On June 1st, after a two-year hiatus, the New York Music Month annual conference is back in person for an in-depth look at the Future of NYC’s Music Industry. This annual one-day conference is a key component of NYMM – the official New York City celebration of the most diverse music scene in the world – and features a program of speed talks, panels, and fireside chats from more than 40 of New York’s music industry experts. Come hear from those committed to making the future of NYC’s music industry bright.
The “New York Music Month: The Future of NYC’s Music Industry” conference is presented by the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and the NYU Steinhardt Music Business Program. The conference is being held at CUNY City Tech at 285 Jay Street in Brooklyn. Lunch is provided and a reception will immediately follow.
Free Admission – RSVP required to attend.
09:30 AM – 10:00 AM: Coffee & Networking
10:00 AM – 10:10 AM: Welcome & Introductions
Shira Gans – Senior Executive Director, Policy + Programs, NYC Mayor’s Office of Media + Entertainment
Judy Tint – Counselor At Law / Clinical Assistant Professor of Music Business, NYU Steinhardt
10:10 AM – 10:15 AM: Office of Nightlife Presentation
Ariel Palitz – Executive Director, NYC Office of Nightlife
10:15 AM – 10:25 AM: Special Guest
Special Guest TBA
10:25 AM – 10:45 AM: A 35-Year Perspective on Live Music in NYC and Where it’s Going
Michael Dorf – Chairman & CEO, City Winery
Moderator: Larry Miller – Professor and Director, Music Business, NYU
10:45 AM – 10:50 AM: Marriage Between Music and Social Justice
Joaquin Waah Dean – CEO of Ruff Ryders, Ruff Ryders Entertainment
10:50 AM – 10:55 AM: Creating a Long-Term Ethical Road Map to Expand Employment Opportunities for Black Theatre Professionals
T. Oliver Reid – Co-Founder, Black Theatre Coalition
10:55 AM – 11:15 AM: The Booming Catalog Market: Who’s Selling, Why, and What Happens Next
Natalia Nastaskin – Partner, Chief Content Officer, Primary Wave Music
Moderator: Jem Aswad – Deputy Music Editor, Variety
11:20 AM – 11:50 AM: Making Sure You Get All the Royalties for Your Music
Maurice Russell – Head of Rights Management, The Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC)
Anna Bond – Head of Creative & Partnerships, Songtrust
Nicole George-Middleton – Senior Vice President, Membership, ASCAP and Executive Director, The ASCAP Foundation
Linda Bloss-Baum – Vice President, Government Relations and Public Affairs, SoundExchange
Moderator: Emily White – Entrepreneur / Author, Collective Entertainment & #iVoted Festival
11:50 AM – 12:40 PM: Lunch
12:40 PM – 12:45 PM: Welcome Back
Larry Miller – Professor and Director, Music Business, NYU
12:45 PM – 12:50 PM: Bring Your Music to The Park! Ways to Use NYC Parks & its Venues That You May Not Know About
Jana La Sorte – Administrator of Historic Harlem Parks, NYC Parks
12:50 PM – 12:55 PM: Having a Seat at the Table: How the Wavys are Promoting Inclusivity for All Artists
Rebecca Sansom – Founder, The Wavys / Blonde Records
12:55 PM – 01:15 PM: The View from Downtown: Empowering Creators and Entrepreneurs to Influence Culture By Leveling the Playing Field From the Capital of the World
Justin Kalifowitz – Executive Chairman, Downtown Music
Andrew Bergman – Chief Executive Officer, Downtown Music
01:15 PM – 01:45 PM: Doing the Work: Strategies for DEI Impact
Evangeline Elder – Co-founder, Women Sound Off
Namel Norris – ARTIST and Disability Rights Advocate, 4 Wheel City/ RAMP’D (TAPWATERZ)
Cindy Liu – General Manager, Park Avenue Artists
Leila Adu-Gilmore – Composer-Performer and Assistant Professor of Music Technology, LEILA ADU
Moderator: Anastasia Wright – Principal Owner, IMG Agency & Records; VP of Marketing, Janet Jackson
01:50 PM – 01:55 PM: Armstrong Now! Honoring Louis Armstrong’s Legacy
Regina Bain – Executive Director, Louis Armstrong House Museum
01:55 PM – 02:00 PM: An Accessible Creative Lab for New York: Studio40 at The New York Public Library
Jenna Li – Specialist, Studio40 at The New York Public Library
Dr. Brandy McNeil – Director Adult Services, The New York Public Library
02:00 PM – 02:30 PM: The Changing Media and Marketing Landscape
Patrick Ermlich – General Manager, Gramophone Media
Tina Eves – Staff Writer, American Songwriter
Rey Roldan – President/Publicist, Reybee, Inc.
