Confirmed Speakers


Jem Aswad, Senior Music Editor, Variety 

Jem Aswad is senior music editor at Variety. Previously he held senior posts at Billboard, MTV News, Spin, Time Out New York, CMJ; Atlantic, Warner Bros. and Caroline Records; and his writing has appeared in New York, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, the Village Voice, Esquire and other publications. He frequently lectures at Syracuse University's Bandier (music business) Program and New York University and has appeared discussing music and the music business on CNN, ABC, CBS, Fox News, BBC America, NPR, Nightline, MSNBC's Morning Joe, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning and others.

MICHAEL DORF, Founder & CEo, City Winery

Michael Dorf was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI. After studying Psychology and Business at Washington University, he founded New York City’s go-to venue for independent music, the Knitting Factory, in 1986.

During his Knitting Factory tenure, he produced over 200 recordings with Knitting Factory Records. In 2002, he left his operating responsibilities and sold his equity position to pursue other endeavors, including a Carnegie Hall concert fundraiser series, founding a Hebrew school, and winemaking.

By 2008, Dorf had conceptualized a venue that brought his love for both the making and enjoyment of wine under one roof and created City Winery–Manhattan’s first fully-functional winery, restaurant, music venue and private event space. City Winery offers a wide selection of wines, exquisite cuisine and intimate performances from iconic performers.

Dorf expanded his company in 2012 with the opening of City Winery Chicago. Subsequent years have brought new venues to Nashville and Atlanta, with Boston and DC expected by the end of 2017.

Charlie Hellman, VP of Creator, Spotify

Charlie Hellman is VP of Creator at Spotify. Since starting the New York Product Development team for Spotify in 2011, Charlie has built and led numerous strategic areas including recommendation and personalization, social features, and monetization. He now leads the artist and industry facing side of the Spotify platform, building software to empower creators. Prior to Spotify, Charlie led music products at Lime Wire and worked in Digital Business Development at EMI Music. Charlie earned his B.A. in Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.

Alice Kim, Chief Strategy & Development Officer, ASCAP

Alice Kim is the Chief Strategy and Development Officer of ASCAP. She oversees the company's strategy, business development, product development, and administration services.

Being at the forefront of the digital media revolution for almost 20 years, Alice held executive level positions in multitude media and technology companies. Alice served as senior vice president, corporate development and strategy for MediaFlo. Prior to MediaFlo, she served as senior vice president, digital distribution and partnerships for Viacom Media Networks.

Alice received her MBA from Columbia Business School and a BS from Stern School of Business, New York University.

Alan Light, Author

Alan Light has been one of America’s leading music journalists for the past twenty years. He was a writer at Rolling Stone, founding music editor and editor-in-chief of Vibe, and editor-in-chief of Spin magazine. He has been a contributor to The New Yorker, GQ, Entertainment Weekly, Elle, and Mother Jones. He is the author of The Skills to Pay the Bills, an oral history of the Beastie Boys; The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, and the Unlikely Ascent of “Hallelujah”; and cowriter of the New York Times bestselling memoir by Gregg Allman, My Cross to Bear.

Jason Miller Head shot small.jpg

Jason Miller, President - Music - New York, Live Nation

Jason Miller, who was named President of Live Nation New York in 2011, has been leading executives in the music and entertainment industry for over 20 years. Since joining Live Nation as the Senior Vice President of Music in Denver in 2006, he has produced concerts in the nation’s most iconic venues for the world’s top artists, including Beyoncé, Coldplay, Pearl Jam, Kanye West, deadmau5, Guns N Roses, Stevie Nicks, Ariana Grande and many, many more. Jason’s focus on creating the best experience for the fan, artist, and venue has expanded the boundaries and caliber of events produced by Live Nation. In 2011, Jason introduced the United States to the world’s leading electronic dance music event, Sensation. When he’s not booking shows or attending concerts, you can find Jason listening to the Grateful Dead with his twin sons.

