Livin' the Dream

Hi, Internet. I'm JJ. In 2010, I realized that life was getting in the way of my concert calendar. I left my traditional job (and benefits and reliable income) and set out to build a life centered around music. I now work four jobs. I've never been so broke, but I have never felt more fulfilled or at peace with myself and the world.

For me, there is love and there is music. There is nothing else. Everything in my life falls into one or both of those categories.

Some people run marathons. Some people go to church. I go to shows. Live music is my church.

PSA: Live a life crammed full of things that are intellectually stimulating, things you are good at, things you enjoy, and above all else, wonderful people. Be tired. Be happy. Be grateful. Tick-tock, tick-tock.

 
 

The Breakdown

I am the girl with a finger in too many pies. Here's why I only sleep about four hours a night...

New Muse Entertainment
I run an event-planning firm that provides event design, planning, execution, and evaluation services in the greater York, PA area. Our event schedule and client roster are diverse - we do everything from family-friendly festivals to concerts to black-tie galas to private social events to booking music in various community spaces. Never a dull moment.

Nonprofit Program Administration
I work part-time for a local nonprofit organization that provides leadership training to current and future board members and other community leaders. I run one of their mentoring programs, and as their alumni relations coordinator, my responsibilities also include external communications and fundraising. Since that's what I've done for a living up until the last few years, this position is a perfect fit and allows me to stay connected to the nonprofit world.

 

Freelance Feature Writing
When I was a kid, I wanted to grow up and write for Rolling Stone. I am very pleased to be connected to a number of blogs and print publications that let me live out (most of) my music journalism fantasies. I write about national touring acts for Tri State Indie and regional acts for Fly Magazine (Lancaster, York, and Harrisburg print editions), and contribute sporadically to a few others. I will post story links to this site whenever possible.

Project Management
York, PA has recently joined the worldwide coworking movement. I am very excited to have helped launch CoWork155 in downtown York. My office is located there, and I'm also the site manager.

Church
I go to a lot of shows. Sometimes I'm there with a media pass to cover them. Sometimes I'm simply there as a fan. I'm always chasing some band or another. I live in south central Pennsylvania, an area that has its own great music scene and is also accessible to Philadelphia, Baltimore, and DC, and NYC and Pittsburgh can even be done as day trips if you're ambitious. My favorite musicians have two things in common: 1. They are gifted storytellers. 2. They are reverent about their own musical influences and heroes. Click on Concert Calendar on the left to see where I'm planning to be.

Mama J's Home for Wayward & Road-Weary Musicians
South Central PA is right smack in the middle of most musicians' Midatlantic touring routes, and there are a few of us here who play host when bands come through town. I'm happiest when I have a house full of people to fuss over, and it's a pleasure to have the opportunity to do something nice for people who do something that brings me so much joy. Bands stay here so often that I recently started a guest book for them to sign when they visit.

The Pants
The most important gig in my life is being Pants' Mama. Pants is my 15-going-on-40-year-old son. He is quite the character. I've been dragging him to shows since he was six, and it's fun to see his tastes and preferences develop. It's also been wonderful to see his interest in music grow through the stellar music program he participates in at school (the district has been named seven times to the 100 Best Communities for Music Education by the NAMM Foundation), especially at a time when many schools are facing cuts to their arts programs.