Jessica Lechtenberg – Senior Product Manager, Cooking Vinyl
Moderator: Jamie Roberts – Founder, FOR THE WIN Media
02:30 PM – 02:50 PM: Coffee and Networking
02:50 PM – 02:55 PM: Welcome Back
Judy Tint – Counselor At Law / Clinical Assistant Professor of Music Business, NYU Steinhardt
02:55 PM – 03:15 PM: How Will the Growth of Web3 And NFTs Affect the Music Industry?
MoRuf Adewunmi – Rapper/Songwriter/Community Activist, MoRuf
Peg Samuel – Co-Founder, Head of Entertainment, Fierce Studios
Moderator: Peter Schwinge – Co-Founder & CEO, Nybac Media / Music Industry City
03:15 PM – 03:20 PM: A Look Ahead to the Festival and Live Music Climate in 2022 and Beyond
Erika Elliott – Executive Artistic Director, City Parks Foundation / SummerStage
03:20 PM – 03:50 PM: Back in the New York Groove
Daniel Glass – Founder/CEO, Glassnote Music
Paul Shaffer – Musical Conductor, Paul Shaffer Enterprises Inc.
Torae Carr – Songwriter/Recording Artist, Internal Affairs Entertainment
Moderator: Judy Tint – Counselor At Law / Clinical Assistant Professor of Music Business, NYU Steinhardt
03:50 PM – 03:55 PM: NYIVA’s Ongoing Mission to Support Live Performance Spaces and Promoters Across New York
Jen Lyon – Artistic Director/Owner, MeanRed Productions
03:55 PM – 04:25 PM: How Nightlife Has Changed in the Aftermath of the Pandemic: A Renewed Focus on Fairness, Safety, and Sustainability
Dhruv Chopra – Co-Founder / President, Elsewhere and PopGun Presents
Tara Duvivier – Senior Planner, Pratt Center for Community Development
Peter Shapiro – Founder & CEP, Dayglo Presents
Moderator: Ariel Palitz – Executive Director, NYC Office of Nightlife
04:25 PM – 04:30 PM: Closing Remarks
Shira Gans – Senior Executive Director, Policy + Programs, NYC Mayor’s Office of Media + Entertainment
04:30 PM – 05:30 PM: Reception
Music Performance by The Funkboy All-Stars
Ivan “Funkboy” Bodley (bass), Binky Griptite (guitar), Richie “Rah” Harrison (drums), Thomas Hutchings (saxophone) and Etienne Lytle (keyboards)
Nigerian-American artist MoRuf Adewumi, better know as MoRuf has managed to grow a cult-like following by just being honest, with clever rhymes, and a storytelling ability that remind you of young “Mighty Mos”. It’s safe to say, that his movement: L.O.E., which stands for Love Over Everything, is a return to the golden era of Hip-Hop, when the size of your chain, meant nothing, and the focus was spreading positivity to the masses through his God giving abilities and community service. He recently entered the Web3 space in August of 2021 and has been very successful. Selling up to 20 NFTs on numerous platforms including one with the legendary Snoop Dogg on Soundxyz. What’s next for MoRuf? Album 2021 “MOOLODIC”. To say MoRuf is a breath of fresh air, would be rather cliché, let’s say he’s artist in every sense of the word; reflective, thought provoking, yet entertaining.
Leila Adu is an astonishing force in the space where electropop, avant-classical and singer-songwriter meet. Exploring her roots in New Zealand, Britain and Ghana, Adu is an international artist who has performed at festivals and venues across the world. Compared to Nina Simone and Joanna Newsome by WNYC, Adu has released five acclaimed albums, and has given visionary solo BBC and WQXR performances. Adu’s credits include Ojai Music Festival, Bang on a Can, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Late Night with David Letterman, and composing for a Billboard charted album. Adu holds a Princeton University music composition PhD. In 2022, Leila Adu–Gilmore has been awarded a Charles Ives Composer Fellowship’s from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Jem Aswad, who launched Variety’s music section with executive music editor Shirley Halperin in 2017, has held senior editorial posts at Billboard, MTV News, Spin, Time Out New York and CMJ. He also has worked at three record labels (Atlantic, Warner and Caroline), two record stores, one performing-rights organization (ASCAP) and even helped out at CBGB for a few weeks while one of said labels was filming a documentary there. A lifelong music obsessive, over the years his work has been published in Rolling Stone, New York magazine, the Village Voice, Esquire and other publications. He has won several Los Angeles Press Club and Southern California Press Club awards — including the LAPC’s National Arts & Entertainment Journalist of the Year/ Online for 2022 — appears regularly on television and at conferences speaking about music, and sporadically guest-lectures at Syracuse University’s Bandier Program and New York University. He is based in Variety’s New York office.