Riggs Morales, Music Executive, Producer, Writer

Rigo "Riggs" Morales is Vice President of A&R and Artist Development at Atlantic Records where he works with artists such as Wiz Khalifa, Action Bronson, Janelle Monae and Hamilton, the groundbreaking soundtrack to the smash Broadway musical.

Riggs Morales has been a fixture in urban and hip-hop music culture for 20 years. First as a renowned music journalist documenting the culture for publications like The Source, XXL, Vibe and Fader, and later as a reputable music executive overseeing records to the tune of 30 million in sales.

He has been featured as an on-air correspondent for MTV, VH1 and MSNBC and currently works closely with The Grammys, where he currently serves as Vice President Of The New York Chapter of NARAS.

Benji Rogers, CEO & Co-Founder, dotBlockChain Music, Founder of PledgeMusic

Benji Rogers is a British-born, New York-based entrepreneur, technologist, musician, and the founder of Pledge Music. An early pioneer of the direct artist-to-fan model of distributing music, Rogers founded Pledge Music based on the belief that artists should share the process of their artistic output, not just the finished product. Straddling the worlds of technology and music, Rogers uses his dual background to advise a range of tech and music companies on how to bridge the divide between their industries. To address the unique challenges facing artists releasing their work in the digital economy, Rogers also co-founded the Dot Blockchain Music Project, an attempt to create a decentralized global registry of music rights using blockchain technology that will overhaul the commercialization and movement of music online. In addition to these projects, Rogers is also an instructor at Berklee College of Music on digital trends and strategies in the industry. A dedicated patron of arts and creativity in all its forms, Rogers’ work is rooted in a belief in the democratizing power of the internet; he will always be “loving your work.”

Beverley Whitrick.jpg

Beverley Whitrick, Strategic Director, Music Venue Trust

Music Venue Trust is a registered charity, created in January 2014 to protect the UK live music network by securing the long term future of grassroots music venues. We work to gain recognition of the essential role these venues fulfil, not only for artist development but also for the cultural and music industries, the economy and local communities. 

Beverley's role includes the running of the Trust, coordination of campaigns and communication, fundraising, profile raising, building the ever-growing database, producing Venues Day, developing the Music Venues Alliance and its trade association (TAMVA), liaising with arts and cultural sector partners and representing Music Venue Trust at national and international meetings.

Beverley has over 20 years' experience of Arts Development, event management, tour co-ordination, building networks, funding, evaluation and strategy.

Nancy Biberman, Founder & President, WHEDco

25 years ago, Nancy founded the Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco) through the rehabilitation of an abandoned public hospital, integrating affordable housing with critically-needed community support services. 

In January 2017, WHEDco broke ground on its third and most ambitious project yet: Bronx Commons, a $165M mixed-used housing development in Melrose Commons that will transform the final undeveloped parcel of the Melrose Commons Urban Renewal Area into a vibrant center for living, working, learning, shopping as well as the Bronx Music Hall, a new music venue, focused on the deeply rooted history of cutting-edge Bronx music. In catalyzing the economic development now transforming the Bronx, Nancy has set the standard for urban developers everywhere. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Hostos Community College, the Freelancers Union Insurance Company, and the South Bronx Early College Academy Charter School.

tin0 Gagalirdi, President and Executive Director, Local 802 - American Federation of Musicians (AFM)

Augustino (Tino) Gagalirdi is President and Executive Director of Local 802, American Federation of Musicians (AFM), the largest local union of professional musicians in the world. As President, he is the lead negotiator for some of New York City's most iconic ensembles, including at Lincoln Center, Radio City Music Hall and on Broadway. In addition to serving as President, Tino serves on many boards and committees, including on the AFM Executive Committee, and is a Trustee on the AFM Employers Pension Fund, Local 802 Musicians Health Fund, and the AFM/SAGAFTRA Distribution Fund.  In 2015, Tino was honored to be appointed to the NYC Cultural Plan Citizen's Advisory Committee by Mayor de Blasio.

Prior to his election as President in 2010, Tino was a trumpet player, performing extensively on Broadway and in New York City’s concert and recording fields.

