic Guide.

American Express, the founding sponsor of The New York Times Travel Show, has participated since the show‘s inception. The show is the largest consumer and trade travel event in North America, 

South African Tourism, supporter of the Travel Show since 2008, is a New York Times Travel Show gold sponsor. MSC Cruises and Visit Florida are silver sponsors.

To learn more, go to: 

The New York Times Travel Show
January 27 - 28, 2018

Jacob Javits Center
655 W. 34th St.
New York, NY 10001

2018 Media Summit New York: A Virtual Reality of Influencers


The 2018 Media Summit New York (March 7 - 8) encompases panels, workshops, and more on video advertising, virtual reality, user engagement, and more. Held at the Bohemian National Hall (321 E 73rd St., NY NY) this year’s theme is "The Media Challenge - Mobile First - Innovating Content - Innovating Technology."

The opening keynote roundtable is called “The Power of OTT, Influence and the Internet: Accelerating Brand Value” and features Brandon Berger (Chief Digital Officer, Worldwide, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide), Beau Avril (Global Head of Product Commercialization, Google) and Pete Stein (General Manager, Fullscreen)

Strategic Tracks and Visions at Media Summit New York include:

  • Breaking the Boundaries of the Imagination - VR-AR-Immersive
  • Influencer Marketing - Brand Partnerships: Video - Audience Intelligence - Programmatic
  • Internet TV - The Disruption - The TV Industry Transforms
  • The Strategic Workshop: Audience Intelligence, AI, Analytics and Advertising

To learn more, go to:

Media Summit New York
March 7 - 8, 2018

Bohemian National Hall  
321 E 73rd St.
New York, NY 10021

NRF 2018: Retail’s Big Show at the Javits Center


For big and small retailers alike, the NRF 2018: Retail’s Big Show at the Jacob Javits Center (655 W. 34th St, New York, NY) offers indispensable opportunities to network and gain knowledge from retail luminaries and panel events. Running January 14 - 16, 2018, Retail’s Big Show features a plethora or retailers and a chance to gain a look into the inner workings of the retail world.

NRF’s Mission statement:

“NRF 2018: Retail’s Big Show is the world's most important retail conference, bringing together the largest gathering of industry executives from across the globe.  Attendees learn the latest retail trends and get an unparalleled view into how retail brands of all sizes are transforming themselves for the digital age. The event offers unique networking opportunities and a glimpse of the latest technologies and solutions for retailers.

For more than a century, NRF's annual convention and EXPO has been the annual gathering for industry luminaries and leaders, and it remains the place where big things happen in retail.”

To learn more, go to:

NRF 2018: Retail’s Big Show
January 14 - 16, 2018

Jacob Javits Center
655 W. 34th St.
New York, NY 10001

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