Regina Bain is the Executive Director of the Louis Armstrong House Museum. The Museum promotes the legacy of Louis Armstrong –America’s first Black popular music icon. This year, Ms. Bain will open the new 14,000 sq. foot Armstrong Center housing a multimedia exhibit curated by Jason Moran, a 75-seat performance space, and the 60,000-piece Armstrong Archives — the largest archives of any jazz musician. Previously, she served as AVP of the Posse Foundation — a national leadership and college access program where she helped to increase national graduation rates for four consecutive years. Bain is co-chair of Culture @3’s anti-racism subcommittee, serves on the national advisory council of Urban Bush Women, leads the Yale Black Alumni Association and serves on the Yale Board of Governors.
Andrew Bergman serves as Chief Executive Officer of Downtown Music Holdings and oversees all day-to-day operations at Downtown and its expanding portfolio of companies. Previously, Bergman served as Downtown’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) for seven years where he architected Downtown’s M&A integrations and operational growth. A 20-year veteran of the music industry, Andrew initially served as the company’s outside counsel before he joined full time in 2008 as General Counsel and Executive Vice President. Prior to his work with Downtown, Bergman served as partner at highly respected music law firms, Roberts & Ritholz LLP and Davis Shapiro & Lewit, where he represented a variety of record labels, publishers, executives and multi-platinum recording artists.
Linda Bloss-Baum is the Vice President, Government Relations and Public Affairs at SoundExchange. As the department head, Linda leads the company’s industry-shaping advocacy efforts in favor of the fair treatment of music creators in the digital age. She represents SoundExchange to critical external audiences, including lawmakers, regulators and industry stakeholders. For the past eight years, Linda has been a liaison between SoundExchange and artists and industry leaders. Before joining SoundExchange full time, Linda ran the Warner Music Group office in Washington, D.C. for six years. She also served as Vice President, Public Policy/Government Relations at Universal Music Group/NBC Universal and Time Warner, Inc. Linda graduated from Catholic University Law School. She is an adjunct professor at the KOGOD School of Business at her undergrad alma mater, American University, where she teaches a class on “Protecting the Creative Class in the Digital Age.”
Anna Bond is the Head of Creative and Partnerships for Songtrust, the world’s largest global royalty collection service and publishing administrator. She leads the company’s creative strategy, branding, messaging, and client-focused business partnerships. Bond is rounding out twentieth year in in the music industry, before Songtrust most recently as US GM for storied indie Rough Trade Records (Houndmouth, Parquet Courts), and including roles at experimental rock label FatCat Records (Múm, Frightened Rabbit), and independent label distributor Secretly Distribution, as well as artist management and online retail. Throughout her 20-year career in the music industry, Anna has been committed to helping musicians develop careers, and enabling them to grow larger audiences for their unique visions.
Torae, SiriusXM’s Hip-Hop Nation’s creator and host of ‘The Tor Guide,” is the epitome of a multi-hyphenate renaissance man. When the songwriter, actor, rapper, philanthropist & entrepreneur isn’t delivering hits on his daily morning show or hosting red carpet events & live festivals, he’s interviewing the Kings and Queens of today like Nas, Swizz Beats, D-Nice, Megan The Stallion or Migos, to name a few.
You can also find Torae in the New York chapter of the Recording Academy’s Vice President’s seat. On the recording front, he’s written on gold & platinum albums, scoring a multitude of Hot 100 triumphs. His various acting roles— from the no nonsense ‘Sig Sauer’ in VH1’s ‘The Breaks’ to the poised ‘Beans’ in BET’s hit show TALES—have been met with critical acclaim.
Torae’s diverse ascendance is the result of purpose, dedication and a blue collar work ethic. Whether at a podium, in a classroom or in a recording booth, Torae will certainly be doing one thing: Dropping jewels.
