After nearly a decade of hard work, Ben Kates has decided to step down as Artistic Director of Creative Music Guild, the organization that has been responsible for expanding minds and the musical culture of our fair city for the past 25 years.
It’s sad news but not terribly shocking as he surely deserves a break. Under his guiding hand, CMG has increased the number of events they’ve curated from around eight to around 30. His support for the local scene is without peer and his willingness to bring high caliber artists from around the globe to Portland has done wonders for putting this town on the worldwide cultural map.
I wouldn’t be worried about anyone that they would place in his chair considering the level of support he’s received over the years, but I’m especially glad to hear that Mike Gamble is going to be taking over. Besides being a fantastic musician, he also has his fingers on the pulse of the national and international experimental music scenes. And considering his deep Rolodex of artists that he has had a chance to collaborate with on his own, like Nels Cline and Todd Sickafoose, this can only mean great things for the future of the CMG.