2013 Sync Up Conference Panelists

Register For Sync Up

April 26-27 and May 3-4, 2013
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The New Orleans Museum of Art
1 Collins Diboll Circle
New Orleans, LA 70119
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Alex White

Alex White

Co-founder, Next Big Sound

Alex White co-founded Next Big Sound in 2008, while in his last semester at Northwestern University. The analytics service measures daily music consumption and purchase decisions around the globe. From Facebook fans to sales, Next Big Sound combines artist activity with context to help the modern music industry make decisions.

White and his co-founders have been featured in Billboard (10 best music companies) New York Times, CNN, Forbes (30 under 30), Techcrunch, BusinessWeek (25 under 25) and more.

Next Big Sound works with thousands of customers, from individual artists to major labels, and licenses two charts to Billboard magazine. In 2012 the start-up announced a $6.5 million dollar series A financing from IA Ventures, Foundry Group, SofttechVC and other notable angel investors.


Anthony Ciaccio

Anthony Ciaccio is admitted to the practice of law in Louisiana, New York and Texas with extensive experience in the areas of Entertainment and Commercial Transactions.

Mr. Ciaccio is the President and founder of Hypersoul, LLC a New Orleans based talent management and event development firm representing a roster of artists which includes, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Stooges Brass Band, Mia Borders, Khris Royal and Sasha Masakowski and others. 

Mr. Ciaccio has also been a consultant and producer for the creation and execution of numerous events.  Other credits include, Producer Dear Talula a documentary which won awards at the Tribeca Film Festival and Luna Festival and aired nationally on Cinemax; Associate Producer of the documentary 90 Miles which won awards at the Havana Film Festival and the New York Latino Film Festival and has aired nationally on the CPBS series P.O.V. 

Mr. Ciaccio is a native of New Orleans, attended New York University Stern School of Business and Emory Law School.

Anya Grundmann

Anya Grundmann

Director/Executive Producer, NPR Music

Anya Grundmann has guided the launch and growth of NPR Music as a premiere award-winning source for music discovery and innovative multiplatform journalism, in close partnership with 13 public radio stations and major NPR news programs. In 2013, Billboard Magazine named her as one of the "Power 100" in the music industry, and Fast Company noted that Anya and her team are "re-inventing public radio for the post-radio generation."

Every month more than 3 million people visit NPR Music online and via mobile devices, including the NPR Music ipad and iphone apps and video channels. Tens of millions more hear music coverage on NPR's flagship radio programs. Popular features include Alt.Latino, All Songs Considered, First Listens, Tiny Desk Concerts, major festival coverage, exclusive videos, live concerts and blogs covering classical, jazz, indie rock, Latin alternative and music news.

Benji Rogers

Benji Rogers

Founder & CEO, PledgeMusic

Benji Rogers is an independent musician from London, England who has been making his own records since 1999.  He’s lived in New York, Los Angeles and Boston and though always a musician, he has also worked in television and film as a camera operator and audio engineer.  On one stop in his varied career, he even ran a bar in New York.  As a musician, Rogers has been on tour with his band and as a solo artist in both the US and Europe with relatively few breaks since 2001.  Through PledgeMusic, Rogers funded and released his 5th independent record under the name Marwood. A product of a music business family, with his mother, father and stepfather all having variously been managers, label owners, publishers and musicians, he was literally born into it and determined to succeed.

Benji Rogers founded PledgeMusic, the global direct-to-fan funding platform for musicians to record and tour in 2009.  PledgeMusic helps artists to engage with their fans, fund their music, keep their rights and raise money for charity. He doesn't get out much these days and has grown a beard.


Brent McCrossen

Brent McCrossen

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Audiosocket

Brent McCrossen – As the CEO and founder of two media technology firms, Audiosocket and LIDCORE, Brent is responsible for the companies’ vision, direction and execution. Working with his employees, board of directors and customers Mr. McCrossen crafts a strategy that benefits not only the company but also the musicians, rights holders and broadcasters it has set out to assist. Ten plus years in the music tech space gives Brent a unique perspective on the industry and the changes it’s facing. Being born and raised in New Orleans, Brent has a deep passion for all things technology, music and culture. He has made that passion a career.

Danny Melnick

Danny Melnick

President, Absolutely Live Entertainment

Danny Melnick has produced tours, festivals, concerts and special events worldwide for nearly 25 years, and as the owner of Absolutely Live Entertainment (ALE) since 2007. He is the producing partner and Artistic Director of the Freihofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival in Saratoga Springs, NY (June 29-30), the Associate Producer of the Newport Jazz Festival (Aug 2-4) and has helped to create and produce more than 100 festivals in Europe, Japan and the US.

Recent ALE tour projects include “A Night in Treme,” “Kind of Blue @ 50,” “Monterey Jazz Festival 55th Anniversary Tour,” and next year’s “Newport Jazz Festival: Now 60” global celebration.

Danny produced last year’s UNESCO's International Jazz Day "Sunrise Concert" in New Orleans and will produce the Dave Brubeck Memorial Celebration on May 11 in New York City. He is the Artistic Director of Carnegie Hall’s "The Shape of Jazz," series and was the backstage manager at the JazzTent for three recent New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festivals. He manages acclaimed composer and alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa.

Prior to forming ALE, Danny was the Artistic Director and a Senior Producer at George Wein's company, Festival Productions, Inc. He played a central role in producing annual festivals in Newport, New York, Bermuda, Hampton, VA, Madarao, Japan and others. He produced the Mellon Jazz Festivals in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and was the Artistic Director of the Newport Jazz 50th Anniversary Festival in 2004.

From 1996 through 1998, Danny was a Booking Agent at Ted Kurland Associates, and worked at Festival Productions from 1990-1996.

Danny Melnick lives in Woodstock, NY, has traveled to over 30 countries and still uses a turntable. His wife, Bari Koral, a leading Family Rock Band artist, performs in the Kids Tent at 3:20pm on Friday, May 3.