Dhruv Chopra is one of the three Founders and the President of Elsewhere, a multi-room music venue and nightclub in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Our focus is on emerging music across genres, presented with love. Dhruv grew up partially in Mumbai and partially in Connecticut, playing jazz. He studied economics at Yale University and worked for many years in investment management, with a focus on sustainability. He’s always been an active member of NYC’s vibrant music scene and is also one of the three owners of the live music organizer PopGun Presents. Dhruv is on the board of the NY Hospitality Alliance, the North Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, and the Leadership Team for BABAR (the BK Allied Bars and Restaurants).
Bronx native, Joaquin Dean is a legendary and globally respected figure within the Hip Hop community as the Founder and CEO of Ruff Ryders Entertainment which he built alongside his brother, Darrin “Dee”, and sister, Chivon in 1988. Dean created an independent platform develops several RR entities while continuing to build his global brand. Supporting the community with his nonprofit foundation, Ruff Ryders 2 The Rescue, a community watch/youth music-based program, while he manages a record label, owns a Multi-Platinum Recording Studio,TV/Film division through which with E1 and BET released Ruff Ryders Chronicles in 2020, as well as a streaming radio station RR Radio. Mr. Dean also oversees 400 Ruff Ryders Lifestyle members motorcycle chapters worldwide. Ruff Ryders launched the careers of DMX, Eve, Swizz Beatz, and The Lox, all of whom are still known today. Looking forward Mr. Dean’s approach to Ruff Ryders business will continue embodying family values and family business.
Michael Dorf came to New York City in 1986 and founded the go-to venue for independent music, the Knitting Factory and served for the first 15 years as CEO, expanding the brand into Europe and Asia via tours, festivals, and producing over 200 recordings, TV shows, etc. Dorf was recognized as a pioneer in producing music on the Internet, through a variety of strategic relationships with Apple Computer, Intel, and Bell Atlantic. During this time he created the Digital Club Network and in 2002, he left the Knit to pursue other endeavors, including a Carnegie Hall concert fundraiser series, founding a Hebrew school, and winemaking. In 2008, Dorf created City Winery–Manhattan’s first fully-functional winery, restaurant, music venue and private event space. In the past 14 years, Dorf has expanded City Winery to 14 locations including Chicago, Nashville, Atlanta, Boston, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Hudson Valley, Grand Central, and has 5 more scheduled to open in 2022/23. Dorf has become one of the most prolific independent promoters in New York, an important music impresario, and according to The New Yorker, he has “perfected the art of the tribute concert.” Over 15 years, the fundraiser series has honored legends like Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, and Prince while raising over $1.5 million for music education non-profits. He serves on the board of The American Symphony Orchestra, Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals and is currently Chairman of LabShul/Storahtelling. He has received numerous honors from a variety of organizations including Humanitarian Awards from WFUV, Young Audiences, Little Kids Rock, among others.
Evangeline Elder leads with integrity and continues to do game-changing work for rising and global acts, with inclusivity at the helm of her work. As the co-founder of Women Sound Oﬀ and founder of All Angles Agency, she’s building safe spaces for creatives across sectors within and outside music. The Oakland native got her start as the founder of Rehab Online Magazine in the early to mid-2010s. After establishing an ear for emerging talent, she moved onto artist management and formed All Angles. The 2021 Billboard Pride Exec spent three years as Director of Brand Partnerships at global indie label EMPIRE and was recently the Senior Director of Brand Partnerships at Roc Nation. She’s personally mentored over 100 women under her organization Women Sound Oﬀ and brings out 1,400 plus women/creatives each year at WSO Fest. Evangeline is creating new points of entry for leaders by mobilizing professional networks and moving the future of music and entertainment towards positive change.
Erika Elliott is a recognized leader known for her creative and inclusive programming vision. She has held a variety of roles within the music industry, currently the Executive Artistic Director at City Parks Foundation’s SummerStage festival. City Parks Foundation is the largest presenter of free Arts and Culture in New York City, annually presenting over 100 free programs including 30+ performances at SummerStage in Central Park, three months of programming citywide at SummerStage Citywide, and family programs, serving all five boroughs as well as the annual 3 day Charlie Parker Jazz Festival. Erika is an elected Governor of the New Chapter of The Recording Academy. She serves on the ALL ARTS editorial advisory board, where she gives oversight and lends her experience to this newly launched extension of the PBS network brand. She also serves on the Bronx Music and Heritage Center music advisory committee.
