Hollywood-native keyboardist, composer and producer Erik Norlander will stop in Canton as part of an exclusive four-city spring tour. In an effort by Serge Entertainment Group to bring something different to the downtown Canton area, senior publicist Mark Waterbury said Norlander’s work should bring a broad base of fans to the Cherokee Arts Center.
Norlander’s Galactic Collective band is comprised of guitarist Jeff Kollman, bassist Mark Matthews and drummer Nick LePar.
Norlander’s 2010 solo release, “The Galactic Collective,” stands as a progressive rock tour de force of re-imaginings of his best instrumental compositions written for Lana Lane, Rocket Scientists and his previous solo albums, according to a release.
In bringing Norlander’s music to the Cherokee Arts Center, Serge Entertainment offers the Canton area more of a taste of music traditionally found in Atlanta, Waterbury said.
“We think Canton’s a good market for Erik’s music because Atlanta has a large progressive rock crowd, and we feel the downtown area needs more of this kind of thing,” Waterbury said. “We want to push the envelope on entertainment around here.”
Norlander has recorded, produced, written and performed with many of progressive rock’s most regarded acts including ASIA Featuring John Payne, Rocket Scientists, Lana Lane, Big Noize and the Roswell 6 project. Other artists Norlander has worked with over the last two decades include Vinny Appice, Tony Franklin, Glenn Hughes, Buck Dharma Roesser, Mitch Perry and James LaBrie of Dream Theater.
Not only has Norlander been an active musician in the progressive rock genre but also he has developed keyboards for Alesis and audio tracks for Line 6. Norlander’s music has been featured in documentaries as well as on television.
Friday night’s show is expected to draw a crowd that runs the gamut in age from young to old, Waterbury said.
“Erik is a well-respected musician who will draw an audience of musicians, as well as fans of bands like Yes and Genesis,” Waterbury said.
Serge Entertainment Group has worked to promote art, music and film in the Cherokee area for several years. President and CEO Sandy Serge has worked to generate more local enthusiasm for the arts through a group called The North Georgia Film and Music Professionals, which she founded with a team of volunteers who wish to create and promote events related to art, entertainment and culture.
“My background is in music; I’m a musician,” Serge said, adding that she thinks the North Georgia area is undervalued when it comes to music. She said she wants to create more positive awareness for the arts locally by bringing in national acts. “I would like to bring more music to this area because it’s undervalued,” she said.
“Bringing more international acts to this area will bring more people,” Serge said. “I’d like to make this area more of a tourist attraction, focusing on music.”
In addition to the work Serge does with promotion and publicity, she is also working toward starting a house concert series that will be in the Canton area as early as fall 2014, she said.