Darren Hoffman

Darren Hoffman

Founder and CEO, Tutti Dynamics

Currently an Artist and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the University of New Orleans, Hoffman developed a progressive technique for capturing dynamic music and technique based content. In the spring 2012, Darren and Tutti Dynamics created multi-source "Tutti" media with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra as well as professors from the Berklee College of Music. In the spring of 2013, the Tutti Music Player began launched with Berklee and Jazz Lincoln Center's Essentially Ellington program.
Hoffman Co-Produced Jason Marsalis's critically acclaimed album "Music Update," served as associate producer for Ellis Marsalis's Platinum Edition release of "An Open Letter to Thelonious“ and collaborated with Yara Travieso on multi-disciplinary performances at The Lincoln Center in New York and the New World Symphony in Miami. Darren is also the director and producer of the documentary film: Tradition is a Temple - The Modern Masters of New Orleans.

He is a graduate of Florida State University’s College of Motion Picture Arts and was awarded the Basin Street Scholarship for Jazz Studies at the University of New Orleans.

Dave Margulies

Dave Margulies

Partner, High Sierra Music, Inc.

Dave Margulies is a partner in High Sierra Music, Inc. an independent festival production company based in Berkeley, CA. High Sierra produces the annual High Sierra Music Festival (www.highsierramusic.com) a premier midsize music and camping festival now in its 23rd year in Quincy, CA. about an hour north of Lake Tahoe each July 4th weekend. High Sierra is also a partner in DelFest, an Americana music festival celebrating the legacy of American bluegrass pioneer Del McCoury and his family. The event, in its 6th year is held in Cumberland, MD each Memorial Day weekend. And High Sierra also partners in the Hangtown Halloween Ball, a three day camping and music festival held in Placerville, CA with host band Railroad Earth. That event is entering its third year. Prior to working in the festival world, Dave was managing editor of CMJ, did some artist management and worked as an A&R regional manager for Sony Music. He first attended Jazz Fest in 1978 and hasn't missed one since.

David Dufresne

David Dufresne

CEO, Bandzoogle

David Dufresne is the CEO of Bandzoogle, the most powerful platform for musicians to build their website, engage their fans, and sell their music and merch directly. Established in 2003, Bandzoogle works with thousands of bands and musicians to help them create a strong base for their online strategy.  David has a venture capitalist background, having spent 8 years placing bets on software, web, and video game startups.  He’s an obsessive music fan and he loves to DJ the occasional dance party.  He is the father of two young girls, and he plays soccer and hockey.  He's based in Montreal, and Bandzoogle's staff of 15 is spread across Canada, the U.S., Spain and the U.K.

David Hazan

David Hazan

Throughout his extensive marketing career, David Hazan has consistently conceived and executed breakthrough entertainment marketing campaigns for his internet, brand, agency, and entertainment clients, functional essentially as a virtual CMO for LiveMusicStage, Mobile Backstage, theBizmo, Lucha Libre USA, GigsWiz, .dotmusic, and Muze, while producing content and events for MSN, Canadian Music Week, AEG, TVT, and Shout! Factory.

David’s deep music marketing experience includes senior positions held at The Orchard, MTV Networks / VH1, Universal Music Group, Putumayo World Music and Wind-up Records.  There, as Executive VP of Sales and Marketing, he strategized and oversaw the marketing and release campaigns for multi-platinum Grammy winners Evanescence as well as for Creed, Seether, Finger 11 among others.

While SVP Marketing at Universal Classics, David created and managed the release campaigns for Broadway soundtracks including Mamma Mia and Seussical the Musical, while working with artists such as Andrea Bocelli, Renee Fleming, and Luciano Pavarotti.

As Senior VP Marketing for Putumayo World Music, David established the label as the world’s pre-eminent world music brand, launching the label in over 100 countries around the world. David co-produced and sold all sponsorships for The Putumayo World Music Hour, a weekly radio show broadcast on over 170 stations around the world. He also negotiated strategic marketing alliances with American Express, Louisiana Office of Tourism, and major music and cultural festivals throughout North America.

David’s experience at marketing agencies includes event specialists US Concepts, Warner Custom Music) and EMCI / Rockbill, which included a stint at their London, UK offices, developing global music marketing campaigns for clients such as Converse, Philips N.V., and Pepe Jeanswear.

David originally began his career as a musician before starting his own Toronto-based entertainment marketing agency, Music Matters.  He lives in Nyack, NY with his wife and two sons.

About Live Music Stage:
LiveMusicStage is an online platform where venues, festivals and other event organizers can broadcast their gigs and concerts.  Audiences can interact with the performing artists, while enjoying high quality live streams. LiveMusicStage is headquartered in Helsinki with offices in London and New York, currently preparing for its US launch later this year.

Diana Ezerins

Diana Ezerins

Community Engagement Programming Coordinator, Millennium Stage, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Since 2008, Diana Ezerins has been the Programming Coordinator in the Community Engagement office of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, located in Washington D.C.  Her primary role is to program, schedule, and manage the performance calendar for Millennium Stage, the Kennedy Center’s daily, free performance series. In addition to booking 365 shows a year, she works with Garth Ross, the Vice President of Community Engagement, to program additional concerts and supplemental performance activities for Kennedy Center initiatives and festivals in accordance with the department’s mission of "building social capital through active arts engagement." The success of these programs relies on Diana’s ongoing efforts to cultivate and maintain relationships with presenting partners, including the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington National Opera, Kennedy Center Jazz, Suzanne Farrell Ballet, Kennedy Center Education programs, as well as organizations throughout the city (such as NPR, the European Union, World Bank, United Nations High Commission for Refugees, the Washington Nationals, Listen Local First D.C., the National Cherry Blossom Festival, Smithsonian Institution), and colleagues worldwide. Diana began working at the Center in March 2004, taking on the role of Programming Assistant to administer contracts, artist payment, day-of-show playbills, and oversee promotional materials. Before arriving at the Center, she studied percussion performance and music management at Frostburg State University. She played a variety of instruments, and participated in the flute, jazz, percussion, brass, and woodwind ensembles, as well as the concert chorale and marching band. She was indoctrinated into the presenting world by her high school band director, who was dedicated to creating a variety of high quality concert experiences, all of which were previously unavailable to their community in southern Maryland. Diana was last seen performing snare drum in the Washington Redskins Marching Band.

