Patrons of the Arts: Laurie and Don Koster

03/21/2012 5:00 AM

03/21/2012 3:30 PM

Married 28 years ago after connecting over identical record collections, Don and Laurie Koster moved to Charlotte from Cleveland in 1986 and have since opened their home and hearts to local live music.

Web maven: After serving on the advisory board for the nonprofit triannual concert series Tosco Music Party more than a decade ago, Laurie Koster started a weekly live-music newsletter. “There wasn’t a place that these small acts could promote their shows and they didn’t know how to do it,” she said. Today Koster distributes event information to more than 5,000 readers, http://charlottemusic.typepad.com.

Rock ‘n’ roll hotel: The Kosters have opened their three-bedroom home to hundreds of touring bands, so many in fact that it is dubbed “The Rock ’n’ Roll Hotel.” “We have some bands that drive from Chapel Hill and pull up to our house at 3 a.m.,” Don said. Last year they hosted 40 bands. There’s one rule, says Don: “Laurie has to like the music.”

Champions: Whether putting up bands or putting the word out, the Kosters champion what they like, urging friends to come see unknown acts or helping acts from as far away as Sweden make connections. Even if you don’t know them personally, it’s likely any club concertgoer will recognize their faces.

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