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U.S. Regional and Local Music Scenes
Local Portland, ME Music Scene


In the center of town is the Arts District, which along with Portland Harbor, attracts tourists. Portland was one of the least hurt cities by the recession that began in 2008 and had lower unemployment than the national average. In the 2010 Census the metropolitan area had a population of over 516,000. The main campuses are University of New England, Maine College of Art and University of Southern Maine. The local scene is covered by The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, The Portland Daily Sun and The Portland Phoenix. The history of the Portland music scene has not included a long list of acts who have become nationally known.

Portland Music Acts

A Different View * See What Sticks * Freerider * Jacks and Aces * Sumner McKane * Ottomatic * Illijah * Paranoid Social Club * Alabaster Smeed * J.G. Michael *

Local Highlights

Bob Ludwig, who lives in Scarborough and runs Gateway Mastering in Portland, won four Grammy awards in January 2014. As a master engineer he won awards for Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Best Engineered Album and Best Historical Album. The first three awards mentioned were for his work with Daft Punk. The Best Historical Album was for Ludwig's work with The Rolling Stones for the album Charlie is My Darling - Ireland 1965.

El Grande is one of Portland's longest running ska bands and has been performing in the region for over a decade. Their vibrant dance music covers a wide range of styles from reggae to rock steady. They have crafted a uniqiue blend of two-tone sounds with third wave ska elements, leading to their rich worldbeat sound with heavy horns. The band is led by vocalist Chris Gironda.

Caroline Cotter is one of Maine's more recognized singer/songwriters. She won the 2012 Maine Songwriters Association Songwriting Contest. She was also chosen to perform at the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance Conference in 2012. She has performed all over the world including Paris, France and Barcelona, Spain. She sings in multiple languages including French, Spanish and Portugese.

On Record Store Day 2011, Bull Moose experienced their second biggest day ever for local artist sales, as five local acts made the Top 100 top sellers of the day. Those five artists were Skyler, The Sophomore Beat, Cam Groves, Uncle Jack and Too Late The Hero. Other local acts that sold that day included Spose, Bass Box, GFAC Vol. 7, Kenya Hall, Whitcomb and Odlaw.

The Hip Hop Caucus in September 2015 raised the possibility of mixing music with talk about climate change. The event attracted about 75 people, who listened to Hip Hop Caucus President, Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr.









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