Cherie Hu, Media & Entertainment Contributor, Forbes

Cherie Hu is a music-tech thinker, researcher and writer, passionate about combining a data-driven business acumen with superior storytelling skills to propel innovation in the music industry. She covers trends at the intersection of technology and the music business as a contributor for Forbes, and her writings on music and culture have also appeared in Music Ally and the Harvard Political Review. Previously, she spearheaded a research project on the digital music industry at Harvard Business School, worked in A&R at Interscope Records and studied classical piano at Juilliard. She has spoken about music and entrepreneurship at several digital media conferences around the world including SXSW, FastForward, Sónar+D and Hacking Arts.

ben lovett, Co-Founder, Communion Music and Musician, Mumford & Sons

2016 was a huge year for Lovett; Mumford & Sons made groundbreaking moves with their maiden sold-out tour of South Africa coupled with the release of the acclaimed 'Johannesburg' mini-album. Ben also found time to celebrate ten glorious years of his US and UK-based independent label and live promotions company Communion and most crucially, bucked the trend of venue closures within the London night scene with his successful launch of Omeara, a brand new grassroots venue and bar.

Beyond Communion and Omeara, Ben sits on boards for key New York establishments such as The Barclays Center, Soho House and Brooklyn Arts Council. He’s also involved with Global Citizen, a New York based organization which focuses on the eradication of absolute poverty across the World.

We’ll be in conversation with Ben Lovett who brings his wealth of experience as notable young entrepreneur within the entertainment industry, as band member, independent record label owner, and now music venue owner at NYU's Sound Development Conference this June.

Professor Larry Miller, Director, Music Business Program, NYU

Professor Larry Miller teaches undergraduate and graduate courses Music Entrepreneurship, Music Analytics, Strategic Marketing and the Business Structure of the Music Industry. He advises music creators and rights holders on public policy and copyright litigation, and supports media and technology companies and their financial sponsors on capital formation and growth strategy, digital product/service development, acquisitions and restructuring. Previously, Larry was a Partner at L.E.K. Consulting and a senior member of the firm’s media and entertainment practice. He later served as Executive Vice President and General Manager of MediaNet.

Larry founded and operated Or Music, a Grammy Award winning independent record label and music publisher where he signed, recorded and published multi-platinum artists Los Lonely Boys and Matisyahu; he was Vice President of Market Development at AT&T Labs Research, and began his career as a broadcaster at Tribune, NBC Radio Entertainment and WHTZ/Z100 New York, regarded as the most successful startup in U.S. radio history as the station went from “worst to first” within 72 days of signing-on in the country’s most competitive radio market.

Regina Myer, President, Downtown Brooklyn Partnership

Regina Myer became President of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership in October 2016. Previously, she served as President of Brooklyn Bridge Park, transforming the formerly industrial Brooklyn waterfront into a world-class open space that welcomes millions of visitors a year. 

Prior to Brooklyn Bridge Park, Regina was the senior vice president for planning and design at the Hudson Yards Development Corporation, and the Brooklyn Borough Director for the New York City Planning Department, where she directed the comprehensive redevelopment for two miles of the Greenpoint/Williamsburg waterfront, the rezoning of Downtown Brooklyn for high density office and apartments and numerous neighborhood rezoning efforts. She received her BA and Masters in Urban Planning from the University of Michigan, and resides in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Carlo A. Scissura, President & CEO, New York Building Congress

Carlo A. Scissura is President & CEO of the New York Building Congress, a position he has held since January 2017- a broad-based membership association committed to promoting the growth and success of the construction industry in New York City. Previously, Carlo was President & CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

Carlo served both as Chief of Staff and General Counsel to Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz before leading the Brooklyn Chamber, restructuring operations at Borough Hall and serving as senior advisor to the Borough President.

Carlo was appointed to the Community Education Council for District 20 in 2004, where he served as President and Chairman of the Legislative Committee. Currently, Carlo is the President of the Federation of Italian-American Organizations, as well as a member of the Boards of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp., The New York City Regional Economic Development Council, and the Friends of the BQX. Carlo has also received numerous honours and awards for his work in the community.

Everett Bradley, Singer, Writer & Percussionist 

Grammy Nominated artist Everett Bradley has a unique career spanning from multiple genres of music to theatre and TV. His vocal, percussion and keyboard work have included playing and recording with Bruce Springsteen’s famed E Street Band, Bon Jovi, Hall & Oates, Carly Simon, David Bowie, Cyndi Lauper, Bobby McFerrin, renowned producers Snarky Puppy and Quincy Jones and many more.

Theatrically, he starred in and co-wrote the Broadway musical SWING (Theatre World Award), was a featured performer in the broadway show AFTER MIDNIGHT, was NY director of the off broadway show STOMP, and creator and lead performer of his 11 year old cult holiday show HOLIDELIC.

Recently, Everett finished a stint as musical director/bandleader for NBC’s Meredith Vieira Show, for which he also wrote the show’s theme song as well as all the other music included in the program. Everett can be seen currently on tour with Bon Jovi.

shira gans, Senior Director of Policy & Programs, New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment

Shira Gans is the Senior Director of Policy and Programs at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) where she is developing the agency’s music economic development agenda. She also directs the agency’s education and workforce programming that reaches thousands of New Yorkers.

Before joining MOME, Shira was Senior Policy Director at the Department of Consumer Affairs, NYC’s consumer protection agency. Prior, she was Program and Relationship Director at the Federal Reserve Bank of NY where she designed a suite of new programs to aid small businesses and victims of Superstorm Sandy. Others positions include: Policy Analyst for Manhattan Borough President Stringer where she was designed and managed a public private partnership that helped over 12,000 New Yorkers open safe checking accounts; Senior Budget Analyst at the NYC Mayor's Office of Management and Budget; Federal Investigator at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; and paralegal 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.

Wes Jackson, President, Brooklyn Bodega and Executive Director, The Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival

Wes Jackson is currently the President of Brooklyn Bodega and Executive Director of The Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival. He has over 20 years experience as an entrepreneur and innovator in the music business. His career began producing concerts for Nas, The Roots, The Dave Matthews Band and De La Soul. He then went on to start his own promotions company, Seven Heads Entertainment. Seven Heads was instrumental in launching the careers of Yaasin Bey (Mos Def), Talib Kweli, Rawkus Records and others.

Wes would continue on to establish Brooklyn Bodega and The Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival. The Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival is in its 13th year and is New York City’s largest Hip-Hop cultural event. 

In addition to his successful business ventures, Wes travels to colleges and universities across the country lecturing about Hip-Hop History and its impact on society.  Wes also teaches at the City University of New York (CUNY) and sits on the Boards of The Brooklyn Historical Society and The Brooklyn Crescents Lacrosse Club.

Naomi McMahon, Senior Vice President, Head of Strategic Marketing and Partnerships, Universal Music Group and Brands

Naomi McMahon, Senior Vice President, Head of Strategic Marketing and Partnerships at Universal Music Group and Brands, oversees the development of integrated marketing, digital and experiential music platforms and campaigns for Fortune 500 brands, in partnership with some of world’s most influential recording artists and labels.

Prior to UMG, Naomi held various marketing and business development positions at companies including Sony Music Entertainment, The VIA Agency, Enterprise Ireland and Harley-Davidson Motor Company. 

ANN MINCIELI, Owner Jungle City Studios & Project Manager for Alicia Keys

Ann Mincieli is a longtime engineer, mixer, collaborator and album project manager for Alicia Keys. Ann is a two time Grammy winner and has also worked with Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston and Jay Z among others. Ann is the owner of Jungle City Studios, one of New York’s most elegant and best equipped recording facilities. Jungle City has become more than a studio, it's the modern day Motown. Mincieli is a leader within the music industry, technology and the new movement to restore Manhattan to its former prestige as one of the world’s top recording destinations. Jungle City worked with Apple Music as they unveiled their radio streaming service Beats 1 Radio to the world in June of 2015. Beats 1 is currently streaming worldwide to 110 countries.

Ann has been working with The Recording Academy since 2006, and is currently on the Academy’s Board Of Trustees. When she's not recording, Ann travels all over the country to participate in different events and projects. She's currently part of the Recording Academy’s Steering Committee and sits on the newly formed National Advocacy Committee.

Elizabeth Peterson-Gower, Founder & CEO, EPG

Elizabeth Peterson-Gower oversees day to day operations of the land use consultancy, provides land use expertise, and serves as the principal visionary. Elizabeth has facilitated the development of over 1600 restaurants, bars, theaters, and mixed-use buildings in historic and complex urban environments. Some of EPG’s iconic projects include the Los Angeles Ace Hotel, Freehand Hotel, The Nomad Hotel, The Globe Theater, Wiltern Theater, Henry Fonda Music Box, The Edison, the Hollywood and Downtown Standard Hotels, and Chateau Marmont. In addition to her land use expertise, Elizabeth has owned and operated several Los Angeles clubs and restaurants – including Clayton’s Public House, Royal Clayton’s, and Bordello – and has served as the Senior Vice Chair of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Elizabeth is an executive board member of the Central City Association, the LA chair for RADD – a non-profit organization offering designated driver programs – President of The Friends of Park 101 and the Newton Area Police Coalition, founder and chair of the Northeast Hospitality Alliance, a leader of the Downtown Hospitality Forum in Los Angeles, and a vocal supporter of local Community Police Activity Boards.


Paul is a well known owner and operator of several New York City venues, including The DL, The Attic, Dinner on Ludlow and Delilah. Additionally, Paul is in development on his 27 acre distillery, boutique hotel and wedding destination venue, The Star Estate, located in the Hudson Valley.

Paul also has been a hospitality and nightlife activist for more than 15 years. For 5 years, Paul was the President of the New York Nightlife Association. In 2012, Paul helped form and became a founding trustee of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, a trade association and lobbying organization that represents the bars, cafes, lounges, nightclubs and destination hotels that make up the hospitality economic engine for the city.

Paul holds a Bachelor Fine Arts in theatre and a minor in film production from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and a Bachelor Fine Arts in Music Composition with a minor in physics from New York University’s School of Arts and Sciences.

DHRUV CHOPRA, Co-Owner, PopGun Presents and Elsewhere

Dhruv Chopra grew up partially in Mumbai, India and partially in Connecticut, USA, playing jazz saxophone and guitar. He studied economics at Yale University and for many years worked in investment management, with a focus on sustainable investments. He’s always been an avid member of NYC’s vibrant music scene, particularly in the worlds of indie rock, techno, and jazz. Dhruv is one of the three owners of the live music organizer, PopGun Presents, and one of the Founding members of the upcoming Bushwick venue, Elsewhere. He heads up Operations for both. Together, the companies seek to shift emerging culture in NYC by showcasing and developing emerging musical talent across genres, in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and beyond. 

L. Camille Hackney, Executive Vice President of Brand Partnerships & Commercial Licensing, Atlantic Records/Head of Global Brand Partnerships Council Warner Music Group

In her position at Atlantic, Camille is responsible for cultivating strategic partnerships for the company and their diverse roster of top-notch artists with the goal of marrying musical talent with prominent brands to create impactful campaigns and promotions. In her position at Warner Music Group, she leads a global team of brand partnership and commercial licensing executives to source global deals for the hundreds of artists signed to the various Warner Music Group labels and licensees around the globe.

Justin Kalifowitz.jpeg

Justin Kalifowitz, CEO, Downtown Music Publishing and Founder, NY is Music

Justin is the founder and CEO of Downtown Music Publishing, a global music rights company with offices in New York, Amsterdam, London, Los Angeles, Nashville, and Tokyo. Established in 2007, Downtown manages some of the most beloved song copyrights in popular music, including the works of John Lennon and
Yoko Ono, Bruce Springsteen, Mötley Crüe, Hans Zimmer, Sturgill Simpson, Benny Blanco, One Direction, and Ryan Tedder.

With a technology-forward philosophy, Kalifowitz launched Songtrust in 2011 – the platform now powers global royalty collection from over 100+ countries and 20,000+ unique income sources worldwide.

Prior to Downtown, Justin led acquisitions for Spirit Music where he managed the catalogs of Bob Marley, Chaka Khan, and Lou Reed.

Justin serves on the board of the National Music Publishers’ Association and is the Co-founder of NY is Music, an organization dedicated to advancing the importance of music in economic development, culture,
and education across New York State.


Julie Menin, Commissioner, NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment

An accomplished lawyer and civic leader, Julie Menin began her career at the law firm Wiley, Rein & Fielding in Washington D.C. In 1995, she became a corporate attorney at a Fortune 500 company and later opened her own business, Vine, a restaurant and catering company. 

In 2002, she worked with Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro launching the first Tribeca Film Festival, and through Wall Street Rising. In 2010, she secured $150 million of public funding to construct the World Trade Center Performing Arts Center. In 2009, she created, hosted and co-produced NBC’s Give & Take, an interview show focused on politics, current events, media and health. In 2013, she ran for Manhattan Borough President.

She has been the recipient of a number of various awards, including the National Association of Women Business Owners Community Service Award.

John D. Moore, Co-Founder and Co-President, The Bowery Presents

John D. Moore is a founder and partner of The Bowery Presents, the leading New York City-based independent concert promoter and venue management company. John oversees all the company’s live music programming in venues that the company owns and operates in the New York City metropolitan.

John began booking shows at the Mercury Lounge in New York in 2001. He expanded his repertoire to the Bowery Ballroom and Webster Hall, until 2004 when he co-founded The Bowery Presents.

Through its partnership with AEG Presents, The Bowery Presents has expanded its presence to include booking venues from Maine to the Gulf Coast, and will continue to present shows at arenas, amphitheaters, festivals and stages in New York City and across the Northeast. 

Josh Rabinowitz, EVP/Director of Music/Townhouse/WPP

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

He has been called a “New Music Mogul” by Fast Company and has spoken at every major global music conference.

Rabinowitz is a Professor at The New School, has been a columnist for Billboard’s “With the Brand” and has appeared on Bloomberg TV News and NPR.

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

Paramdeep Singh, Co-founder & Executive Chairman, Saavn

Paramdeep (Param) Singh is Co-founder & Executive Chairman of Saavn. Param has played a crucial role in driving the rapid growth of the business, recruiting key talent to the team, and acquiring major assets that have become the building blocks of the company. Param oversees all content acquisition, original content development and business development, and works with the Indian government on matters including piracy, copyright and publishing. Param has been instrumental in sourcing and developing key strategic partnerships with all the major and independent record labels, as well as telecom operators and smartphone OEMs. 

Param is a serial entrepreneur with experience in ventures across numerous verticals, including Music, Media and Technology, Retail, Real Estate and Hospitality. He graduated from the College of Arts & Sciences at Tufts University with degrees in International Relations, Economics and Entrepreneurship.


Professor Judy Tint, Entertainment Attorney, Consultant and Musician

Prof. Judy Tint has been a member of NYU’s Music Business faculty since 2008, teaching a mix of undergraduate and graduate courses on a wide range of industry topics. A native New Yorker and a graduate of Rutgers College and Columbia Law School, she has over 25 years of experience as an attorney, consultant, and producer in the entertainment industry.

Judy serves on the Board of Governors of The Recording Academy’s New York Chapter, and is a longtime board member of both The Rhythm & Blues Foundation and WhyHunger. She is the chair of the Music and Personal Appearances Division of the American Bar Association’s Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries, appears frequently as a speaker at industry conferences throughout the country, and has made numerous trips to Capitol Hill as an advocate for artists’ rights.

Judy is also a songwriter and musician, and has performed at Carnegie Hall, The Apollo Theater, Radio City Music Hall, the Portland Waterfront Blues Festival, and has appeared on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and multiple PBS specials. She is a firm believer in the power of music to change the world.