Some dream jobs really are as glam as they seem. Imagine getting carte blanche to work with incredible musicians, to build soundtracks for a collection of unique, thoughtful spaces, and to help guests and groups get backstage with legendary musicians like Willie Nelson. Cue the lights and enter Lauren Bucherie.
Our first Director of Music is breaking new ground in a custom-built role where she can let her creative juices flow all day, every day. This is a behind-the-scenes look of Lauren in action on a typical workday. (Hint: it’s a lot more than just creating Spotify playlists.)
8 am: Austin, Austin, Here I Come
In addition to being the “Live Music Capital of the World”, Austin is also loved for its green spaces–making it an amazing place for this Las Vegas native to call home since 2008. Lauren often starts her day by walking her dog, Teddy, around Lady Bird Lake (or “Town Lake”, as locals still call it).
10 am: Sharing Lessons Time-Tested and True
Lauren oversees music programming from coast to coast, and her role has her mentoring up-and-coming music programmers–like Janice Bond at the Kimpton Gray Hotel in Chicago. Thanks to Janice, evening wine hour now includes a live cellist, a first for Kimpton. Lauren and Janice hop on a call to check in and compare notes.
12 pm: Stop the Clock and Hit the Keys
Wanting to shake up the work day, Lauren gave her lunch hour a new tune. “On Tuesdays, I hit up the East Side Music School for my (very elementary) piano lessons. I’m not musical in the tactile sense, so this is very challenging for me. I love taking time out of my day to dive into something that demands full attention and concentration. I’m really close to perfecting ‘Jingle Bells’. I promise.”
1 pm: Get It on the Books
Being a music-industry veteran has its benefits–like knowing the artist booking process inside and out, which comes in handy with 300+ live performances annually. “Booking bands for Geraldine’s is a monster in its own right, but what gets me really excited is the guest experience,” Lauren explains. Regardless of the event–in this case, it’s a “Summer Send Off” party with a killer DJ and cocktails–getting that talent signed, sealed and delivered is the key to guarantee a phenomenal time for all.
2:30 pm: Getting Groups Outside the Box
Since custom music programming takes any team-building to a whole new level (ever tried harmonizing in C major with 15 of your closest coworkers?), Lauren programs for corporate team-building events on the regular. Always looking for cool partnerships to make the Kimpton-hosted events that much more memorable, Lauren arranges for a corporate team to pair with songwriters from “The Voice” who will guide them through writing and performing original material.
3:00 pm: Let’s Go Live, Let’s Get Down
Austin City Limits Live from The Moody Theater, known worldwide for intimate, televised live performances, draws acclaimed talent to Austin. Since a well-known musician’s touring schedule can resemble an air traffic control map, it pays to plan in advance if you want them to be on to your stage. Lauren meets with ACLL’s General Manager Tom Gimble to discuss crossover opportunities between ACLL and Geraldine’s.
4:30 pm: Coming Soon to a Stage Near You
Live music is an almost-daily perk for the Geraldine’s staff, since Lauren gave the stage a hyper-local focus. “I want Geraldine’s to go down as the room where bands get discovered,” she says. She joins the team’s weekly meeting to discuss the set list of who’s coming up.
6:00 pm: Spreading the Love
In contrast to some some larger cities, Austin is 100% committed to incubating its musical talent, both on and off the stage. Behind every great band is a team of people like Lauren, industry pros who help make the magic happen. The non-profit Austin Music Foundation nurtures both performers and pros so that magic can come to life on Austin stages, so Lauren swings by an AMF happy hour to help celebrate their partnership with Geraldine’s.
8:00 pm: Going Underground
Keeping an ear to the ground means hitting up local venues for burgeoning new stars to put on our radar. Parish Austin recently hosted a party with Jackie Venson on guitar, who Lauren tapped for Geraldine’s Artists in Residence program–just in time, since Jackie was invited to be house guitarist for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert soon after.
11:00 pm: Sweet Dreams and New Visions
There’s no question that a dream job requires time, effort and of course, travel. As Lauren prepares to depart the next morning for Chicago, she’s grateful to see what’s on the next horizon. “We all have the opportunity to make a difference in the world, and I’m constantly focused on how I can contribute.” Sounds good to us, Lauren. We’ll stay tuned.