Dick Huey

Dick Huey

Founder, Toolshed, Inc.

Toolshed, founded in 2001 in New York City, is a multi-faceted company that includes a consulting division that advises major consumer brands, media, tech, entertainment companies, and digital music services on digital strategy and rights acquisition and usage issues. 

It also includes a social media strategy and grassroots marketing agency now headquartered in San Francisco, which also offers direct-to-fan campaign design and digital PR. Toolshed is focused on an elite client base of over 350 brand and entertainment clients built on trust, customized service, and creative solutions that leverage years of experience in the field.

Huey is a new media pioneer.  He launched and led the New Media department at the Beggars Group (XL Recordings, 4AD, Matador Records, Rough Trade) from 1997 to 2001, licensed the Group’s groundbreaking digital catalog, and set the Group’s strategic direction

Toolshed music and media strategy clients include the Beggars Group and Merge Records. Toolshed has orchestrated over 350 digital and social media growth campaigns for artists such as The Civil Wars, MNDR, Ani DiFranco, Sufjan Stevens, The Arcade Fire, Aimee Mann, and Sam Spiegel / N.A.S.A..

In 2011 Huey consulted Swedish music service Spotify, and in that capacity was the US point person responsible for the acquisition of independent label and artist catalogs for the July 2011 launch of the service in the United States.

He is a founding new media committee member for the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), a past board member representing Matador Records at Soundexchange, and a board member at CASH Music, which builds open source music technology for artists.  Toolshed has had early advisory board relationships with Tunecore and RoyaltyShare.

Elyse McKenna

Elyse McKenna

Senior Client Relations & Development, Topspin Media, Inc.

Erika Elliott

Erika Elliott

Artistic Director, City Parks Foundation Summerstage

Erika Elliott, is a dedicated and creative leader in the music industry with over 15 years of experience in a variety of roles within the music industry.  She currently holds the position of Artistic Director of City Parks Foundation’s hallmark performing arts festival, SummerStage.

Ms. Elliott is responsible for the overall artistic vision of SummerStage, from programming talent to developing larger thematic programs and commissions.  Under her leadership, the attendance and press coverage for the entire festival has grown exponentially. The New York Times has called SummerStage “the treasure of the New York summer music season,” and The Charlie Parker Jazz Festival was named The Village Voice’s “Best of 2010 - Summer Jazz Festival.”

CPF is an independent, non-profit organization that creates vibrant and thriving communities by revitalizing neighborhood parks.  CPF combines arts, sports and education programs with community-organizing to build communities throughout the five boroughs of New York City. As the largest presenter of free arts and cultural programming in New York City, SummerStage annually presents over 100 free events, featuring over 300 artists in parks throughout the five boroughs of New York City.

Originally from Los Angeles, CA, Ms. Elliott moved to New York City to pursue a career in the music industry after working in college and commercial radio.  She joined Loud Records staff in 1997, working in both the marketing and promotion departments on several historic projects including the WU-Tang Clans’ The W, and Big Punisher’s debut, Capital Punishment, both albums went on to become platinum sellers.  Other projects included marketing and promotion of Funkmaster Flex’s Mixtape albums, Xzibit’s debut, and Mobb Deep’s sophomore album.

Three years with the seminal hip-hop label were followed by a position as Assistant to the VP of William Morris Agency, Cara Lewis.  In this role she coordinated a roster of touring artists including Eminem, Lauryn Hill, The Roots, Outkast, and Jamiroquai to name a few.
Ms. Elliott then returned to a record label, spending 2+ years in the Artist Development department of RCA Music Group and was part of breaking new artists such as Christina Aguilera and Lit, as well as working on the Foo Fighters RCA debut. 

In 2001, Erika got the opportunity to return to the live music aspect of the industry, when she was offered the Talent Buyer/Director of Urban Music position at S.O.B’s, New York’s premiere World and Urban Music club.  She was responsible for raising the profile of the important club, and making it “the” place to see urban music in New York.  She created and developed the SOULCITY series, which launched the careers of then unsigned artists John Legend, Anthony Hamilton, Ledisi, and Kanye West.  She also created Sol Village as a platform to develop and showcase talent, which continues to be a valuable performance opportunity for artists at S.O.B’s to this day. 

In 2004, Ms. Elliott joined City Parks Foundation’s trademark summer performing arts series, SummerStage as Talent Buyer, where she handled the booking of all music programming for SummerStage. In 2010, she became Artistic Director of the festival, and oversees the curation of thematic programs for the festival. For the 2011 season, Ms. Elliott continues to offer New Yorkers and visitors alike the best of numerous genres of music including hip-hop, Latin, Indie rock and jazz.

Geoffrey Himes

Geoffrey Himes

Music Journalist, The Washington Post

Geoffrey Himes has written about pop music on a weekly basis in the Washington Post since 1977 and has served as a senior editor at No Depresson and Paste magazines. He has also written about pop music for Rolling Stone, the Oxford American, the New York Times, Fretboard Journal, Offbeat, Musician Magazine, National Public Radio, Crawdaddy Magazine, No Depression, Downbeat Magazine, Country Music Magazine, Jazz Times, Bluegrass Unlimited, New Country Magazine, Sing Out, the Chicago Tribune, the Houston Chronicle, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the New Orleans Gambit, Baltimore Magazine, the Baltimore City Paper, the Los Angeles Times, Texas Music Magazine, the Baltimore Sun, Harley Davidson Magazine and other outlets. He has been honored for Music Feature Writing by the Deems Taylor/ASCAP Awards, the New Orleans Press Awards, the Abell Foundation Awards and the Music Journalism Awards. He has appeared in the 2000 and 2010 editions of “Best Music Writing," published annually by DaCapo Press.

