The CMA Foundation Partners with U.S. Bank’s Places to Play Initiative to Enhance Music Education Programs
CMA Songwriters Series Presented By U.S. Bank Featuring Sara Evans, Trent Harmon, Rob Hatch and Eric Paslay at Cincinnati’s Memorial Hall May 2
NASHVILLE—The Country Music Association has expanded its partnership with U.S. Bank to launch a community building initiative that will impact four major U.S. cities through 2018. Already a presenting partner for the critically acclaimed CMA Songwriters Series, U.S. Bank will broaden its support by providing much-needed resources to music education programs across the country.
Through its Community Possible platform, focused on the areas of Work, Home and Play, U.S. Bank is launching this new Places to Play partnership with the CMA Foundation focusing on arts and culture learning through play space renovations. Places to Play is an initiative U.S. Bank started in 2015 with the naming of U.S. Bank Stadium, focused on creating and refurbishing high-quality, accessible play spaces in low- to moderate-income communities it serves. This new partnership with CMA will support music education programs that teach important life skills and develop the future leaders of tomorrow.
The partnership is currently focused on strengthening programs in Cincinnati, Chicago, Los Angeles and Seattle. Both entities look forward to the community impact this new partnership will have moving forward.
CMA Songwriters Series Presented by U.S. Bank will visit the four cities in 2018 as part of the initiative to host intimate performances with some of Country Music’s most exciting songwriting talent. Tickets are on sale now for the May 2 performance at Cincinnati’s Memorial Hall, featuring Sara Evans, Trent Harmon, Rob Hatch and Eric Paslay. Additional details for performances in Chicago, Los Angeles and Seattle will be announced soon.
“We are thrilled to be launching this new partnership with U.S. Bank throughout the country,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “Not only will we be bringing top-notch performances to these four markets, but we will leave a lasting impact in these cities with a deeper dive in the music education space.”
“At U.S. Bank, we believe in the power of play,” said Reba Dominski, Chief Social Responsibility Officer for U.S. Bank and president of the U.S. Bank Foundation. “It brings joy, helps develop problem-solving skills and stimulates creativity. By expanding our Places to Play program with CMA, we will help create vibrant communities by refurbishing classrooms and providing instruments and educational training for music teachers. We are beyond excited to get started.”
Multi-platinum entertainer Sara Evans has been called “one of the most compelling female vocalists of her generation.” Since emerging in the late 1990s, Evans has enjoyed a prolific recording career with nearly six million records sold and five chart-topping No. 1 Country singles including the self-penned “Born To Fly.” She has been honored with numerous accolades, including CMA Awards Music Video of the Year and ACM Female Vocalist of the Year. Previously recognized in People’s “50 Most Beautiful People,” Evans also won the hearts of television viewers as the first-ever Country star to compete on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” Evans continues to forge a bold, creative path with the launch of Born To Fly Records, distributed by Sony RED, and her highly anticipated eighth studio album, Words, which debuted at No. 2 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums Chart.
Trent Harmon has been busy since taking the title as “American Idol.” Over the past two years, the East Mississippi native immersed himself in the Nashville songwriting community and is gearing up to release his debut album You Got ‘Em All May 18 on Big Machine Records. Harmon penned eight of 11 songs on the project including the lead single and title track. Co-written alongside Justin Ebach and Jordan Minton, “You Got ‘Em All” is available now digitally and recently impacted Country radio. Named as one of Variety’s “10 Best Unreleased Songs at CRS,” Harmon recently performed the new tune on the hallowed stage at the Grand Ole Opry. It follows his Top 20 debut single “There’s A Girl,” which he penned with Laura Veltz and Jimmy Robbins. Less than one week after taking the title during the 15th and final season of the original run of “American Idol,” Harmon entered the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, earning him a “hot shot debut” with coronation song “Falling,” which was written by “American Idol” judge Keith Urban. Harmon will share music from the new album on his headline dates throughout the summer in addition to select shows on tour with Country superstars Rascal Flatts. He will perform during CMA Fest in Nashville in June.
Rob Hatch, a Florida native, moved to Nashville in 2001 to follow his dreams of becoming a songwriter. He worked as a bartender at the famed Wildhorse Saloon the first couple years while honing his skills. Hatch soon met friends Lee Brice, Dallas Davidson, Randy Houser, Jamey Johnson and Jerrod Niemann, and they shared one common goal—to be successful in Nashville. The songwriting/playing friends collaborated on a project that would become Jamey Johnson’s first record, They Call Me Country. In 2004, Hatch signed his first writing deal with BMG Publishing and soon after Johnson’s second album, The Dollar, more credits started flowing in with the likes of Rhett Akins, Blackberry Smoke, Terri Clark, George Jones, Jake Owen and Gretchen Wilson. In 2008, Hatch signed with Magic Mustang Publishing. He captured his first No. 1 song with “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away” recorded by Justin Moore. Since then, Hatch has written No. 1 singles for Brice (“I Don’t Dance”) and Houser (“Goodnight Kiss” and “Top of The World”), while also writing cuts for artists including Luke Bryan, Craig Campbell, Faith Hill, Joe Nichols and Niemann. In 2014, Hatch was named SESAC Songwriter of the Year. He is currently working with artists including Brice, Florida Georgia Line, Houser, Niemann, Runaway June, Restless Road, Wilson and more. He is also collaborating on unfinished works by the late Johnny Cash, which were recently found archived. Hatch recently signed a new publishing deal with Kobalt Music Publishing.
EMI Records Nashville breakout Country artist Eric Paslay delivers a powerful punch as a renowned, Platinum-selling, hit songwriter and dynamic performer. Paslay has celebrated five No. 1 hits including “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” (Eli Young Band), “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” (Owen), “Angel Eyes” (Love & Theft), “Rewind” (Rascal Flatts) and “Friday Night,” the smash lead single from his critically acclaimed self-titled debut album. The Temple, Texas native earned nominations for CMA Awards Song of The Year, Grammys Best Country Song and ACM Song of the Year for “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” in 2013 and earned his first Grammy nomination as an artist in 2016 for Best Country Duo/Group Performance for “The Driver”—a collaboration with friends Charles Kelley and Dierks Bentley. Paslay was also honored with an ACM Song of the Year nomination for “She Don’t Love You.” Paslay recently debuted a new song at country radio, “Young Forever,” written by Eric, Chris Destefano and Morgan Evans.