The 2009 Sync Up Conference

April 24-25 and May 1-2, 2009
Jazz & Heritage Center

New Orleans, LA
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Legendary talent scout Seymour Stein, hit-making songwriter Jill Sobule and video-game music guru Randy Eckhardt will be among the featured speakers at the second annual Sync Up conference, presented by the the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation during the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell.

Sync Up: The Jazz & Heritage Talent Exchange is a series of morning conference sessions held the Friday and Saturday of both festival weekends (April 24-25 and May 1-2), from 9 a.m. to noon. Topics to be discussed include the economic climate for international music festivals, distributing music through such digital media as video games, artist development in the Internet age, new funding mechanisms like nonprofit record labels, copyright protection and more.

The Sync Up conference takes place at the Jazz & Heritage Center (1225 N. Rampart St.) — a historic building adjacent to the Foundation offices that the Foundation purchased last year and is converting into an education center.

The Sync Up conference debuted in 2008 as one of the Jazz & Heritage Foundation's efforts to support the local music industry by connecting Louisiana's independent artists with top professionals in music, film and digital media.

Highlights of the 2009 conference include:
Seymour Stein, the legendary founder of Sire Records who discovered Madonna, the Talking Heads, the Ramones, Blondie and many others, will address how to groom artists for the "big time." Sync Up is proud to partner with The Recording Academy® to present this panel discussion entitled, "The Lost Art of Artist Development." Joining Stein on the panel will be Recording Academy executive Angelia Bibbs-Sanders (formerly an artist development specialist at Motown) and Josh Rabinowitz, head of music for the Grey Worldwide advertising agency and teacher of artist development at New York University.

Jill Sobule, the singer-songwriter who scored a Top 20 hit in 1995 with her song "I Kissed A Girl," will discuss how artists are turning directly to fans to fund the recording of new music. Also featured on the panel will be Chris Joseph of the nonprofit Threadhead Records, Cajun musician Steve Riley and Tim Kappel of Loyola University.

Randy Eckhardt, music consultant for videogames that include "Guitar Hero" and a veteran of Electronic Arts, will join a number of top digital media figures on the panel "Video Games: The New Record Labels?"

Sync Up is especially pleased to welcome as a partner WOMEX (The World Music Expo) — the highly respected European conference, headquartered in Berlin, which annually gathers to music festival promoters from around the world. WOMEX's chief executive, Gerald Seligman, will present a keynote address at Sync Up on how the music industry can adapt in a digital world. He will also a moderate panel on the international festival market during a time of economic downturn.

At the Sync Up conference we will also debut the newly revised Jazz & Heritage Talent Exchange web site. This unique portal, located online at, is a searchable directory of Louisiana music that we built specially for the needs of live performance talent buyers and music supervisors for film, TV and videogame productions.

Sync Up is presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, the nonprofit organization that owns the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell, and uses the festival proceeds for year-round activities in education, economic development and cultural programming.

The conference is sponsored by Louisiana Economic Development's Office of Entertainment Industry Development. Additional sponsors include: WOMEX, The Recording Academy®, GNO, Inc., Loyola University, the Louisiana Independent Music Exchange, the Red Stick Animation Festival, Valentino French Quarter Hotels and Basin Street Station.

Complete Schedule with confirmed panelists:


Friday, April 24
9 a.m. – Registration and Welcome

10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Panel discussion:
The Festival Market: Where the Big Gigs Are
Playing in clubs can be magical, but few artists can rely on them to pay the rent. For most, a "soft ticket" gig as one of many acts on a big festival is the best way to develop a reputation outside of their home town — and to make real money.
Nicolas Gilliet, Ascona New Orleans Jazz Festival, Ascona, Switzerland
Edgard Radesca, Bourbon Street Festival, Sao Paolo, Brasil
Mike Kappus, The Rosebud Agency, San Francisco, CA
Peter Dammann, Waterfront Blues Festival, Portland, OR
Danny Kapilian, Danny Kapilian Presents, New York, NY

10:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Presentation:
Copyrights & Trademarks: How to Register and Why You Should
It's not rocket science, but it can be confusing and time–consuming. And if you're lucky enough to have your song picked up, it's the only way to make sure you get paid and not somebody else.
Ashlye Keaton, New Orleans Ent. Law Initiative, New Orleans, LA

Exit for Jazz Fest

Saturday, April 25
9 a.m. – Registration and Welcome

10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Panel discussion:
Video Games: The New Record Labels? (Sponsored by GNO, Inc.)
With the record industry in decline, many artists are getting their biggest exposure through video games. But now those expensive blockbusters for PlayStation, Xbox and Wii are getting edged out by cheap games for the web and smart phones. What's next for games and music?
Ric Neil, Image Metrics, San Francisco, CA
Randy Eckhardt, Eckhardt Consulting, Mill Valley, CA
David Hirshland, Bug Music, Los Angeles, CA
Ezra Jay, Nerjyzed, Baton Rouge, LA
Elliot Adams, La. Economic Dev., Baton Rouge, LA

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Panel Discussion:
How An Indie Band Can Break Into the Festival Market
Louisiana bands have quietly been getting lucrative gigs at major festivals around the world for years. What's the secret to landing that choice "anchor date" when the artist is also the booking agent, manager and record label?
Christian Kuffner, The Zydepunks, New Orleans, LA
Bruce "Sunpie" Barnes, Sunpie & the La. Sunspots, New Orleans, LA
Gary Edwards, Sound of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA
Dave Margulies, High Sierra Festival, San Francisco, CA

Exit for Jazz Fest

Friday, May 1
9 a.m. – Registration and Welcome

10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Panel discussion:
The Lost Art of Artist Development (Sponsored by The Recording Academy®)
Once upon a time, labels spent years building acts from coffee houses to sustainable careers. Now that artists can promote themselves to the world via the Web, where can they turn for expert advice on perfecting their presentation? Or do they have to fend for themselves?
Angelia Bibbs-Sanders, The Recording Academy®, Los Angeles, CA
Seymour Stein, Warner Bros. Records, New York, NY
Josh Rabinowitz, Grey Worldwide, New York, NY

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Panel Discussion:
The Medici Model: Fan Funds and the Nonprofit Record Label
Call it patronage in the medieval sense. Artists increasingly are getting the financial support they need from the people who appreciate their work the most — fans. We explore how artists — at least those with recognizable names — are able to tap into a reliable pool of funding. And we hear about models around the world where fans trade in a futures market of expected profits.
Jill Sobule, Artist, Los Angeles, CA
Chris Joseph, Threadhead Records, Los Angeles, CA
Tim Kappel, Loyola University, New Orleans, LA
Steve Riley, Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys, Lafayette, LA

Exit for Jazz Fest

Saturday, May 2
9 a.m. – Registration and Welcome

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Panel Discussion:
International Festivals: Promoting World Culture in a Global Economic Crisis (Sponsored by WOMEX)
As in other industries, live music is challenged by a worldwide economic downturn. Sponsorship revenues are down and tickets are harder to sell than ever. But big events like festivals are how we celebrate music from near and far. How do event promoters cope?
Luciano Linzi, La Casa del Jazz, Rome, Italy
Peter Tladi, Joy of Jazz Festival, Johannesburg, South Africa
Rick Mitchell, Houston International Festival, Houston, TX
Peter Himberger, Impact Artist Management, New York, NY
Lisa Stafford, Festival International de Louisiane, Lafayette, LA
Hugh Southard, Blue Mountain Artists, Charlotte, NC
Peter Noble, Byron Bay Bluesfest, Byron Bay, Australia

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Panel Discussion:
Under the Radar: Real Deals in the Big Easy Nobody Knows About
We keep thinking that nothing happens here, but artists are getting signed, getting songs covered and placed, and collecting checks — all on the down–low. If only Billboard would open a Louisiana bureau.
Jonathan McHugh, Song Stew Entertainment, Santa Monica, CA
Greg Eveline, Eveline & Phillips, New Orleans, LA
Dino Gankendorff, Provosty–Gankendorff, New Orleans, LA
Suzette Toledano Becker, Attorney, New Orleans, LA
Mousa, Street Customs Management, New Orleans, LA

Sync Up 411:

Admission: FREE, but seating is limited, so advance registration is required.
Conference location: The Jazz & Heritage Center (1225 N. Rampart Street)
Parking: Free parking is available in the Jazz & Heritage Center parking lot, 1225 N. Rampart Street
Travel to Jazz Fest: The Regional Transit Authority operates a bus that runs every 10 minutes from the corner of Rampart Street and Esplanade Avenue to Jazz Fest. The one-way fare is $1.25.
Jazz Fest admission: Registration for Sync Up does not include admission to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell

The Sync Up Conference Festival Archive:
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2011's Conference Details
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2009's Conference Details
2008's Conference Details

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Sync Up gratefully acknowledges the following sponsors:

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