Will Dailey Wants to Make Boston a Hot Spot for Musicians
Boston musician Will Dailey ditched the national limelight to help make his hometown a great place for local talent to stick around—starting with a concert series this month at Fenway Park.
There is no ladder of ascension in Boston, no healthy structure for artists to thrive, and I’m dedicated to staying here and solving that.
When I was a kid learning to play music in Boston and I found out that the Mighty Mighty Bosstones lived here, it meant the world to me.
Boston does invest in young talent, through programs such as Zumix, in East Boston, and through institutions like Berklee. But when musicians are ready to blossom, they feel that in order to make it, they have to go to Hollywood or New York or Nashville. We don’t get a return on on our investment.
Art does not exist without subsidy. When you fall in love with Vincent van Gogh, remember that Theo van Gogh paid for everything. Michelangelo’s paintings on the Sistine Chapel ceiling were paid for by the pope. It takes initiative from leaders to subsidize art in a pragmatic and fulfilling way.
Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy saw me play at the Hot Stove Cool Music charity concert event started by Theo Epstein and Peter Gammons, and he said, “I want Fenway to be a place for everyone. What can we do for music?”
That turned into Fenway Rooftop Sessions, which I created and curate. This season, you can buy a ticket and see a local band for 45 minutes before the game in an intimate garden setting on the roof at Fenway.
Music is not my dream—it’s a way of life. I am here to make art no matter what. I want Boston to be a place where the path is open for the person in front of me and behind me. If I could solve the problems for artists in Boston, that would be a dream.