By Michael Kornfeld

The maddening crowds of summer won’t be there, but several hundred performing artists and others engaged in the music business are expected to converge on the historic Victorian-lined New Jersey seaside resort community of Cape May, March 30-31, for the fifth annual Singer-Songwriter Cape May conference.

New York-based singer-songwriter Glen Roethel, part of the folk harmony trio Gathering Time and co-creator of, is among the more than 150 musical acts and artists from as far away as Australia and France who will showcase their talents during 40-minute sets at 17 local bars and restaurants on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Glen Roethel (Photo: Chris Kunstadter)

SS Cape May also will feature two afternoons of music business panel discussions, workshops, clinics, mentoring and keynotes at Congress Hall and the Harrison Conference Center. New Jersey-based singer-songwriters Todd Sheaffer, of the band Railroad Earth and Christine Martucci will present musical keynotes on Friday and Saturday, respectively. Attendees also will have plenty of opportunities for networking with other singer-songwriters, musicians and music industry professionals.

While AcousticMusicScene.comis my labor of love, I also am a communications and public relations strategist. As such, I will be among the panelists discussing “Publicity, Marketing & Social Media for Independent Artists” during a Friday afternoon conference session. Although the media landscape is in a continual state of flux, independent singer-songwriters may have more options for promotion these days than ever before. I hope to help SS Cape May attendees set the right course and navigate through the many channels available to them to reach and connect with their target audiences. Traditional print and broadcast media outlets continue to play vital roles in boosting awareness and visibility, while the Internet and social media afford artists a wealth of new opportunities. Talented artists with some promotional and social media savvy, or the smarts to surround themselves with people who do, can strike a responsive chord through strategic public relations and creative communications.

Bill Pere

Other hour-long panels and workshops will delve into such topics as “Publishing, Licensing, Copyrights;” Producers: The Definition and Their Role in Recording;” “Kicking Careers into Gear with Kickstarter: Leveraging the Business of Crowd Funding;” “Music Licensing: The Really Sexy Art of Getting Paid,” “Recording Strategies and Technique,” and “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly [of Technological Changes].” Bill Pere, a former Connecticut State Troubadour who heads the Connecticut Songwriters Association and wrote the Songcrafter’s Coloring Book, will share his “Top 5 Songwriting Tips to Triple Your Audience” and”8 Keys to Success in the Music Business,” while his wife, Kay, leads a vocal workshop. Dr. Michael E. Harrington, a college professor, will assist songwriters in “Navigating the Copyright Maze.” Loren Weisman — a music producer, consultant and author of The Artist’s Guide to Success in the Music Business — will explore “Realistic Music Careers 101.” Philadelphia chapter board members of The Recording Academy, the organization that presents the GRAMMY Awards, also will be on hand for a Q & A session.

Showcasing artists and panelists will receive credentials for the conference, while others may register to attend the daytime events for $75. Evening showcase performances will be free and open to the public. For more information, visit