The Memphis Music Foundation, chaired by Stax Records legend Al Bell, will merge with The Consortium MMT, an incubator for emerging musical talent focused on soul music and founded by Hall of Fame songwriter and producer David Porter.
The planned merger was announced Wednesday.
The combined entity will continue use of the name The Consortium MMT, with the Music Foundation’s flagship initiative renamed the Memphis Music Resource Center (MRC) at The Consortium MMT. Porter will remain chairman and president of The Consortium MMT, with Bell serving on The Consortium MMT Board as a director.
The merger’s aim is to advance the local music industry by organizing the global Memphis music legacy and brand under one constructive approach and by broadening the global credibility of all genres of Memphis music.
“With this merger, we can capitalize on the global credibility Memphis already has earned due to our contribution to soul music,” said Porter. “The Consortium MMT has already created buzz throughout the industry and with the addition of the Music Resource Center at The Consortium MMT, we’ll open doors for more genres of Memphis music while still focusing on soul.”
Serious artists of all genres deserve community support to help them advance their talents and opportunities, said Porter. “Our energy is on those ready to move forward.”
The boards of directors of the Memphis Music Foundation and The Consortium MMT unanimously approved the merger on June 17 and June 18, respectively.
Memphis Music Foundation board member David Edmonds, who will become a new board member of The Consortium MMT, believes the merger is an ideal way to unify and strengthen programming that assists Memphis’ young musical talent.
“Personal energy, financial resources and community support work best when they are lined up behind a shared mission and not fragmented across two or more organizations,” said Edmonds. "This is exactly what the merger of these two high-impact organizations achieves: a singular focus on what is already good and what is going to be possible in the future for Memphis music."
To support the newly joined operations, The Consortium MMT will establish a Talent Development Center. The Center will house the Memphis Music Resource Center and The Consortium MMT's flagship “Emerging Stars Network” program. It is expected to open for business in fall 2014.
“We're excited about creating an even stronger Memphis Music Resource Center with infrastructure to support multi-genre efforts,” said George Monger, The Consortium MMT VP and executive director. “Working together, we’ll all be better in the music industry.”
The Memphis Music Resource Center was established in 2008 as part of the Memphis Fast Forward economic development program, MemphisED. Dean Deyo, president of the Memphis Music Foundation, is credited with much of its growth. Deyo will be retiring this month.
“This merger introduces a new, collective voice for Memphis Music,” said Deyo. “I’m excited that, together, these efforts represent a powerful and unmatched opportunity to create even greater impact with Memphis artists and entrepreneurs who seek to make a living by making music. The Music Resource Center at The Consortium MMT will continue to leverage this amazing thing called Memphis Music – with even more muscle than before.”
The merger is expected to be finalized within the coming weeks.