His book on Bruce Springsteen, “Born in the U.S.A.,” was published by Continuum Books in 2005. He wrote two chapters for the book, “The Blackwell Guide to Recorded Country Music," and has also contributed entries to the “The Encyclopedia of Country Music," “The Music Hound Folk Album Guide” and “The Rolling Stone Jazz & Blues Album Guide.” He has written liner notes for albums by Rosanne Cash, Merle Haggard, the Isley Brothers, the Beach Boys, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Billy Bragg, Wilco, the Swimming Pool Qs, Carey Bell, Tony Rice, Chris Hillman, Diana Jones, Red House Records, Marty Stuart, Beau Jocque, Earl King and others. He is currently working on a book about Emmylou Harris, Rosanne Cash, Rodney Crowell and Ricky Skaggs for the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Jack Walsh

Jack Walsh

Director of Performing Arts, BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn

Jack Walsh was named Director of Performing Arts at BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn in 2007 and continues to serve as Executive Producer of BRIC’s Celebrate Brooklyn Performing Arts Festival. A member of the Celebrate Brooklyn team since 1982 and Executive Producer of the Festival since 1994, Walsh has been responsible for the program during a remarkable period of growth including planning and reconstruction of Celebrate Brooklyn’s home at the Prospect Park Bandshell; introduction of successful new programming concepts; doubling attendance and development of a citywide audience; and diversification of revenues including the development of a corporate sponsorship program, foreign consulate support, an individual “Friends” member program, ticketed events and an annual Gala. As Director of Performing Arts, Walsh continues to produce the Festival, which will celebrate its thirty-fifth summer season in 2013, while also furthering the growth and expansion of all BRIC performing arts programming.  In 2007, Walsh oversaw the launch of BRIC’s signature BRIClab Commissioning and Residency program, which nurtures the development of new work in the performing arts and will serve as a cornerstone of BRIC’s programming in our new multidisciplinary center, BRIC Arts | Media House. 

Prior to BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn, Walsh provided creative and technical consultation for a broad spectrum of corporate, cultural and community clients. A life-long resident of Brooklyn, Walsh serves on the Advisory Board of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, Executive Committee of the Prospect Park Alliance Community Committee, and as a member of the National Endowment for the Arts Steering Committee for Summer Outdoor Festivals. Walsh holds a BA in Music, Business and Technology from New York University.

Jedd Katrancha

Jedd Katrancha

Senior Vice President/Creative, Downtown Music Publishing

Jedd Katrancha currently serves as Senior Vice President/Creative for Downtown Music Publishing where he oversees the promotion and licensing of the company's growing publishing catalog. Downtown Music Publishing's roster includes the catalogs of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Motley Crue, Jewel, Seal, Social Distortion, and Frankie Goes To Hollywood as well as contemporary artist/writers like Miike Snow, Santigold, Carla Bruni, Tanlines, Love as Laughter, and many more. Downtown's songwriters have recently written songs for artists such as Ne-Yo, Beyonce, Trey Songz, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, and Phillip Phillips.

Jill Sternheimer

Jill Sternheimer

Producer, Public Programming, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

As producer of both the Midsummer Night Swing and Lincoln Center Out of Doors series, Jill Sternheimer has had the honor of being on a team who has presented everyone from Allen Toussaint , Charlie Watts’ ABC and D of Boogie Woogie and Patti Smith. She collaborated with the Ponderosa Stomp to curate and produce She’s Got the Power: A Girl Group Extravaganza.  She has also been responsible for the New York debut of several New Orleans bands such as the New Orleans Moonshiners and this summer’s King James and the Special Men.  Jill is yet another festival professional who got her start with Festival Productions.

Jim Griffin

Jim Griffin

Managing Director, OneHouse Music

Jim Griffin is dedicated to the future of music and entertainment delivery, a digital music pioneer, responsible for the first entertainment web server and the first full-length
download of commercial music, Aerosmith’s Head First in 1994.

Today, Jim is focused on accelerating the pace of scholarly research, especially through collaborative tools, sharing and open access to knowledge, and helps the United
Nations advance registries of music and ideas around the world.

In addition to serving as an agent for constructive change in media and technology, he is an author, serving as a columnist for magazines, and is on the boards of companies
and associations. Jim started and runs Choruss LLC, incubated by Warner Music Group. He started and ran for five years the technology department at Geffen Records.
Prior to Geffen he was an International Representative for The Newspaper Guild in Washington, D.C.

Jim is co-founder of the Pho group. Named after a bowl of Vietnamese soup, Pho is an organization that meets for discussion-oriented meals in cities around the world,
electronically linked by the Pho mailing list. Pho's many thousands of readers enjoy dialogue on the digital delivery of art and the new economy in music, movies, books and
all media.

Jim testified in July 2000 before the Senate Judiciary Committee at its oversight hearing on file sharing and music licensing. He regularly moderates video and television shows
on digital entertainment. He is often a keynote speaker or moderator at conferences (Internet Summit, Giga Conference, Comdex, CES, Webnoize, and many others) and lectures annually at business schools (Harvard, USC, UCLA, Berkeley). He also serves as an expert witness in digital entertainment, and has presented many Continuing Legal Education courses.

In addition to work with music, his expertise includes wireless work in Europe, including at Nokia's Research Center in Helsinki, Finland, and with numerous companies in
Finland and throughout Europe. He's moderated numerous panels on wireless and given speeches on wireless issues around the world, ranging from music conferences to
parliament meetings in Europe. He is a regular speaker at entertainment industry events and corporate and association meetings.

