Making a record is never easy. This workshop dissects the elements, processes, layers, and a behind-the-scenes knowledge base of what a day in the studio looks like.

Confluence panel discussions have no cost to attend, but have limited space. Please reserve your seat here.


Wayne Martin has served the North Carolina Arts Council since 1981. He became executive director of the agency in 2012, where he oversees a $6.7 million grants program serving all 100 counties and raises private funds for statewide arts initiatives. Martin’s career contributions in the areas of community arts development, arts education, and cultural and heritage tourism have made North Carolina a leader in creative placemaking and arts-based economic development at the national level.

Martin has played a critical role in creating cultural tourism projects in Tier 3 counties through is work with the Blue Ridge Music Trails and Cherokee Heritage Trail projects and the creation of African American Music Trails of Eastern North Carolina and the Historic Happy Valley cultural trail. Martin set the stage for the Congressional designation of western North Carolina as the Blue Ridge Heritage Area and received the first Preserve America Presidential Award on behalf of the Blue Ridge Heritage Initiative. He has also helped guide planning and implementation of the Arts Council’s SmART Initiative that spurs arts-driven economic development across the state. In addition, Martin is an accomplished musician having recorded and produced several albums of traditional music for Smithsonian Folkways, Global Music and MusicMaker labels.


A native Charlottean, Chris Garges is a drummer and the Owner and Chief Recording Engineer at Old House Studio. Garges has worked with Fred Wesley, Don Dixon, George Hamilton IV, Arthur Smith, General Johnson, Si Kahn, Ryan Martine, Frank Kimbrough, Kai Eckhart, and Oteil and Kofi Burbidge, among others. In addition, Chris has played drums for Mitch Easter since 2006 and is currently a member of the bands Bunky Moon and The Spongetones, as well as a contributing writer for TapeOp magazine.

As the manager of Echo Mountain Studios, Jessica Tomasin is a cornerstone in the Asheville music community. Jessica co-founded the non-profit Asheville Music Professionals committed to providing education, advocacy, connection, and collaboration in the music community. She is also the Co-Owner of ACME, the 2013 recipient for Entrepreneur of the Year by the City of Asheville/Chamber of Commerce and owns Jet Up Production and is Founder of Connect Beyond Festival.

Jason Bieler is a highly successful label and studio owner as well as producer and singer-songwriter. On the artist side, Jason has achieved Gold and Platinum albums and singles as an artist and producer with song placement in both the cinema and video game arenas. Bieler has toured with Ozzy, Soundgarden, The Ramones, and Cheap Trick while his work as a producer has landed him studio clientele including Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bieber, Butch Walker, Chris Carraba, New Found Glory, Don Gilmore, and Ron Nevison. Nicknamed Baron Von Bielski, Jason’s production experience extends to labels such as Atlantic, Universal, Warner and Sony and collaborations with other producers/mixers like Bob Clearmountain, Tom Lord Alge, Jack Joseph, Puig, Michael Wagner, and Toby Wright.

Evan Brice is a member of a songwriting and production group turned funk/soul group called The XMen. Born out of Charlotte, the group has toured globally with artists ranging from Pastor John P. Kee to Usher. The XMen has continued to produce and program live shows while still performing shows, perhaps most notably when they headlined the Soul Junction festival with Derrick Hodge, a Grammy Award winning jazz bassist. Brice’s most recent work was in producing “Did It for Love” with Leela James.