Patrick Ermlich is a 20+ year music industry veteran living in Brooklyn, NY. The son of two opera singers and entrepreneurs, music and business is in his DNA. He is educated through Northeastern University’s music business program in Boston, and The Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences in Arizona. His career began in New York City at the renowned Cutting Room Recording Studios where he rose from producer to manager, developing the studio into one of the most successful in New York and hosting the biggest names in music. His entrepreneurial instincts led to the launch of a music publicity agency, Gramophone Media (recently acquired by LiveOne), where he currently acts as general manager. Patrick has worked with and advised over 1000 artists in his career and is known for his insightful, thoughtful, and direct approach to artist development called The Compass Method. He is a sought after artist coach and an educator at Berklee Online on brand identity development.
A staff writer with American Songwriter magazine, the New York native began covering music professionally in the ’90s as a reporter for the Village Voice. A journalist for more than 20 years, Tina has worked as staff editor and freelance writer covering entertainment, art, pop culture, food, wine, spirits, health, travel and more. Throughout it all, music has always been a constant in her life… and work. Her words have appeared in Billboard, Men’s Journal, Wine Spectator, and other local and national newspapers, magazines, and online publications.
Shira Gans is Senior Executive Director of Policy and Programs at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment. Shira is the architect of NYC’s inaugural social impact strategy for the music industry creating NY Music Month, establishing the first Office of Nightlife, and designing a suite of programs designed to support NYC’s music ecosystem and address gender and racial inequality. Shira also directs NYC Film Green, a program promoting sustainable film/TV production. Previously, Shira has held positions at the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs; the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Office of Manhattan Borough President; the New York City Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget; the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; and a legal firm monitoring mental health care in California prisons. Shira holds a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in public policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy at University of California, Berkeley.
As a lawyer by trade and a devoted music lover at heart, Nicole George-Middleton is currently taking on a role that puts all of her diverse talents and experience to use. As Senior Vice President of Membership at ASCAP, (the American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers), a membership association of more than 420,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers, Nicole is responsible for the oversight and daily operational management of ASCAP’s Rhythm and Soul Membership department on a worldwide basis. Nicole attended the University of Pennsylvania for her undergraduate degree, but it was while she was getting her law degree at Brooklyn Law School that she decided to pursue a career in the music business. After graduating from law school, Nicole joined the Middleton Law Group, where she practiced entertainment law for five years. In 2006, Nicole moved to Jive Records, where she became the Director of Business & Legal Affairs. She joined ASCAP in 2008.
Daniel Glass is Founder/CEO of Glassnote Music, a full service independent music company, which began in 2007 and includes both Glassnote Records and Connection Music Publishing. Glassnote represents Grammy Award Winners Phoenix and Mumford & Sons as well as world-renowned artists CHVRCHES, Jade Bird, AURORA, and many more. Daniel’s career began as a DJ at the famed Regine’s Discotheque. He went on to SAM Records and continued at Chrysalis, then SBK Records and was eventually named President/CEO of EMI Records Group N.A. Daniel then became the founding President of Universal Records before starting Glassnote. His career has been marked by the success stories of artists such as Billy Idol, Sinead O’Connor, Pat Benatar and Childish Gambino. Glassnote has been hailed as the “Best Indie Label” by Rolling Stone, the “#1 Independent Label” by Billboard and “Label of the Year” at the A2IM Libera Awards. Billboard has included Daniel in their Power 100 list every year since its 2012 inception.
Justin Kalifowitz is a lifelong advocate for empowering creators and the Founder and Executive Chairman of Downtown Music Holdings. Since its start in 2007, Downtown has become the leading service provider to the global music business by driving equity and innovation across the industry. As Executive Chairman, Kalifowitz leads Downtown’s Board of Directors, drives strategic development and works with the executive team on transformational growth opportunities for the organization. Over the course of his career, Justin has received numerous esteemed recognitions, including Variety’s New Leaders, Billboard’s Power 100, Crain’s New York “40 Under 40,” and is a recipient of the Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP) Indie Award.
Jana La Sorte is Administrator of Historic Harlem Parks for NYC Parks. She builds the future of the four large historic Harlem parks (Jackie Robinson, Marcus Garvey, Morningside, St. Nicholas Park) working with the Manhattan commissioner, parks support groups, community and cultural organizations, elected officials and others. Her recent music initiatives include the premiere of Questlove’s “Summer of Soul” at Marcus Garvey Park; creating an annual jazz festival with City College at St Nicholas Park; and inaugurating Marcus Garvey Park as a new annual opening night venue for The Metropolitan Opera. Also a professor of cultural entrepreneurship, Jana founded Ambassadora, which advises arts, social impact and education clients including Motema Music, Capital Bop, Horns to Havana, Jazz Power Initiative, Harlem Stage and others. A CORO Leadership NY fellow and National Arts Strategies fellow, she was executive director of the dance and social justice nonprofit Urban Bush Women.