"One of the sharpest minds in digital music." - CNN Money (Eric Hellweg, Thursday 23 January 2003)

"Entertainment Technology Visionary." - Los Angeles Times (Paul Karon, Monday 8 April 1996)

Joe Conyers

Joe Conyers

Product Manager, Songtrust

Joe serves as Product Manager of Songtrust, a Billboard top music startup, overseeing Product, Operations and Business Development. Songtrust provides an online solution for publishing administration for Songwriters, Managers, Lawyers, Labels and smaller publishers.  Songtrust works with emerging and established writers all over the world.


John Michael Rouchell

John Michael Rouchell

New Orleans-based John Michael Rouchell has earned notable praise from both critics and live audiences. His former band, MyNameIsJohnMichael, garnered attention from SPIN and Paste with vibrant and energetic live performances. With that band John Michael earned slots at major festivals including Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, Jazzfest and Voodoo. The Separation EP will be the first of 3 EPs released by John Michael Rouchell this year and will be available on April 27th at the band's appearance at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

Jon Phillips

Jon Phillips

Co-CEO/President, Silverback Professional Artist Management

Jon Phillips, along with his brother Matt, are the co-CEO/presidents of both Silverback Professional Artist Management, and record label counterpart Controlled Substance Sound Labs. Founded in 1998, Silverback Music has become a platform for independent artists to navigate through the music industry, as a creative force, amongst a challenging technological paradigm shift, and continually evolving music business landscape. Silverback acts as a multi-faceted partner to its artists, identifying their creative and conceptual goals and cultivating the artist’s vision and raw talent, with a penchant for building foundations for long-term career oriented live musicians and recording artists.

Silverback currently represent Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, in addition to  Slightly Stoopid, Fishbone, The Pimps of Joytime, The Expendables, The Aggrolites, Grouch & Eligh, and The Beautiful Girls/Mat McHugh.

In 1994 as an A&R exec, Jon signed Sublime to Gasoline Alley/MCA/Universal and further helped to develop the profile of Sublime's label, Skunk Records, and continues to remain a consultant to the estate of Bradley Nowell.

Jon and Silverback have been managing Dumpstaphunk since 2011, and possess a deep rooted passion for the spirit of New Orleans and its artists and heritage.

Jonathan McHugh

Jonathan McHugh

Founder, Song Stew Entertainment

Jonathan McHugh is an independent producer and music supervisor for Song Stew Entertainment.  McHugh produced/co-Produced many films and TV shows including “Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never,” (the 2nd highest grossing documentary of all time), the Zoe Saldana/ Britney Spears film “Crossroads,” Morgan Spurlock’s Sony Classics documentary “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold,” Lionsgate’s Repo The Generic Opera,” Lifetime’s “Flying By” (David Zayas & Billy Ray Cyrus) and the Discovery TV show “Battle Ground Earth” (Cedric The Entertainer & Ludacris.)

He co-wrote and produced the Lions Gate Film “Snoop Dogg’s Hood of Horror” staring Jason Alexander and Anson Mount.

Prior to that, McHugh spent eight years as Vice President of Visual Media at the BMG/Sony where he started his production career by pr with Paramount on the film “Crossroads,” which launched Zomba Films. He also produced many soundtracks including “Y Tu Mama Tambien,” Nickelodeon’s  “Wild Thornberry’s” & “Jimmy Neutron.” 

Currently he is co-producing the Janis Joplin documentary with Academy award winning producer Alex Gibney and Academy Award nominated director Amy Berg (“West of Memphis.”) and producing the documentary “Rooted In Peace with director Greg Reitman (”Fuel.”) 

McHugh is a partner in the music services company J-3 Music which is currently creating the music label Purplehaus Music for Balthazar Getty.

McHugh has music supervised over thirty feature films including most recently the Peter Jackson produced documentary “West of Memphis,” The Polish Brothers film “Hot Bot,” the Lionsgate comedy “I Break For Gringos” and Max Nichols debut feature “2 Night Stand” and served as a music consultant on the HBO Documentary “Gideon’s Army.”

He has also supervised the  “Saw” film series, “ Son of Morning” (Heather Graham & Danny Glover) and many more.

As Vice President of Soundtracks at New Line Cinema McHugh co-produced many platinum & gold soundtracks such as “The Wedding Singer”, “Boogie Nights,” “Rush Hour,” “Austin Powers”, “Blade” “Mortal Combat 2”, “Love Jones,” Lost In Space,” and “Money Talks. ” 

McHugh is PGA member and a founding member of the Guild of Music Supervisors. He serves on the NARAS TV Committee for the CBS TV show “The Grammy Awards.”

Lawrence Parker

Lawrence Parker

Lawrence Parker is a staple in New Orleans' hip-hop culture. He is a music producer, entrepreneur, community loyalist, and author. Under the alias Crack Tracks, Lawrence has produced music for some of hip-hop's greats like 3-6 Mafia, Jay Electronica, Project Pat, BG, J-Lie, the late, great Soulja Slim, and more. With his vast knowledge in music, he gives back to NOLA's hip-hop community by providing local artists a platform to showcase their talents. Events like NOLA Summer Jam and the NOLA Underground Hip-Hop Awards have help put artists like Dee-1 and 3D Na'Tee on hip-hop's national map. Under his Supreme Street label, Lawrence has produced some of the hottest hip-hop concerts including Big Sean, Wiz Khalifa, Big Krit, Mac Miller and more. In 2010, he was named Best Street Promoter for the Offbeat Magazine's 2010 Best of the Beat Awards. Lawrence is the creator and owner of Traffic Boutique, the first locally-owned streetwear clothing store based in the heart of the French Quarter. Not only is Traffic a boutique, it's a lifestyle and is a New Orleans destination spot. It serves as a central location for young, up and coming designers, artists, musicians, skateboarders, and lovers of all things art. Traffic began the urban market in NOLA and acquires recognition of being the first boutique to bring your favorite national streetwear brands to a local market. Lawrence is also the author of Live & Maintain, a book that gives an insightful explanation on how to enjoy the hardships of your life, knowing that they are directing us to greatness, now available at Barnes and Noble, and on Amazon.

