About Kari Estrin

Click to view Kari's Notable Achievements


Black Sheep Concerts & Publications, Inc.: 1980 – 1986
The Black Sheep Review Folk Magazine: 1982 – 1985
Southeast Regional Folk Alliance (SERFA): 2001 – 2016
Chris Austin Songwriting Contest (25+ Years!): 1992 – present
Nashville Sings Woody (month long events/Ryman concert): 2003
Americana Conference (Co-Chair of Inaugural Conference): 2001


Black Sheep Concerts – Harvard/Symphony Hall/Berklee: 1980 – 86
Cafe Milano – Nashville: 1998
Summer Lights Downtown Festival – Nashville: 1997
The Radio Cafe Coffeehouse – Nashville: 2001
Fest de Ville Downtown Festival – Nashville: 2001
Acoustic Concerts – 3rd & Lindsley: 2001/2002

Festival Management

Newport Folk Festival – Asst. Festival Director: 1986
MerleFest – Consultant, Asst. Festival Director: 1992 – 1996
Berkshire Mountain Bluegrass Festival – Asst. to Dir: 1977 – 1982

Tour Management

Tony Rice ( & Manager/Agent): 1981 – 1985
3 Mustaphas 3 (& Manager): 1988 – 1990
Suzanne Vega: 1985
Janis Ian: 2008
Steeleye Span: 2009 & 2014
and Papa Wemba, Flaco Jimenez, Kanda Bongo Man,
Kevin Brown, Passion Fodder…


Pickin’ For Merle Video and PBS Series – Assoc. Producer: 1992
How to Be Your Own Booking Agent – Editor: 1997
Music Journalist – Frets, Acoustic Musician, Sing Out!

It’s no wonder that working with Kari Estrin is in demand, with her over 40 years of demonstrated expertise in management, touring, concert/festival promotion/production, A & R and publicity/ promotion. Kari offers the artists she works with a virtual fast track from regional to national success with strategies and promotion tailored to the individual artist. While Kari is known for breaking developing artists, Kari also has worked with many established artists looking to raise their profile and refresh their career plans for expanded results.

The die was cast quite young with Kari booking her high school coffeehouse and by age 24 producing large-scale concerts with her own company, Black Sheep Concerts. Kari promoted shows at Harvard’s 1200- seat Sanders Theatre, Boston’s Symphony Hall, The Berklee Performance Center and area clubs throughout the 1980’s. Soon afterwards Kari began both managing and tour managing iconic artists like Tony Rice, while publishing one of the country’s few widely distributed folk magazines, The Black Sheep Review.


Si Kahn and Michael Johnathon at SERFA (Southeast Regional Folk Alliance, Kari is Founding President

While working with a variety of artists, Kari observed recurring issues which seemed to prevent the artists from obtaining the degree of success they deserved. Business-oriented, yet empathetic, Kari began to develop her groundbreaking artist management consulting, both discovering and filling a need roughly a decade before coaching was introduced. Kari’s practical nuts and bolts expertise, paired with her holistic and integrative perspectives, defines her trademark to strategically plan, and work with the “person behind the persona.”

DJ Bob McWilliams KPR/KANU & Erin McGrane from Victor & Penny at Folk Alliance 2015


Always innovating to serve the artist, Kari added acoustic music radio promotion to her arsenal of services in 1999. She developed programs to help artists through the entire CD process from conception to promotion. Many of the artists Kari promoted at radio garnered No. 1 records or scored significantly within the Top 10 on the Folk DJ-L Chart.

In addition to celebrating her 40 years in roots/acoustic music, 2012 is also the 20th Anniversary of the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest, which Kari co-founded. Gillian Welch, Tift Merritt and Adrienne Young are included among the roster of winners. Kari was also Asst. Festival Director at MerleFest for five years, as well as for Newport Folk Festival in 1997. She is the Founding and Past President/Conference Director for SERFA, the South East

Kari Estrin with Americana Radio Promoter Leslie Rouffe and the legendary Billy Block

“Kari’s a pleasure to work with and the results of her promotion were so much more than I could have imagined possible!   Forever thankful.”



“…A revelatory experience for us. Kari identified both obstacles that needed to be removed and a path for ourselves that we simply couldn’t see before. Kari provided keen insights and concrete, specific suggestions … we’re changing the trajectory of our career!”


Broadening her expertise, Kari mastered a wide range of skills in the music business, integrating this knowledge into everything she undertook. Initially focused on concert, event production and periodical publishing, Kari expanded her realm to include publicity, promotion, advertising, sponsorship, A & R, Artist Development, management, touring, booking, writing and graphic design. Kari’s tireless work with the UK’s 3 Mustaphas 3 helped them to secure Billboard Magazine‘s No. 1 World Music Record in the US. Working as one of the few female tour managers with acts as diverse as Suzanne Vega and gothic rock’s Peter Murphy, Kari unknowingly blazed a trail for women in the music business. She was one of the few large-scale woman promoters in the country, booking acts such as Steve Goodman, David Bromberg, Nanci Griffith and Doc & Merle Watson.