Jess is a music marketing professional advocating for artists in innovative ways. As a NYC native, she has accumulated a valuable resume in artist management, live production and label relations over the last decade. Career highlights include five years at Beggars Group and she is currently leading US efforts as the Senior Product Manager at Cooking Vinyl.
Jenna Li is a forward-thinking engineer who uses her technical expertise to equip public spaces with cutting-edge tools and information and a dynamic educator who develops programs that foster diverse creative communities. She became the project lead for the construction of Studio40, The New York Public Library’s flagship public recording studio and media center in Midtown Manhattan, which has become a groundbreaking laboratory for everyday creators in New York City to grow and give back to their community. Jenna currently works at Studio40, where she imagines and constructs programs and partnerships that connect creators on all levels of the production process; she also functions as Studio40’s principal audio engineer and technical specialist. Jenna is a multilingual DJ, radio host and broadcast engineer on 89.9 WKCR FM NYC, a former producer at NPR Music, and freelance engineer at large in New York City.
Cindy Liu is general manager at Park Avenue Artists, and is passionate about cultural impact and social advocacy in the music business. She believes in music as an expressive medium creating inclusive communities, and she strives to cultivate this experience across a diversity of artists and projects at PAA. Cindy received departmental honors for her undergraduate thesis in Sociology at Columbia University, entitled, “The Quadruple Bind: Occupational Barriers to Women in the Classical Music Industry.” She recently discussed her continuing research at the New England Conservatory. Cindy co-leads the Performing Arts Managers and Agents Coalition (PAMAC), on behalf of 250+ performing arts agencies, and PAMAC’s work culminated in Congress designating $15B in aid to arts organizations as part of the Shuttered Venues Operator Grants (SVOG). Cindy received B.A. degrees in English and Sociology at Columbia, and is currently pursuing her part-time MBA at NYU Stern.
Known for alternative venues, thoughtful curation and generally existing on the edge by her own volition or not! Operating as an independent promoter for 16 years and in the live music industry for 20+. MeanRed Productions produces concerts and events in NYC and Detroit -notable shows include: Diplo at Summerstage, Kaytranada in a Dim Sum Restaurant, Moodyman in a Bed Stuy dance club, Travis Scott in an former auto parts factory.
Dr. Brandy McNeil focuses on community needs through game-changing innovations to build successful adult education programs in the 89 branches under her stewardship across NYC. Building the highly successful TechConnect program, Dr. McNeil has established partnerships with Apple, Spotify, Google, & Microsoft to name a few. Through her inspirational leadership, she has made it her mission to help underserved communities to ensure equitable access to technology, knowledge, and opportunity. Dr. McNeil is also a contributing writer of the book titled Libraryland; It’s All About The Story published in 2020 and has appeared in various publications. Dr. McNeil holds a Doctorate in Business and an M.B.A. in Entrepreneurship. Previously, she worked for several Fortune 500 companies and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Public Library Association and was on the Black Caucus of ALA Executive Board. In her spare time, she is an entrepreneur, consultant, and motivational speaker.
Larry Miller is a professor of Music Business at NYU Steinhardt Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions where he is director of the Music Business program. He is a music and technology entrepreneur, advisor, producer and host of the Musonomics podcast. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on music entrepreneurship, music analytics, strategic marketing, global music management and the business structure of the music industry. Larry advises media and technology companies and their financial sponsors on music catalog acquisitions, capital formation, digital product and service development and restructuring. He advises rights holders and music creators on public policy and litigation and provided expert testimony before the United States Copyright Review Board (CRB) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
In her role as Chief Content Officer at Primary Wave Music Publishing, Natalia is responsible for creating monetizable opportunities across the entertainment and media landscapes for the company’s legendary and iconic artists and music catalogues. Prior to joining Primary Wave Music Publishing last year, Natalia was General Manager of the Global Music Group at United Talent Agency, where she oversaw a team of over 100 music agents and 150 support staff across six offices and helped establish the group as a leader in talent representation. Recognized as a power player in the music industry, Natalia has received multiple features on Billboard’s annual Women In Music and Power 100 lists, and on Variety’s Women’s Impact lists. Natalia is on the Music Industry Advisory Board for Save The Music Foundation, and recently served as Executive in Residence at NYU’s Steinhart School of Music Business.