Marc Allan

Marc Allan

Manager, Red Light Management

Marc Allan is a Personal Manager at Red Light Management in Charlottesville, VA.

Prior to joining Red Light Management, Marc cut his teeth across the spectrum of the industry, dating back to a short stint at Absolute Artists.  Following his move to New York, where he received his J.D. from Cardozo, Marc connected with Andy Hurwitz, Liz Penta and John Medeski as they were starting Ropeadope Records.  Quickly finding his footing at the company, Marc was the GM of the label, overseeing seminal releases such as The Word, The Philadelphia Experiment, Sex Mob Does Bond.  It was at this time that he met the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, whom he has had a decade-plus long relationship with. 

In 2003, after moving west to Los Angeles, to practice law, Marc opened MOVE Management, which in addition to representing the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, also offered him the opportunity to develop the careers of the Benevento/Russo Duo and Steel Train, among others.  After joining Red Light in 2009, in addition to continuing to work with the Dirty Dozen (and Steel Train through 2011), he has maintained a diverse roster that gives him the opportunity to manage the careers of musical icons including Herbie Hancock, Aaron Neville, Bruce Hornsby and the estate of Jerry Garcia and develop the careers of great young talents such as John Michael Rouchell.

Martin Fleischmann

Martin Fleischmann

CEO, Rum & Humble

For over 20 years, Martin Fleischmann has played a key role in presenting some of the world’s most celebrated artists to audiences in one of the most competitive live music markets in the U.S.  As the driving force behind Rum & Humble, his Los Angeles-based concert production firm, Fleischmann has worked on countless shows and festivals during the last two decades.   His imprint can be found on presentations featuring artists from across the globe and spanning the entire spectrum of musical genres, with jazz and Louisiana artists being a major area of focus.

Martin has developed a “core aesthetic” based on presenting the highest quality talent in settings that encourage an alchemical experience between artist and audience.  The fabled Hollywood Bowl represents the pinnacle of that quality concert experience.  With concert promoters Bill Silva and Andrew Hewitt, Rum & Humble has co-promoted a stellar array of superstar acts at the natural outdoor amphitheater over the years.  They include The Police, Elton John, The Rolling Stones, Luciano Pavarotti, Tom Petty, Radiohead and many others.

Rum & Humble (with partner Spaceland Productions) is the Music Curator for the Santa Monica Pier, where Martin has produced the massive free summer Twilight Concert Series since 2011 and where the company will also be presenting several ticketed shows in 2013.  Another longtime client of Rum & Humble’s is KJAZZ radio, for whom Martin produces numerous concert series and special events throughout the year.   Martin also enjoys close ties with artists such as Paul Oakenfold and Jackson Browne, with whom he collaborates on various live presentations.  Rum & Humble’s past accomplishments include establishing and booking the fabled L.A. nightclub the Conga Room from 1996-2001, producing the Long Beach Blues Festival from 2008-2011 and a producing affiliation with National Geographic from 2004-2008. 

Matt Ostrower

Matt Ostrower

Sr. Director, Artist Partnerships & Development, Pandora

Matt Ostrower is the Senior Director of Artist Partnerships & Development at Pandora and is instrumental in creating innovative programs that enhance the listening experience.

Matt currently leads the Artist Partnerships team that drives success across multiple elements of artist development, branded content, marketing and strategy. By building and leveraging strategic partnerships, he develops creative solutions that increase engagement and ultimately connects artists, fans, and brands.

Recent artist programs include “The Pandora Discovery Den” at SXSW in Austin, which featured 47 performances, 15 artist interviews, on 2 stages over 4 days.

Prior to joining Pandora, Matt has held positions at NPR, NBC, Boston.com (New York Times Digital), Geffen Records and Creative Image Associates (Stevie Wonder, Train, Harry Connick, Jr.).


Michael Frisch

Michael Frisch

Michael B. Frisch, Esq. is an attorney at the law firm of Shukat Arrow Hafer Weber Herbsman, LLP and is a member of the New York Bar.  Prior to joining the firm in 2008, Mr. Frisch worked in the business and legal affairs department of Sanctuary Group, a major independent record label, artist management, and merchandise company,  subsequently purchased by Universal Music Group.  Mr. Frisch began his career at the boutique NYC entertainment law firm Leibowitz, Roberts & Ritholz LLP. 

He has recently participated as a moderator and panelist at the South By Southwest (SXSW) Music Conference in Austin, the CMJ Music Marathon in New York City, and the Cutting Edge Music Business Conference in New Orleans.

Representative matters in the music industry include the drafting and negotiation of recording artist agreements, music publishing agreements, live performance agreements, merchandise licenses, spokesperson agreements, as well as digital, new media, and intellectual property licensing.  Mr. Frisch’s clients in the entertainment industry include independent record labels, major label and independent recording artists, music publishing companies, songwriters, magazine publishers, app and social gaming developers, festival producers, and the estates of deceased artists.

Mr. Frisch is a graduate of Tulane University, where he graduated with a B.A. in Political Science.  He obtained his J.D., with an emphasis in Intellectual Property, from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, where he served as Notes Editor for the Journal for Conflict Resolution.  He is currently a member of the NYSBA Entertainment Law section, as well as the Committee on Music and Recording Industry.

Michael Sammis

Michael Sammis

Executive Vice President/Operations and Chief Financial Officer, Universal Music Publishing

Michael J. Sammis is a seasoned entertainment executive with over 25 years of experience.  He is currently Executive Vice President, Operations and Chief Financial Officer – Worldwide for Universal Music Publishing Group (“UMPG”), the world’s largest music publishing company with > 2 million copyrights and global operations in ~50 territories.  At UMPG, Mr. Sammis is responsible for investment strategy, business development, strategic planning, finance, administration and IT and overseeing a global operational infrastructure widely regarded as “best in class” within the industry.

