Go behind the scenes in the music industry with 30-plus year veteran of the entertainment industry, John Gabrysiak. Learn about the Manager, booking agent, promoter, streaming & label management, social media, entertainment attorney, and touring personnel.
The Chicago-based industry pro has enjoyed a lengthy career that began as a booking agent for some of the most respected names in the blues including Buddy Guy, John Mayall, and Johnny Winter. His expertise transitioned into the world of experiential marketing where he executed tour sponsorship deals on behalf of brands like Anheuser-Busch, Verizon, and Maytag for platinum level artists such as Tim McGraw, Reba McEntire, and 3 Doors Down. As a production director John has worked with national talent at some of the area’s biggest and most well-attended outdoor festivals such as Market Days, Taste of Lincoln Avenue, and Lisle’s Eyes To The Skies festival.
Craig is a Chicago-based Composer, Producer, Remixer, Songwriter, Label Owner Music Supervisor, and Multi-instrumentalist best known for 30+ Billboard Dance Chart #1 hits, including songs by Beyonce, Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake, and Madonna. Craig recently produced and arranged the music for A&E’s documentary David Cassidy: The Last Session. Snider’s compositions for television include work on Madam Secretary, Corporate, American Greed, Dance Moms, and Sex and the City. He has scored a number of documentaries including the short Hot Water and the award-winning Head Games by Steve James (Hoop Dreams, Abacus-Small Enough to Jail.). Snider studied at New England Conservatory and Berklee College of Music.
Find out what makes TikTok tick! Ed is a 25-year music industry veteran, dedicated to developing new technologies and digital strategies. Ed got his start as an intern at Polygram Group Distribution, Chicago, before joining A&M Records’ radio promotion team, based out of Chicago and Minneapolis. In 2000, Ed joined the fledgling digital team at Wind-up Records in New York, then transitioned to digital roles at Chris Blackwell’s Palm Pictures, Roadrunner Records, RCA Records, and, most recently, Sony Music Nashville. Over that time, Ed has championed the music industry’s adoption of technology, from Napster to iTunes to YouTube to the rise of Social Media to Streaming Services and TikTok. Ed has worked with artists like the Foo Fighters, Soundgarden, Sting, Rod Stewart, Sheryl Crow, Blues Traveler, Avril Lavigne, Whitney Houston, Dave Matthews Band, and many more.
Sara’s career in music began at age seven, winning first place in a school talent show. She has recorded albums on major and indie labels. Sara appeared twice on “The Tonight Show” at Carnegie Hall and has performed around the world on television, radio stations, festivals, theatres, clubs, and house concerts. Hickman was the Official Texas State Musician of 2010, sandwiched between Willie Nelson (2009) & Lyle Lovett (2011). Hickman is an avid supporter of numerous charities and organizations benefiting children, women, and health. She helps these organizations by creating awareness, donating her time and, often, contributing portions of the proceeds from her record sales. She has been awarded the Humana “Women Helping Women” award for her generous work with such organizations as Safe Place, Habitat for Humanity, House the Homeless, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Race for the Cure, and many other animals and human rights organizations. She was also made an honorary member of the National Association of Music Therapy because of her work in that area. Sara also created a Texas Musicians Coloring Book and is the proud Mom of two daughters.
Meet Malissa “Mali” Hunter, Friday, August 7, 4p-5p CST
Malissa “Mali” Hunter, CEO & Founder of Earthgirl, StoneWood Music, and The Retnuh Agency, is the ultimate renaissance woman. As a Grammy Nominated artist, Emmy winning actor, businesswoman and philanthropist, she proves that you can do anything you put your mind to if you believe! Her reputation in the entertainment industry as a health and wellness expert is one she is especially proud of. Whether it’s family and friends, her online community, the Spelman college students, or her celebrity friends such as J.Cole, Lenny Kravitz, Missy Elliott, or Drake, she selflessly shares the importance of maintaining your physical and mental health. Mali served as the Chief Operating Officer/Partner at the world-famous Tree Sound Studios, the largest and most unique studio in the country. The 22,000 square foot eco-conscious studio is known as the preferred space for top artists across all genres. As an executive producer and producer, she is known for her “Midas touch” with some of the industry’s most successful artists. She has been thanked and credited for her work of guiding the careers of artists like J.Cole, T.I., David Banner, Chris Brown, Carly Simon, Usher, Drake, Rick Ross, Future, Rae Sremmurd, Wiz Khalifa, Lenny Kravitz and a plethora of other artists that trust and respect her vision. Mali is also known for her philanthropy and connecting celebrities with non-profits and charitable causes.
Meet Pom Pom, Friday, August 14, 4p-5p CST
Pom Pom aka Kellen Pomeranz is a New York-based producer and songwriter Cincinnati, Ohio. After graduating from Northwestern University’s Beinen School of Music, Kellen co-penned the song “Velvet,” which was selected by Adam Levine to be performed on The Voice Season 7 Finale and reached #3 on iTunes after its release by finalist Chris Jamison (Republic Records). Her unique production style helped cultivate the sound for several up-and-coming acts. Recently, she co-wrote and co-produced John Legend’s “Conversations in the Dark” (Columbia Records), which hit #1 on iTunes after Legend performed the song on hit TV show This is Us. She also co-wrote & produced the song “Novocaine” by The Unlikely Candidates (Sony RED), which recently hit #1 on the Alternative Radio charts. She has had releases with Rence & Noah Cyrus, Leyla Blue, ren, Juke Ross, and Gia Woods. She has also collaborated with THEY., BabyJake, K.Flay, AJ Mitchell, gnash, Nombe, Noah Kahan, Cassadee Pope, and Gia Woods to name a few. Last month, following Missy Elliot and Wondagurl, she was the third female producer ever to be featured in Apple Music’s producer series “Behind The Boards“.
Meet Jeff Moskow, Friday, August, 28, 4p-5p CST
A Philadelphia native, Jeff Moskow began his career in the music industry in Philadelphia’s music retail scene and was also a club DJ in Philadelphia for 10 years. He left Philadelphia for positions with PolyGram and Universal in Chicago, Washington, DC, NY, and Los Angeles. Most recently, he served as Head of Marketing for Universal Music Enterprises, the catalog arm of the Universal Music Group, where he helped manage the Motown and Def Jam catalogs, and UMG’s key artist portfolios. As an A&R executive, he spearheaded UMG’s PURE compilation series, including the platinum Pure Funk and Pure 80s titles, and also compiled and marketed hits multi-platinum compilations from Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Lionel Richie, Abba, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Jackson 5, Diana Ross & The Supremes, Smokey Robinson, Jimmy Buffett, The Bee Gees, Elton John, Johnny Cash, Guns ‘N Roses, Janet Jackson, Melissa Etheridge, Sting & The Police, Toby Keith and more. He also served as A&R/marketing director for albums from artists as diverse as Rick Springfield and The Temptations. All of the albums Moskow spearheaded for Springfield debuted in Billboard’s Top 50, and The Temptations “Reflections” received a Grammy® nod. Jeff is also a member of the Recording Academy. Since 1999, Moskow has also served as Head of A&R Curation for the NOW! That’s What I Call Music brand, the most successful compilation series in music history. NOW has achieved 19 #1 Billboard Hot 100 albums, while selling over 100 million units. Under Jeff’s leadership, the UMe marketing department won a record 12 industry awards, including numerous nods for creative marketing, including a NARM Marketing Campaign of The Year for Motown 50. Jeff is also an adjunct professor of music marketing at Temple University and has also lectured at Loyola Marymount and Philadelphia University.
Meet Ugochi Nwaogwugwu , Saturday, June 27th, 1pm CST Video
A child of Nigerian, West African parents, Ugochi combines elements of her afrobeat influence with jazz, house, reggae, and soul aesthetics to create a brand new sound, one she’s coined “AfroSoul.” She was selected as a finalist in the HBO/Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam in 2001. In 2003, legendary Chicago diva Chaka Khan saluted the emerging artist as “someone who will have a long life in the music business,” when she was selected as a semi-finalist on Star Search. Ugochi has written and performs her one-woman show about her family’s immigrant experience called, Seasons Of Separation (S.O.S.), and has penned poems and essays that have been honored in international anthologies. She has written, performed and executive produced three albums titled, “African Buttafly,” A.S.E., and “Love Shot.” Ugochi also wrote the only original song for the critically acclaimed “Red Hot and Riot Compilation,” in honor of the late Fela Ransome Kuti and global AIDS awareness. The song, So Be It, was performed by R&B star Kelis. She has also been saluted by internationally renowned literary organizations like Lynk Reach & Apples and Snakes in the UK. Ugochi has shared the stage with several established artists such as Common, Eric Benet, John Legend, Femi Kuti, Edwin McCain, Seun Kuti, Maxi Priest, Yellowman, Shaggy, Bushman, Wayne Wonder, and Stephen Marley, King Sunny Ade, Me’Schell Ndegeocello and many more.
Meet Chai Tulani, Saturday, June 20th, 1pm CST Video
Tulani was born in Kenya and came to the United States at age 4. His mother is Kenyan but his father is from Chicago, so his family eventually moved to the cities south side in the summer of 1998. Tulani grew up in the Roseland neighborhood and moved to the south suburbs at 15. Music has been a passion of Tulani’s for most of his life. His father is a percussionist and Tulani largely grew up listening to music from the Congo. His diverse musical and cultural background led Tulani to create soul hop, a name that came to him a few years into his career.”I would often get the question, ‘How would you describe your music?’ And I had the hardest time describing to people what it was,” Tulani said. “It made me want to make up a name for it instead of having that generic answer ” I kind of rap or kind of sing.” He calls it Sonic Soul. Tulani has worked and performed alongside many major artists such as Killah priest (of Wutang), Cozz (of J coles Dreamville), Mayday (of Tech9’s strange music), Curren$y, LION BABE, Jay Electronica, and Wyclef Jean. Tulani’s Sonic Soul album is set to be released on June 25th of 2020.