Randy Armstrong has appeared on more than 40 albums and film scores, played at Carnegie Recital Hall and festivals at Lincoln Center as well as sharing the stage with such music greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Fatoumata Diawara, the Paul Winter Consort, King Sunny Ade, Eddie Palmieri, Babatunde Olatunji, Michael Hedges, Richie Havens and others..
"I arrived on the emerging Seacoast Arts & Music scene in the mid-70’s at the beginning of the Portsmouth and surrounding area Renaissance. At that time Prescott Park, The Music Hall and the old Theater by the Sea (now Seacoast Rep) were working hard to keep the doors open. We almost lost The Music Hall in the mid-80’s, but through the efforts of many artists, art lovers and generous community members it was saved from being closed and considered for a condo site. My national and international touring group at the time, Do’a World Music Ensemble and Unu Mondo made the seacoast our home performing at Prescott Park, The Music Hall, First Night, Seacoast Rep, and South Church concerts through the years. Many people may not know this history, especially the younger generation and newcomers in the past 25 years.
The seacoast has a vibrant music and arts scene built on the many years of work from the artists and musicians who help make this community so attractive. I am concerned at changes that make it difficult for these “local & regional” artists and musicians to be showcased in our many performing arts venues. I served for nine years as an Arts Councilor appointed by two NH Governors to help disperse public funds to many non-profit arts and educational organizations. As one of the only professional musicians serving on the NHSCA, I have always felt that organizations receiving public funding through operating and project grants should support not only the infrastructure and staff of the organization, but also nurture emerging artists in their respective communities through bookings and presentations. It is important for presenters to support the next generation through these bookings and presentations as well as the many talented artists that call the seacoast their home. Many non-profit theater, music, dance, visual arts venues in the seacoast do substantial community outreach, but there needs to more opportunities for our artists to perform and present in “our" community. I applaud Arts Industry Alliance for taking on this difficult task."