Career Highlights and Notable Achievements
Southeast Regional Folk Alliance (SERFA): 2001 – 2016
Nashville Sings Woody (month long events/Ryman concert): 2003
Americana Conference (Co-Chair of Inaugural Conference): 2001
Chris Austin Songwriting Contest (29 Years): 1992 – 2021
Black Sheep Concerts & Publications, Inc.: 1980 – 1986
The Black Sheep Review Folk Magazine: 1982 – 1985
Acoustic Concerts – 3rd & Lindsley: 2001/2002
The Radio Cafe Coffeehouse – Nashville: 2001
Fest de Ville Downtown Festival – Nashville: 2001
Caffe Milano – Nashville: 1998
Summer Lights Downtown Festival – Nashville: 1997
Black Sheep Concerts – Harvard/Symphony Hall/Berklee: 1980 – 1986
MerleFest – Consultant, Asst. Festival Director: 1992 – 1996
Newport Folk Festival – Asst. Festival Director: 1986
Berkshire Mountain Bluegrass Festival – Asst. to Dir: 1977 – 1982
Steeleye Span: 2009 & 2014
Janis Ian: 2008
3 Mustaphas 3 (& Manager): 1988 – 1990
Tony Rice (& Manager/Agent): 1981 – 1985
Suzanne Vega: 1985
TradFest & Opening Night Panelist, Dublin, Ireland – 2019
Showcase Scotland 2017 & 2019
Acadian Music, NB, Canada (2009 & 2011)
Awards & More
East Nashville Citizen of the Year 2018 – Nomination
Who’s Who “Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award”- 2017
How to Be Your Own Booking Agent – Editor: 1997
Pickin’ For Merle Video and PBS Series – Assoc. Producer: 1992
Music Journalist – Frets, Acoustic Musician, Sing Out!
Acoustic/roots industry veteran Kari Estrin is known for her integrative, strategic & holistic approach to artist management; helping the artist define their vision, and then creating marketing plans to bring it to fruition. In 2022 Kari celebrated 50 years in artist management, tour management, concert/festival production, CD production/A & R, as well as being a publisher/writer and more. With expertise reflected in her innovative artist career consulting, Kari established her system prior to the coaching movement. Holding a track record as a respected acoustic music/roots radio promoter for the past 20+ years, Kari doesn’t just promote releases, she builds careers.
It’s no wonder that working with Kari Estrin is in demand, with her over 50 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.
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.
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 50 years in roots/acoustic music, 2022 was the 30th 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