Title/Position: Assistant Professor of Professional Practice and Program Director, Arts PresentingProfile:
Why did you choose music as your career?
I grew up playing guitar and playing in bands, recording my first record at age 13. Music was always special and I was either playing music or buying records or going to pop music concerts. I worked in record stores part time, while studying the music business in college and just tried to learn as much as I could about the music industry. From music retail, I landed a job at Warner Bros. Records and discovered my love of working with artists and helping to develop their career.
What would you say are the most outstanding highlights of your professional life?
Working with artists to help bring their music to the consumer is very satisfying. Working side by side with talented musicians and adding my skills on the business side to reach a large audience for their music is very fulfilling.
Being with Take 6 at the Grammy Awards when they won two Grammy’s following their debut release was a thrill.
Being presented a gold album by Hank William’s Jr. for helping to deliver his first number one album was exciting.
Working closely with such talent as Bela Fleck and Mark O’Connor had too many special moments to list.
Now, as I am involved in academia, it is a special thrill to see students turn their aspirations into reality. It makes me very proud to see them develop their skills and relationships and carve their career path.
Why should a prospective student choose the Frost School of Music?
The faculty are world class musicians, writers and arrangers with a wealth of talent and experience. The students are some of the finest players in the country and this combination creates a level of musicianship, that everyone finds inspiring. The school works hard to expose students to a wide variety of musical styles and the guest that swing through Miami offer collaborations and opportunities that young musicians could not easily find anywhere.
What do you hope to pass on to your Arts Presenting students?
I hope to share my excitement of music and live entertainment and the joy of working with artists. The music business has been through radical change over the past ten years or so, but exciting career opportunities are out there. Working with students to learn about the industry and help them discover their own areas of interest is my goal.
What music have you been listening to lately?
I’ve been listening to a lot of Take 6 music in the past few weeks. They are working to complete a new album and I have been listening to final mixes of the new material. I’ve also been playing more guitar at home, just for the fun of it. Either electric or acoustic, just sitting around improvising improvising and enjoying the sound of the instrument. It still feels so good, I can’t explain it.
What is your teaching philosophy? What do you expect of your students?
The music industry is an exciting and challenging career choice. I will provide all of my knowledge, skills and experience to my students to help them discover their own interests and potential. I want my students to be eternally curious about the creative process and eager to play a leading role in their career choice.
Chris Palmer is assistant professor of professional pratice and program director for Arts Presenting and Live Entertainment Management Program at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. Chris Palmer holds a B.B.A and an M.B.A. from Belmont University. He currently serves as the Managing Partner for the jazz/gospel a cappella group Take 6, overseeing their worldwide recording and touring affairs. Prior to his career in artist management, Chris worked with Warner Bros. Records for over 20 years. As Vice President of Progressive Mu-sic from 1990-2000, Chris was responsible for introducing and marketing artist such as Mark O’Connor, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Beth Nielsen Chapman and Jeff Foxworthy. Later, as General Manager and Sr. VP of Marketing, he would oversee releases such as “Breathe” by Faith Hill and introduce new artists such as Blake Shelton, Trick Pony and Big & Rich. Palmer was the Director of Music Business at Murray State University before coming to Miami.