Namel “TapWaterz” Norris is a paraplegic hip hop artist who uses music to speak out against social injustices and encourage people to never give up. He has spoken at the White house. Performed at the United Nations, and worked with Snoop Dogg & Stevie Wonder. He’s also earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, and a “Music Essentials” certificate from NYU. At 17, Namel was accidentally shot and left paralyzed. Despite his setbacks he cofouded a movement called 4 Wheel City, to inspire change, create more opportunities for people with disabilities and keep youth from gun violence. Tapwaterz also spoke on the 2021 first-ever Recording Academy panel on accessibility “Music Purpose and Community”, was present at the first Disability Listening session with Grammy Leadership, and subsequently became a founding member of RAMPD (Recording Artists and Music Professionals with Disabilities), the go-to organization for accessibility and disability inclusion in the music industry.
In March of 2018 Ariel Palitz, was appointed as the first-ever Senior Executive Director of New York City’s Office of Nightlife at the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. Ariel came to the role with deep experience in both nightlife and community owning her own nightclub in the East Village, for ten years; serving on her local community board for nearly 7 years and consulted nightlife entrepreneurs to open, operate and sell their own establishments. New York City’s Office of Nightlife is as a non-enforcement central point of contact between the nightlife industry, community, and the City. The office provides problem solving and support for individual venues while creating systemic industry wide solutions that address the daily challenges of running a business at night. The Office if Nightlife in NYC is dedicated to ensuring a more vibrant, viable, safe, and fair nightlife that works for all New Yorkers and visitors from around the world.
Co-founder of Black Theatre Coalition (www.blacktheatrecoalition.org) BTC’s mission is to remove the illusion of inclusion in the American Theatre, by building a sustainable ethical road-map that will increase employment opportunities for Black theatre professionals. He has spent the past 20 years working on Broadway, (Hadestown; Once On This Island; Sunset Boulevard; After Midnight; Sister Act; Mary Poppins; The Wedding Singer; Chicago; La Cage Aux Folles; Never Gonna Dance; Thoroughly Modern Millie; Follies; Kiss Me, Kate), which have amassed more than 20 Tony Awards. He is also an accomplished cabaret artist. He is an assistant Professor at Rider University and has been an adjunct professor at NYU-Tisch’s Grad Acting Program and Columbia University School of the Arts’ Grad Acting program. He sits on the Board of Visitors for the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He’s currently in the critically acclaimed, Hadestown on Broadway.
Jamie Roberts is a problem-solver by trade. With 20+ years in the music industry in various roles, the majority of her experience is in music publicity. Having headed up publicity departments at Roadrunner Records, Better Noise Music and Universal Records in addition to her independent work, Roberts has worked with nearly every major band in the rock universe. Currently operating her boutique communications consultancy FOR THE WIN Media, she is working with creatives from all around the world to make a big impact on their public images. Current clients include New Monarch (US), KK Downing(UK), MAN WITH A MISSION (JAPAN), The Cruel Intentions (NORWAY), Voice of Baceprot (INDONESIA), Ascendia (CANADA) and 360 Reality Audio app PeerTracks among others!
Rey Roldan started his boutique PR firm Reybee Inc. in 2004. A 27+ year music industry veteran, he worked at major labels, indies labels and PR firms in executive positions at I.R.S. Records, Mammoth Records, Grass / Wind-up Records, Jive/Silvertone/Zomba Recordings, KSA Public Relations and Island Def Jam. Rey spent the early part of his career as a nationally published journalist, enabling him to handle all genres of music and entertainment, including the publicity campaigns for Britney Spears, Duran Duran, director Baz Luhrmann, Backstreet Boys, Sting, Hanson, A Tribe Called Quest, and many more. He has also spearheaded the PR for the soundtracks to Bridget Jones’ Diary, and Grammy winners Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and O Brother Where Art Thou? His current roster includes Aeon Station (formerly The Wrens), The Cranberries, Bauhaus, Frank Sinatra, Roxy Music, Gogol Bordello, Engelbert Humperdinck, Gloria Gaynor, ABBA, Marvin Gaye, and Nat King Cole, among others.
