Allison Emm is a musician, conductor and teacher from Wauwatosa, WI. She began Wisconsin Music Ventures in the summer of 2019 as a way to offer musician friends fun, engaging performance experiences while serving as accessible listening opportunities for her private music students and others who might “find” the live music. Since COVID-19, WMV has turned into a live music community, working to assist Wisconsin-based artists with their business through workshops, industry events and networking opportunities for musicians. Despite moving in this direction, putting on great events for the public remains a trademark and foundation of the business. WMV launched its own podcast, The Musicians Venture (which Allison contributes to) in the fall of 2020.
Allison has worn a variety of hats within the arts and entertainment field: from music journalism to house management to box office to arts education to orchestral business management to marketing; being the Executive Director of a local symphony orchestra to a Guitar Festival Consultant. She has worked as a performer, conductor, composer, arranger and accompanist. She’s also been actively involved as a volunteer with local non-profits such as the Tosa Farmers Market (Fundraising Chair/Vice-President), 88 Nine Radio Milwaukee (Music Education Task Force) and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (Docent for Educational Programming). She currently assists the #iVoted national music festival with its podcast distribution. Click here to send Allison an e-mail.
Shannon Couillard graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in Music with an emphasis in Music Business and Recording Technology. She is very passionate about music and sound editing, as well as the industry surrounding both. She is the main producer of The Musician’s Venture podcast and has been a member of Allison’s team at Wisconsin Music Ventures since being an intern in early 2020. Click here to send Shannon an e-mail.
Javier Roman is a multi-instrumentalist and audio engineer who is active in various ensembles in the Midwest. Originally from Rockford, IL he chose to study at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, where he is currently a senior in the Music Industry program. At school, he is involved in various student organizations such as Students for Music, Titan Gold Record Label, and Music and Wellness. As a performer, he sings in the Titan Men’s Choir, plays bass in the University Jazz Ensemble, and plays accordion in his family-created Mariachi. Javier expresses his creative side in the punk-ska group No Comprendo as well as writing for the duo Dear Dualidad alongside Giselle Oliva. He aspires to be a well-rounded musician and is excited to be a part of the Wisconsin Music Venture team. Click here to send Javier an e-mail.
Ben Slowey is a music nerd, misfit, bird watcher, coffee addict, and social justice advocate who has way too much time on his hands. He came to Milwaukee from the south Chicago suburbs in 2014 for school at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and graduated in 2018. It was hard for him to find a job but he was eager to meet people and find out what’s really going on around town. In 2019 he started the Mr. Nice Guy podcast where he interviews artists, activists, hobbyists, and his friends about love and fear, passion, and creativity. Around the same time, he began contributing to music blog Breaking and Entering, diving head-first into Milwaukee’s gold mine of underground talent. Today he’s still doing both, taking things day by day to champion the local scene in any way he can. When he’s not at shows or talking to people in front of a camera he’s usually either going down Spotify rabbit holes, eating Doritos in bed, or walking around Riverwest in his slides. Click here to send Ben an e-mail.
Suzanne Singh is a vocalist and songwriter performing in Milwaukee-based bands Rocket Cat and Mixtape, earning four WAMI (Wisconsin Area Music Industry) Award nominations from 2018-2020. She is a co-owner of Rocket Cat Productions where she manages artists, creates opportunities for youth performance, and serves as a music booking liaison for community groups. Suzanne has a Master’s in Public Administration and has worked extensively in the non-profit sector including 2 years in Romania as a Peace Corps volunteer. Before moving to Wisconsin, she was the Associate Director of Community Building for Metro United Way in Louisville, Kentucky, specializing in neighborhood development and community capacity building initiatives. Suzanne’s intense love of music and performing led to a shift in career focus after a 25-year hiatus from the music industry when she began working with her bands and enrolled in the Audio Production program at MATC. Suzanne joined Wisconsin Music Adventures in 2021 as the Experience Planner and Liaison and also works as a podcast producer for Podcast Town. Click here to send Suzanne an e-mail.
Maya Thielen-Herrera is a saxophonist from Racine, Wisconsin. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 2020 with a bachelor’s in Music, emphasis in Recording Technology and Music Business. While in college, she held a stage manager position for three years with the music department. She was the House/Technology liason for a student-run organization called, Students For Music and Titan Saxophones. This allowed her to work with musicians like The Branford Marsalis Quartet, Otis Murphy, Capitol Quartet, Mr. Chair, and Mariachi Herencia de México. As a musician, she performed and traveled with the UWO Wind Ensemble, UWO Jazz Ensemble and Au Quartet all over Wisconsin, Indiana and Virginia. Besides from being a musician, she is a full-time artist as well. Maya joined Wisconsin Music Adventures in 2021 as the Community Experience Orchestrator. Click here to send Maya an e-mail.
Bruce Humphries started a one man band in 1998 with just guitar, vocals and a big ol’ bass drum and eventually expanded to include a snare, hi-hat, ride cymbal, crash cymbal and cowbell. As a solo act, he headlined one of the nights at the Uno-Go-Go One Man Band Festival in Chicago and performed at the Coney Island Rockabilly Festival in New York. Around 2008 Bruce started playing in a band with a singer from the neo-rockabilly band, The Rockats. That eventually led to opening shows along the east coast for the Brian Setzer Orchestra. He currently leads Bruce Humphries and the Rockabilly Rebels and continues as a solo act with three singles released. Click here to send Bruce an e-mail.
Nick O’Brien is the host of WMV’s musician meetups and The Musician’s Venture podcast. He is a music-loving, creative connector who builds and activates people-centered communities. As a social entrepreneur, he taps into his ever-growing network of people to connect and collaborate with individuals, groups, businesses, non-profits, and governments to develop community and culture around their causes and goals. Since moving to Wisconsin in 2012, Nick has lived in four different cities (Wausau, Eau Claire, Sheboygan, and Milwaukee) and he’s befriended countless musicians, music venue owners, and music supporters in each of those cities and beyond. Nick has an insatiable desire to meet musicians and learn their stories so that he can spread the word about them and their projects. He describes the experience of consuming live music as “self care” because of the joy it brings him. He attends as many live music shows as he can fit into his schedule (usually 3-4 a week), so if you’re out and about seeing live music, chances are high that you’ll see Nick — and when you do, you should introduce yourself because he definitely wants to meet you. Click here to send Nick an e-mail.