Since joining UMPG (then MCA Music Publishing) in 1996, Mr. Sammis has overseen a ~17-year period of unprecedented growth through a combination of investment, acquisitions, operational efficiencies and cost containment.  He is also responsible for acquisition evaluation, financial due diligence and integration and, in 2007, served as the key liaison with investment bankers in respect of UMPG’s ~$2b acquisition of BMG Music Publishing.

Prior to joining UMPG in 1996, Mr. Sammis worked as Vice President of Finance for Windswept Pacific Entertainment Company, an independent music publishing company.  Prior to Windswept, Mr. Sammis worked at the Rascoff / Zysblat Organization (“RZO”), a boutique entertainment firm specializing in music business management and tour production.  Mr. Sammis also spent more than ten years with the Big 4 accounting firm of Ernst and Young as a member of their Entertainment and Media Group in New York, specializing in audits, royalty audits and litigation support for artists / entertainers.

Mr. Sammis received a BBA from Adelphi University in 1981 and an MBA from UCLA in 2002.  He is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in the state of New York and a member of the New York State Society, California Society and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. 

Mr. Sammis also sits on the Boards of the Leonard Bernstein Music Publishing Company and Associated Production Music Company and was previously a Board member of both the National Music Publishers Association (“NMPA”) and ASCAP.  He also currently serves on the Music & Entertainment Committee for the City of Hope and the Industry Advisory Board to the Fender Music Foundation.

Michael Schneider

Michael Schneider

Senior Artist Relations, BandPage

Michael Schneider is Sr. Artist Relations at BandPage, one of the top musician services in the world. Having been in the music industry for over a decade, Michael has worked with a diverse range of bands (Mayday Parade, Switchfoot), brands (Glamour Kills Clothing, Merchmo), and non-profits (To Write Love On Her Arms, Falling Whistles, Global Poverty Project) on work that included building social media & marketing campaigns, directing events, artist relations, and even tuning guitars and striking drums.

Mike Krebs

Mike Krebs

Promoter, C3 Presents

After growing up on Long Island NY, and attending school upstate at SUNY Binghamton, Mike Krebs started his musical career in the ICM mailroom in 1989.  After being an assistant, and a junior agent, he finally became an agent and booked all territories across the US.  He then first switched sides and became a buyer/promoter at Delsener/Slater Enterprises where he booked various venues such as the Supper Club and The Academy in NY.  After working briefly at the newly formed Renaissance Entertainment with Jonny Podell and David Zedeck, (which later became Evolution talent), he was hired by the House of Blues to be the buyer for both HOB Los Angeles and HOB Las Vegas.  While there, he won Pollstar's Talent Buyer of the Year Award twice  (2000 & 2001), as well as numerous Pollstar Venue of the Year Awards.  After that, he was hired by the Nederlander Organization to book the legendary Greek Theatre in Griffith Park, Ca.  While there, he expanded their regular programming, as well as doing shows at other venues around Los Angeles, such as the Forum and the Wilshire and Pantages Theatres.  After 4 years there, he was hired by AEG to open and book their brand new Nokia Theatre across the street from Staples Center.  After 4 years there, and more Pollstar Venue of the Year Awards, he has since relocated to Austin Texas.  He now heads the Casino Division for C3 presents.  He currently leads the Caesar's/Bally's/Harrah's/Horseshoe account as well as working with the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. 

Nesby Phips

Nesby Phips

Nesby Phips has an internationally-inspired sound that draws from the great musical traditions of his native New Orleans. Phips is respected throughout the industry as a musical hybrid, rapping with and producing for some of today's brightest talents, including Curren$y, Wiz Khalifa, Fiend, Aaron Neville, Trombone Shorty, Juvenile, Lil Wayne and Mack Maine. As Director of the Mahalia Jackson Foundation, he continues to serve as an ambassador to the city for documentarians, writers and filmmakers traveling to New Orleans to document the art, music and culture of the city.

Patrick Faucher

Patrick Faucher

Co-Founder and CTO, Nimbit

E-commerce pioneer, professional musician, and self-professed geek, Patrick Faucher has dedicated himself to a singular passion for the past 10 years. In his words, "My mission is simple – help build a new ecosystem for the music industry that enables artists to create a sustainable business directly with their fans."
For the past 8 years, Patrick served as Co-founder and CTO of Nimbit, one of the leading direct-to-fan platforms for the music industry, powering fan marketing and e-commerce solutions for 50,000 artists and labels at every level.
Recently, Mr. Faucher has taken up a new post as CIO at PreSonus Audio Electronics, which provides integrated hardware and software solutions for content creation, recording, mixing and marketing and distribution. Nimbit was acquired by PreSonus in April 2013.
Preceding the web's explosion as a commercial marketplace, Patrick helped launch some of the very first online stores for renowned artists such as Aerosmith and Phish back in the late 90's.
Patrick is a graduate of Boston’s Berklee College of Music and has studied computer science as well as electrical engineering.  As a professional musician, he has recorded several albums and performed worldwide in over 20 countries.

Sam Williams

Sam Williams

Big Sam’s Funky Nation is a driving force of urban funk. Ryan White, of the Oregonian, says the band is “tight enough (and hot enough) to turn coal into a diamond!” The band is led by trombone powerhouse, Big Sam Williams, formerly the trombonist for the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, who the San Francisco Chronicle calls “the top man on the slide trombone in the birthplace of jazz.” Big Sam refuses to let the audience sit still. Between the band’s solos, Big Sam’s signature dance moves and his distinctive trombone riffs, the energy level is high voltage when this band takes the stage!

BSFN’s signature Noladelic Powerfunk sound masterfully combines a rock sensibility with improv-style associated with jazz and the horn-heavy front section that’s the hallmark of big band funk.

