Meet Atlanta’s own behind-thescenes music maven.
It’s easy to see how Michele Caplinger once fronted a band—she’s got the energy to get any crowd going and has charisma and charm in spades. The now senior executive director of The Recording Academy Atlanta Chapter—she’s held a position within the esteemed Grammy Awards organization since 2000—might not have a microphone in hand anymore, but she certainly wields power and garners a respect here in Atlanta as one of the go-to gurus when it comes to all things music-related.
It was a fortuitous start, as the Edison, N.J.-native moved to Atlanta after college after ditching a career in musical theater. From there, “I cut my music-industry teeth by doing everything: booking talent; and curating public relations, promotions and publicity in the music industry,” she says. Caplinger’s career has seen all sorts of changes, but the one way she’s helping to leave her personal legacy on the city and state is through the recent passing of the Georgia Music Investment Act. Mirroring the tax break for film and TV, it’s something Caplinger “had been on the front line of since Day One,” she says. She’s quick to add, however, that she’d be remiss not to credit the “two powerhouses that led the charge—Tammy Hurt and Mala Sharma”—in what’s a typical effervescent Caplinger share-the-wealth attitude.
The busy wife to Blair and mother to Sarah—and pampered pooch Coco—also gives her time and talent to nonprofit Friends of Georgia Music Festival Inc. as well, “which is the governing board who selects inductees and produces the Georgia Music Hall of Fame awards show,” she explains. As an officer, she’s excited about honoring homegrown talent: “The awards show will be relaunched soon, and we just completed a film documentary called Stories From the Hall: A Tribute to the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.”
It’s a wonder Caplinger has so much energy, but she’s passionate about her chosen home. “Georgia’s rich musical history is undeniable. We are already recognized as a hotbed of musical talent, but the tax incentive should position us to be a sustainable business destination,” she says. “It’s a game-changer.” Looks like she’s still a frontwoman after all.
Photography by: Sarah Dorio