MUSIC BOX: Music Money; Murs Returns

By on October 13, 2015

Jackson Hole Live offers cash awards for teens; underground emcee hits the Tav

Jackson, WY – Hendrix started playing guitar at age 15 after seeing Elvis, while Ludwig van Beethoven composed his first piece at age 12. Both also pushed through poverty while developing virtuosic musical chops. Sometimes it just takes the extra encouragement or mentor, and, in extreme cases, music immersion can even save lives. A teenager or young adult with a striking talent and visionary passion for a career in music is worthy of community attention, and there’s a new scholarship program geared toward this notion.

Jackson Hole Live—the free, all-ages concert series at Snow King Ball Park every summer—has stepped up to launch the inaugural Jackson Hole Live Music Scholarship. The scholarship is aimed to “further the ambition of aspiring young musicians.” The program will offer a $3,000 award to one grand prizewinner and $1,000 to a runner-up chosen by a five-member committee that includes Steve Poole, Pete Closson, Sue Bybee, Michelle McCormick and Mac Munro. Jackson Hole Live seeded the scholarship fund with $500, and accepted $500 challenges from community members Scott Anderson, Chip Marvin, Greg Miles and Melinda Binks, Jeff and Amy Golightly, Rachel Ravitz, the Boathouse Foundation and one other anonymous contributor.

“We did a lot of preliminary research and considered the age range very carefully,” said Jackson Hole Live co-founder Shannon McCormick. “We really think this is going to be important to the young musicians in the area.”

The scholarship will be available to high school freshman through 20-year-olds, born in 1995. Residents of Teton County, Star Valley and Teton Valley, Idaho, are eligible. Aspiring musicians must complete the online application by Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26, 2015. Applicants may submit a one-minute video along with their online application, but it is not required. Winners will be announced on Jan. 15, 2016.

Criteria and a scholarship application are available now at

Caption: MURS brings the rawness of underground hip-hop to the stage Thursday at Town Square Tavern.

MURS brings the rawness of underground hip-hop to the stage Thursday at Town Square Tavern.

MURS’ ‘Have a Nice Life’ Tour

As a kid, L.A. rapper MURS was a skateboarder and video gamer that grew up around Crips gang members. His love of both geek and hip-hop culture made for a relatable mix of lyrics. As a teenager, he hustled his music hand-to-hand on the streets for rent, leading to a stage name that is an acronym with multiple meanings including “Making the Universe Recognize and Submit” and “Making Underground Raw Shit.”

This past May, MURS released his first album on his own Strange Music label, “Have a Nice Life.” This is following a stint with Warner Brothers that included a string of collaborative albums such as 2012’s “This Generation” with Fresno rapper Fashawn. MURS describes Strange Music as “a home for strong, original personalities.” He signed Tech N9ne last year.

A zoomed-out look at MURS’s recording career since 1997 is one of ambition and range—nine albums including releases as a member of hip-hop groups Living Legends, Melancholy Gypsys, Felt and Melrose, as well as a stint as the lead vocalist of rock-rap super group, The Invincibles. An emotional realist, he often shuns the hip-hop gun culture in favor of insightful dialog about the streets.

Detroit rapper Red Pill and L.A. rapper King Fantastic will open the show.

MURS, 10 p.m., Thursday at Town Square Tavern. $15., 733-3886. PJH

Aaron Davis is an award-winning singer-songwriter, trout whisperer, multi-instrumentalist, member of Screen Door Porch and Boondocks, and founder/host of Songwriter’s Alley.

About Aaron Davis

Aaron Davis is a decade-long writer of Music Box, a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, member of Screen Door Porch and Boondocks, founder/host of Songwriter’s Alley, and co-founder of The WYOmericana Caravan.

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