Created in 2019 and named after an historic music and arts theater in Kansas City, Missouri, Uptown Artist Group LLC is a boutique agency of passionate, career, music professionals who cater to an international roster of the best artists and musicians in folk and ethnic music. Our objective is quite simple: through premier booking, brand development, and management, we support our artists' creativity, grow their audiences and revenue, and help them build careers.
The Uptown team brings over 50 years combined experience in the
music and marketing industry.
Our roster consists of the best in folk and ethnic music. From our multi platinum artists to our incredible
up and coming performers, Uptown can work with any venue, big or small.
David Shaughnessy comes from a family of artists and free thinkers. The son of an architect and a salvage dealer, David’s journey into the music business was a planned happenstance. A drummer through his youth, he decided to trade his vintage 5-piece champagne sparkle Ludwig drum kit for a Nikon. It was a great decision at the time as he would spend the next 30 years as a successful commercial photographer, yet he knew something was missing. It was the passion for a different brand of artistry...music. David’s drumming chops are long gone but his tireless pursuit of great music remains. He was the founding entertainment director of the Kansas City Irish Fest and remains in that volunteer role today. David’s first chapter of his agency career started over a bowl of some of the best, and spiciest, Indian food ever...in Clonakilty, Co. Cork. There, he was formally hired as an agent with Nashville based EIA Agency. David’s stint with EIA lasted only a few years where he honed his music industry skills then realizing he was ready to fly solo. Finally, on one steamy Midwest Summer evening in 2019, David’s new company, Uptown Artist Group, was born.
At the age of six, Kelly Doughery’s dear-old-Dad wheeled and dealed to get her on the pub stages of Cheyenne, Wyoming. She became known as the little girl with the big voice. Add a couple of years of beauty pageants and the after effects of Aquanet hairspray and that little girl with the big voice set herself on a voyage to better the world through music. Kelly has been involved with Irish communities locally, nationally, and internationally for over 25 years. She has toured the states in her own band and acted as board member and entertainment director for the Kansas City Irish Center. She is a founding member and continued entertainment staff member for the Kansas City Irish Fest. Her recent pursuits included being a Folk Alliance International (FAI) staff member and coordinator for the KC Folk Festival. Kelly continues to broaden her love and passion for folk music and to use her voice to advocate for others. Kelly now brings that same big voice to Uptown Artist Group where she plans on building something truly unique.
Growing up on the northside of the Liffey in Dublin, Ronan Collins’ passion for the arts grew from an early age. Ronan, or Ro as many call him, was the driving force behind the drum kit for several of Dublin’s most popular local bands in the 1980’s. One band in particular, The Outpatients, nearly “made it,” enjoying success in the shadow of another Irish rock and roll band that decided to take over the music world. Ronan’s love of acting and comedy led him to audition for the role of drummer Billy Mooney in the movie The Committments. Ronan started his career running gigs at Dublin City University followed by a stint at Central Missouri University and University of Tasmania in Hobart Australia. He has been a resident of Kansas City, Missouri for over 25 years. He returns home several times a year and continues to be connected to the Irish music and comedy scene.
Ronan brings years of booking experience to Uptown Artist Group through his work with Mundy and
comedian Joe Rooney.
Kevan Gibbs may not be a working musician today, but music has been a defining part of his life from the very beginning. From his earliest memories of his mother singing to him while playing the banjo to his youth learning anything with strings. After that, it was playing in bars with bands while still under age, majoring in music in college (although graduating in Film & Theatre), being a partner in an ukulele company (Nalu Ukulele), a member of Folk Alliance, and, recently, consulting with independent artists on branding/revenue/touring through his company, CollectiveVibe. Professionally, Kevan is an award-winning marketer and branding specialist with extensive experience in nearly every sector. In fact, it’s in that role he met David, as he hired David as a photographer for a project years ago. Kevan joined Uptown Artist Group so his personal musical journey could continue, to finally allay his guilt over decades of selling shite to folks who neither wanted, needed, or could afford it...but mostly so he could turn his talents toward helping bring more music into the world. That’s all that really matters, isn’t it?