INTRODUCING NASHVILLE Wraps Two-Week Tour of Australia, New Zealand, Japan

The Country Music Association has wrapped its first-ever international artist-focused touring series, Introducing Nashville, with performances in Australia and New Zealand featuring Brandy Clark, Devin Dawson, Lindsay Ell and Tenille Townes (Australia leg only) followed by two back-to-back shows in Tokyo and an industry event at the U.S. Ambassador to Japan's residence including Frankie Ballard in addition to Clark, Dawson and Ell. Introducing Nashville launched in early March in Berlin and Amsterdam.

"In addition to exposing international fans to Country Music, Introducing Nashville also provides an opportunity for CMA to meet with local industry and media, make connections, and build key relationships," said Milly Olykan, CMA Vice President of International Relations and Development. "The live writers round performances demonstrate how broad contemporary Country Music is, and the message CMA shared during this tour focused on shifting perceptions around the genre and looking at how local markets can help fans discover Country Music. A new highlight of this tour was encountering the enthusiasm from industry professionals in New Zealand and Japan who want to do more to develop a market in their country."

During the Australia stops for Introducing Nashville, all the artists performed a selection of new songs for audiences as well as their current hits. Clark performed "Get High," "Hold My Hand" and "Daughter." Dawson put his emotions front and center performing songs from his album Dark Horse, including "All on Me," "Asking for a Friend" and "Dark Horse." Ell captivated audiences with a performance of "Criminal" and "Castle," both from her album The Project. Townes' "Jersey on the Wall" was an emotional ride for the artists and audiences each night, along with her single "Somebody's Daughter" and "Where You Are." Audience members hung onto every song and enjoyed the intimate writers round, many experiencing it for the very first time. After the show, a long line of fans formed to meet and take photos with the artists.

While in New Zealand, the Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA) hosted a reception for CMA to meet with local music industry professionals in Auckland. The trip marked CMA's first tour in New Zealand, which helped launch a strong Nashville and New Zealand connection. As part of the industry reception, the artists presented a preview of the traditional Nashville writers round to the audience comprised of media, live promoters, labels, songwriters and artists. During a sold-out show the following day, Dawson took the crowd by surprise when he made an impromptu invitation for Jenny Mitchell, a local songwriter and artist, to join them on stage to perform a song, which was hugely popular with the audience and a special moment for Mitchell, who'd flown the length of New Zealand to meet with CMA and attend the show.

In Japan, the U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Ambassador Hagerty - a Tennessee native - hosted a reception at his residence for CMA, industry executives, promoters, foreign officials and artists to promote the expansion of Country Music in Japan. With over 100 guests in attendance, the intimate gathering included a performance by Ballard, Clark, Dawson and Ell, which was warmly received by the attendees, many of whom were witnessing a writers round performance for the first time. During the reception, Olykan and the artists spoke with Japanese industry executives, all of whom were excited about the opportunities CMA is bringing to Japan.

Introducing Nashville wrapped its tour on a high with two back-to-back shows at Tokyo's famous Blue Note Tokyo venue. During both shows, artists played to full houses comprised largely of Japanese audiences. A lengthy meet and greet followed each show with Clark, Dawson and Ell receiving flowers and gifts from their Japanese fans.

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