Tony Visconti to Deliver SXSW Opening Keynote Address

Ebet Roberts/Redferns

David Bowie and Tony Visconti performing live onstage at Tibetan Freedom concert in 2001.

Tony Visconti, the legendary producer who helmed many important David Bowie albums, including the late British artist’s final recording, Blackstar, will be the opening keynote speaker at this year's 30th annual South by Southwest Music Conference and Festival (SXSW). 

Visconti’s association with the Thin White Duke traces back to 1969’s David Bowie and includes work on the “Berlin Trilogy” (Low, Heroes and Lodger), and the surprise 2013 comeback album, The Next Day. Blackstar, released Jan. 8, just two days before Bowie died, has proved to be one of the singer's biggest hits with No. 1 debuts in the U.S., U.K., Australia.

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The versatile American producer has also worked on recordings for the likes of T-Rex, Thin Lizzy and U2, he won a Grammy for his work on Angelique Kidjo's Djin Djin (Best Contemporary World Music Album) and has co-produced Esperanza Spalding's upcoming Concord release Emily's D+Evolution, and Daphne Guinness's Optimist in Black.

Visconti’s involvement is a huge, timely coup for SXSW and a dream-come-true for its organizers. SXSW co-founder Roland Swenson and Jason Carter, owner of Austin’s Wicked Signs, recently admitted to placing “David Bowie” over an Austin street as a "tribute to a great musician". 

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The 2016 SXSW Music Festival runs March 15-20 and is expected to showcase 2,000 acts ranging from across all the genres. Visconti’s SXSW keynote address will take place March 16, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. in Room 18ABCD of the Austin Convention Center.


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