About Us

Blu Ocean Arts is a specialist, boutique music management and booking agency working with performers and composers who are innovative, collaborative and creative thinkers. We work in classical, contemporary and jazz fields with artists who often transcend musical categories.
 
Our vision is to help artists exist in the present while thinking in the long term in order to build successful and fulfilling careers. We act as advisor, ideas incubator and career strategist, supporting our artists as they explore new avenues through which to create, compose and perform. We are a hub for all aspects of an artist's career, such as recording, broadcasting, touring and media profile.
 
Blu Ocean Arts combines high level management with a comprehensive booking service, developing and establishing strong relationships with the broadest range of presenters.

Our Team

Helen Henson

General Manager

Born and raised in the U.K., Helen earned her bachelor's degree in music at the University of Newcastle and later a Business Arts Management diploma at the University of Ulster. She made her first foray into music management as an intern for the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and went on to hold posts with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the Ulster Youth Orchestra, one of the U.K.'s premiere youth orchestras, where she served as the first Executive Director for eight years. She subsequently worked as an arts and culture project director for the City of Bournemouth. In this role, Helen developed programming for professional arts projects in underserved communities, including an inaugural arts festival. Helen has been based in the U.S. since 2008. As one of the founders of Blu Ocean Arts, Helen provides booking representation and heads up the agency's classical division. 

Michael Henson

President and CEO

Michael Henson began his career as an academic and composer, studying at the University of Sheffield where he received a scholarship to study the music of Alban Berg in Vienna. He pursued postgraduate studies at the Universities of Leicester and Reading before taking up a research post at Huddersfield University which allowed him to pursue his interest in the fields of contemporary music and music perception.

 

He set up the first education department at the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, combining the roles of manager, composer and performer. He has led major orchestras in Ireland, England and the U.S. and served on many boards including the Sonorities Festival of Contemporary Music in Ireland, the Arts University of Bournemouth and the Association of British Orchestras where he also served as Chair. At Blu Ocean Arts Michael specializes in contemporary music commissioning and special projects.

Clive Greensmith

Advisor

One of the most successful British cellists of his generation. Clive was a member of the world-renowned Tokyo String Quartet from 1999 until 2013, giving over one hundred performances each year in the most prestigious international venues. He is currently a member of the Montrose Trio with John Kimura Parker and Martin Beaver and is Co-Director of Chamber Music and Professor of Cello at the Colburn School of Music in LA. Clive serves as an advisor on classical ensembles and projects for Blu Ocean Arts.

Karen Draayer

Digital Marketing

With a B.A. in Economics (DePauw University), and nearly three decades of experience in marketing and communications, Karen serves as digital marketing consultant for Blu Ocean Arts. Karen’s journey has taken her through corporate marketing departments, advertising agencies and the nonprofit sector. She assists Blu Ocean Arts with our website and other digital communications that support and promote our artists.