Maurice Russell is the Head of Rights Management for The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC). In this role, Russell supports The MLC’s work to implement the first statutory blanket licensing system for mechanical rights in the United States. Russell also leverages his operational and administrative expertise in order to help The MLC process digital music royalty payments to music publishers and songwriters globally. Prior to joining The MLC, Russell held senior roles in operations and strategy at the Harry Fox Agency (HFA), where he directed the development and launch of numerous licensing and royalty solutions to transition the company to the high-volume digital music market. Russell holds a B.A. in American History from Columbia University and an M.B.A. in Finance from New York University Stern School of Business. He resides in New York City.
Peg Samuel co-founder and Head of Entertainment at Fierce Studios. She’s been an Innovation Tech Consultant, NYU Professor, Advisor, and Author. She’s been in the digital space for 25+ years and the Blockchain/NFT space since 2017. She specializes in communications and connecting the dots.
Rebecca Autumn Sansom is guided by the promise of a consciously evolving humanity. She’s also passionate about connecting talented artists with opportunity. As a native Nashvillian, Rebecca’s life has been steeped in the sounds of Music City. Now she is hoping to disrupt the entertainment industry by creating a safe space for artist development, career enhancement and artistic vision at Blonde Records. That vision has grown significantly during the pandemic with the launch of Wavy Music News and The Wavy Awards. The take away from the event that Rebecca hopes people remember is that it’s about damn time to diversify mainstream talent and commit to equitability in the entertainment industry. The Wavys Inc. is a non-profit with 501c3 status. Her film about adoption issues is out this year as well and called Reckoning with The Primal Wound. The Executive Producer is Gena Vazquez at Legacy Entertainment Partners, and it can be seen at various film festivals on the 2022 circuit.
Peter Schwinge is the Co-Founder and CEO of Nybac Media / Music Industry City which is home to the annual Future Music Forum: Barcelona conference. He is also the host and broadcaster of numerous digital programs focused on inspiration, innovation, and information for the music business. Peter has spoken extensively on the future of music and technology including Web3, NFTs, and the Metaverse. Prior to his current ventures, Peter was a Partner and General Manager of New Music Seminar/New York Nights Music Festival. He received a Bachelor’s degree with a concentration in Sound Recording Technology and Performance from the University of Massachusetts and later, a Master’s degree in Music Business from New York University.
A Grammy-Award Winner and 4-time Emmy Nominee, Paul Shaffer served as David Letterman’s Musical Director for 33 years as well as being the Musical Director for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Paul was an original member of the SNL band, later becoming a Featured Player, and put together and served as the Musical Director for The Blues Brothers. In addition to his own albums, Paul has played and collaborated with the likes of Robert Plant, Eric Clapton and many more.
Judy Tint is a music attorney, educator, musician, and NYC native. A graduate of Rutgers College and Columbia Law School, she represents artists, songwriters, producers, labels, and more, from unknowns to icons. She has served on the faculty of the NYU Steinhardt Music Business Program since 2008. She is Chair of the ABA Forum on The Entertainment and Sports Industries and a longtime Board member of WhyHunger and The R&B Foundation. She has spent ten years on the Board of Governors of The Recording Academy’s NY Chapter, and is a frequent speaker at music industry conferences across the country.
Judy is also a musician and songwriter. She has provided vocals and percussion on many recordings, and has performed at Carnegie Hall, The Apollo Theater, Radio City Music Hall, The Ryman Auditorium, the Waterfront Blues Festival, and numerous other venues, and on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and several PBS music specials. She is firm believer in the power of music to change the world.
Emily White is a founding Partner at Collective Entertainment, the Founder of #iVoted Festival, author of the Amazon #1 best-selling How to Build a Sustainable Music Career and Collect All Revenue Streams and hosts the #1 Music Business podcast globally of the same name.
Brooklyn native & Baruch College graduate, Anastasia Wright is a marketing and music executive with entrepreneurial roots. Currently the Owner of IMG Agency & Records; VP, Marketing for Janet Jackson, and Executive Dir. of non-profit Minds Behind the Music, Inc.; her mission is to push creativity forward, elevate her clients and advocate for equity & inclusion, especially for women and people of color. Her 13 year career includes stints at RCA, Interscope, Motown, Republic, Epic, Def Jam, Arista and Columbia Records where she’s contributed to campaigns for Adele, LMFAO, Madonna, No Doubt, Imagine Dragons, Kid Ink, Carlos Santana, Sia, Fantasia, Pitbull and Usher, to name a few, and managing campaigns for clients like mtheory, Soho House, Airbnb, Sennheiser & more through her company IMG Agency. She’s been featured in Forbes & Entrepreneur, is a former board member of Women in Music Inc. and a proud member of the Recording Academy.
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