Big Sam began playing with the Dirty Dozen at the tender age of 19 before striking out on his own and creating the Funky Nation. Big Sam powered-up the horn section on the critically acclaimed, Grammy nominated, “River in Reverse” and is prominently featured in "Hot as a Pistol, Keen as a Blade" the concert tour DVD. While touring with Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint, in the Fall of 2006 and Summer of 2007, he earned consistent reviews as a musical force and star soloist. Big Sam has played with Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Dave Matthews, Ozomatli, and Widespread Panic. He has also shared the stage with U2 and Green Day for the emotional and energetic re-opening of the Superdome which was broadcast live on Monday Night Football.

BSFN is a festival favorite across North America and their contagious tunes and memorable live performances have attracted fans far and wide, ranging from France, to the United Kingdom, to Greece, to Brazil, Germany, and Canada. BSFN is a favorite on the festival circuit and has sealed its mark on the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage, Gathering of the Vibes, Telluride Blues & Brews, Doheny Blues Festival, Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo Arts & Music Festival, Wakarusa, Voodoo Music Experience, Bear Creek Music & Arts Festival, LEAF & many more.

Discography  - 4 full length studio releases and 1 EP

Funky Donkey EP
(2012, Hypersoul Records)

King of the Party! (2010, Hypersoul Records)

Peace, Love & Understanding (2008)

Take Me Back (2006)

Birth of A Nation (2003)

Scott Goldman

Scott Goldman

Vice President, the GRAMMY Foundation and the MusiCares Foundation

Goldman joined the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares in December 2005.  Prior to that he was Vice President of Development at City of Hope. From 1991-2005 he ran the organization’s fundraising efforts within the music and entertainment industries. He also oversaw City of Hope’s network of 10 regional fundraising offices around the country. He began his fundraising career in 1983 with United Cerebral Palsy, joined the March of Dimes in 1985 and founded the Northern California Chapter of the RP Foundation Fighting Blindness in 1987.  Goldman is also a professional musician appearing at clubs and festivals around the country. A native of New York, Goldman received his Bachelor of Science degree in theatre from Skidmore College.

Terry McDermott

Terry McDermott

Terry McDermott is from Aberdeen, Scotland. That's where he formed the rock band Driveblind, which, in 2003, went to New York and Los Angeles looking for the big time. They ended up with a major-label deal with A&M Records. When their A&R man moved to Geffen Records, the band followed him and released a self-titled album in 2006. They toured extensively with a large number of groups, including Candlebox.

Things went south, figuratively and literally as Terry relocated to New Orleans with his wife and young son. In 2009, Terry formed the band Lotus Crush with two members of Candlebox. They released an album in 2011 via Fontana.

Along the way, Terry filled time with gigs on Bourbon Street - where he first learned many of the classic rock cover songs that later served him well.

In the summer of 2012, Terry auditioned for the NBC TV show "The Voice." Once on the air, he started winning large numbers of fans with his powerfully expressive singing of such standards as "Let It Be" and "Don't Stop Believing." He ultimately finished in second place in the show's third season.

He posted an original song, "Pictures," to SoundCloud and immediately racked up tens of thousands of listens. He used TuneCore to get the song on iTunes, where it quickly reached No. 1 on the rock charts.

Terry is currently working with an entirely New Orleans-based band called the Bonfires that includes Americans David Rosser (Afghan Whigs, Twilight Singers, Gutter Twins, Northsouth), Eric Bolivar (Anders Osbourne, Eric Burden & The Animals) and British bass player Alex Smith (World Leader Pretend, Rotary Down). Terry McDermott and The Bonfires will perform in Europe through June 2013 with US dates to follow.

Travis Laurendine

Travis Laurendine

Travis Laurendine is the founder and CEO of Volnado.com and LA Labs LLC. His first startup was and online marketplace for used textbooks founded while at Vanderbilt University in 2004. After graduation he produced, directed, and starred in an independent film about stand-up comedians learning to do comedy for the first time on the road across North America (he was one of the two comedians in the documentary). Through promoting comedy he fell into music promotion and quickly became one of the top hip-hop promoters in New Orleans’ post-Katrina landscape. His focus was on reviving the New Orleans “bounce” music scene, which took off after he co-produced the 2010 Nola Bounce SXSW showcases. After surviving a near-fatal car wreck he retired from comedy and drew on his tech startup experience to found Volnado.com as the tech platform to address the economic issues he saw while working in the music business. LA Labs is his startup incubator that owns Volnado.com and the other lab projects on which he is currently working.

Ty Roberts

Ty Roberts

Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Gracenote

Ty helped co-found Gracenote when his company ION merged with CDDB in the late 1990s. He is credited with producing the industry’s first interactive music experience on CD for artists like Brian Eno and David Bowie. Connected to practically everyone in the business, from music labels and artists to technologists, Ty is a frequent speaker at music and TV industry conferences and events.

Wayne Leeloy

Wayne Leeloy

Senior Director, Digital Marketing, Warner Music Nashville

As the Senior Director, Digital Marketing, Leeloy oversees digital marketing strategy, fan engagement and direct to consumer initiatives for Warner Music Nashville's roster of artists; including Blake Shelton, Hunter Hayes, Sheryl Crow, Jimmy Fallon and many more.  Prior to joining Warner, Leeloy developed the Nashville office for topspin Media - the premier direct to fan technology platform in the marketplace.  In this role, he was responsible for proactively developing deep, consultative business development relationships with key artist, management, label and ecosystem partners in the Country, Americana and Christian genres and educating clients and self serve artists on the best practices inside the Topspin platform and marketing in the direct-to-fan channel. @fmgnow

Zach Quillen

Zach Quillen

Principal, Wexington Entertainment

I was born in Houston, TX, raised in Florida, lived a decade in NYC, and as of recently, I spend most of my time in Seattle, WA, where I manage Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. In addition to that work, I spent 10 years at The Agency Group as an agent, until leaving several months ago to work with M&RL full time. I¹m into cars, gadgets, food, traveling, and my dog, Minnie. @wexington 

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc.