2011 Sync Up Conference Panelists

Register For Sync Up

April 29 and April 30 May 6 and May 7, 2011
Time: 9am - Noon each day
New Orleans Museum of Art
One Collins C. Diboll Circle
New Orleans, LA 70119
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Originally one of the leading rappers on Master P's No Limit record label, Mystikal quickly evolved beyond the label's clichéd thug trappings and found himself one of the Dirty South's most recognized rappers, alongside Juvenile. Like No Limit itself, Mystikal (born Michael Tyler) is a New Orleans native. He released an eponymous debut on the independent label Big Boy in 1995. It earned the attention of Jive Records, who signed him later that year. His official, major-label debut, "Mind of Mystikal," was released early in 1996 and became a major hit in the rap underground, falling just short of going gold. He then hooked up with Master P and No Limit; the union produced "Unpredictable," which was released in the fall of 1997 and helped the rapper build a substantial following. "Ghetto Fabulous" followed in early 1999, debuting near the top of the album charts. Consolidating his status as a hot property, Mystikal wasted no time in issuing a follow-up; "Let's Get Ready" appeared in the fall of 2000, eclipsing his preceding releases in sales terms, as expected. Driven by the James Brown-like "Shake Ya Ass" as a lead single - an MTV staple before the album even hit the streets - it had become increasingly difficult to trace Mystikal's roots back to the trademark sound and motifs of the thuggish No Limit camp. "Let's Get Ready" demonstrated the wide-reaching ambitions that had only been hinted at in successive releases, eliminating the No Limit stigma and finally making his unique rhyme delivery accessible enough to cross over to the masses. In 2001, Mystikal's bombastic rap stylings came together for a fifth album, "Tarantula." "Bouncin' Back (Bumpin' Me Against the Wall)" was one of 2002's hottest singles; the next year Mystikal garnered two Grammy nods for Best Male Rap Solo Performance and Best Rap Album. The hit-grabbing compilation "Prince of the South" dropped in 2004 with the new single "Oochie Pop." - Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AllMusic.com

In January 2004, Mystikal was sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty to sexual battery and extortion. He was released in January 2010. His first post-prison public performance was headling a concert at the Mahalia Jackson Theatre, followed later that year with a guest slot during Trombone Shorty's set at Jazz Fest - for which Mystikal received a hero's welcome. Unlike Li'l Wayne, who continued releasing songs during his one-year prison term, Mystikal was all but invisible during his six-year absence. In that time, the music industry was radically altered by advances in digital technology. It remains to be seen how Mystikal - who remains under contract to Jive and is working on a new album - will adapt to the changing media landscape.

Larry Vallon

Larry Vallon

Executive Vice President, North American Regional Office, AEG Live

Larry began his career in live entertainment in 1969, handling marketing and production for top Southern California promoters Concert Associates.

During the 1970’s, he produced concerts in Southern California, Arizona, and Hawaii featuring the Rolling Stones, The Who, Elton John, Pink Floyd, Billy Joel, James Taylor, Jimmy Buffett, Robert Plant, and many more.

In 1978, he formed Larry Vallon Presents, and quickly became the leading producer of major concerts in California and the Southwest.

He closed LVP in 1982 to accept the position of Senior Vice President at the newly remodeled Universal (now Gibson) Amphitheatre. He oversaw talent acquisition for Universal Concerts venues as the company expanded in the area of amphitheatre construction, operation and promotion in Denver, Dallas, Atlanta, Cleveland, the Northwest, Toronto, and concert production through Universal Concerts Canada.

After participating in the sale of Universal Concerts to an investment-banking consortium that formed House of Blues Concerts, Larry then became the Executive Vice President of House of Blues Concerts. From there, he joined AEG Live in his current position of Executive Vice President of AEG Live North American Regional Offices in April of 2004. He oversees talent acquisition and twelve regional offices and festivals for the company. Some of that talent includes the Eagles, Rod Stewart, The Who, Foo Fighters, Keith Urban, Sugarland, John Mayer, and Kenny Chesney.

Larry Vallon currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Country Music Association as well as North American Concert Promoters Association.

For a video interview with Larry, see here.

Bryan Calhoun

Bryan Calhoun

VP of New Media and External Affairs, SoundExchange

Bryan Calhoun is the VP of New Media and External Affairs at SoundExchange, the non-profit performance rights organization that collects statutory royalties from satellite radio, Internet radio, cable TV music channels and similar platforms for streaming sound recordings and distributes these digital performance royalties to recording artists and sound recording copyright owners. Bryan is instrumental in reaching out to artists and rights holders, enhancing and strengthening the role SoundExchange plays in and educating the music business community.

Bryan holds a B.B.A. in Finance from the University of Georgia. As a disk jockey for the university's radio station and a member of the school's student event programming team, he was already active in the music business upon graduation. Bryan went on to found a concert production company (producing hip hop shows in the early '90s with Cypress Hill, Tupac, Digable Planets, and many others) before moving into street promotions and retail marketing. During an active career, Bryan has worked at record distribution companies and done A&R, marketing and business development for major and indie labels.

In 2003, Mr. Calhoun opened Label Management Systems, LLC, whose clients have included MSN Entertainment, G.O.O.D. Music, Disturbing tha Peace, Monster Cable and others. Additionally, he created business tools for indie labels and artists with the Music Business Toolbox and Label Management Systems Financial Management Software. In recent years he has focused on new media issues, consulting for the likes of Kanye West, Ludacris and others including working closely with powerhouse management company Hip Hop Since 1978 (Kanye West, Lil’ Wayne, Drake and Young Jeezy).

Bryan has been influential in advocating for the Performance Rights Act which would entitle artists to be paid when AM and FM broadcasters us their work. He is actively involved in looking at future business models in the music industry contributing significantly to the open financial modeling tool (www.APriceForMusic.com) which looks at the potential and feasibility for an access to music charge. In addition to his service on the Boards of the Future of Music Coalition and University of Georgia Music Business School, he is a frequent speaker and panelist at music industry events.

See a video interview with Bryan here.

Chris Blackwell

Chris Blackwell

Founder, Island Records

Chris is the innovator who started Island Records and guided the careers of artists including Bob Marley & The Wailers, Jethro Tull, Cat Stevens, Robert Palmer, U2, Melissa Etheridge, Tom Waits, PJ Harvey, and The Cranberries, to name a few. His past film projects include such seminal works as "The Harder They Come," starring Jimmy Cliff, and the Oscar-winning "The Kiss of the Spider Woman." He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2001. In 2009 the UK magazine Music Week named Chris the most influential figure in the last 50 years of the British music industry.

PJ Bloom

PJ Bloom

PJ Bloom is a 20-year veteran of the Music Industry and one of the top Music Supervisors in the entertainment business. His career soundtrack sales tally more than 50 million singles and 15 million albums. PJ has been named “Music Supervisor of the Year” by both the Guild of Music Supervisors and the American Association of Independent Music. He is a two-time BMI Pop Award winner, two-time BMI Urban Award winner, two-time ASCAP Pop Award, placed No. 80 on Billboard Magazine’s annual Power 100 and is a TJ Martell Humanitarian Award recipient. PJ is a partner in Neophonic Music & Media, one of the largest Music Supervision firms in the US and owns Black Magnetic Records & Publishing which has sold nearly 20 million singles, claimed three Top 10 hits including two worldwide #1’s and won a Grammy Award.

@ptothejizzle, @pj_bloom

Sean O’Connell

Sean O’Connell

CEO, Music Allies

Sean O'Connell is the CEO of Music Allies, a leading marketing firm that handles strategy, publicity and radio promotions for independent labels. Sean helped usher in a new age in the music industry by empowering musicians to release their own music independently. Music Allies represents a diverse list of record labels and artists, including: Ani Difranco (and her label Righteous Babe Records), Martin Sexton, Aimee Mann, Justin Timberlake’s new Tennman Records label, Joshua James, Easy Star Records and Jack Johnson's Brushfire Records.

In 2010, Sean launched Creative Allies, an online community of more than 12,000 art students, designers and illustrators. Creative Allies gives everyone a chance to enter design contests for bands, films, and festivals. Creative Allies is dedicated to finding creative opportunities in pop culture to help showcase the talents of emerging designers from around the world. Creative Allies does more than create art, it creates fans. Each design contest generates hundreds of thousands of impressions for the bands and record labels that use it.

Sean also consults national music festivals on marketing and strategy. His clients include the Bonnaroo Music Festival, MoogFest, Camp Bisco, Outside Lands, the Hangout Music Festival and the Big Ears Festival. Sean lives in Asheville, NC, and is the co-founder of HATCH, a biannual four-day experience that energizes creative professionals and thought leaders who are serious about transforming their ideas and talents into bold action, while inspiring others to do the same.

Kristin Hersh

Kristin Hersh

Artist and Digital Media Pioneer

After founding her influential art-punk band Throwing Muses at age 14, Kristin Hersh went on to spend the next 25 years confounding expectations and breaking rules.

Throwing Muses first gained traction in Boston. Eventually, word of the Muses got back to highly regarded British indie label 4AD and the band became the label’s first American signing. In the US, they signed to Warner Brothers Records. In 2003, the band released the wild and wooly “Uses” album; widely regarded as a precursor to Kristin’s louder, faster trio, 50FootWave. Since 2004, 50FootWave has released a series of frighteningly intense mini-albums, all available for download free of charge and licensed for sharing via Creative Commons.

Her latest solo release, 2010’s “Crooked,” is an entirely listener-funded recording, written and demoed in public and in full conversation with the audience meant to consume it. It was also released as an art book, published by Harper Collins in the UK.

In 2007, Kristin co-founded the non-profit Coalition of Artists and Stake-Holders (CASH Music), originally for the purposes of experimenting with alternative economic models for artists. Over the past few years, CASH has not only completely funded Kristin’s own output, but has also powered dozens of other artist and label projects and has grown into a widely-recognized free & open-source software foundation focused on tools for musician businesses. Think WordPress.org or Mozilla, but for musicians’ tools.

Penguin published Kristin’s first book, “Rat Girl,” in September, 2010. Alternately harrowing and hilarious, “Rat Girl” is based on her teenage diary entries from 1985 and ’86, a period during which the teenage Kristin lived in her car, crashed on friend’s floors and in empty apartments, unable to sleep for hearing the strange songs for which she is now known.

George Howard

George Howard

Founder, Rock and Roller

George Howard is an Assistant Professor and Executive in Residence in the College of Business Administration at Loyola University. He has taught at Berklee College of Music, Northeastern University, the University of Massachusetts, and is a frequent lecturer at other learning institutions. George holds a Masters of Business in Administration, a Law Degree (J.D.), and a Masters Degree in Literature.

George is the founder of Rock and Roller, a strategic consulting firm at the intersection of art, commerce, and technology. Rock and Roller helps clients identify emerging technologies and trends that can be applied in marketing communications programs. Clients include: CVS/Pharmacy, Carly Simon, Mark Isham (Composer of "Crash," "A River Runs Through It"), Snowbird Ski Resort, Wolfgang's Vault, Brown University, Daytrotter and others.

George was one of the original founders of TuneCore and is the former President of Rykodisc, one of the world’s largest independent labels. In this capacity he signed and guided the careers of artists such as Kelly Willis, Robert Cray, Josh Rouse, Kelly Joe Phelps, Jess Klein, The Slip, Catie Curtis, the Tom Tom Club, Future Bible Heroes, and Chuck E. Weiss, as well as further developed Rykodisc’s catalog holdings, including Frank Zappa, Medeski Martin & Wood, Morphine, The Tradition Catalog, Bill Hicks, and Richard Buckner.

George maintains a blog at www.9giantsteps.com and can be followed on Twitter at @gah650.

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.

Peter Himberger

Peter Himberger

Principal, Impact Artist Management

Originally from the Woodstock, NY, Peter Himberger has worked in the music and entertainment business for over 25 years. Launching his career in the 1980s at Alive Enterprises in Los Angeles, he advanced through the company in film marketing and distribution, creating guerilla ad campaigns for some of the top independent films of the decade (such as Jean Jacques Benix’s "Betty Blue" and Maximilian Schell’s "Marlene."

Mentored by Alive’s founder, rock & roll manager Shep Gordon, Himberger moved into artist management, working with Luther Vandross, Teddy Pendergrass, Alice Cooper, Johnny Clegg, Michelle Shocked and Gipsy Kings (who were just about to explode in the U.S. with a multi-platinum album and their global hit “Bamboleo").

In the1990s, Himberger and two partners formed Dream Street Management. New clients included Grammy Award-winning artists Lisa Fisher, Dr. John, Cassandra Wilson and Dee-Lite. Early on, they employed creative and non-traditional marketing strategies to promote their unique and genre straddling artists. Their campaigns effectively combined life-style marketing, film, TV, and the burgeoning cable and Internet mediums that would eventually become the standard.

In 2000, Himberger co-founded Impact Artist Management (IAM) in New York, adding Angelique Kidjo, Olu Dara and Hugh Masakela to the roster. IAM specializes in building career longevity and in bringing commercial and critical success to alternative talent. IAM oversees all aspects of branding/marketing, worldwide touring, recording, contract and licensing negotiations and sales/distribution as well music supervision for film and TV.

Today, IAM’s roster includes five-time Grammy winner and 2011 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee, Dr. John, world music titans Gipsy Kings, alt-rock band and film composer Clem Snide, New Orlean’s piano crusader Jon Cleary and New York’s own “one-man Clash,” Wille Nile.

In addition to artist management, some of Peter's credits include: co-creating Africa Fete with Chris Blackwell in 1994; co-producingf "Traveling Miles," Cassandra Wilson’s film homage to Miles Davis, in 2000; executive producer of "Zoro the Musical" in London and Paris in 2009; placing music in films such as "The Big Lebowski," "Toy Story 3," "The Princess and the Frog" and many others.

Rob Gibson

Rob Gibson

Executive & Artistic Director, Savannah Music Festival

Rob Gibson is a producer, educator and the Executive & Artistic Director of the Savannah Music Festival, Georgia's largest musical arts event. He was the founding Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, where he worked for 10 years as Executive Producer and Director with Wynton Marsalis to build one of the world's most unique arts institutions. Gibson has produced events and/or recordings for The White House and the Museum of Modern Art, and he has programmed the highly acclaimed "Friday Jazz" series at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta since 2004. He served on the faculty of The Juilliard School for nine years and taught Marketing the Arts at New York University. He helped create and co-produce the Peabody Award-winning series “Jazz From Lincoln Center” for National Public Radio, and the “Savannah Music Festival Live,” presently carried weekly on Georgia Public Radio.

Bruce Labadie

Bruce Labadie

Founder and Festival Director, San Jose Jazz Festival

Bruce Labadie has over 30 years of experience in Performing Arts Management and festival production. He directed all programs at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga for 18 years, was performing arts director at the Montalvo Arts Center  in Saratoga, Ca.,  for 12 years, has been director of many festivals in San Jose and has been a founder and the festival director of the San Jose Jazz Festival since 1990. He also currently serves as artistic director for San Jose’s Music in the Park and Music in the Other Park summer series. His is also: producer of  San Jose’s 01SJ Festival of art and technology; artistic director of the Jazz on the Plazz series in Los Gatos; director of the Redwood City Salsa Festival and Cultural Concerts; and president of California Presenters. He graduated with a Bachelor of Sciences degree from Santa Clara University.

Jennifer Pickering

Jennifer Pickering

Founder and Executive Director, Lake Eden Arts Festival

Jennifer has been the founding executive director of LEAF (the Lake Eden Arts Festival) since 1995. During this time, she has produced 32 festivals and presented more than 2,500 performing artists, (ranging from local acts to national legends like Doc Watson and internationally-recognized artists such as Habib Koite. In 2004, Jennifer transformed LEAF into a non-profit organization to better achieve its mission of creating a community through culture. She has expanded the outreach with programs such as LEAF in Schools & Streets, which has worked with 23,000 under-served youth, and LEAF International, which serves young people in eight countries. In addition to her studies at Vanderbilt University, Wake Forest University, and Brooks Photographic Institute, Jennifer holds an advanced certificate in non-profit leadership from Duke University.

Michael Arnone

Michael Arnone

Creator/Producer, Michael Arnone’s Crawfish Fest

Michael Arnone is a native of Baton Rouge, LA, who now resides in Killian, LA, on the Tickfaw River. He is the Creator/Producer of Michael Arnone’s Crawfish Fest, presently held in Augusta, NJ, on the weekend after Memorial Day.

In 1985, Arnone moved to New Jersey to work construction as a Union Electrician. In 1989, homesick for Louisiana cooking, Arnone decided to have a crawfish boil. Seventy people showed up to eat 300 pounds of boiled crawfish, a small pot of sausage and chicken jambalaya - and dance to two local bands.

The small crawfish boil has outgrown two venues. In 2011, Michael Arnone’s 22nd Annual Crawfish Fest will be held at the Sussex County Fairgrounds in Augusta, NJ. Twenty-eight bands will play over three days on four stages. More than 1,000 people will camp onsite for a festival with a total attendance of 15,000 people.

Known for presenting great Louisiana music, Michael’s 2011 festival will feature the Radiators, the New Mastersounds featuring Art Neville and George Porter Jr. & Runnin’ Pardners. Also playing will be Tab Benoit, Cowboy Mouth, Sonny Landreth, Anders Osborne, Cedric Watson, The Iguanas, Bonerama, Geno Delafose, Nathan Williams, Johnny Sketch, The Savoy Family Band and more. Many food dishes of New Orleans and Louisiana will be cooked on site. The menu will include boiled crawfish, jambalaya, po-boys, shrimp Creole, crawfish etouffee and more.

Arnone jokingly says, “I no longer do electrical work, but keep my union dues up to date just in case this crawfish fest thing doesn’t work out.”

Hugh Southard

Hugh Southard

President, Blue Mountain Artists

Hugh Southard is the founder and President of Blue Mountain Artists, based in Charlotte, NC. BMA is a comprehensive agency that includes booking and management. Among their clients are many Louisiana artists, including: Tab Benoit, Voice of the Wetlands Allstars, Bonerama, Eric Lindell, Anders Osborne and George Porter, Jr. They also book Elvin Bishop, Hubert Sumlin, New Riders of the Purple Sage and others. Management clients include: Tim Reynolds, Perpetual Groove and the Perfect Age of Rock and Roll Blues Band.

Hugh is a Graduate of James Madison University and has worked in the music business most of his life, starting with producing events in college and then progressing to talent buyer for clubs and events throughout Virginia in the 1980s. After receiving a Master Degree in Higher Education from Appalachian State University in 1992, he spent a year working in the Student Activities Department at the University of Missouri, then a year as Activities Coordinator at Texas Tech University. In 1995, he was offered a position with Piedmont Talent, Inc., where he spent nine years as Senior Agent for the Southern Region. In 2003, he launched Blue Mountain Artists with the intent of serving a diverse roster grounded in the tradition of the "Roots of American Music". Hugh won the 2005 Blue Foundation Award for Agent of the Year, was named the Agent of the Year at the 2010 Charlotte Music Awards, spent eight years as a DJ on public radio, has been a presenter and panelist at many conferences and events and is currently on the Board of Directors of the Blues Foundation.

Michael Nieves

Michael Nieves

Owner/President, Sugaroo!

Michael Nieves is the Owner/President of Sugaroo!, a music licensing, marketing and management company that represents independent record labels, artists and music publishers for visual media licensing (film, TV, advertising, theatrical trailers, video games, etc.). Michael also is the personal manager to Mark Olson (solo and in The Jayhawks), Sarah Borges and Megan Hickey & The Last Town Chorus.

Founded by Michael in 1999, Sugaroo! was one of the first independent sync licensing companies of its kind in the US. It continues to be one of the most trusted and respected in the in the visual media licensing community. Sugaroo! has done more than 4,000 sync licenses across the spectrum of visual media, placing music in projects like "Grey’s Anatomy," "CSI," "Parenthood," "Entourage," "The Sopranos," "Ugly Betty" and many more. It's also placed music in ads by Abble, Molson, New Balance, Honday, Hilton Hotels, Microsoft, Tropican and many other famous brands.

After a five-year stint on Wall Street, Michael joined MCA Music Publishing in New York in 1992, where he worked in business affairs and licensing. He later ran the licensing and music publishing departments for Rhino Records in Los Angeles. Born in Brooklyn and raised in New York, Michael holds BAs in philosophy and political science from Binghamton University. He currently resides in Culver City, Ca., with his two sons.

Danny Exum

Danny Exum

Music Supervisor, Herzog & Company

Danny has been an avid music lover since raiding his parents' records as a kid. He got his start in the music industry as a DJ and live mix engineer at the esteemed 88.9 WERS in Boston before relocating to Los Angeles to work for EMI's Film/TV department. Since those early days, he’s made a name for himself during six years of music supervision on some of the largest film advertising campaigns of the decade ("The Hangover,"  "Dark Knight," "Watchmen," "Get Smart," "A Nightmare on Elm Street," and more) working for film marketing houses: BLT & Associates,Buddha Jones, and Seismic Productions. In 2010, Danny co-launched freelance music supervision collective High Bias Industries and is currently Lead Music Supervisor at Herzog & Company, a multi-faceted entertainment company. His niche is an interesting one: Rather than supervising the music of movies, he does the music for the trailers and ads that promote those movies - a huge market for music.

Josh Rabinowitz

Josh Rabinowitz

EVP/Director of Music

Josh Rabinowitz has produced over 8500 tracks for brands, cinema, recording labels and television. His branded work includes several ground breaking initiatives utilizing artists such as Black Eyed Peas, Run DMC (their last known recording together), Rihanna and Sia.

Rabinowitz been called a “New Music Mogul” by Fast Company; “Beethoven’s Greatest Fan” by NPR; and “The Voice” of the music-branding space in the press. He’s spoken at every major music conference.
Rabinowitz is an Adjunct Professor at NYU and The New School, and has been a columnist for Billboard’s “With the Brand”.

He’s been cited in The NY Times, Rolling Stone, Crain’s, Forbes, Time, The New Yorker, etc. and has appeared on Bloomberg TV News and NPR as an expert on Music in Media. He has written several Op-Ed POV pieces for such major trade publications as AdAge, Adweek, Shoot, Creativity and Campaign.

Rabinowitz was chosen to be the inaugural President of the new Cannes Music Lions Jury in 2016.

He has been a bandleader and trombonist based in the world’s cultural capital – aka, Brooklyn.

David Hirshland

David Hirshland

President, Bug Music

David is President of Bug Music, overseeing the operations of the independent publishing administration company’s five worldwide offices. David was previously employed at the law firm of Rosenfeld, Meyer and Susman, where he represented both talent and institutional clients in the film and music industries.

Prior to his legal career, David was an booking agent at the Rosebud Agency and later formed his own management company. Having been at Bug for 15 years, David started as V.P. of Business & Legal Affairs, then Executive V.P. before being named President in 2006. In addition to his management of the company he also functions in an A&R capacity, helping Bug to increase the size of its ever-expanding roster of writers and catalogs. Among Bug's publishing administration clients are the late Johnny Cash, Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Woody Guthrie and Stevie Ray Vaughan, and legendary artists such as Iggy Pop, the Guess Who, Los Lobos, Ryan Adams, Kings of Leon and Wilco.

David received a B.A. in English literature from Brown University and a J.D. from UCLA.

Ric Neil

Ric Neil

Executive Director of Mobile, MediaBrix

Ric is a cagey old veteran of the gaming industry and currently serves as Executive Director of Mobile at Mediabrix, a Mobile game advertising start up based out of NYC. He was recently at Glu Mobile, a mobile games company in San Francisco. Ric has worked in the industry since 1990, including  Electronic Arts, Konami, Microsoft, AMD, Playdom, Disney and Glu. Having served in roles ranging from Executive Producer (Disney,EA) to Director of Business Development (EA,MS,AMD). Ric has a broad understanding of gaming markets, opportunities and hot trends. Ric’s current role at Mediabrix is focused on how to monetize free to play mobile games and apps without interrupting the users.

Carter Lipscomb

Carter Lipscomb

Strategic Business Development, Sony Computer Entertainment America

Carter is best know for his marketing, sales and business development experience in the gaming industry, where he’s been a fixture since 1990.

Carter directed AOL’s video games strategic direction and growth. As the former Director of Sales and Marketing for BAM Entertainment, Director of Sales and Marketing for Microprose/Hasbro, and Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Xatrix Entertainment/Virgin, his insight into interactive business and video game sales and marketing provides valuable gaming industry perspective.

Carter has directly managed sales and marketing organizations with staffs greater than 25 and has been responsible for the release of more than 100 game titles (resulting in sales of over $1 billion in revenue).

Carter maintains a great relationship with the media and continues to leverage his skills and an articulate and entertaining industry spokesperson on-line and on air. Carter was also credited with having the best office bar in Silicon Valley (which was funded by a craps game he ran after hours during the dot-com bomb).

Currently, Carter works at Sony Computer Entertainment America leading the Special Markets Group, focusing on alternative channels and business models for any and all first party PlayStation hardware, software and peripherals.

Robert Mercurio

Robert Mercurio

Artist, member of Galactic

Robert Mercurio is the bass player and founding member of the New Orleans funk band Galactic. Robert has played a key business role in Galactic's success. In addition to being a performer, he has co-produced Galactic's eight albums and produced the album “Liberty” by the Greyhounds, a band from Austin, TX.

Robert has seen continuing success in Galactic's commercial/licensing career. These accomplishments include soundtracks to PlayStation 3 game “Infamous 2,” (which Robert co-produced). Prior to “Infamous2,” which was Galactic's first project fully composing and performing an original videogame score, the band’s music had appeared in several games, including “Rock Band” and “Grand Theft Auto.” In the past, Galactic also created original theme music for NPR’s “Weekend Edition.” Galactic's work has served as theme and featured music in a variety of major films (“Rated X,” “The Mechanic,” “First Sunday,” “It’s the Rage”), TV programs (“True Blood,” “CSI,” “NCIS,” “Real World” and more) and advertisements for such brands as Verizon and ESPN.

“Infamous 2” is one of the highest-profile releases in PS3 history. The original was a massive hit driven by a very intense, cinematic score. The follow-up is an even more music-intensive project, and is expected to be a contender for “game of the year” awards.

Galactic continues to tour internationally as a headline attraction, routinely selling out venues. The band has appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and “Late Night with Conan O'Brien” and has had cameo appearances on the HBO hit series “Treme.”

See a feature on creating the music for “Infamous 2” here.

Brian Wise

Brian Wise

Editor, Rhythms Magazine

Brian Wise is the founding publisher and editor of Rhythms Magazine, which since 1992 has been Australia's premier roots music magazine. It is also the official program of the Byron Bay Bluesfest - the nation's largest and most respected roots music festival.

Since 2007, Brian has been the Online Editor of the magazine, having already won two national awards for Best Online Music Magazine as Editor of the Australian version of the highly respected USA music site Addicted To Noise.

Brian also presents Off The Record - a weekly 3-hour music/interview program on Triple R-FM in Melbourne, Australia.

The program features interviews with local and international musicians. It is a four-time winner of the Best Music Program award from the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia and a one-hour version is syndicated each week to more than 60 stations on the national public radio satellite network, making it community radio’s most popular music program.

The Keiran Kane and Kevin Welch album 11/12/13 Live From Melbourne Australia was originally a recording for Off The Record.

Brian has also been a frequent contributor to a variety of programs on the ABC, the government-funded national radio network of Australia.

Brian has been coming to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival since 1991 and this year will be his 17th festival – 15 years in a row. Each year for the past 5 years he has also hosted a group of 30 listeners to Jazz Fest, the Mississippi Delta and Memphis.

Over the years, Brian has interviewed many Louisiana musicians and has been able to advise them on Australian contacts.

Michael Chugg

Michael Chugg

Executive Chairman, Chugg Entertainment

After co-founding The Frontier Touring Company in the mid-1970s, and Michael Chugg Entertainment in 2000, Michael has garnered a reputation internationally and on home soil as one of Australia’s most prominent rock promoters.

From club shows to stadiums, festivals, special events and everything in between, Michael has produced events with some of the world’s biggest acts - from Elton John, Keith Urban and Robbie Williams to Pearl Jam, AC/DC and Bette Midler.

His company has also co-­?promoted some of the biggest charity events in Austrailia, including Wave Aid (2005), Live Earth (2007) and Sound Relief (2009).

Michael is a well-known public figure in his own right, running the PR machine for many of his tours and often being the media's "go to man" for an opinion on the music industry or the state of the nation. Not shy to take hold of the microphone at a stadium event, many concert-goers will have experienced Michael, better known as "Chuggi", and one of his legendary on-stage rants, which all began with the now-famous, "You in the black t-shirt, stop running!" at a sold out Guns N' Roses concert in 1993. Thousands of punters stopped in their tracks.

Many of his accomplishments have been recognized with the plethora of awards Michael has received over the years, including: Pollstar’s International Promoter Of The Year (1999, 2008 & 2010), CMA International Talent Buyer/Promoter Award (2006), ILM Lifetime Achievement Award (2008) and many more.

Peter Noble

Peter Noble

Festival Director, Bluesfest at Byron Bay

Peter Noble is the director of Australia’s Bluesfest, held every Easter in Byron Bay’s tranquil beachside community. A highly awarded and much loved international event, Bluesfest began in 1990, recently celebrating its 21st anniversary in grand style — with 85,000 fans from 25 countries attending. When not booking tours and festivals, Peter runs Aim Records, the label he founded in 1981. In 2008, Aim became the first Australian independent label to win a Grammy Award, for a live recording by Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience. Peter began his career as a musician, touring throughout Australia with blues and soul bands before relocating to the United States in 1974 and opening the first punk rock club in Portland, OR. He returned to Australia in 1980 and embarked on his career as a booking agent and tour promoter, becoming one of Australia’s top festival talent buyers along the way.

Nathan Farrell

Nathan Farrell

Director, Nathan Farrell Entertainment

By age 20, Nathan’s resume boasted Frontier Touring Company, Austereo, MTV Australia, and Jo Walker Project Management – some of the most prolific companies in the Australian music industry. By 21 he’d independently promoted his first international tour in Australia.

Having cut his teeth in a variety of capacities on some of the country’s biggest tours (such as Robbie Williams, Foo Fighters, Kylie Minogue, Green Day and Red Hot Chili Peppers) Nathan Farrell Entertainment was founded in 2004 out of a need to bring a variety of side ventures (including artist management, international tour promotion and venue booking) under one banner.

Seven years later, Nathan’s entrepreneurial flair has resulted in an agency that manages some of Australia’s most potent acts, importing some of the world’s best musical offerings, and fostering unique music venues.

In Australia he has long been seen as the New Orleans "go to guy," and he has worked extensively with Jon Cleary for more than five years. This year, NFE is working on the inaugural Legends Of New Orleans tour, which will annually feature some of New Orleans greatest stars and up-and-coming talents.

Millie Millgate

Millie Millgate

Export Music Producer, Sounds Australia

In January 2009, Millie was appointed to the newly created position of Export Music Producer, Sounds Australia. The role, jointly funded between APRA|AMCOS and the Australia Council for the Arts, overseas the management and implementation of Sounds Australia  - the national export platform specifically developed for the contemporary Australian music industry's representation at key music markets, promoting Australian musical repertoire to the world at events such as MIDEM, SXSW, The Great Escape, CMJ Music Marathon, Music Matters and Canadian Music Week.

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.”

Christopher Schwartz

Christopher Schwartz

Repertoire Management, Obverse Creations Music

Chris has worked in the music and film industry for 25 years. He has been the CEO of various labels that have been distributed through Warner Bros.,Sony/BMG and Universal, amassing more than 200 gold and platinum records, selling more than 100 million albums worldwide, winning more than 20 Grammys and breaking some the biggest artists in hip-hop.

Chris’s labels Ruffhouse, Ruffnation and Rufflife have rosters that have included The Fugees, Cypress Hill, Kriss Kross,Wyclef Jean and Ms. Lauryn Hill, among others. Chris has also produced a number of independent feature films as well as supervising soundtracks for major Hollywood productions.

Chris has been featured in numerous publications, including The Wall Street  Journal, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Forbes, Rolling Stone, Vibe, Billboard, The Scource, Variety, Hollywood Reporter and Vanity Fair. His TV appearances include CNN, CNN-FN, MSNBC, BBC, MTV, BET and VH1.

His current projects include working with Obverse Creations Music, the company founded by Ms. Lauryn Hill.

Chad Greer

Chad Greer

VP of Creative, Downtown Music

Chad’s 15-year career has been fueled by passion for pop culture and artistic, creative collaboration. He’s worked for major and indie labels as well as film studios across every aspect of the entertainment industry, including music supervision, publishing, live television production and talent management.

Chad takes an active, enthusiastic and energetic approach to the creative process - to transform blank pages into finished projects. A Louisianan descended from three generations of musicians, he focuses on discovering ways to shape the future by embracing the changing technological, legal and marketing landscapes facing the industry while respecting the legacy and groundwork of all creative pioneers of the past.

In addition to working with artists such as Miike Snow, Cyndi Lauper, Cold War Kids, Nikki Six, Santigold and The Like, to name just a few, Chad also works creatively with The Film Department, providing music supervision consultation. He also serves on the Board of Governors for The Recording Academy and teaches entertainment industry studies for Belmont University’s Mike Curb School of Music Business.

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.

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